After a historic season of The Bachelor, which was unfortunately riddled with controversy that culminated with Chris Harrison temporarily stepping down, After the Final Rose host Emmanuel Acho had the pleasure of announcing the next two Bachelorettes: Katie Thurston and Michelle Young.
A fan-favorite on Matt James’ season, Thurston was first known for showing up on night one with a dildo and became popular for her sex-positive, anti-bullying presence within a group that was sorely lacking both. However, many Bachelor Nation fans were hoping that a woman of color would get the opportunity to dole out roses as the show continues to grapple with its problematic past and present.
Thankfully, while Thurston will lead season 17, Acho also announced that elementary school teacher Michelle Young, another front-runner from Matt’s season, will be the Bachelorette in season 18!
According to Reality Steve, who shared this prediction before it was officially announced, Young did not want to spend even more time away from her class and will shoot her season over the summer.
People online are all about BOTH women.
Katie Thurston’s season will look even more different than these past few quarantined seasons of The Bachelorette and The Bachelor. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Bachelor Nation has traded in the Bachelor Mansion in Agoura Hills, California for all-inclusive resorts that could serve as a safe “bubble” for cast and crew, while presenting fun opportunities for dates. Thurston and her contestants are currently sequestered at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa in New Mexico.
After TMZ reported that Harrison was not seen at the Hyatt, ABC released a statement that the longtime host will not be returning to the franchise just yet. Instead, Bachelor Nation alums Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will be onsite to “support the new Bachelorette.”
The upcoming Bachelorette seemingly approves of the shakeup. “I stand with other alumni who have expressed that learning & growth require time,” Thurston tweeted on March 11. “I hope that Chris Harrison continues to take more time to step away while sincerely educating himself & dedicating himself to the work. We can all grow and do better with time, and I hope he does.”
Honestly, I can’t wait to watch all of these women thrive.