'The Bachelorette' recap: Greg Grippo brutally dumps Katie Thurston and 'The Bachelorette' star threatens to quit the show
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/03/2021
The Bachelorette featured Greg Grippo brutally dumping Katie Thurston after pouring his heart out to her and not receiving any validation back, which resulted in Katie threatening to quit the show and go home during the show's penultimate episode for Season 17 on ABC.
Greg, a 27-year-old marketing sales rep from Edison, NJ, decided to leave the show because he accused Katie of being guarded and too focused on the show and the competition aspect of it.
Once Greg left, Katie threatened to end her journey as the Bachelorette with only two bachelors remaining: Justin Glaze, a 26-year-old investment sales consultant from Baltimore, MD, and Blake Moynes, a 30-year-old wildlife manager from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
The Bachelorette broadcast began with Canadian suitor Blake's makeshift hometown date in New Mexico with Katie.
Blake said his relationship with Katie had been progressing "perfectly" and her meeting his family would solidify if they were falling in love and actually "in love." Blake looked forward to bringing Katie into his family dynamic and seeing what that's like.
For his hometown date, Blake brought Katie into a room decorated with Canadian flags, a bear head on the wall, and hockey posters. Blake also had Katie take a shot of maple syrup at a bar and play darts with him, and she revealed to the bachelor she may be willing to move to Canada for him.
After riding a mechanic moose -- yes, a moose, not a bull -- the couple embraced and kissed and played a little street hockey, and Blake said Katie was everything he wanted and their relationship was "growing exponentially."
It turned out Greg had a view of Katie and Blake playing hockey from his hotel room, and he watched the couple have a steamy makeout session in a penalty box.
"God, I'm sick to my stomach. I understand that she's going to catch feelings for other guys, but it's hard to face those facts, and seeing her with Blake, she looked so happy -- and that scared me," Greg admitted.
Katie admitted she was a little nervous going into the hometown date because Blake wasn't in love with her yet, but Blake told the Bachelorette, "You don't have to be great; you just need to be you."
Blake introduced Katie to his mother Emily and brother Cody.
Katie shared how she had "instant" chemistry with Blake, who gushed about their physical connection that's "1000 percent there." But Blake also said their outlooks on life totally aligned and their personalities are very similar.
Emily wanted to make sure Blake and Katie weren't just infatuated with each other, but she told Katie that her son was obviously "smitten" and "when he loves, he loves HARD."
Katie told Emily they felt like they had known each other for months, and while neither of them had expressed love to one another, they were sure they could get there eventually. Katie said it didn't feel right to say "I love you" when she was still dating multiple people.
"I know that if it's Blake and I in the end, it truly is forever," Katie explained.
Meanwhile, Blake's sister Taylor playfully asked Blake, "So, this is The One now? Is this The One?"
"Yeah," Blake replied.
"Yeah, but you were so set -- before you even met [The Bachelorette alum Clare Crawley], you were like, 'I love her, it's going to work!' And then... [Tayshia Adams] came in, and you're in love again, like right away," Taylor said.
Blake assured his sister that he felt love and was going to say "I love you" at some point but it needed to come naturally, and Taylor worried about Blake getting "blindsided" and his heart crushed.
Emily then told Blake that she thought Katie was genuine and sweet, and Blake confirmed there was "zero question" in his mind about whether he was ready to propose marriage. Emily cried and told her son that she was proud of him but he needed to man up and say "I love you."
"Love comes with time. I truly believe we're right there. I feel it. I feel love... more than I ever have. Tonight I want to tell Katie that I love her. But the word 'love' is something I take really seriously.... because this is it," Blake said in a confessional.
After a little game of street hockey with his family, Blake kissed Katie goodbye -- but he choked and was afraid to use the word "love." Blake, however, could tell Katie reciprocated his feelings in the way that she kissed him.
"I see myself getting engaged to Katie," Blake concluded.
The next day, Justin apparently learned his parents wouldn't be traveling to New Mexico to meet Katie.
Justin's mother said she didn't understand how anyone could want to propose marriage to someone after such a short time of dating and he must be mindful of getting to know a person and her family.
Justin clearly felt disappointed and upset given family is so important to him, and he was worried about not seeing a glimpse of Katie with his loved ones. However, Katie was able to meet his two best friends and "almost-brothers," Herb and Tommy, which Justin was excited about.
At the beginning of Justin's "scenic" Baltimore date in New Mexico, Katie acknowledged she felt like she hadn't seen Justin in a while but their connection started early in the process.
Justin and Katie took a horse-drawn carriage past a graffiti wall similar to a famed wall in Justin's home state, and Katie complimented Justin on being confident, smooth and a great kisser. She said their conversations were real and their chemistry was "undeniable."
