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And so it starts. The Bachelorette 2021 contestants for Katie Thurston’s season were revealed by Reality Steve, and there are so many surprises—such as two men who were supposed to be on Tayshia and Clare’s Bachelorette season.
Katie Thurston, a 30-year-old bank marketing manager from Renton, Washington, was announced as the season 17 Bachelorette at The Bachelor season 25 “After the Final Rose” special on March 15. Katie was a contestant on Matt James‘ season of The Bachelor but was eliminated in 10th place after Matt couldn’t see a future with her. However, Katie won’t be the only Bachelorette in 2021. Michelle Young, a 27-year-old teacher from Edina, Minnesota and the runner-up on Matt’s season of The Bachelor, was also announced as a Bachelorette at Matt’s “After the Final Rose” special. Michelle will be the season 18 Bachelorette and air her season after Katie’s.
According to Reality Steve, Katie started filming her Bachelorette season in March 2021 at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico. Her season will air in the summer followed by Michelle’s in the fall. (Bachelor in Paradise season 7 will air in between Katie’s finale and Michelle’s premiere, according to Reality Steve.) Click here for more spoilers about season 17 of The Bachelorette.
So that’s Katie’s Bachelor journey in a nutshell. But who are Katie’s Bachelorette 2021 contestants? Well, according to Reality Steve, these are the men who will vie for Katie’s heart. Meet some of Katie’s Bachelorette season 17 cast ahead. (Be warned. These men look like trouble.)
Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada,
Blake, a contestant on season 16 of The Bachelorette with Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams, was seen on Katie’s Bachelorette set in March 2021. Ashley Iaconetti and Ben Higgins confirmed that they received photos of Blake in New Mexico in April 2021. “A lot of you were speculating because of his silence on social media over the last week or so that perhaps he joined the season,” Ashley said on an episode of the “Almost Famous” podcast. “We here exclusively have got the pictures to prove it. We did it. We confirmed it.” Ben added, “Ashley crawled underneath the gate, walked through the resort, grabbed a couple of iPhone photos and came back to the studio just to give us this update.”
One photo shared on the podcast’s Instagram show Blake walking behind a tree with a face mask on. A second picture showed him filming something with cameras and crew around him. A third snap showed Blake behind a crew truck. At this time, it’s unclear if Blake is a contestant on Katie’s season or just made a cameo. “If he’s just been spotted now, if he’s entering late, he’s not entering too late,” Ashley said, noting that the first episode was filmed on March 22. “He’s probably entering after the third rose ceremony. I would say this looks like he’s going onto a one-on-one or he’s just entering.”
Ben went on to call the situation “definitely intriguing.” He also noted that he thinks Blake would be the “perfect” contestant on Bachelor in Paradise. “I think he’d be great at it,” Ben said. Blake was eliminated on a one-on-one date with Tayshia in ninth place on The Bachelorette right before Hometown Dates.
Hometown: Walnut Creek, CA
Aaron will a contestant on Bachelor in Paradise season 7.
Hometown: Galveston, TX
Viktor works in real estate, according to his Instagram bio. His bio also describes himself as a “vet housing advocate” and a “disaster relief volunteer.” He also includes Psalm 73:26 in his bio.
Hometown: Covington, GA
Tre will a contestant on Bachelor in Paradise season 7.
Hometown: San Diego, CA
On his Instagram bio, Thomas writes the following. “Smarter than the average bear. I love helping people. And appetizers.” He works as a real estate agent and played basketball at the University of San Diego. Thomas will a contestant on Bachelor in Paradise season 7. (SPOILER: Thomas will have a romance with season 14 Bachelorette Becca Kufrin, who will break up with him right before the finale.)
