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Matt James on Getting Support From Girlfriend Rachael Kirkconnell at 'DWTS' Premiere (Exclusive)

ETOnline logo ETOnline 9/21/2021 Zach Seemayer‍
a person standing posing for the camera © ABC

Matt James is getting some support from his lady love during his Dancing With the Stars journey. The Bachelor star hit the dance floor on Monday during the DWTS season 30 premiere, and girlfriend Rachael Kirkconnell was in the audience to cheer him on.

James and his pro partner Lindsay Arnold spoke with ET's Lauren Zima backstage after the show, and James reflected on his relationship with Kirkconnell, gushing, "I'm in love!"

According to James, he got some solid guidance from fellow Bachelor alum Sean Lowe, who told him, "You're going to have a lot of opportunities over of the course [of your relationship] so make sure that you try and include whoever you end up with in that."

"Me and Rachael really took that to heart. So everything I do, she does," James explained. "She came to Summer Slam with me, we go to wrestling events together, we go to basketball, we do a lot of things together. It just helps with the relationship."

Kirkconnell was cheering for James on Monday, and has been supporting his DWTS dream throughout the past few weeks of training and rehearsals.

"She hasn't come to the rehearsals but we've made it a family affair," James said. "Rachael and I have hung out with Lindsay and Sage, Lindsay's daughter... So we spend a lot of time together."

During the premiere, James and Arnold delivered a well-received cha-cha set to Rick James "Give It To Me Baby," that earned them a score of 24 out of 40 and a lot of positive feedback from the judges.

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Alongside his girlfriend, James was cheered on by Bachelorette star Hannah Brown -- who also took home the DWTS mirror ball trophy in Season 28.

"She gave me a lot of advice," James said of Brown. "You know, Hannah is a woman of a lot of words but what I took with me most was to have fun. And when I'm with Lindsay it's hard not to have fun."

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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