Bachelorette Katie Is Dating an Ex-Contestant From Her Season After Her Split From Blake

Katie Thurston, John Hersey, Blake Moynes
Photo: ABC.

Following her split from her ex-fiancé Blake Moynes, The Bachelorette’s Katie Thurston and John Hersey are officially dating.

The surprising news comes one month after Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes, who met and got engaged on The Bachelorette season 17, announced their split after six months together via joint statement. “It is with mutual love and respect that we have decided to go our separate ways. We are so grateful for the moments we shared together and the entire journey that has unfolded this year, but we ultimately have concluded that we are not compatible as life partners, and it is the most caring choice for both of us to move forward independently,” the former couple said on October 25, 2021. “We ask for kindness and privacy as we both navigate this transition. Both of us will forever want the best for one another and ask you to please support us in our decision.”

Katie and Blake were first introduced to each other after the fourth week of The Bachelorette season 17 by co-host Tayshia Adams, who previously dated Blake on The Bachelorette season 16. The couple went on to get engaged on the series when Katie gave Blake her Final Rose and Blake proposed. “I can’t give you what you came here for because you deserve a lot more than that,” Blake told Katie at the time. “You deserve the world, and I’m excited to support you and be there for you every day moving forward.”

Following their split, however, a source told Us Weekly on October 26, 2021, that Katie and Blake’s relationship ultimately ended due to long distance. “They just couldn’t make the long-distance [relationship] work,” the insider said at the time, noting, there wasn’t any “bad reason” for their split. “Katie really missed Blake once he left and they would get into little arguments, but at the end of the day, Katie wished he would be with her more,” the source added. So, will things be different with Katie and John? Here’s what we know so far.

Are Katie and John dating after The Bachelorette?

While Katie may not have ended up with her Bachelorette winner, that doesn’t mean she still hasn’t found love thanks to the show. On Tuesday, November 22, Us Weekly confirmed that Katie is dating former Bachelorette contestant John Hersey. The California native, who competed in Katie’s season, was eliminated during Week 2 of the ABC series. Both John and Katie live in San Diego, California.

News of Katie and John dating first broke after the former bank marketing manager hinted at their relationship on the final episode of her “12 Days Messy” Challenge on Instagram. The reality star had dedicated a Taylor Swift song to different Bachelorette contestants, but for her last day of the challenge, she dedicated Taylor Swift’s “Begin Again” to John. The song, which is about new love, includes lyrics like, “I’ve been spending the last eight months, thinking all love ever does is break and burn and end, but on a Wednesday in a cafe, I watched it begin again.” Katie also shared a video of herself flying in the back of a plane where John was the pilot as the song played in the background.

A rep for Katie also confirmed the relationship in a statement to Page Six. “It’s known Katie and John became close friends post-season,” the rep said. “John has been there for her through all the major changes in her life, and they are excited to explore this newly found romantic connection.”

Who is Katie from The Bachelorette?

Katie: The Bachelor 2021

Image: Courtesy of ABC.

Katie, a bank marketing manager from Renton, Washington, was a contestant on The Bachelor season 25 with Matt James. She was eliminated in 10th place and became the season 17 Bachelorette. In her Bachelor bio, Katie described herself as a “witty storyteller” who is looking for a “loving and committed partner.” She also called herself “daring and adventurous.” “Katie knows exactly what she wants in a man and is done wasting her time on boys who won’t live up to her expectations,” her bio read. “She is a witty storyteller who says when she finds someone worth committing to, she is the most loving and committed partner anyone could ask for. Katie is daring and adventurous.”

Her bio continues, “While Katie is serious about finding her person, she needs a man who can laugh along with her but is okay with him laughing at her too when the moment calls for it. Katie is looking for a mature man who has ambitions to succeed in everything he does, both personally and professionally. Her dream man will be passionate about building a long-term life with her and will treat Katie as his equal in the relationship. Nothing turns her off more than someone who sits around playing video games all day or a man who tries to kiss her at the inopportune moment … it’s all about creating the right vibe with Katie! Will Matt be able to live up to Katie’s standards?”

For her fun facts, Katie listed the following:

– Katie’s idea of a fun date is going skinny-dipping.

– Katie would love to host her own talk show one day.

– Katie once planned a dog flash mob that got a huge turnout.

Who is John from The Bachelorette?

John, "The Bachelorette" 2021

Image: Courtesy of ABC.

John Hersey, a bartender from Pacific Beach, California, was a contestant on The Bachelorette season 17 with Katie Thurston. He was eliminated in week 2, but continued to be friends with Katie (and eventually date her) after the show ended. Both John and Katie live near San Diego, California.

“John is a thrill-seeker and here at The Bachelorette, thrill he will find. Between studying to get his pilot’s license, surfing the San Diego breaks, going to EDM shows and jumping out of planes, John is always finding ways to get his adrenaline pumping,” John’s Bachelorette bio reads. “But John is also a romantic and would love to find a woman to share a burrito with while watching the daily sunset over the San Diego coastline. He is looking for someone genuine, honest and willing to challenge him to be a better version of himself. John loves when a woman is confident in her natural beauty and says that nothing turns him on more than a woman who pursues her passions every day. He has very little tolerance for anyone being unfaithful or dishonest and says that his one major dealbreaker is when someone treats another disrespectfully. Sounds like he and the Bachelorette may have a lot in common.”

For his fun facts, John listed the following:

  • John is a vegetarian.
  • John loves the smell of fireplaces.
  • If you’ve never heard of a kiwiberry, John wants you to google them and eat one immediately!
  • John thinks swing dancing is so much fun.

Who is Blake from The Bachelorette?

Blake Moynes, "The Bachelorette"

Image: Courtesy of ABC.

Blake, a wildlife manager from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, was a contestant on The Bachelorette season 16 with Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams. He was eliminated in ninth place. He was then a contestant on The Bachelorette season 17 with Katie Thurston, which he won. In his Bachelorette bio for season 16, Blake described his “dream woman” as “outdoorsy, beautiful and fun.”

“Blake Moynes is no stranger to putting in the hard work to get what he wants in life. At university, he studied every kind of wildlife management program he could get his hands on and now spends his days happily working outdoors,” his bio read. “Professionally, Blake Moynes says he has it all, but personally, he is at a crossroad. In the past, Blake spent his Saturday nights hanging with his best friends, but now all of those friends are married and he’s the last single man remaining. Not one to like being left out, Blake Moynes now feels the pressure to settle down and wife up!”

His bio continues, “His dream woman is outdoorsy, beautiful and fun. She has to have a goofy side and be okay with his self-described ‘potty mouth.’ He says he has no problems talking about his emotions and wants a partner who will appreciate that he wears his heart on his sleeve.”

The Bachelorette is available to stream on Hulu. 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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