TV & Movies

Katie Thurston Is Unapologetically Herself In Her First Bachelorette Promo

“I never want to stop pursuing love.”

by Mary Kate McGrath

A fan-favorite Bachelor contestant is getting her second chance to find love, and she’s going to do it her way. On Sunday, April 25, The Bachelorette shared the first promo for Katie Thurston’s season, showing the new lead in a lilac gown, surrounded by rose petals, while throwback clips from her time on The Bachelor played. Thurston, who contended for Matt James’ heart, teased her star-turn while Selena Gomez’s “Ring” played in the background.

The upcoming Season 17 Bachelorette wore a “Be a Katie” T-shirt in the promo, which also featured a highlight reel from her time on The Bachelor, including quotes like, “I never want to stop pursuing love,” and, “I am who I am, and I want to meet someone who knows who they are.” The final quote teased, “My person’s still out there.”

During James’ season, Thurston won over viewers by speaking out against bullying in the Bachelor house and for bringing a sex-positive attitude to the show. In January, the reality star opened up about her sex positivity during an appearance on The Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, saying, “I do believe it’s 2021 and women should be comfortable talking about their sexuality.”

Thurston was revealed as the next Bachelorette in a double-announcement during The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special, along with Michelle Young, who will star in Season 18 in the fall. In March, Thurston teased her upcoming season during an appearance on Good Morning America, saying she’s “trying on all the dresses and outfits” and that she’s living in a “modern-day Cinderella.” The star also told the hosts that “the look in her eyes” would be a giveaway for who she’s falling for on the season.

Thurston’s season, which began production in New Mexico last month, will be the first to air following Chris Harrison’s decision to step aside after defending past contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racist behavior. (Both Harrison and Kirkconnell have publicly apologized for their actions, telling fans they’re committed to educating themselves.) With Harrison out, former Bachelorette stars Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will be supporting Thurston on her journey. She called Harrison’s decision to step away was “the best decision” for the franchise during her GMA appearance.

“I really feel like this is the big reset,” Thurston told the hosts. “There have been a ton of uncomfortable conversations, but important conversations.”

The Bachelorette will premiere on Monday, June 7, on ABC.