The Bachelorette star Katie Thurston eliminated Karl Smith and John Hersey, began falling in love with Michael Allio, and revealed a personal sexual-assault story from her past before Thomas Jacobs admitted he thought about becoming the next The Bachelor star during the Season 17 episode Monday night on ABC.

At the second Rose Ceremony of the season, Katie denied roses to Karl Smith, a 34-year-old motivational speaker from Miami, FL, and John Hersey, a 27-year-old bartender from Pacific Beach, CA.


The Bachelorette broadcast began with the cocktail party that started during last week's episode.

Andrew Spencer, a 26-year-old pro football player who splits his time between Vienna, Austria and Chicago, IL and is the reported cousin of The Bachelorette alum Clay Harbor, saying Karl had ruined the night by saying some people were on the show for the wrong reasons.

Christian Smith, a 26-year-old real estate agent from Boston, MA said Karl had "made up facts" and upset Katie based on a bunch of lies.

Tre Cooper, a 26-year-old a software engineer from Covington, GA, told the cameras Karl had turned the whole house against himself as Katie cried in a room by herself. Tre called Karl incredibly "disrespectful."

When asked to reveal which guys supposedly didn't have good intentions, Karl replied, "I'm not putting anyone on blast, bro?" Karl said, refusing to give the men a name.

Because of all the drama, Katie decided to cut conversations short go straight into the Rose Ceremony. Josh Tylerbest, a 25-year-old IT consultant from Miami, FL, noted Katie's decision was "the worst case scenario" and he had never expected the night to go this way.

Aaron Clancy, a 26-year-old insurance agent from San Diego, CA, also didn't understand what was happening.

Greg Grippo, a 27-year-old marketing sales rep from Edison, NJ, then tracked down Katie and attempted to comfort her.

Greg said Karl should have confronted his issues with someone man-to-man rather than involving Katie, and she explained that she just wanted to be "focused and present" in the process. She said she hated how she couldn't feel confident in the other men.


Karl then left the room and vented about how he wasn't on the show to make friends and help the other guys out. Karl said the loudest man in the room is typically the guilty one, but he still declined to identify specific names.

Brendan Scanzano, a 26-year-old firefighter trainee from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, called Karl "a snake and a scumbag."

"I want to trust Karl and he seems like he's a good guy — and I want the guys to be my eyes and ears in the house. That's what I want in my husband, someone that is looking out for me," Katie said in a confessional.

Prior to handing out roses. Katie said she was truly looking for love and only wanted men who felt the same way to stay. Katie admitted she was confused but would follow her heart.

Katie then handed out rose to David Scott, a 27-year-old technical product specialist from Nashville, TN; Hunter Montgomery, a 34-year-old software strategist from Houston, TX; Conor Costello, a 28-year-old from Edmond, OK who currently lives in Newport Beach, CA; and Mike Planeta, a 31-year-old gym owner from San Diego, CA.

Mike P. told Katie the guys had come together in solidarity and as a unit to inform the Bachelorette that Karl was not telling the truth. Mike said that's what everyone felt Katie needed to hear.

Katie asked the group if everyone felt the same way, and most of the bachelors nodded their heads, including Tre and James Bonsall, a 30-year-old from New York, NY.

Katie then excused herself from the Rose Ceremony because she never saw that coming.

Katie confided in The Bachelorette co-hosts Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe about how the group had agreed Karl should go home; however, she had planned to give Karl a rose. Kaitlyn told Katie -- who said she trusted most of the guys -- it was her own decision to make and she and Tayshia would back her up no matter what.

"He should have been exterminated a long time ago," Aaron told the cameras of Karl.

Christian hoped Mike's message had shed some light on Karl's true character. He believed Karl had taken advantage of Katie when she was most vulnerable.


But Karl said he didn't care if the men hated him and he'd be getting a rose at the end of the night.

"You'll have to get the military to drag me out. I'm not going; I'm not leaving!" Karl told the cameras.

Katie then continued the Rose Ceremony and gave roses to Michael A., a 36-year-old business owner from Akron, OH; Connor Brennan, a 29-year-old math teacher and musician from Nashville, TN; Quartney Mixon, a 26-year-old nutrition entrepreneur from Dallas, TX; Tre, Justin Glaze, a 26-year-old investment sales consultant from Baltimore, MD; Andrew Milcovich, a 31-year-old deputy district attorney from Newport Beach, CA; Christian; Josh; Brendan; James; and Aaron.

