Former ‘Bachelorette’ Responds to Claims That Producers Are Manipulating Fans

Katie Thurston

ABC Katie Thurston.

Former Bachelorette Katie Thurston is weighing in on just how real the popular dating franchise is.

TikTok user @gillydee dissected a promo for current Bachelor Clayton Echard’s season, which seems to show Shanae Ankney and Genevieve Parisi as the last women standing during an upcoming rose ceremony. A blonde woman, presumably Ankney, is then seen crying.

“‘The Bachelor’ is manipulating you,” @gillydee proclaims in her video on January 31, 2022. “They’re making you think this is Shanae and Genevieve, but look – black dress, red dress. Genevieve is not wearing a red dress, one. Shanae has like jewels. They try and make you think Shanae is crying but look at the b**** crying, she doesn’t have the jewels on the front.”


Just out here exposing the bachelor one tik tok at a time #fyp #thebachelor #nbcbachelor #bachelornation

♬ original sound – Gillian

Thurston commented on the video, “Manipulation? Noooo. This is [sparkle emoji] reality [sparkle emoji] tv.” The post’s creator responded, “The [sparkle emoji] sent me hahaha.”

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Since @gillydee posted her TikTok, Ankney was eliminated during a two-on-one date.

Thurston first appeared on Matt James’ season of “The Bachelor” before taking up the mantle for season 17 of “The Bachelorette.” While she gave Blake Moynes her final rose, the former couple called off their engagement in October 2021. Thurston has since started a relationship with another contestant from her season – John Hersey.

Thurston Took Antidepressants After Her Season of ‘The Bachelorette’

Thurston has been open about her struggles on “The Bachelorette,” revealing in a January 21, 2022, Instagram post that she took antidepressants for the first time ahead of her season’s premiere.

“Last year somehow feels like 3 years of highs and lows,” she wrote. “I remember a producer texting me saying ‘the old Katie is dead and the new Katie will rise from the ashes.’ He was right about one thing. The old Katie did in fact die. But I was not some girl on fire. If anything, the sparks I once felt for life were doused with the judgement and criticism of not only strangers, but even ones I worked closely with. I was drowning in my tears, unable to even recognize the girl in the mirror. Was the old me really gone?”

To pull herself out of “a dark place,” the 31-year-old explained that she unfollows hateful accounts and limits screen time thanks to controls monitored by her boyfriend.

“And for those complete strangers who write positive DMs and comments, I want you to know. I see them. I feel them. And there were times I even needed them,” Thurston wrote.


Eagle-Eyed Fans Figured Out Who Is Really in the Preview

Some eagle-eyed fans commented on @gillydee’s post that the final two women were actually Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey rather than Ankney and Parisi. This falls in line with Reality Steve reporting that Recchia, Windey and Susie Evans round out Echard’s final three women.

The @BachelorNationSpoilers Instagram account on Instagram also shared an unverified spoiler that Echard ends the season engaged to Recchia.

And while it remains to be seen if Echard will be in a relationship by the time “After the Final Rose” airs, he did admit to finding love during an appearance on “Good Morning America.”

“I did find love,” the 28-year-old said during his interview. “I was a little skeptical going into the whole journey, but I’m so pleasantly surprised that things worked out much different than I thought.”

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