The pair also dined on crab, and then Justin broke the news that Katie wouldn't be meeting his parents that evening.
Katie wondered if Justin would be ready for a marriage proposal since she wouldn't even be able to meet his parents, and she began to deal with a "struggle" mentally and emotionally.
Justin told his friends that Katie had checked off all the boxes on his list and then added some. Herb said he had never seen Justin be so affectionate with a woman and he thought it was possible Katie could be The One for him.
Katie told Herb that she wasn't going to say "I love you" to a guy until only one man was left standing at the end, and Herb said he feared that Katie may have other relationships that could be stronger and Justin was "behind the ball" by not expressing his love for her yet.
Tommy appreciated how Justin could totally be himself with Katie, who assured Tommy that she could picture herself being ready to get engaged to Justin at the end of the process.
Justin told Herb that there was "still time" to say "I love you," but Herb countered, "Still time? There's two weeks."
Justin said he wasn't going to force anything and he was going to continue to follow his heart, which at this point, belonged to Katie. Justin insisted he wouldn't hold back because he wouldn't want to leave The Bachelorette with regrets or things left unsaid.
"I know how I'm feeling about you, but my body is trying to protect [my heart]. It's scary as hell and I get nervous. My heart has been guarded and anyone doesn't want to get hurt," Justin explained to Katie at the end of their date.
"But it's something that has been on my mind and something that, you know, I want to express to you, because at the end of the day, I can't control how I feel. As much as I'm trying to fight it, I know I'm falling in love with you. That's how I feel, and I don't want to hold back."
Katie kissed Justin, who said he felt "incredible," and a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. Justin gushed about how nothing was missing in his relationship with Katie and he'd continue to open up and peel back the layers.
"I'm ready to take that next step with Katie. As scary as it is, there's a reality more than ever that I could be engaged soon," Justin noted in a confessional.
The following day, Greg shared a piece of his New Jersey beach town with Katie by riding a tandem bike and eating pork rolls with cheese. Katie said they always had so much fun together, and her hope was to confirm everything she had been feeling for him that day.
Katie said she loved how Greg didn't take things too seriously and had a quirky side of him, and Greg noted how he was falling in love with Katie more and more every day.
The couple also rode a wave on a moonbounce and played a little basketball together in memory of Greg's father Frank, who had enjoyed playing ball on the court with his son before he passed.
After another makeout session in the rain, when Katie said she was "happy and floating," Katie revealed she was absolutely "falling in love" with Greg because he's "truly everything" and she could see herself ending up with him.
"I'm falling so hard for Katie, and it's just a feeling I haven't felt in the longest time," Greg gushed in a confessional. "I honestly cannot wait to show my family the girl I am falling in love with."
Greg said there had been something missing in his life and his family hadn't seen him truly happy since his father died. This day was therefore extremely important to Greg.
Katie proceeded to meet Greg's mother Sandy, older brother Joe, and one of his best friends named Dave.
"If my family sees it, there's no question in my mind that there could be an engagement at the end of this. No question," Greg confirmed.
Since Greg's two sisters couldn't attend the special gathering, they had recorded video messages for their brother and Katie. The two girls gushed about how Greg is an incredible man and they looked forward to meeting Katie if the couple had fallen in love. Greg also receive some sweet hellos from his nieces and nephews.
Joe said it was exciting to see Greg as happy as he seemed, and he could tell that Katie was crazy about his brother.
Katie said she loved Greg's heart and how he's a family man and she could definitely see herself engaged to Greg at the end of the show, and Greg told Dave that he was "in love" with Katie, although he had only expressed how he was "falling in love" up to that point.
Greg shared how he was fully invested in Katie and their "real" connection because she had shown him why his relationships with other women never worked out. Greg insisted he was fully ready to get engaged and Katie planned to move to New York to be with him.
Katie gushed to Sandy about how Greg is both confident and humble, and she used the term "frontrunner" and confirmed, "Greg will be here next week. Greg is someone I want to continue pursuing a relationship with... We grow every single time we are together."
Katie said she felt so lucky to have Greg in her life and without him, she's not sure how confident she'd feel in finding true love through The Bachelorette process.
When asked if she felt in love with Greg, Katie said Greg had expressed he was falling in love with her but she wanted to save the "I love you" and keep it close to her chest until only her winner remained.
Sandy said she worried about Greg getting hurt, but Katie admitted, "We are a perfect match," seemingly giving Sandy more validation and comfort that she had desired.
Sandy told the cameras it was great seeing the light "back on" in her son's eyes, and she said she really liked Katie as a person.
