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Season 18 of The Bachelorette airs on Tuesdays in the fall.
Reality Steve just shared brand new details from Michelle's finale, including some pretty big engagement news.
Are you ready, Bachelor Nation? The next season of The Bachelorette is well underway with another former contestant from Matt James' historic season. ABC has answered your every wish with all the content and journeys to find love this fall, folks.
Season 18 stars Michelle Young, the adorable elementary school teacher who arrived late on Matt James' season of The Bachelor and made it so close to a proposal. Matt's runner-up was a fan favorite and proved she wasn't afraid of a challenge. (Um, remember when they climbed down the side of a building together?)
If you can't wait to see how this Bachelorette's journey to find love will shake out (and for all of the epic bro beef to come), then Reality Steve has you covered. The king of Bachelor, Bachelorette, and even Bachelor in Paradise spoilers is back with all the info you need to stay on top of what's happening during Michelle Young's season.
Keep reading for all the latest deets, including whether or not Michelle gets engaged at the end of her journey and more.
Warning, major spoilers ahead! Do not keep reading if you don't want to know what happens on Season 18 of The Bachelorette before it airs on ABC!
Who is the new Bachelorette?
Michelle Young, 28, competed for Matt James' heart along with former Bachelorette Katie Thurston. Michelle was the runner-up and a fan fave. She officially earned the Bachelorette gig back in March during the After The Final Rose special with Emmanuel Acho.
At the time, Michelle said: “I do think this process works. When you can set down all of these outside distractions and dive in, I think you can really learn a lot about somebody. I’m just excited. I’m ready to get started.”
She's from St. Louis Park, Minnesota, which is a suburb of Minneapolis. Michelle works as a teacher and reportedly requested a delayed filming schedule so she could be with her students during the school year. This Bachelorette is also super sporty. She played Division I basketball for her college Bradley University and still seems to keep up her hoops skills:
When did Michelle film her journey to find love?
Michelle's journey started sooner than any Bachelorette season before. The October premiere date didn't give much time for the cameras to capture her 30 budding romances, so ABC didn't delay.
Reality Steve confirmed that her season officially started filming on July 30, on his Twitter. They wrapped things up by early September.
(UPDATE): Filming for Michelle’s season begins tonight.
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) July 31, 2021
Plus, Bachelorette executive producer Mike Fleiss released a first look at Michelle filming her season on Twitter back in early August:
— Mike Fleiss (@fleissmeister) August 7, 2021
"On location with our #TheBachelorette," he captioned the photo, which shows Michelle looking extra sporty next to a cart of basketballs in a gym.
Then, on Aug. 23, Steve Tweeted that Michelle's filming was still rolling right along. "Today begins filming on episode 7, which is the episode before hometown dates. So naturally, Tayshia taking Michelle out on a walk and talk by the Stone Arch in Minneapolis," he said. Hey, televised love moves fast.
(PHOTO): Today begins filming on episode 7, which is the episode before hometown dates. So naturally, Tayshia taking Michelle out on a walk and talk by the Stone Arch in Minneapolis. pic.twitter.com/uFnSE2aTmR
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) August 23, 2021
Steve also confirmed that Michelle (and her final few guys) finished filming by mid-September. "We are down to the final 2," he wrote on his blog.
What's more, Reality Steve added that Michelle's season was actually supposed to start earlier (back when ABC producers were still deciding whether Katie Thurston should be the next Bachelorette). But the filming dates were pushed to this summer so Michelle wouldn't miss any time in the classroom with her students, per Reality Steve. So, the best teacher of the year award goes to:
Also, in a blog post, Reality Steve confirmed that the crew is picking the cameras back up again soon for Michelle's "Men Tell All" episode. "Michelle’s 'Men Tell All' is taping on Monday, Nov. 22nd," he wrote—so there's more drama-filled footage right around the corner!
Where did Michelle's season film?
It looks like The Bachelorette is easing back into jet-setting again. Michelle first met the guys at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, California.
This season's new digs were, well, gorgeous. It's a "desert oasis" with farm-to-table food, a golf course, spa, and much more to help beat the scorching heat. There are pools and palm trees galore, too. See for yourself:
"After Palm Springs, Michelle will film some of her season in Minnesota. They are staying at the Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis," Steve confirmed.
He also pointed out that the hotel's website said it was all booked up for most of August for Bachelorette. "However, I don’t think that’s the last place they’ll be," Steve continued. "I do think overnights and final rose ceremony will be in a different location based on the fact I’m hearing filming ends almost two weeks into September."
It looks pretty swanky and like the perfect place to find love, natch. Here are a few pics for evidence:
That's not the only Minnesota spot making the cut for Michelle's journey. "One location they’ll be filming at sometime in August when filming moves to Minnesota will be at the Semple Mansion," Steve wrote on Twitter.
(“BACHELORETTE” MICHELLE FILMING UPDATE): One location they’ll be filming at sometime in August when filming moves to Minnesota will be at the Semple Mansion.
