Who Are the Two New Leads of ‘The Bachelorette’? Get to Know Katie Thurston and Michelle Young


Matt James’ season of The Bachelor came to a shocking conclusion, but there was still one more twist to be revealed at the After the Final Rose reunion: The identity of the new Bachelorette.

Wait, make that two more twists: Host Emmanuel Acho unveiled not one, but two new stars of separate upcoming seasons of The Bachelorette, and both had just been in the race to win Matt’s heart.

So, who are they? Keep scrolling to find out!

Katie Thurston

Katie stepped out of the limo to win over Matt with a special friend in tow: a sparkly vibrator. The sex-positive marketing manager was vocal about her anti-bullying efforts throughout the season, and confided in Matt about the drama among the other contestants. Eventually, 30-year old Katie was sent home during a one-on-one date after she and Matt seemingly had built a platonic friendship that didn’t spark into romance.


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A post shared by Katie Thurston (@ventwithkatiee)

The Washington-based star also hosts podcast “Vent With Katie,” and has a beloved pet cat. Per her Bachelor bio, she knows exactly the type of man she’s looking for. “Nothing turns her off more than someone who sits around playing video games all day or a man who tries to kiss her at the inopportune moment,” her description reads. “It’s all about creating the right vibe with Katie!”

Katie is sure to ruffle some feathers. The outspoken star butt heads with ladies at the Women Tell All, calling subsequent online criticisms over the season’s bullying allegations “karma” for certain contestants. Yet the Season 17 lead is determined to find her “forever kind of love” on the series. She captioned an Instagram post: “off to find my husband. Michelle, I’ll take notes.”

Michelle Young

Matt’s heartbroken runner-up Michelle didn’t hold back in the finale, saying she deserved better than Matt’s refusal to have closure. Now, she’ll have a much better chance of meeting the man of her dreams. Fans are elated that Michelle is set to return to the franchise (she’ll follow Katie’s due to Michelle’s work schedule as an elementary school teacher).

The 28-year old Minnesota native was a college basketball star and honor roll student. She’s hoping to start a family of her own someday soon, according to her Bachelor bio, and the Season 18 Bachelorette will be looking for the future father of her children. Michelle is close with her parents, who both appeared on Season 25 of The Bachelor during the Hometown date.


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A post shared by Michelle Young (@michelle.young.1)

“I really do think this process works,” Michelle stated during After the Final Rose. “When you get to set down all the outside distractions and really dive in, I think you can learn a lot about somebody. I”m just excited and ready to get started.”

It was previously announced that former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe would be replacing longtime host Chris Harrison, who is stepping back, at least for now. His leave is due to his defense of Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who had “liked” racist social media posts and attended an Antebellum-themed party. He later apologized and stated he was taking a hiatus.