Here’s Whether Brandon J. Wins Michelle’s ‘Bachelorette’ Season Amid Rumors Nayte Had a Girlfriend

Brandon J, "The Bachelorette" 2021
Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin.

He may one of the younger contestants, but Brandon J on The Bachelorette 2021 is one to watch, and you may be surprised by how far he makes it on Michelle’s Bachelorette season.

Brandon J. is one of 30 contestants on The Bachelorette season 18 with Michelle Young. Michelle, a 27-year-old teacher from Edina, Minnesota, was a contestant on The Bachelor season 25 with Matt James, where she was the runner-up. Michelle was confirmed as the season 18 Bachelorette during the season 25 “After the Final Rose” special, where guest host Emmanuel Acho announced Michelle and Katie Thurston, who was eliminated in 10th place on Matt’s Bachelor season, as the next Bachelorettes. Katie, who was the season 17 Bachelorette, aired her season from June to August 2021. Michelle’s season will air from October to December 2021.

According to Reality Steve, Michelle was the first choice to be the season 17 Bachelorette but because of her job as a fifth grade teacher, she didn’t want to leave her students during the school year like she did on Matt’s Bachelor season, so ABC postponed filming for her until the summer when school is out. While Michelle was still in school, Katie filmed her Bachelorette season, which is why there were two Bachelorettes in 2021.

In an interview Entertainment Tonight in October 2021, Michelle explained that she wanted to find a love like her parents’ on The Bachelorette. “Growing up just with my parents, seeing how they treated each other through stressful times, I mean life is not always easy but the fact that they have been married for so long and they still laugh so hard? I am not going to settle for anything less,” she said. “That is what I am going to look for.” She continued. “Finding a relationship where it is not going to fade out. You can’t predict everything that is going to happen to you in your relationship but knowing that I have a person that is going to stick it out and has that same mindset is incredibly important.”

Tayshia Adams, who hosted Michelle’s Bachelorette season with Kaitlyn Bristowe, also teased to Entertainment Tonight in October 2021 that Michelle’s finale is unlike any recent Bachelorette finale. “How it ends? I don’t think we’ve seen an ending like what happens in a couple of seasons now,” Tayshia said. “We’ve seen a lot. So there’s a lot of highs and lows. It’s all good things. I would just say she definitely leans into her heart and puts it all out on the line.”

So…does Brandon J. win The Bachelorette 2021? Read on for how far Brandon J. makes it on Michelle’s Bachelorette season and what happens to him in the end.

Who is Brandon J. from The Bachelorette?

Brandon J., "The Bachelorette" 2021

Image: ABC/Craig Sjodin.

Who is Brandon Jones from The Bachelorette season 18? Brandon J. is a 26-year-old from Portland, Oregon. His Instagram handle is @bmacjones. In his Instagram bio, Brandon J. included a J Cole quote: “I am here to spread a message of hope.”

In his Bachelorette bio, Brandon confirmed that his young age doesn’t mean he’s immature when it comes to finding love. “Brandon J. may be young, but he knows exactly what he wants in life and is very serious about finding the one with whom to settle down,” his bio reads. “He is kind, confident and looking for a wife whose passionate personality can keep up with his. Brandon J. wants someone who has goals and the focus to achieve them. He doesn’t want to be with someone who is still figuring herself out, and he hopes to find someone who can be his best friend and teammate for the rest of their lives. Speaking of teammates, not only is Brandon J. looking for love, but he’s also looking for a little basketball! He is a self-proclaimed basketball fiend, and when given the opportunity, he doesn’t plan on missing out on his shot with Michelle.”

For his fun facts, Brandon J. listed the following:

– Brandon J. once hopped on stage during a Lil Wayne and Drake concert.

– Brandon J. loves “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

– Brandon J. has no interest in ever going bungee jumping.

What is Brandon J.’s job?

What is Brandon J.’s job? Brandon J. lists his job on The Bachelorette as a “traveling nurse recruiter.” Brandon J. graduated from Western Oregon University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management, according to his Linkedin. He also earned a degree in entrepreneurship from Portland Community College in 2014. Brandon J. currently works as a vendor staffing specialist at PeaceHealth, a health system in Washington. Before that, he worked at companies like Nike, Manpower, Riverdale Landscape, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Jimmy John’s.