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) July 15, 2021
In case you're not a Minnesota mansion expert, here's the lowdown on the digs.
It's a 19,073 square foot property that was the home of Frank and Anne Semple, per the home's website. Now, the abode is an award-winning wedding venue that features The Grand Palladian Ballroom, the largest original residential ballroom in the state, and a historic vault turned Wine Grotto.
While Steve originally had a theory that regular, traveling hometown dates would return this season, he's since changed his mind. "Pre-season, I’d mentioned the plan was the show was going to do regular hometown dates where they went to the final 4’s hometowns. Based on back dating the finale, and where they would’ve been at the time of hometowns, I don’t see how they did that," he wrote on his blog.
"I don’t think they ended up traveling for Michelle’s hometowns and I think families were brought to Minnesota like they have been for all the 'bubble' seasons (Tayshia’s, Matt’s, and Katie’s)," he added. FYI, fans haven't enjoyed multiple filming locations since Pilot Pete's ill-fated Bachelor season.
Seems like traveling is still in the plan for the final few episodes, though, based on Steve's latest intel. In a Tweet, he confirmed that Michelle's overnight dates and her final rose ceremony are going international. "'Bachelorette' overnights and final rose ceremony will be filmed in Punta de Mita, Mexico," he wrote.
(FILMING UPDATE): “Bachelorette” overnights and final rose ceremony will be filmed in Punta de Mita, Mexico.
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) August 30, 2021
He also Tweeted that Michelle and Brandon Jones (one of her final two!) were spotted together on a date there. "I told you I had pics from Mexico 2 days before the final rose ceremony of Michelle on a date with someone jet skiing but I couldn’t tell who it’s. Well, now I know it’s Brandon. Here were the two pics I had and here’s him on the beach w her in same swimsuit that day," he explained.
(SPOILER): I told you I had pics from Mexico 2 days before the final rose ceremony of Michelle on a date with someone jet skiing but I couldn’t tell who it’s. Well, now I know it’s Brandon. Here were the two pics I had and here’s him on the beach w her in same swimsuit that day. pic.twitter.com/gg8skTqgCe
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) October 6, 2021
Here's a quick peek at the hotel, in case you're curious—warning, major views and stunning shots of Mexico ahead:
What happens during Michelle's Bachelorette season?
Michelle teased that her season will bring all the drama. "There are so many different emotions involved throughout the entire season and it is going to be a little mixture of everything—excitement, nerves, all of it, [being] overwhelmed, everything!" she said, per Entertainment Tonight.
"They're gonna see me laugh, they're gonna see me get nervous, they're gonna see me figure everything out as a Bachelorette, and they're gonna see me cry," Michelle continued. "It's truly like everyone coming along with me for the ride. I hope it's a unique experience... I think all of the viewers are going to be on their toes."
And, get ready to take notes. The Bachelorette revealed that three guys in particular will really steal the show this time around. "Clayton's a sweetheart," she said. "I think you'll really get to know him a little bit... [also] apple of my eye, Rodney—there's a lot to see there." She also really connected with Jamie, who scored "my first one-on-one" date.
Reality Steve confirmed on Twitter that Michelle had a one-on-one date on Aug. 15 with contestant Joe Coleman. Steve pegged Joe as a frontrunner way back when Michelle's potential guys were first announced since he and Michelle both played basketball in college and share a hometown (Minneapolis).
Since then, Steve's been Tweeting up a storm. He recently posted pics from Michelle's date with Brandon Jones. Michelle and Brandon visited her parents' house, but Steve confirmed that it wasn't a hometown date.
(SPOILER) Michelle on a 1-on-1 date today at her parents house with Peter Izzo. pic.twitter.com/leER5gvjKB
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) August 22, 2021
(He corrected that initial Tweet later:)
(CORRECTION): Welp, totally misidentified that one. This was clearly NOT Peter on this date meeting Michelle’s parents. I strictly went off the shaved sides and assumed it was Peter. It wasn’t. This date was with Brandon. https://t.co/P7sEUxBbPQ
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) November 3, 2021
And, on Aug. 23, Steve shared snaps from another one-on-one. This time, Nayte was back with Michelle for some paddleboarding.
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) August 24, 2021
Plus, after Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes' break-up made waves on Oct. 25, some fans speculated that Blake might be ready to make his fourth Bachelorette appearance on Michelle's season. But Reality Steve thinks otherwise.
"Michelle’s season ended filming almost 2 months ago. So how could he be on her season?" he wrote on his blog. "Uhhhhhh, no. Blake is not on Michelle’s season."
Who's hosting Michelle's season of The Bachelorette?
Everyone's favorite dynamic Bachelor Nation duo is officially back to host this season, per Variety. Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams signed their contracts to help Michelle find love. What's more, Kaitlyn and Tayshia's deals both include multi-year options.
That means they could potentially host other seasons, too. FWIW, it's also a sign ABC probably hasn't found a permanent Chris Harrison replacement yet, per Variety.