Before the date ended, Greg told Sandy, "I am in love with this girl. She understands me, and I don't know what it is, we get each other. Every time we're together, it's the lightest and easiest thing I've ever experienced in my life."
Greg confessed a piece of him had been unhappy for a long time due to the loss of his father but Katie filled him up with happiness and he wanted to get engaged to her.
Greg acknowledged he felt love from Katie but he was "dying to hear" her say it and be vulnerable with him.
At the end of their date, Greg got very emotional about missing his father, and he told Katie, "I didn't know what I was going to come here expecting."
"I think you're beautiful and I think you're great," he continued. "I didn't know I was going to fall in love with you. I didn't know that, and I am in love with you. You just make me the happiest I've ever been, and I see it with you. This is real to me."
Greg didn't know what else to say or show Katie, but he hinted how he intended to get down on one knee.
Katie didn't say anything in reply. She just smiled at Greg and said, "I love looking at you."
Katie said she believed in their connection and he was going to stick around next week.
Katie said the journey was hard but it was going to be "worth it" for them in the end. Katie asked, "You know how I feel about you right?... We're almost there. We're very close. Just hang in there."
Katie hated seeing Greg solemn and unhappy, pointing out how she was well aware The Bachelorette process "sucks" and is "a struggle," but she didn't seem to realize Greg was really upset because he had been expecting her to share her innermost feelings with him.
The date ended on a low note, with Katie telling a depressed Greg, "How do you think I feel going through it and having to, like, be so committed to you and then have to, like, meet someone else's family? That's hard for me."
Greg replied, "I can't be there at the end if I don't think it's us. I really, I really can't... I just don't understand how you don't know at this point, that it's me and you at this point. I just don't get it. That's what's killing me. I'm just confused."
Katie said she felt like Greg was losing trust in them, and Greg clarified how he was actually losing his "sh-t."
Greg told Katie that he had emptied his heart out to her, and Katie asked him to trust in their relationship despite the difficult times that were ahead.
Katie feared Greg was going to give up on them, but Greg countered, "I never felt you were holding things back from me until tonight."
Greg explained that he didn't know where Katie was at in this process, and she just reminded him how the process isn't easy and she'd see him again soon. Katie apparently didn't comfort or console Greg in terms of what he needed from her at all.
"Why can't you share with me right now, especially when you can see I need it?" Greg lamented in a confessional.
"What the f-ck just happened?!... I just wanted the smallest thing to let me know that she was feeling somewhat of the same."
After hometown dates, Greg told Blake that he was struggling and Katie's refusal to give them any clarity was tearing him apart.
Greg explained to the cameras that something was wrong and there seemed to be a misunderstanding with Katie and so he needed to get to the bottom of things.
Greg said it suddenly became clear to him that Katie must not reciprocate his strong feelings or else she would have told him that she was at least falling in love with him. Greg said he couldn't picture Katie as his future wife without her confirming how she felt about him.
Greg then found Katie in her hotel room and confessed that he felt like he had said "I love you" to a total stranger because Katie just dismissed his profession of love and didn't respond to it.
Katie apologized for her reaction and explained to Greg that she wanted to save her "I love you" until the very end of the show -- for one man only. Katie said it didn't feel right to tell a man that when she was still dating multiple people at once.
"I know there are other guys here, but you didn't even acknowledge what I said to you. You completely mowed over it. And it scared the hell out of me," Greg said.
Katie said she probably should have done more talking than just listening that night, and Greg accused Katie of giving him another "surface-level response." Greg said he didn't give "a f-ck" about a rose because their relationship was so much more to him than that.
Greg recalled telling Katie that she had filled a hole in his heart, and then he accused her of not listening.
"How can you sit there after [I say all that] and then ask me what's wrong and say that I was the one giving up on us?" Greg asked.
"I truly was confused. I just saw this shift in your body," Katie replied.
Greg said it hurt him so much when Katie claimed he was giving up on them because he had fought so hard for her every step of the way through the process. Greg noted there was an "obvious disconnect" between them and he had "reached [his] breaking point" on the show.
"I gave you everything and I really hope you find something," Greg told Katie.
"I can't even comprehend what it is you're trying to say right now. Like, are you not wanting to stay anymore? Are you done?" Katie asked.
"Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying," Greg responded, clearly shaken. "It was never about a rose this week, and I wasn't asking you to confess your love to me at all. All I was asking for was Katie."
Katie snapped at Greg, saying it seemed he wanted to be done with her "the one time" he didn't see her or get her.
Greg told Katie that they were days away from an engagement and she didn't even seem to care when he told her that she filled a hole in his heart. Greg confessed it was extremely difficult to not get what he needed from Katie in those moments.
