Matt James sent Katie Thurston home during their Bachelor one-on-one date, but her time may not be over on the show. She got what fans might call the Bachelorette edit on her way home from Bachelor home base at Nemacolin Resort. That is convenient, since many viewers are ready for her to be the franchise's next lead — and there's been more than one report suggesting she's a shoo-in.
But before we get into all that, look no further than her final moment with Matt, which was not unlike the time Hannah Brown told Bachelor Colton Underwood in her own elimination speech that she was going to find the guy who would pick her every day. Boom, she became the next Bachelorette. During her exit, Katie said she'd already started picturing her life with Matt, so it was extra tough to say goodbye. But she was proud of herself for staying true to who she was, and she was determined to find the guy she deserved. "I am who I am, and there's someone out there who wants that," she said. Sound familiar?
Ordinarily, Bachelorettes are chosen from the top five or so contestants of the preceding Bachelor season. There are still 10 women left on The Bachelor, which would make selecting Katie somewhat unconventional. However, there are reports that she is indeed producers' top pick. Bachelor spoiler blogger Reality Steve was the first to report on the rumor that Katie had been selected for the 2021 Bachelorette season; he wrote on Twitter that the announcement would be made the week of Feb. 8. Variety also reported that sources close to the show confirmed that Katie is likely to be the next lead. Adding to the fervor around the report is the fact that Bachelor and Bachelorette series creator Mike Fleiss also teased on Twitter on Feb. 8 that a Bachelorette announcement was "coming soon!!!" which would work out well with the timing of Katie's recent elimination. However, at the time of publication, there is no big announcement. And ABC declined to comment on the rumors when reached by Refinery29.
While nothing is certain, there is fuel for an unorthodox Bachelorette casting this season. Katie didn't make it very far, but she did become a staunch fan favorite for her unexpected limo exit (lest we forget, she brought a vibrator) and for calling attention to the bullying by her fellow contestants. Already, fans are rallying for her to be the next Bachelorette.
Katie's date with Matt did, however, put a damper on all the fanfare because it involved an actor posing as a masseuse and touching Matt's friend, Tyler Cameron, inappropriately without his apparent consent. While Katie didn't set up the date or the prank, it may not be the best look for a future Bachelorette whose claim to fame is sex positivity.
But that doesn't mean she can't be chosen for the spot. She's also got time on her side: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it may behoove the series to pick someone who was eliminated early so the announcement can be made and the cast can start being assembled and more importantly, quarantined. Typically, Bachelorette seasons go into production just days after The Bachelor finale airs. But with the continuing threat of the pandemic, everything has to be run a little differently. And picking Katie would give the show the ability to announce The Bachelorette early and get the ball rolling without spoiling the outcome of a season.
But a Katie-led Bachelorette season is just the stuff of reports and fan campaigns for now. There has been no official announcement. At least Katie can take solace in the fact that she's got a decent faction of Bachelor Nation hoping she'll be bringing her vibrator back to national television.