Reality Steve broke the news first, natch. "Kaitlyn and Tayshia will be returning to co-host Michelle’s season of the Bachelorette," he Tweeted.
(BACHELORETTE HOST UPDATE): Kaitlyn and Tayshia will be returning to co-host Michelle’s season of the “Bachelorette” when it begins filming later this month. I’ll have some filming updates, locations, and timelines in my column on Tuesday.
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) July 11, 2021
Steve also posted the first official snaps of the pair on location at the Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis. "'Bachelorette' filming is now in Minnesota as Kaitlyn and Tayshia currently dining at the rooftop bar of the Hewing Hotel," he Tweeted.
(FILMING UPDATE): “Bachelorette” filming is now in Minnesota as Kaitlyn and Tayshia currently dining at the rooftop bar of the Hewing Hotel. pic.twitter.com/I3zfXkAVAG
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) August 14, 2021
Who are the contestants on Michelle's season?
30 guys will compete on Michelle's season to try and win the Bachelorette's heart.
The possible suitors include some with Bachelor Nation ties, a couple of single dads for the Michael A. fans, and guys who already (kind of) know Michelle from home.
Reality Steve noted on his blog that this cast is pretty standard, as far as Bachelorette seasons go. "The average age of this cast is 29.3, which seems to track with past seasons," he wrote. (FYI, Michelle is 28.) "I’m curious to see who gets the boot," he added. Agreed.
According to Michelle's Bachelor bio, she's looking for someone who is "confident but not cocky and will look at her as his equal in all things." She also "wants a man by her side that is supportive and driven to make the world a better place."
Seems like the guys this time around have huge standards to live up to. Here. For. It.
Which guys make it to Michelle's final four?
As of right now, Steve still has some questions about how Michelle's final four breaks down. He wrote in a recent blog post: "I know that Joe goes far and makes her top 4 so you can throw him in there." (He's talking about Joe Coleman, the early frontrunner.)
(SPOILER): Well thank you for that preview of Michelle’s season ABC. Now I know who the #2 guy is on her season, since you know now who won as I spoiled earlier today. Her #2 is Brandon Jones. pic.twitter.com/WWy1PZIYfQ
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) October 6, 2021
And, he knows that contestant Nayte Olukoya makes it, too (more on that in a sec). But more specific details, including which guy fills that mysterious fourth spot, are yet to come.
In late October, a Reddit user posted a text message thread speculating about Michelle's final four. Four of her contestants were spotted on the same plane together—Joe, Nayte, Brendan, and Rodney. "Does this mean they're Michelle's top 4???" one of the texts reads. Hey, it might not be super solid evidence, but it's a start.
Who wins Michelle's heart and does she get engaged?
This is the question Bachelor Nation fans everywhere are asking. Will Michelle walk away with a new fiancé, or was her journey to find love doomed from the start? Finally, on Oct. 5, Reality Steve officially clued fans in on his blog.
"Michelle is engaged to Nayte Olukoya," Steve confirmed. Nayte has been a frontrunner ever since Steve first posted pics of his one-on-one dates with Michelle. He's 6'8"—almost a full foot taller than 5'9" Michelle, according to her college basketball roster. Here he is:
And, he's an Austin, Texas, native—so there could be a long-distance relationship or a serious move in the works. Michelle herself told Us Weekly that she'd be open to moving, eventually. "Minnesota is where a lot of my roots stem from, but I’ve also lived in other areas as well,” she said. “I can’t pinpoint whether or not I’m going to be in Minnesota, you know, next year or the year after that."
"I fully plan to finish out the school year, but I don’t know what opportunities are gonna come my way. Whether there’s somebody involved in my life, whether there’s not, that always would be a team decision," she continued.
And, Michelle has already gushed about her instant connection with Nayte on the show: "I'm not a love-at-first-sight [person, but was] honestly very attracted to him as he came out of the limo," she told Entertainment Tonight.
"I think the biggest part was when we sat down, we just had a natural conversation. That's kind of where that [first impression] rose came from," she added. Even co-host Tayshia Adams noticed that sparks were flying. "There was just an unspoken chemistry there, which was really cool to watch," she said.
“[The ending is] something that I didn’t necessarily expect, something that I didn’t think was possible for me. I’m excited for everybody kind of to see what that entails because I think a lot of assumptions are made, you know, of either who I end up with or if I end up with anybody.”
“When it comes down to it, I came into this knowing that I was just going to stay true to who I was," Michelle continued. "And that means staying true to what you’re feeling and talking about where you’re at with your feelings.”
"In any event, everyone wish Michelle and Nayte a happy premiere night as they are most certainly watching it together tonight," Steve Tweeted. (Love that for them.) Congrats to Bachelor Nation's newest couple!
In any event, everyone wish Michelle and Nayte a happy premiere night as they are most certainly watching it together tonight.
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) October 20, 2021
And stay tuned for all the latest updates on Michelle's season.
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