"I told everyone in my family that you were The One and that I was going to marry you, and I felt it in my heart, that I was so certain about you," Greg said through tears, adding that he didn't want to date anymore.
Greg said he loved everything about Katie and saw her as his girl, which left Katie crying, speechless and feeling completely helpless.
Katie explained how she was confused how one bad night could change everything for Greg, and Greg explained how Katie had put up a wall with him and she hadn't done that to him before.
"You were one way with me during the day, and then that night, you were completely different. Your whole entire demeanor, everything about you shifted," Greg shared.
Katie said nothing had changed for her and he had always been her "No. 1, from the very beginning."
Greg said being Katie's "No. 1" wasn't what he wanted to hear because it was Katie putting their relationship into the context of just a competition again. Greg alluded to the fact Katie was wrapped up in a show and "who's getting sent home this week."
"It's not real. I just wanted something real!" Greg yelled.
"Okay, I'm sorry, you're right. That didn't come off the way I wanted it to," Katie said.
"But still, that's how you're thinking! That's what's going on in your mind," Greg shouted.
Katie said she didn't know how to date multiple people up to getting engaged to just one person and she was having her struggles to. Greg said he just wanted Katie to be real with him and the fact she had "a list" was hurtful to him.
Greg asked Katie what a rose even meant, Fantasy Suites and then "making love -- and then what?"
"I thought that we were more than that, that you thought of us more than that," Greg complained.
Katie said she wished she could go back and do that moment over again, but Greg claimed Katie just wasn't getting it and didn't understand where he was at in all of this. Greg complained that he's "not a number" and Katie's reaction made him feel "sick" and "confused."
Greg told Katie that he showed her who he is and what he can be, and then he lost him composure and walked out of Katie's hotel room. Katie, left sitting in her room by herself, vented, "Are you f-cking kidding me?!"
As Greg ran down the stairs, he lamented, "I am so done with this."
Katie chased after Greg in the hotel, and when the pair reunited outside, she said she just wanted to hug him. Katie was shaking and didn't know what to say.
"I just want to leave, to be completely honest, because I didn't see any of this happening," Katie told Greg. "I was very clear... that if you left, I was done. I don't know what to say because I have given you everything. I've been nothing but honest with you the entire time."
Katie said she tried to give Greg the confidence he needed all season long, until that very final night. Greg then adopted a bit of a dismissive attitude.
"Is there even a point for me to tell you anything?! Am I just, like, wasting my time? I'm telling you everything and you just don't even believe me!" Katie shouted.
"I'm losing you and I'm losing my mind here. This whole thing was just for nothing!"
"How am I supposed to even move forward with any of this?" Katie asked Kaitlyn through the door.
"I know," Kaitlyn replied. "I totally get it. There was one point I cried into my salad and I said, "I'm done. I'm done and I want to go home. It gets to such a hard point."
Kaitlyn asked Katie if she regretted letting Greg leave and what suddenly shifted her relationship with Greg, and Katie recalled how Greg disliked her reaction during the hometown date and then didn't seem to believe anything she said afterwards.
"He doesn't want to hear me out," Katie explained.
Kaitlyn wondered if Katie could still get Greg back, and Katie cried, "No, there is no way to get him back!"
Katie then let Kaitlyn into the bathroom and hugged her. Kaitlyn consoled Katie, who confessed that she felt "so blindsided."
"Like today, I'm heartbroken, and defeated, and it's just like this unnatural feeling of like, trying to fall in love but also dealing with the biggest heartbreak of your life," Katie explained.
"It just feels like it's all for nothing. It's just so f-cked up," Katie added.
Katie had convinced herself all the struggle would be worth it in the end but then everything blew up in her face.
"I said it in interviews, that I'm falling in love with this guy. That's the f-cked up part about all of it," Katie cried.
Kaitlyn acknowledged it was probably "soul crushing" to watch the man she thought she was going to end up with leave, and Katie confessed that she didn't know what to do or how to move on.
"I literally feel like I shouldn't be here. [Michael Allio] left. Greg left. And at this point, like, the confidence and the strength I thought I had is, like, destroyed," Katie admitted. "Destroyed. There's just no way."
Katie realized she had officially lost Greg and he wasn't going to come back, and Katie wasn't sure the process would ever get better.
"I hate it, I hate it for you," Kaitlyn told the Bachelorette.
Katie said she had wanted to find her person and things repeatedly backfired on her. She had opened herself up to multiple relationships and said she didn't know what to believe anymore.
"So what do you want to happen?" Kaitlyn asked.
"I want someone to book my flight home," Katie responded.