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Juuust in case you weren’t glued to your television watching Matt James’s season of The Bachelor and “After the Final Rose” special, viewers were treated to a major surprise—one that has never happened in the entire history of the Bachelor franchise. It was announced that both Katie Thurston AND Michelle Young were the next two leads of The Bachelorette!
Instead of pivoting to The Bachelor after Bachelor in Paradise airs, ABC is doing The Bachelorette twice in a row—Katie’s season (season 17), which wrapped beautifully on August 9 with an engagement to Blake Moynes, and Michelle’s impending season (season 18), which airs October 19...that's tomorrow, bb! Naturally, it’s time to learn alllll the juicy deets about Michelle’s season ahead of what is sure to be a beautifully high budget wild ride of a time.
Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe Are Hosting Once Again
After Chris Harrison made out-of-pocket comments in defense of Rachael Kirkconnell’s actions, he announced that he would be stepping aside from the franchise to the tune of $$$$. By June, his long-term relationship with the franchise came to an official end after 19 years.
Alas, enter Tay and Kay! ABC confirmed that the lovable pair, who each were Bachelorettes and hosted Katie’s season, will indeed be guiding Michelle through ~the process~ too.
Reality Steve tweeted this intel back in July, saying, “Kaitlyn and Tayshia will be returning to cohost 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.”
(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
Variety reporter Elizabeth Wagmeister responded to Steve’s tweet to let people know “as of this moment, no contacts have been signed” and that negotiations were “ongoing.” But as usual, Reality Steve wasn’t wrong!
Michelle’s Contestants Are 😍😍😍
ABC dropped the entire list of the men who will be competing to win Michelle’s affections, and unsurprisingly, they are suuuper cute.
If you want to know ~spoilers~ on some of the contestants, head riiight this way, and then this way! And if you really can't wait to watch it all play out on TV, *whispers* we even already know who won.
Filming Began in July
In a spoiler post, Reality Steve initially revealed the timeline of events and said Michelle’s season will look like so:
“‘Bachelor in Paradise’ will film per usual in June at a location that hasn’t been announced yet and will begin airing after Katie’s season is done airing, per usual.
“Michelle’s ‘Bachelorette’ season will film sometime after ‘BIP’ films (most likely all of July) and air later on in the fall.”
Steve later confirmed in a second spoiler post that Michelle’s season will film between July and August 2021, citing July as the absolute “earliest.”
Michelle’s “Bachelorette” season doesn’t begin filming til July at the earliest, so don’t expect that premiere until later in the fall, similar to Clare/Tayshia’s season.
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) April 7, 2021
Aside from Michelle's season airing in three weeks, we also know filming has wrapped for her since she's back on Instagram!
Filming Happened In At Least Two Locations
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Katie Thurston's season was not filmed in the iconic Bachelor Mansion, but at the absolutely stunning Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa in New Mexico. Don't expect to see Michelle's season at the mansion either, but she will still have a gorge backdrop during her quest for love!
Similar to Clare Crawley's and Tayshia Adams' joint season, Michelle will be filming in Palm Springs—but nope, not at La Quinta—and in Minnesota, according to reports from Reality Steve back in July. He wrote:
“Michelle’s season starts filming the end of this month in Palm Springs. I don’t believe it’s La Quinta again since they don’t have any dates blocked off for filming. But, I don’t think they’re going to be in Palm Springs long.
“After Palm Springs, Michelle will film some of her season in Minnesota. They are staying at the Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis. If you go on their site, they are currently booked out from August 5-29 and I’ve been told it’s for ‘Bachelorette.’ So maybe this season we will see more public dates since they are staying in a major city. Kinda like anytime this show goes to a U.S. city, we usually always see dates happen. However, I don’t think that’s the last place they’ll be. 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.”
Five days later, he tweeted that instead of the Palm Springs location, filming would take place at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, California, and honestly we can't wait to see it.
(“BACHELORETTE” MICHELLE FILMING UPDATE): When filming begins next week, filming will be at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, CA. From there filming will move to Minnesota as originally reported. pic.twitter.com/7BiHbhMQK5
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) July 18, 2021
Michelle Chose to Have a Later Bachelorette Season
Rumor has it that production allegedly wasn’t sure if they were going to cast Katie as the lead for season 17 at all because they were considering Michelle as a Bachelorette contender. Reality Steve addressed this in a spoiler story:
“I’m sure some are asking, ‘If they wanted Michelle, why didn’t they just give her the season about to be filmed? Why have Katie as the Bachelorette up first?’”
“The reason is that Michelle did not want to leave her class again to start filming in a few weeks (meaning she’d miss most of the remainder of her school year), hence the reason she is getting her own season this summer when she’s out of school.”
And that’s all we know about Michelle’s season so far! Keep your eyes on this story for updates, especially as the season approaches.
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