On June 7, Katie Thurston took over the reins as Bachelorette, ready to meet the men vying for her heart. This season she will be accompanied by former franchise leads – Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe.
Bachelor Nation fans first met Thurston on Matt James’ season of The Bachelor. She was eliminated during her one-on-one date, eventually being announced during the After the Final Rose ceremony as the first of two Bachelorette seasons airing this year. This fall, James’ runner-up Michelle Young will be handing out roses.
With the season just getting underway, Thurston told People that “a lot happened that I couldn’t have ever predicted.” She teased “It got intense and crazy. But I will say, everything happens for a reason. And I definitely embraced that.”
In recent weeks, regularly updating spoilers and cast changes have been revealed. Here’s what you need to know:
STOP! Spoilers for season 17 of The Bachelorette below.
Reality Steve Falsely Reported Who Makes Thurston’s Top 4
Reality Steve originally reported John Hersey – a 27-year-old bartender from Pacific Beach, California – makes it into the season’s top four and even revealed some theorized Hersey received the final rose.
“A few weeks ago, I reported here that I’d heard Blake Moynes and Greg Grippo were in Katie’s final four. And I was 99% sure that John Hersey was as well,” Reality Steve wrote on his blog. “Then shortly afterwards, Katie posted on her social media a weekend she spent in San Diego with friends from Bachelor Nation, and I started receiving emails that one of the places she tagged she visited, Duke’s in La Jolla, was where John Hersey worked as a bartender.”
The Bachelor Nation blogger claims he was inundated with theories that not only did Hersey make it far in the season, but actually received Thurston’s final rose. Yet, as Reality Steve revealed, “he didn’t even make top 8.”
Plus, as Reality Steve noted, Thurston is possibly “the most media-savvy lead we’ve ever had.” He did not think she would make such a public slip up, writing, “Lets say she HAD chose John. I never thought she’d be that stupid to 1) visit his place of work and 2) visit his place of work WITH friends from the franchise. She’s too smart for that.”
Originally reported alongside Hersey’s name was returning contestant Blake Moynes and the first impression rose recipient Greg Grippo. Reality Steve still maintains their top-four rankings but is now reporting Justin Glaze and Andrew Spencer are rounding out the hometown dates.
ABC Released the Possible Cast in March
As is tradition, ABC released the names, ages and hometowns of the men who could be vying for Katie Thurston’s heart this season. This season’s contestants have been whittled down from the previously released 34 men.
One notable name absent: Moynes. The Canadian wildlife manager was revealed to join this season during the promo for what’s to come. He previously appeared on season 16 of The Bachelorette, competing first for Clare Crawley’s heart and then sticking around to pursue Adams.
Austin Tinsley, Bao Wu, Dennis Walega, Tanner Guisness and Viktor Simco are the names originally reported, but who did not make it into production. While their absences have not been explained, these cuts typically happen before every season.