Single Dad Michael A. Shares Why He Went on ‘Bachelorette’ After Losing His Wife

Michael All, Katie Thurston, The Bachelorette, season 17
ABC/Craig Sjodin

After a successful and heartfelt one-on-one date on the June 21 episode of The Bachelorette, single dad Michael Allio is quickly becoming a fan favorite, winning over Katie and the viewers.

Things got emotional when Michael talked about the passing of his wife Laura and how he is ready to open himself up to love again after facing such a tragedy.

Michael sat down with host Becca Kufrin and guest host Catherine Lowe on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast to talk about his experiences on the show, getting support from his in-laws, and what it felt like seeing Katie Thurston for the first time.

At the beginning of this season, Michael was introduced as a single dad to his son, James. However, on last night’s episode, Michael shared with Katie that his wife, Laura, passed away two years ago from breast cancer. In an episode full of emotional revelations from both the contestants and Katie, Michael’s was one of the most heartfelt and heartbreaking.

On the podcast, Michael reveals that after being contacted by Bachelorette producers via Instagram (and subsequently turning them down twice), he agreed to do the show. “It felt a perfect time to bet on myself, take a risk, get outside of my box and try to find some ways to grow and find love and find that missing piece in my life that’s really so vital,” he says.

Before signing on as a contestant, he wanted the approval of his in-laws, as he explains, “My decision to begin this journey is not just mine. There’s a lot of people who are affected with it in my world, people that I really love and cherish.” Thankfully, he got their support, as he says they wanted him to “find happiness again.”

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With his son and multiple businesses waiting for him back home, he had to think realistically about the process. “Each time Katie and I spoke, I always asked her questions maybe that were too quick to ask just because I wanted to get to know, one, her as a person, but also what her goals were,” he shares. “It’s not that easy to just have love to find it, but two lives kind of have to intersect at the right moment as well.” Just as he said in last night’s episode, the show may end with an engagement, but it also “begins with an engagement.”

From the beginning, he knew he didn’t want to force a connection with Katie if it didn’t happen naturally. “I remember telling myself that if I didn’t feel that necessary initial spark, that I wouldn’t really waste time,” he recalls. “You can learn to love somebody without that spark, but at the same time, when you do have it, it really changes everything.”

Michael A. and Katie Thurston, The Bachelorette, season 17

ABC/Craig Sjodin

When it was his turn to meet Katie on the first night, he wasn’t nervous at all… that was until he came out of the limo and couldn’t find her! “Right when I got out, tons of bright lights – I couldn’t actually find her. I had no idea where she was,” he admits. He jokes that he was playing into his role as the oldest in the house, but his reaction proves he is truly young at heart.

At 36, Michael knows how to stay out of the drama. “At this point in my life, you really don’t need to create problems for yourself. Life will give them to you and you adjust to them naturally,” he says. Being the gentleman he is, Michael also stated how it was important for the guys to sympathize with Katie’s feelings and what she was going through as well.

With a long way to go before this season’s finale, his future on the show remains up in the air. Right now, Michael is just excited to tune in with the rest of us. “I really can’t wait to see how the whole season goes,” he said. “Our guys, the cast, they’re amazing. There are really some people with some good character that are out there.”

The Bachelorette, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC