The Oregonian girl is the Bachelor franchise’s first openly disabled contestant. She won the first impression rose and Bachelor Nation’s whole heart.
Now in its 25th season, The Bachelor finally has a Black Bachelor, Matt James. Matt is breaking all kinds of records with a the number of people who leapt at the chance to meet him. So many hopefuls entered the ring that producers had an entire second wave of women enter the house four weeks into the process. (No, that didn’t go over well with the women who were already in the house. Some handled it better than others, and Victoria came apart at the seams.) But the show that made roses cheesier than they already were is having another first this season: the first openly disabled and the first deaf contestant, Abigail Heringer.
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The 25-year-old Abigail is a proud Oregonian who lives with her sister and is an avid golfer. After graduating from Linfield College in 2017 with a B.S. in finance, she went to work as a financial manager at the Opus Agency. When she was furloughed from her position, she had the time to apply for The Bachelor. In her application, she opened up about her hearing loss. It was a move that surprised her mom who said, “It’s something she usually doesn’t talk much about.” She’s had cochlear implants since she was two. But as she talked about in a recent episode, her hearing loss is genetic and could be passed to her children. Opening up to Matt about the possibility of her passing her disability to future children was incredibly difficult for Abigail. But Matt was deeply appreciative and offered her that night’s group rose.
But that group date rose certainly wasn’t Abigail’s first. Abigail caught Matt’s attention immediately, right from the start on night one. They had a clear connection during their first conversation. Sparks were flying. And then Matt offered her the first impression rose. Abigail accepted and it looked like there might be another season where the winner at the end is the same person who stole the first impression. But alas, as time ticked on, she disappeared into the background earning very little one-on-one screen time with the Bachelor. And now, well, Reality Steve is reporting that Abigail goes home in fifth place, just before the hometowns.
Whether or not Abigail wins The Bachelor and Matt’s heart, she has certainly won Bachelor Nation’s. Never sweating the small stuff, she’s someone people can clearly rally around. Twitter is buzzing with calls for her to take the throne as next season’s Bachelorette.
Abigail is never in the mix with the overly dramatic types, but she’s not boring either. She says exactly what she thinks with confidence and openness.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8pm ET on ABC.
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