Greg, Andrew S., and Thomas, a 28-year-old real estate broker from Poway, CA, already had roses from dates earlier in the week -- and so Katie chose to send Karl and John packing.

Katie believed she had a great group of guys, and she was so proud they were able to come together to help her.

A Date Card then arrived for the following men: Aaron, Quartney, James, Connor B., David, Justin, Thomas, Hunter and Brendan.

The Date Card said "love is about honesty and I need 100 percent..." — but there was no "love, Katie" at the end of the note, which made the guys a bit nervous.

On the group date, Katie introduced Season 21 The Bachelor star Nick Viall, who intended to dig into the guys' past relationships and provide Katie with more clarity.

The bachelors were asked to sit in a circle in the dark with spotlights in their faces, and the guys got the vibe it was going to be some type of intervention.

Nick explained Katie truly wanted to find love and an engagement so he was going to hold the men accountable and essentially pry into their dating history. Nick wanted the guys to come clean, be truthful, and open up about their mistakes — including cheating, ghosting, leading women on, or trying to be the next Bachelor.

Aaron admitted he was scared to totally let go, and Connor B. confessed there were definitely things in his past he wasn't proud of.

Hunter said he had already developed significant feelings for Katie.

Hunter said he fell in love with a woman, married her and had a daughter and son. Hunter admitted he worked too much and drifted apart from his wife and failed at marriage, which negatively impacted his two kids.


Hunter promised to fight for love and never give up again or put himself in that position again.

Quartney said he broke a woman's trust once, and Aaron explained he wasn't the man he wanted to be in one relationship.

Thomas shared how he initially didn't sign up for The Bachelorette for the right reasons. He admitted to wanting to build a platform.

However, Thomas claimed he leaned into the process and found so much potential with Katie. He said the feelings he was experiencing for her were real. Thomas also revealed he had gone on a date with a woman a week before he left for the show because he didn't know who Katie was at the time.

Thomas had a big smile on his face as he spoke about these serious things, and Aaron said that didn't sit well with him. Aaron called it "a sales pitch."

Connor B. recalled having a drinking problem when he was 24 or 25 during had school when he was supposed to be getting his PHD but he was miserable and dropped out. He therefore worked as a musician at a piano bar and began drinking a lot.

Connor B. said he'd get blackout drunk and developed a drinking problem in which he'd be cruel and say horrible hurtful things to his former girlfriend at the time. Connor B. said it all culminated one night when he got really drunk.

"I picked a fight.. and then I went to a party and I got more drunk and I got high, and I ended up cheating on her. I ended up blowing up my entire life in one day," Connor B. announced, adding, "I really hurt somebody and I carry a lot of guilt with that."

Connor B. said he sought therapy and read self-help books and turned to friends and family.

"But I don't recognize who that person was and it's not me," Connor B. shared, insisting that he's a changed man and has learned the error of his ways.

Katie said she felt safe with the men, and so she opened up about not being so pure. Ten years ago on New Year's Eve, she was drinking and involved in a situation where there wasn't consent.

Katie said she wouldn't wish that upon anybody and was in denial about what happened, so much so that she tried to form a relationship with him because she didn't want to believe it happened.

Katie revealed that the incident resulted in her having an unhealthy relationship with sex for several years in which she didn't want to have it or talk about it.


Katie revealed that she loves herself now and has come a very long way. Katie said consent and communication are important and a person should never be made to feel guilty about abstaining from sex for their own reasons.

Katie told the cameras in a confessional that she now recognizes the situation wasn't her fault, and she felt "liberated," like a weight had been lifted.

Meanwhile, Michael said he needed time with Katie discuss something major about his life. Michael told a few guys he had met his wife in 2003 and they were together for 16 years. Seven months after delivering their child, Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer and they searched for a cure but failed to find it. She passed away two years ago.

"Life flipped upside at the time when we had a little child. I'm doing this primarily to take some risks and to start to look at a future for myself and my son that maybe I wouldn't have done at all," Michael explained.

