The Bachelorette shocked fans by announcing that there will be two new seasons of the show airing this year! As Matt James' season of The Bachelor wrapped up with Monday's After the Final Rose special, it was announced that several contestants vying for his heart will return to the franchise— this time, as "Bachelorette" hopefuls!
The Bachelorette to air summer and fall seasons
The Bachelorette is set to air both season 17 and season 18 in 2021, kicking things off with its first new lead, Katie Thurston. Thurston is a marketing manager at a bank, and was eliminated early on in James's season— despite her memorable entrance with a vibrator! As Entertainment Tonight mentions, she is also the first "Bachelorette" to not have made it in the Bachelor top 10.
Thurston's season of The Bachelorette will be shown in the summer, with Michelle Young's season debuting in the fall. A teacher who joined The Bachelor later in the season, Young became the runner-up after James gave the final rose to Rachael Kirkconnell. However, the Bachelor star revealed that he and Kirkconnell are no longer together, breaking up after her past racism came to light.
The Bachelorette season 16 had surprising twists
The Bachelorette may have found its stars, but it hasn't been announced whether or not Chris Harrison will return as host. Harrison has taken an indefinite leave from the Bachelor franchise after defending Kirkconnell's past actions during an interview with Rachel Lindsay, issuing a statement where he apologized for "excusing historical racism."
Season 16 of The Bachelorette saw Clare Crawley as the star, but she was replaced by Tayshia Adams after choosing to leave the show. While Crawley found love with Dale Moss, the two ultimately split up. As for Adams, she ended up choosing Zac Clark, with the two getting engaged in the Bachelorette season finale! We're excited to see what The Bachelorette has in store for both Katie and Michelle!