'The Bachelorette': 1 Reject From JoJo Fletcher's Season Admitted to Being at the Capitol Riot
Five years after appearing in JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette, James Taylor is on the outside of Bachelor Nation looking in. After admitting to attending the deadly January 6th Capitol riot, the outspoken former contestant has faced sharp criticism from prominent Bachelor Nation figures. Show creator Mike Fleiss even condemned Taylor.
The season 12 contestant has been accused of lying about support from the show’s producers. This continues a string of controversies stoked by the conservative singer since Fletcher rejected in 2016.
James Taylor’s questionable response to the Capitol riot
Often using the name James McCoy to avoid being mistaken for the iconic musician, the country singer showcased himself as a charismatic Midwesterner on season 12 of The Bachelorette. Taylor introduced himself to Fletcher by strumming a guitar as he stepped from the limo, appearing like an outdoorsy party boy.
Taylor ended up connecting with Fletcher and finishing fifth on the show. Jordan Rodgers ultimately took home the final rose.
Although there were only hints of his political opinions on The Bachelorette, Taylor’s social media posts became very political during the Trump administration. US Magazine noted that he was all over social media in the lead-up to the January 6th Capitol riot. He enthusiastically encouraged supporters of ousted President Donald Trump to join the masses headed to Washington D.C.
At the height of his agitation, Taylor took to Twitter to mull the possibilities of himself running for president. He added that he’d “never seen weaker men in my life — both sides.”
After the Capitol riot, Taylor was a little more subdued. He tweeted that he was “legally supporting” the defeated Trump when he joined the January 6th mob. He also thanked the Bachelor family for allegedly backing him. But in the ugly aftermath of the riot, this didn’t sit well for many in Bachelor Nation.
Insider published a stiff rebuke from Ben Higgins, who shredded Taylor for lying about support from Bachelorette producers. Higgins appeared on the 11th season of The Bachelorette and starred on The Bachelor in 2016. He chose Lauren Bushnell over JoJo Fletcher for his final rose.
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette creator, Fleiss, also jumped into the mix, using his Twitter account to formally declare that Taylor was “officially exiled from #BachelorNation !!!”
Not the first controversy for James Taylor
Taylor has ruffled feathers in Bachelor Nation before as well. In 2019, Taylor went on a Twitter rant against The Bachelorette star Hannah Brown for conduct he didn’t approve of. He claimed that she didn’t have to “dry hump ’em all” after a PG-13 incident on the show. Taylor claimed that Brown was exhibiting behavior that a future husband would not be proud of. It quickly drew a rebuttal from Brown suitor Tyler Cameron.
On the political front, Taylor got into it with Bachelor contestant Ashley Spivey in December 2017 over failed Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore. Taylor used his Instagram to cast doubts on the many sexual-abuse allegations against Moore. Spivey called him out for victim-blaming.
Trump supporters widely echoed Taylor’s defense of Moore at the time. Although they did little to help Moore at the ballot box. Moore became the first Republican to lose a senate race in Alabama since the ’90s. Taylor has since refrained from posting about Moore.
Scandals and controversies in Bachelor Nation
Although the Bachelor family mostly stays out of politics, Taylor is far from the only one to stir up controversy. Earlier this year, Bachelor contestant Taylor Nolan apologized after a slew of derogatory tweets from her past began circulating. Although the apology video is no longer on her Instagram, Nolan told Page Six she was “completely lost” at the time of her controversial tweets deemed homophobic and racially insensitive.
A similar theme popped up this year surrounding social media takes from Rachael Kirkconnell, a Bachelor contestant who landed in the hot seat after attending an antebellum party in college. The fallout didn’t end there. Franchise host, Chris Harrison, permanently left the show this summer after defending Kirkconnell in a controversial interview with Rachel Lindsay.
There have also been plenty of controversies outside of the limelight as well. For example, a scandal involved contestant Rozlyn Papa hooking up with a producer off-camera. Though Papa continues to deny it more than a decade later, Harrison told People in 2020 that Papa and the male producer were caught red-handed by Bachelor staffers.
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