Season 18 of “The Bachelorette” kicks off on Tuesday, October 19, as Michelle Young starts her journey looking for love. Fans first met the Minnesota-based schoolteacher as the runner-up on Matt James’ season of “The Bachelor.”
In a franchise first, this will be the second female-led season to air this year. Young is stepping into the shoes of her fellow contestant from James’ season, Katie Thurston.
So, who are Young’s contestants? Will she get engaged? What happens this season? Before answering any of those questions, STOP READING IF YOU DO NOT WANT MAJOR SPOILERS on the premiere and subsequent episodes.
Here’s what you need to know:
Young Meets All 30 of Her Contestants During the Premiere
Young’s journey for love starts by meeting 30 suitors. ABC described them as “incredible men” who are “hoping to impress Michelle with their charm, wit and dashing good looks.”
But first things first, they will have to “get through hosts and mentors Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams” and “quickly learn it’s going to take more than a good limo entrance to win this Bachelorette’s heart.”
So who are these men? According to TV Insiders, Michelle’s contestants are:
• Alec Thompson, 29, an engineer from North Charleston, South Carolina
• Brandon Jones, 26, a traveling nurse recruiter from Portland, Oregon
• Brandon Kieffer, 29, a brand manager from Austin, Texas
• Bryan Witzmann, 31, an NFL player from Chicago, Illinois
• Casey Woods, 36, an advertising creative director from Miami Beach, Florida.
• Chris Gallant, 28, a motivational speaker from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
• Chris Sutton, 28, a commodities broker from West Hollywood, California
• Clayton Echard, 28, a medical sales rep from Columbia, Missouri
• Daniel Tully, 26, a firefighter from Austin, Texas
• Edward Naranjo, 27, a wellness coach from Los Angeles, California
• Garrett Aida, 33, a tech CEO from Salt Lake City, Utah
• Jack Russell, 30, a former Army officer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
• Jamie Skaar, 32, a biotech CEO from San Diego, California
• Joe Coleman, 28, a real estate developer from Minneapolis, Minnesota
• JoMarri Gable, 26, a personal trainer from Fresno, California
• Leroy Arthur, 27, a biomedical Ph.D. student from Dallas, Texas
• LT Murray IV, 38, a yoga guru from Bellevue, Washington
• Martin Gelbspan, 29, a personal trainer from Miami, Florida
• Mollique Johnson, 36, an academic administrator from San Diego, California
• Nayte Olukoya, 27, a sales executive from Austin, Texas
• Olumide “Olu” Onajide, 27, an IT analyst from Newark, New Jersey
• Pardeep Singh, 30, a neuroscientist from Brooklyn, New York
• Peter Izzo, 26, a pizzapreneur from Port St. Joe, Florida
• PJ Henderson, 30, a firefighter from Houston, Texas
• Rick Leach, 32, a medical sales rep from Los Angeles, California
• Rodney Matthews, 29, a sales rep from Rancho Cucamonga, California
• Romeo Alexander, 32, a mathematician from New York City, New York
• Ryan Fox, 30, an environmental consultant from San Jose, California
• Spencer Williams, 25, a financial crimes analyst from Cleveland, Ohio
• Will Urena, 28, an academic interventionist from Grand Rapids, Michigan
Young Gets Engaged to Her First Impression Rose Recipient
It seems the traditional group shot of Young with all of her suitors gave away this season’s first impression rose recipient.
Entertainment Weekly’s Kristen Baldwin shared the “class photo” in an article she tweeted out. “For those who’ve asked for the last month who got Michelle’s first impression rose, the group photo gives it away,” Reality Steve wrote on Twitter in response. “Only one guy has the rose on his lapel and this photo is always taken towards the end of night 1. Thanks ABC.”
The man in question appears to be Nayte Olukoya, who Reality Steve has confirmed gets engaged to Young at the end of the season.
According to his ABC profile, “He has a smile that sparkles like the stars, he is always the life of the party; and to boot, he is a 6-foot, eight-inch Adonis of a man.”
Getting more serious about a relationship with age, his dream woman is described as “outgoing, spontaneous and has enough swagger of her own to keep up with him.”
And it seems viewers can expect a fairytale romance between Young and Olukoya. Co-host Adams told Entertainment Tonight, “It’s like a fairytale, which is different, I think. You guys will understand that word at the end. It unfolds beautifully.”
According to Reality Steve, Brandon is this season’s runner-up.
Young Sends 9 Men Home
It seems night one has found a potential villain in Ryan.
In a “Good Morning America” sneak peek, the hosts inform Young that Ryan has notes on what to say to her to get screen time and avoid being a villain. When she confronts him, he agrees to show her what they say in favor of an “open, honest conversation.”
Things do not go his way as the Bachelor Whatever Instagram account reports he is one of nine suitors sent packing. Joining him are Brandon, Bryan, Daniel, Edward, Garrett, Jack, Jomarri and PJ.