Warning: Big ol' potential spoilers for The Bachelorette 2021 are on board!
Look, Season 25 of The Bachelor has been nothing if not shocking (and also very disappointing) in many ways, both with what's been happening on screen and what we've seen go on behind the scenes. But, the franchise is still plugging along mostly as it used to, which means that Season 17 of The Bachelorette is still set to begin filming by the end of this month. We just heard that former leads Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will be taking over as hosts, but now it sounds like the show is planning yet another big twist for fans in 2021.
Matt James' season of The Bachelor has brought a lot of the inner workings of the franchise to light, while also giving fans a look at a more diverse cast of ladies. Some of those women quickly became favorites, and while one of them is set to be announced tonight as the new lead of The Bachelorette for Season 17, spoiler guru Reality Steve believes we're poised to get a surprise way bigger than Tayshia and Kaitlyn coming in as the new hosts. Apparently, the franchise is now set to give us not one, but two Bachelorette seasons in this calendar year. I. KNOW!
Here's what's supposedly happening. The finale of Matt's season will air tonight, along with, of course, the After the Final Rose special to get us all up to date on how his journey to find love ended this season after some very traumatic events went down. After rumors that Katie Thurston would be named Bachelorette, the backstage scandals made it seem like she'd be replaced with a different woman who had vied for Matt's heart. Now, though, Steve is hearing that our Season 17 lead will still be Katie, but, we will also be treated to a second Bachelorette season later in the year, and this one will feature Michelle Young as our head rose-giver.
Based on Steve's intel, this will not be another Tayshia / Clare Crawley situation, where one lead bugs out part of the way through filming and another has to be brought in. It also won't be like Kaitlyn's season, where the suitors chose between her and Britt Nilsson to land on an official Bachelorette. Instead, Katie will have her own, full season of the show, which should begin filming at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico later this month.
Then, Michelle will film her own season after Bachelor in Paradise is done with production, meaning she'll likely be leading the charge as Bachelorette for all of July. Her season will air sometime in the fall once BIP is finished airing.
Obviously, the big question is why they've decided to do things this way at all, and not just give Michelle the first Bachelorette season of 2021. Well, it sounds like two things happened. First of all, they really wanted did want to recast Katie in an effort to stem the tide of bad press. But, it sounds like Michelle wasn't into the idea of leaving her class for filming once again, so they stuck with Katie for our standard season, and added a second show for Michelle.
Word is that this twist will be announced on ATFR, but we're not sure on whether or not they will also let everyone in on the fact that Michelle will be our fall Bachelorette. Remember how they didn't confirm that Tayshia was coming in to replace Clare until the week before she showed up on screen? I wouldn't put it past them to do something similar here.
Well, while this has already been a (sadly) dramatic year in Bachelor Nation, hopefully the (possible) casting of both Katie Thurston and Michelle Young with their own seasons will usher in a lot more of the positivity and joy we actually want to see when watching the shows.
Matt James' Season 25 of The Bachelor and his After the Final Rose air tonight on ABC at 8 p.m. EST.