Katie Thurston will reportedly no longer be 'The Bachelorette' star, talks on Season 17 lead still ongoing
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/24/2021
Katie Thurston will reportedly no longer be the next The Bachelorette star, despite a previous report ABC had already decided the Matt James' The Bachelor bachelorette would be Season 17's leading lady.
Carbone wrote in a February 23 blog post he is not sure who will star on The Bachelorette next season but filming has been delayed about one week.
Production is now expected to commence in the third week of March at a resort in the United States, according to Carbone, who had already previously reported that ABC's original plan to film Season 17 of The Bacheloretteat a Canadian resort it had already selected and blocked off was forced to change when the country's government enacted new COVID-19 policies.
"Right now, I'm trying to nail down the location for the next Bachelorette season. I know the state they're filming in, but I don't know the resort just yet," Carbone wrote.
"Hopefully I can find that resort in the next couple days. I'm trying to search resorts and see if anyone has cancelled their bookings from March through May."
After initially revealing he was now unsure Katie would still be The Bachelorette's Season 17 star in his February 16 blog post, Carbone addressed the issue further while answering some of his reader's emails in a February 17 blog post the following day.
Another fan pointed out The Bachelor franchise may feel the need to redeem itself amid continued racism allegations and cast someone like Michelle Young or Bri Springs as the Bachelorette instead of Katie.
"Yeah, it's not looking like Katie anymore," Carbone confirmed.
Carbone hinted that Chris's offensive interview with Extra'sRachel Lindsay, who starred as The Bachelorette's first Black leading lady on Season 13, changed ABC's casting direction.
"Katie was going to be the Bachelorette," Carbone wrote on February 16.
"Now, I don't see that happening. Hell, we don't even know if there WILL be a Bachelorette season. Maybe they delay it past BIP. There are so many questions right now, and unfortunately, I know you all want answers, but we just don't have them all at this time."
Carbone couldn't inform his readers at the time when The Bachelorette star will officially be announced and whether Chris will continue to serve as the host of the series after he defended The Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's racist past and stepped down "for a period of time."
However, Carbone had been hearing that The Bachelorette production was going to be pushed back at least a week. (In non-pandemic years past, The Bachelorette has typically gone into production almost immediately after a season of The Bachelor wraps airing on television).
When Carbone initially reported Katie would star as the Bachelorette for Season 17, he reported that the announcement had been made at The Women Tell All taping on February 4.
Katie, however, responded by taking to Instagram and making a post that suggested she had no idea what Carbone was talking about and reports of her being the Bachelorette were "news" to her.
Carbone then issued a correction on February 8 and clarified that while Katie was chosen as the Bachelorette, ABC did not make the official announcement at The Women Tell All.
"Message I got was 'it's Katie and it came out at WTA.' I thought that meant it happened there. But I've been told it's confirmed it's Katie and she'll be named this week," Carbone tweeted at the time.
By the end of that week, ABC still had yet to confirm Katie would be The Bachelorette's Season 17 star.
Katie, a 30-year-old bank marketing manager from Lynnwood, WA, was eliminated by Matt during a one-on-one date well before the women's round of hometown dates.
When Katie expressed how she was developing strong feelings for Matt, he simply didn't feel the same way.
Many The Bachelor fans were rooting for Katie to become the next The Bachelorette star even before her ouster due to her bold and raunchy sense of humor as well as strong anti-bullying convictions.
Katie appeared to be the only person denouncing bullying and gossip on the show. She called out the "mean girls" in the house and asked Matt to address rumors so no girl's life would be ruined after the show.
Brittany Galvin, for example, was accused of being a paid escort and sleeping with wealthy men.
Although Katie works as a bank marketing manager, she has amassed over 400,000 followers on Instagram as well as on her TikTok account, where she shares "adult humor" and "comedic entertainment" videos.
Katie expressed pride in being unapologetically herself and not hiding anything.
In addition to Michelle and Bri, many The Bachelor fans have also been calling on Chelsea Vaughn or Serena Pitt to star as the next Bachelorette, which is still currently expected to debut on ABC this spring.