Former ‘Bachelorette’ Teases Tea: ‘Manipulation Hurts’

The Bachelorette roses

ABC Roses wait to be handed out on "The Bachelorette."

When people go on “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette,” or “Bachelor in Paradise,” their contracts limit what they can talk about after filming, as Refinery29 detailed. Sometimes, former contestants open up once their contract stipulations have expired, and plenty of juicy tidbits have emerged over the years. When former “Bachelorette” Katie Thurston did an “Ask Me Anything” on her Instagram Stories on June 14, she shared a little bit when asked about her contract and her experiences with the franchise.

Here’s what you need to know:

Thurston Had a Rough Experience Leading Her Season

During her season of “The Bachelorette,” which aired during the summer of 2021, Thurston developed strong feelings for more than one of her suitors. She struggled in eliminating Andrew Spencer, detailed Variety, shedding tears and running after him after he shared a second goodbye with her. Then, suitor Michael Allio, a single father, eliminated himself so he could return home to his young son, noted Cosmopolitan. At that point, Thurston was down to her final three, which included latecomer Blake Moynes.

“The Bachelorette” had fallen hard for contestant Greg Grippo, but that journey took an unexpected turn as well. After his hometown date, shared Variety, he was rattled when she didn’t readily reciprocate his declaration of being in love with her. The next day, things got even more emotional and intense, and Grippo left the show. Thurston gave her final rose to Moynes, and they got engaged. However, as Us Weekly noted, their engagement was short-lived.

The couple split a couple of months after going public with their romance, six months after filming. Quite quickly, she went public with her romance with John Hersey, who had been another suitor on “The Bachelorette.” Hersey was eliminated in week 2, but he popped up on Thurston’s Instagram page as a “friend” shortly before her engagement to Moynes was officially called off. Not long after her split with Moynes, she went public with her romance with Hersey.

Thurston Was Left With Hurt & Hopes

When one person asked Thurston “When can you spill the tea of what it’s really like being bachelorette,” she shared a lengthy reply in her Instagram Stories. “People always ask me if it was fun,” she began. “It’s not the first word that comes to mind for me. You think it’s this two month vacation flirting with the men but it’s work.” Thurston noted much of the time is spent hoping for more time with the contestants, more sleep, and “more say in situations.”

Thurston also touched upon the many ways the experience left her hurt. “Sending people home hurts. People leaving hurts. Lies hurt. Manipulation hurts.” She added that she’s an Empath, so the experience was “a lot to go through and feel.” She also noted that if the lead was someone who really only had a strong interest in one person, the process might be easier. At the same time, she wrote, being laser-focused on one person “defeats the purpose.”

Will Thurston dish out more specific details when she’s further away from the experience itself, or will she always keep things vague like this? It sounds as if she has a lot she would like to say, but for now, she’s keeping a lot under wraps.

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