It's less than an hour after The Bachelorette: Men Tell All has wrapped filming, and Katie Thurston is ready to call it a night. “I'm going to bed after this! I'm exhausted!” she tells Glamour. All things considered, you can't blame her. For the first time since the pandemic began, the Bachelor franchise held an in-person taping with a live studio audience that saw Katie come face-to-face with about a third of the men she once “dated.”
“It just felt good to get that closure I was looking for,” she says. “It’s a reminder that I’m one step closer to the finale.” Speaking of the finale—which airs Monday, August 9—Katie has been counting down the days for months. “I’m just ready. I’m ready to be done!” Whether that's because she can't wait to announce she's found the love of her life (all she's said thus far is she's “happy”) or because she's just tired of keeping secrets, remains to be seen. What she will admit is she's "been living under a rock, so come [the finale], I’m a free bird, I’m out in the public, I’m moving forward with my life!”
But there's a lot of drama that's about to unfold between now and then. Bachelorette cohost Kaitlyn Bristowe tells me “a lot of shocking things are about to happen, and each episode from here on out is going to have everyone on the edge of their seats. We're just getting started.”
Fellow cohost Tayshia Adams agrees: “I’m actually very excited for you guys to see the hometowns because it’s a really pivotal week. We're in the real deal now.”
So with that, Katie brings us up to speed on the drama that's about to unfold, who she thinks should be the next Bachelor, and that sizzling chemistry with Blake. Read on.
Glamour: Who were you were most nervous to see in person at Men Tell All?
Katie Thurston: I think Michael was definitely going to be the hardest, especially watching our breakup. I kind of had to relive those moments and get it out of my system, and getting to see him and get that closure that I needed, it just felt good.
Of all the guys who are not in your final three, who do you think could make a really strong Bachelor next season?
My vote would be Andrew or Michael. They both have so much to offer and both are in a place where they are ready to find that forever love. If either of them were to have that opportunity, I would be rooting for them so hard.
Hometowns air next week, so in the lead-up to those, did you have a clear front-runner in your head? And did that change after you met the families?
I kept each relationship very individual, but it wasn’t until hometowns that I realized, “Oh shoot, I really need to start comparing these men now.” And hometowns did make a big difference for me. Hometowns go a little unexpected. I’ll tease that for now. But a lot gets crazy toward the end, and I don’t know how they’re going to cram it all in. As you’ve seen in the preview, it’s not a lie. It’s very real. I reached a breaking point.
So where are you now?
Overall, I am happy, and that’s all I can really share. The truth will all come out August 9, but everything happens for a reason, that’s the biggest thing I’ve been saying…. You deal with the cards you’ve been dealt, and you can’t live with regret or questioning what-ifs.
You really were correct when you said you had a great group of guys, but you and Blake have quite a chemistry that’s different from everyone else.
All right, you’re team Blake! I always ask people who they are rooting for, so we’ll see! [Laughs.] And as for Blake, I say it a lot that we’re alike, so is that a good thing or not? I don’t know!
You just have to go with your gut.
We’ll check in on August 9! I’m here in L.A. for the next three weeks because of quarantine, so it makes things easier than flying back to Seattle. But it’s okay. I do miss [my cat] Tommy, though.
I thought you couldn’t wait for August 9 to get here so you could be with whoever you choose, but no, it’s so you can eventually get back to see Tommy.
The Bachelorette hometown dates air Monday, August 2, and the finale airs Monday, August 9.
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram @jessicaradloff14.
Originally Appeared on Glamour