Spoilers ahead for the June 28 episode of The Bachelorette Season 17 on ABC.
Katie Thurston was one of two contestants from Matt James' controversial season of The Bachelor to land her own season of The Bachelorette, but the messy end to Matt's season combined with all the scandal surrounding the franchise due to Chris Harrison's comments left me more or less indifferent about which women would be distributing roses next. But now after Katie's most recent rose ceremony, I'm ready to say that she was not only an adequate choice for Season 17, but the perfect pick, and it's all thanks to Katie taking control of the drama surrounding Thomas Jacobs.
Thomas Jacobs made himself a target in the house when he revealed that he'd thought about becoming The Bachelor before he even came onto Katie Thurston's season of The Bachelorette, and his behavior toward Katie came across as manipulative and dishonest. Of course, that has never meant a contestant automatically getting the boot, as Hannah Brown proved time and time again with Luke Parker during her season of The Bachelorette.
Plus Thomas Jacobs was one of the frontrunners for Katie Thurston before she learned that all the guys agreed that he was problematic. Still, when it came down to the rose ceremony, Katie shocked all the men when she said Thomas' name, indicating that he was sticking around... right before commercial. The show returned to show the gobsmacked expressions on the faces of most of the men, which probably reflected those of plenty of fans, and several expressed their shock in testimonials.
Even Thomas seemed a little lost as to what was happening when he went to stand in front of Katie Thurston to receive his rose... or so he thought! Katie took a pointed step back as he approached, then dropped this little monologue:
You told me things I wanted to hear, but what I learned about you tonight is you're selfish, unkind, and a liar. Your Bachelor audition ends tonight. So get out.
Damn, Katie! Tell us how you really feel! Not only was it a speech that may go down in Bachelor Nation history, but her delivery was so dramatic and well-timed that it barely even needed the classic Bachelor Nation background music to convey the seriousness of the moment. And okay, I'll admit that the editors of the episode deserve some credit for creating such a deeply dramatic moment by cutting to commercial break right after Katie called Thomas' name, but Katie nailed it.
Bachelor Nation is at its best when the drama is over-the-top and just messy enough, without contriving situations and conflicts to cause genuine suffering. After Matt James' uneven season of The Bachelor and everything going on surrounding the show due to Chris Harrison, some old school melodrama was just what the franchise needed. And honestly, I really can see "Your Bachelor audition ends tonight" going down as an iconic line in Bachelor Nation history. Certainly in The Bachelorette Season 17!
Of course, Katie Thurston telling Thomas Jacobs that his Bachelor audition is over doesn't mean that he won't show his face on Bachelor in Paradise. Just about anything goes on the Bachelor in Paradise beach short of physical violence, and that always includes some ringers who few fans probably want to see back but are guaranteed to mix things up. Only time will tell what the Bachelor Nation future does or doesn't hold for Thomas, but I'm officially finally invested in Katie's search for love.
See what happens next in Katie Thurston's search for love with new episodes of The Bachelorette on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET. Bachelor in Paradise will be back later in the summer with the Bachelor Nation alums who struck out in trying to find their reality TV soul mate the first time around, and another season of The Bachelorette is on the way as well, but Katie's season may be just what fans need after the firing of Chris Harrison and controversy of Matt James' season of The Bachelor.