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Matt James’ DWTS Debut Gets Support from ‘Proud’ Girlfriend Rachael Kirkconnell

Matt James'

Rachael Kirkconnell is one ecstatic girlfriend!The 24-year-old Georgia native took to Instagram to express her love and support for her boyfriend Matt James, who will make his Dancing with the Stars debut on Monday’s season 30 premiere.”

“Can’t wait for you guys to see how hard this guy has been working and what they’ve come up with, you won’t want to miss it!” she wrote, adding, “Can’t wait for you guys to see how hard this guy has been working and what they’ve come up with, you won’t want to miss it… I assure you, he’s come a long way ;-).” “I love you the most, @mattjames919, and I’m already so proud of you,” she said.Kirkconnell was in the audience as well, cheering on her boyfriend.

The former Bachelor star, 29, addressed their romance in his intro package before taking to the ballroom floor on DWTS.”I didn’t end up proposing to Rachael, but we’re in a relationship and everything is going great,” he explained, adding, “Bachelor Nation is a passionate group of viewers, and I don’t want to let them down.”James was paired with professional dancer Lindsay Arnold and received a 24 from the judges for his first dance, the cha-cha.He responded to the judges’ criticisms of his hip action by saying, “I just wanted to thank Lindsay for returning.

She only had a baby a couple of months ago! I’m ecstatic to have you as my partner.” James, 29, told PEOPLE earlier this month that Kirkconnell has been in his corner since the beginning of this process, even helping him practise his routines outside of the studio.”Outside of Dancing with the Stars,” he said, “she’s been my dance partner.” “I return and try to apply the lessons I learned during rehearsals. She’s been working hard to keep me in shape!””She’s been there for me in every way possible,” James added. “She was the only person who seemed to like my beard, so that’s love.”

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During an interview with Extra last month, the Bachelor Nation couple was candid about their previous ups and downs in their relationship.”It was a bit of a journey to get back on track,” Kirkconnell said. “But I believe we are in a very good position. We’ve received a lot of love, but I like to think that even though everyone has been extremely nice to us, we just like to focus on each other and put all of that aside, allowing the outside noise to remain a little more quiet these days. But it’s been good, we’ve been good.”

“The importance has always been to seek authenticity… which is what drew me to Rachael and to go at our own pace — [rather than] succumb to other people’s expectations. That’s what we’re doing now, and it’s working for us.”Dancing with the Stars airs on ABC on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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