The Bachelor franchise is so all over the place right now you'd assume ABC would want to keep the surprise twists to a minimum for the time being. Yeah, not happening. The rumors turned out to be true: We are getting two Bachelorette seasons in 2021 — a summer season starring Bachelor season 25 standout Katie Thurston and a fall season starring runner-up Michelle Young. "I'm in a place in my life where I feel like I'm the best version of myself," said Katie, after confirming the double season twist to After The Final Rose host Emmanuel Acho. "I really do think this process works," echoed Michelle.
This twist follows rumors that former Bachelor season 25 frontrunner Thurston was and then wasn't going to be the next bachelorette. Prior to the finale, Bachelor blogger Reality Steve published a new spoiler post that not only turned out to be true, but threw a huge curveball in the next Bachelorette season and the entire franchise.
The blogger wrote that there would be two back-to-back seasons of The Bachelorette, straying from the traditional order. Typically, the franchise runs The Bachelorette in May, Bachelor in Paradise in July, and then The Bachelor kicks off again the next January. But in the midst of the least traditional year ever, Reality Steve said that in addition to casting Thurston as the first Bachelorette later this year, finalist Young would lead a second season, which will begin filming later in 2021. Now we know he was right: We're getting two full Bachelorettes seasons in one year.
At the time, Steve noted that the decision could be because of Young's profession as a teacher and her preference to film her season during on summer break, but Young didn't address the timing on ATFR.
The announcement on The Bachelor finale also didn't explain how this whole double season process will work, but Reality Steve offered a breakdown: Thurston will allegedly be filming her Bachelorette season at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya in New Mexico in a few weeks, and then the show will air later this spring. Bachelor in Paradise will film in June at a currently unknown location and air after Thurston's season. After BIP is done filming, Young's season will begin filming in the late summer and air in the late fall. Phew.
This twist is a welcome one, but to be honest, this isn't the Bachelor drama at the forefront of fans' minds. We would rather hear about what the franchise is going to do about the ousted (for now) Harrison — he's only temporarily being replaced by Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe on the next season of The Bachelorette — and the detailed significant steps it'll take to address its sexism, racism and diversity problem. When does that air?
Update: This story was originally published on March 10, before the double Bachelorette seasons were confirmed.