On the final episode of Matt James’ dramatic Bachelor season, it was announced that Katie Thurston and Michelle Young would be the next Bachelorette stars. This shocked Bachelor-nation fans because it is customary to follow the Bachelor season with a Bachelorette season and then continue the pattern. ABC decided to switch things up and have two Bachelorette seasons back-to-back. “When they first told me, I thought we were going to be the Bachelorette at the same time,” Michelle told Emmanuel Acho, the host of the After the Final Rose special. “I was a little nervous, but once I found out it was two different seasons, I was here for it.”
Katie entered Matt’s season with shock value when she walked out of the limo on night one with one of her most “prized possessions” from home: a sex toy. However, she quickly became a fan-favorite by speaking her mind and preaching peace and fairness in the house but was sent home in episode six. She is known on social media for being honest and relatable through video posts and funny captions. “I’m ready to find love, and not just the temporary kind… I’ve seen it work before, why can’t it work for me?”
Michelle entered Matt’s season at a later date when a second limo full of more women unexpectedly showed up to the Bachelor mansion a few episodes after the original air date. She quickly proved to America that she was poised, mature and there for the right reasons. Being the runner-up after Matt chose Rachael on the final episode, Michelle quickly gained a lot of positive attention from viewers. Since Michelle is a dedicated school teacher, ABC has decided to shoot her season in the upcoming summer so that she is able to return to her classroom with her students in the fall.
Season 17, starring Katie, and season 18, starring Michelle, will premier this upcoming spring and then fall. ABC has also announced that the longtime host, Chris Harrison, will not be hosting Katie’s season of the Bachelorette, following recent scandals. Instead, former Bachelorette stars Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will guide Katie on her “journey to find love.” Filming will take place somewhere in New Mexico.
A new season of Bachelor in Paradise (BIP) will also premier in between Katie and Michelle’s seasons. Filming for BIP will start in June, per usual, but the location has not been announced.
Many changes have been made recently in Bachelor-nation. Viewers saw Matt James choose Rachael Kirkonnell at the end of his season, but that relationship ended shortly after they broke up because of a publicized scandal surrounding racist accusations against Rachael. Chris Harrison, the man who has hosted this show for years, will also be stepping back for an unknown period of time because of his support for Rachael Kirkonnell and lack of empathy towards Rachel Lindsay in the midst of the situation. Many loyal fans have said they won’t be watching the upcoming seasons, while others are glad changes are being made.