“I am a person who is self-motivated to succeed at any job given me. I believe in treating others with respect as well as motivating them. I am comfortable with taking on a leadership role and thrive by helping others succeed. I do this through clear and concise communication and understanding my team,” he wrote in his Linkedin bio. “I like to create innovational ways that uses not only mine, but everyone’s strengths in completing any task given. I believe listening and learning from past experiences as well as high dependability are strengths I could bring to your company. I look forward to the opportunity to develop myself as well as be a part of your organization and its growth.”

Does Brandon J. win The Bachelorette 2021?

So…does Brandon J. win The Bachelorette 2021? The answer is no. According to Reality Steve, Nayte Olukoya, a 27-year-old sales executive from Austin, Texas, was the winner of Michelle’s Bachelorette season. Nayte proposed to Michelle during the Final Rose Ceremony in Punta de Mita, Mexico, where Michelle filmed her Fantasy Suites. Michelle accepted Nayte’s proposal and gave him her Final Rose. (For more spoilers about Michelle’s Bachelorette season and her winner, click here.)

While Brandon wasn’t Michelle’s Bachelorette winner, he was her runner-up. Reality Steve first reported Brandon J. as Michelle’s Bachelorette runner-up in October 2021 when ABC released a trailer that showed Brandon J. in the same clothes as a contestant from one of Michelle’s last date before her Final Rose Ceremony. For the date, Michelle and Brandon J. went jet skiing in Mexico, and according a photo someone took of the date, Michelle and Brandon J. seen wearing the same swimsuits as a clip from her Bachelorette trailer where they’re seen kissing on the beach. The date was two days before the Final Rose Ceremony. According to Reality Steve, the a producer told the person who took the photos of Brandon J. and Michelle that the crew was shooting an Adidas commercial and not The Bachelorette.

Reality Steve confirmed in December 2021 that Michelle and Nayte were still together. Reality Steve’s confirmation came after rumors that Michelle and Nayte had broken up after claims that he split with his girlfriend of five years right before Michelle’s Bachelorette season. There were also rumors that Michelle had reunited with Joe Coleman— who came in third place on her Bachelorette season and also lives in Michelle’s home state of Minnesota—after her breakup with Nayte.

“What’s up with rumors Nayte had a girlfriend of five years right before the show? And that [he and Michelle have] broken up, and she’s with Joe? Any validity to either statement?” a Twitter user asked Reality Steve, to which he responded, “Not true. Michelle & Nayte are engaged. You’ll see that Tuesday. People just looking for clicks.” Reality Steve also claimed that he’s talked to Nayte’s ex-girlfriend and confirmed that they had broken up long before Nayte went on Michelle’s Bachelorette season. “As for his ex, I’ve spoken to her a few times over last 2 months. She never wanted to be part of this story. Her friends are the ones that keep pushing it. There you go,” Reality Steve tweeted.

However, Nayte’s ex-girlfriend isn’t the only rumor that’s surrounded his and Michelle’s engagement. In November 2021, a source told DeuxMoi, a celebrity Instagram account, that they had run into Nayte at a bar in Austin, Texas, where he lives. The source claimed that Nayte was “flirty” with them and was “inappropriate” with other women who weren’t Michelle.  “I live in Austin and ran into Nayte from Michelle’s season this past weekend at a bar. He was very flirty with me when I ordered and offered me a shot and was drunk and trying to hug me,” the source wrote. The source continued, “I’m a lesbian so I said no thanks. Like an hour later, I saw him taking shots and hugging up at the bar with a different girl. Not Michelle. But he was really inappropriate in my opinion. He’s 6’8″ and impossible to miss. Also super loud.”

A user on Reddit, however, claimed that they had also run into Nayte at a bar in Austin, where he was “careful” to not to be “caught” in any behavior that could seem unfaithful to Michelle. “I met him 2 weekends ago in Austin and this is super opposite of the behavior during our interaction. He was super nice and was very careful not to be caught in anything that looked suspect,” the user wrote. “When I took a photo with him he would only take a selfie (my friend was trying to take a pic of me talking to him and he told her no) and when he took a photo with me and my two friends, he had another friend get in the photo with us lol.” Neither Michelle nor Nayte have responded to the rumors.