Hometown: Del Mar, CA
According to his Instagram bio, he is the founder of the clothing brand, Dye Is Life. He went to college at the University of Colorado Boulder. “Gentlemen. My name is Tanner Guisness and I’m the man behind the gram. I started Dyeislife as a Junior at CU-Boulder back in 2015 as a way to keep a record of my and my friends experiences playing beer die and snappa,” Tanner wrote on his Dye Is Life’s about page. “Over time, I received submissions from guys at schools across the country, and the page eventually grew to where it is now. My mission with Dyeislife is to spread the game from coast to coast, bring the best unfiltered/non-PC content to you for your viewing pleasure, and to keep Dyeislife in the hands of the people who made it great to begin with, all of you! I promise I will never bombard the beer die community with advertisements or crap from other pages. It’ll be all beer die, all snappa, all the time!”
Hometown: Arlington, TX
Quartney works as a medical sales representative and graduated from Stephen F. Austin State university with a bachelor’s degree in biology, according to Reality Steve. The blogger also reported that he works in fitness and his mother died when he was in college. He currently lives in McKinney, Texas.
Hometown: Surprise, AZ
Mike, who is also known as Mikey, is a former Minor League Baseball player and played college basketball at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California, according to Reality Steve. He currently works as a personal trainer and at Lululemon, the blogger reports. He currently lives in San Diego, CA.
Hometown: Akron, OH
According to Reality Steve, Michael is a single dad. His wife, Laura, died in 2019, and he started the L4 Project – Live Life Like Laura in honor of her. His Instagram bio describes himself as an entrepreneur, dad, friend and “aspiring do-gooder.” His bio also included the quote: “Pick apart the day and put the pieces back together your way.”
Hometown: Reno, NV
Marty, whose full name is Martin, is a male model. His Model Mayhem page lists his height at 6’1.
Hometown: Vancouver, WA
He works as a real estate broker and an operations manager at Affinity Property Management in Portland, Oregon. He attended Washington State University Vancouver.
Hometown: Bakersfield, CA
Landon is a former college basketball player at Appalachian State University, St. Edward’s University and University of Houston, according to Reality Steve. He currently works as a basketball coach at Coppell High School in Coppell, Texas. He currently lives in Dallas, Texas.
Hometown: Sarasota, FL
In his Instagram bio, he describes himself as the “original golden retriever.” He went to college at the University of Florida, and has traveled to 47 states and 14 countries.
Hometown: Miami, FL
Karl will be a contestant on Bachelor in Paradise season 7. Karl works as a motivational speaker and a success coach. He is the founder of the company, Next Level Success. He was originally cast for season 16 of The Bachelorette with Clare Crawley but didn’t make the final cut, according to Reality Steve.
“Karl Smith is the CEO/ Founder of Next Level Success,” Karl wrote on his website, ksmithinspires.com. “He empowers entrepreneurs and business professionals with the knowledge, tools and resources to take their businesses to the next level and create even more success. For over 10 years he’s provided live training events and coaching programs to help his clients improve in the areas of leadership development, business strategy, and financial education. He’s worked with small business owners, home business owners, and even major corporations to create the breakthroughs necessary to increase sales, revenue, and profits. Karl’s mission is to empower the next generation of business leaders worldwide and to help them attain results they never thought possible.”
Hometown: Ellicott City, MD
He currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland, according to his Instagram bio. He works as a Intermediary Sales Consultant at T. Rowe Price, an investment management company. He is also an artist as seen by his Instagram.
Hometown: Pembroke Pines, FL
According to his Linkedin, he works as a Workday Sales Solutioning Senior Consultant at Invisors, an information technology services company. Joshua works at their office in Miami, Florida, and graduated with a bachelor of science in information management systems from the University of Florida in 2018.
Hometown: Santa Cruz, CA
John is from Santa Cruz but currently lives in San Diego, California. On his Instagram bio, Josh wrote, “Be kind.” According to Reality Steve, he’s training to be a pilot.
Hometown: Cranford, NJ
Jeff works as a sales representative for Integra LifeSciences and competed as a pole vaulter at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, according to Reality Steve. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Hometown: New York, NY
He currently lives in San Diego, CA, according to his Instagram. James will be a contestant on Bachelor in Paradise season 7.
