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Here's How Rachael Kirkconnell Helps Matt James Recover After Dancing With the Stars Training

By Samantha Bergeson Sep 17, 2021 6:36 PMTags
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Watch: Matt James Reveals His BIGGEST Competition on "DWTS"

Matt James is putting the f-un in bunions!

After stealing hearts on The Bachelor, Matt is hoping to follow in fellow Bachelor Nation stars Kaitlyn Bristowe and Hannah Brown's footsteps and bring home the famed Mirror Ball Trophy on season 30 of Dancing With the StarsAnd Matt is certainly putting in the work for the win! 

"I have so much respect for these pros that have the patience with someone like myself to just teach us and work through these growing pains," Matt exclusively explained during E! News' Daily Pop on Sept. 17. "I've got bunions! It is what it is. I've been icing my feet down after practice. It's been a tough journey so far with the body aching." 

Thankfully, Matt's girlfriend Rachael Kirkconnell helps him recover from practice with a special treatment. "I actually got some coupons for Valentine's Day and I have cashed in some of those massage ones," Matt teased. 

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Everything We Know About Dancing With the Stars Season 30

Plus, Matt is feeling the pressure to represent Bachelor Nation. "If you're not on top of your steps, you're going to look foolish," the former athlete continued. "I've got to represent the men in Bachelor Nation. We haven't represented well. If there's no trophy, what are you doing guys?"

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While Matt "can't replicate or emulate" Kaitlyn and Hannah's victories, he credited his DWTS partner for his progress thus far, ahead of the season premiere on Monday, Sept. 20.

"She's going to make me look way better than I am at dancing so I'm just going to continue to lean on her and have as much fun as possible," he stated. "If you do all the work necessary to prepare, then whatever happens, happens. I'm not nervous to mess up, it's like I'm going to let my partner down because I know how much they sacrificed to be here and with all the accolades that Kaitlyn and Hannah have set the bar very high. I just want to do well."

Matt continued, "I'm putting in after hours just to make sure I'm competitive." To ease any nerves before performing, he plans on listening to Lauryn Hill and J. Cole songs to get "some serenity." 

So, with an all-star lineup of fellow contestants, who does Matt view as his biggest competitor? "Melora [Hardin], hands down," he dished. "I've got my eye on her." 

Watch the full interview about to hear what other stars Matt is scoping out!

Dancing With the Stars season 30 premieres Monday, Sept. 20 on ABC.

Watch Daily Pop weekdays at 11 a.m., only on E!.