As for Brandon J., he also isn’t next Bachelor for 2022. The season 26 Bachelor is Clayton Echard, a 28-year-old medical sales rep from Columbia, Missouri, who was eliminated on Michelle’s Bachelorette season before the finale. As for Michelle’s Bachelorette winner, Nayte is the seventh Bachelorette contestant to win and receive the First Impression Rose after Dale Moss (season 16, Clare Crawley); Garrett Yrigoyen (season 14, Becca Kufrin); Bryan Abasolo (season 13, Rachel Lindsay); Shawn Booth (season 11, Kaitlyn Bristowe); Roberto Martinez (season 6, Ali Fedotowsky) and Jesse Csincsak (season 4, DeAnna Pappas.)

It’s unclear what Michelle’s engagement ring from Nayte looks like, but it’s almost certain that the ring was designed by Neil Lane, a celebrity jeweler, who has created engagement rings for The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise since 2008.

In a 2016 interview with Entertainment Weekly, former host Chris Harrison revealed that Bachelor Nation couples have to stay together for a certain amount of time, otherwise they have to return the free engagement ring to Neil Lane. “There’s some rule, after a certain number of years, you get to keep it anyway,” he said. “But after months… it goes back.”

Lane told StyleCaster in 2016 that he doesn’t know where the rings go, but that he designs them with the hope that the couple to stays together. “I make rings hoping that people stay together forever, but after they get the ring, I don’t have a say in it, and what happens after that, I don’t know,” he said. “Where the ring goes, I have to say, I don’t really know. I just say it goes to ring heaven.”

Who is The Bachelorette 2021, Michelle Young?

Michelle, "The Bachelorette" 2021

Image: ABC/Sami Drasin.

In case you don’t know by now: Michelle Young is The Bachelorette 2021 for season 18. Michelle, a 27-year-old teacher from Edina, Minnesota, was a contestant on The Bachelor season 25 with Matt James, where she was the runner-up. During the season 25 “After the Final Rose” special, Michelle and Katie Thurston, who was eliminated in 10th place on Matt’s Bachelor season, were announced as the next Bachelorettes. Katie, who was the season 17 Bachelorette, aired her season from June to August 2021. Michelle’s season will air from October to December 2021.

So who is The Bachelorette 2021, Michelle Young? Michelle was a Division 1 college basketball player and played Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, from 2011 to 2015. Michelle’s current job is as a fifth grade teacher at an elementary school in Bloomington, Minnesota. She joined Instagram on April 2020, just a couple months before Matt’s Bachelor season premiered.

 In her Bachelor bio, Michelle describes herself as an “over-worker” and described her “dream man” as confident but not cocky.” “Admittedly, she is an over-worker and says she is here because she is ready to find love and a man with whom to start a family,” Michelle’s Bachelor bio reads. “As a partner, she describes herself as loyal, compassionate and supportive, and shows love through acts of service. Her dream man is confident but not cocky and will look at her as his equal in all things.”

Her bio continues, “When Michelle’s not working, she loves to spend time with friends hiking and wine tasting. She is very adventurous in life and in appetite; she says that all of her favorite restaurants are local food trucks. Michelle has big dreams for the future and says she wants a man by her side that is supportive and driven to make the world a better place. She is looking for the superman to her superwoman and says that, together, she hopes that she and Matt can fall in love and change the world.”

For her fun facts, Michelle lists the following:

– Michelle is a catch-phrase queen.

– Michelle loves to go ice cream taste testing.

– Michelle is not into hot tub dates because they are too cliché.

The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Here’s how to watch it for free.


"Bachelor Nation" by Amy Kaufman

Image: Courtesy of Penguin Books.

Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman

To get more of an inside scoop, check out Los Angeles Times writer Amy Kaufman’s book, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure, for a deep dive into the Bachelor franchise. The book uncovers the secrets of Bachelor Nation, from how much the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are paid to the rules contestants have to follow, that producers don’t want fans to know. It’s a must-read for any Bachelor Nation member.

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