Hometown: San Angelo, TX
Hunter is a divorced father of two, according to Reality Steve. He is also a recovered addict who has been clean for a while and is now a sobriety activist, the blogger reports. Hunter is also a popular TikToker under the handle @hmontgomery86. He currently lives in Houston, Texas.
Hometown: Edison, NJ
Greg graduated from Saint Michael’s College in 2018 with a degree in business administration and management. He was originally cast for season 16 of The Bachelorette with Clare Crawley but didn’t make the final cut, according to Reality Steve.
Hometown: Salinas, CA
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
He was a contestant on season 2 of Make Me a Supermodel on Bravo, which aired in 2009.
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Dennis is a first-generation Polish American, according to his Linkedin. He works as a police officer at the Village of Barrington Hills in Illinois, and graduated from Western Illinois University.
Hometown: New York, NY
He currently lives in Nashville, Texas, according to Reality Steve, and works as a technical product specialist at Dell.
Hometown: Edmund, OK
Conor is originally from Oklahoma and played baseball at Oklahoma State University and in the Minor League Baseball, according to Reality Steve. He currently lives in Newport Beach, CA.
Hometown: Columbia, IL
Connor works as a musician. He has two songs on his Spotify: “rough draft,” which has been listened to more than 1,100 times, and “Back to You.” Connor B. will be a contestant on Bachelor in Paradise season 7.
Hometown: Montclair, NJ
He currently lives in San Diego, California, in the Pacific Beach neighborhood, according to his Instagram. Reality Steve reports that he works as an Account Manager at Zip-Pak, a resealable packaging manufacturer.
Hometown: Newburyport, MA
He works as a life coach, a real estate agent and investor, according to his Instagram bio. He also lists himself as a “professional optimist” on Instagram.
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Brendan works at Scotiabank and also as a part-time model, according to Reality Steve. He is also the best friend of Blake Moynes, who was a contestant on season 16 of The Bachelorette with Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams
Hometown: Mokena, IL
According to his Instagram bio, he’s lived in Chicago, Tokyo and New York City.
Hometown: Concord, NH
He currently lives in San Diego, California, according to his Instagram bio. He works in real estate and stocks and lists his interests as fitness, basketball, boxing, nutrition and animals.
Hometown: Mission Viejo, CA
At the time Austin was cast, his Instagram bio read, “Journey to a higher self.”
Hometown: Walnut Creek, CA
His Instagram bio includes a quote from Bruce Lee: “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.”
Hometown: Waukegan, IL
He is the cousin of Clay Harbor, a contestant on season 14 of The Bachelorette with Becca Kufrin, according to Reality Steve. He played as #24 on the Vienna Vikings, an American football club in Vienna, Austria, according to his Instagram bio. His Instagram bio includes the quote: “No amount of money ever bought a sec of time.”
Hometown: Orem, Utah
Reality Steve revealed Josh as one of the contestants on Katie’s Bachelorette season. However, he wasn’t included as one of the men the official Bachelorette Facebook page listed in March 2021. Josh is the ex-husband of Maquel Cooper, a contestant on season 22 of The Bachelor with Arie Luyendyk Jr. In an interview with Us Weekly in 2019, Maquel called Josh her “soulmate.” “We’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship for the past 10 years,” she said at the time. “Currently we are off, but I wouldn’t put it past us to get back together in the future. We are soulmates.”
Josh told In Touch in December 2017 that he wanted Maquel back after he saw her on Arie’s season.“One of my mistakes was letting her go,” he said at the time. “There was no infidelity, [and] she was never rude or malicious or anything of the sort. We were high school sweethearts that got married a bit too early. Maquel is one of the best human beings I’ve ever met in my entire life.” Josh is also the brother-in-law of Camille Munday, a famous TikToker with more than 350,000 followers.
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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