Michael had only told one woman that he loved her, his wife Laura.

At the afterparty on Katie's group date, Justin said it seemed like everyone was trying to protect Katie's heart and they were on the same page.

Justin connected with Katie and said his feelings for her were growing but it was going to be difficult to stand out amongst all of Katie's great guys, and Katie told Connor B. that he's a catch. Connor said he couldn't believe how strongly he felt for Katie this early on.

Katie then asked Thomas to reveal his list of "red flags" he had mentioned during the exercise earlier that day so she wouldn't be blindsided at the end of this. The guys hoped Katie could see through Thomas' charm and prepared speeches. Thomas insisted he wanted to get married and would be willing to live anywhere for her.

The conversation apparently "rattled" Thomas and he didn't think it went well.

"I'm going to do whatever it takes to fix this. It may cause a lot of tension between me and the guys in the house — I can live with that. All of these guys aren't going to be here next week, and I will be," Thomas bragged, adding that he wanted to clarify a few things with Katie and prove himself.

Thomas therefore interrupted Aaron's time with Katie and told the Bachelorette that fear and love are one in the same and he was feeling both of those things for her.

"I haven't felt this way in as long as I can remember. I feel an energy that is such a strong pull to you, and I need you to know that. I need you to know that," Thomas explained.


Katie appeared giddy and appreciated Thomas' passion. She could also feel the spark and said she was happy to have him on the show before kissing him.

Meanwhile, a Date Card arrived with Michael's name on it for a one-on-one. Michael was nervous about the date, knowing the magnitude of what he planned to share with her.

Back on the group date, Aaron called Thomas' behavior "super disrespectful," and Thomas suggested his twice with Katie was more important than anyone else's.

Thomas announced, "I told her that I was falling in love with he," which shocked Justin. Aaron also called Thomas "full of sh-t" and accused him of walking all over everybody.

Katie then entered the room and gave the group-date rose to Connor B. for showing so much "courage and strength" by telling his story about his past. This was confirmation for Connor that they definitely had something and they both wanted more.

Quartney believed Aaron was manipulating Katie and starting to show his true colors. Aaron told Thomas that he was "disgusted" by Thomas' actions, in fact.

"I'm here to find a wife," Thomas said.

"This morning you were here for a platform," Aaron responded.

Aaron subsequently said in a confessional, "I find his behavior disturbing... At this point, I think Thomas is a cancer and I think he needs to be cut out until he's absolutely gone."

The next day, Katie and Michael A. went on an adventure. Katie picked him up in a dune buggy after flipping it over. Michael appeared to have a blast with Katie driving around.

Michael told Katie that he could really see something with her or else he promised to leave the show and not lead her on.

"I won't waste your time," Michael assured the Bachelorette. "But I have no reason to think that; I think you're special."

Katie explained that she understood the weight it carried for Michael to be on the show with his son at home, and Michael agreed but noted how his son deserved a happy dad.

Michael told Katie that while everyone says The Bachelorette hopefully "ends" in an engagement, he believes it actually "begins" with an engagement, which Katie thought was a "really beautiful" notion.


Michael no longer wanted to hold back after kissing Katie, and so he intended to share his story with her that night.

While the guys gossiped at the resort about needing to hold Thomas accountable, Michael and Katie enjoyed the dinner portion of their one-on-one date.

Michael shared how he met his wife Laura on their college campus and he looked at her and thought, "That's it! That's everything."

That fall, they started dating and then they got married in 2012. And then in 2016, they welcomed their son James, whom Michael called "the greatest gift ever."

"And so life was perfect, and then seven months after James was born, Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer. And for years, she was just an amazing advocate that exuberated courage, grace and humor as cancer took a strong hold," Michael recalled.

Michael remembered when Laura's hair started to fall out due to chemotherapy, and Katie's eyes welled up with tears at the thought. Michael and Laura apparently traveled the country to find a cure and tried clinical trials but Laura ultimately lost her battle to cancer in January 2019.

Michael said he was happy his wife wasn't in pain anymore and she passed away in a room filled with people she loved. Michael recalled building his life back up in subsequent months without that "critical piece."

Michael cried as he told his story and said, "I know what it's like to love. I know what it's like to give everything. And I have finally gotten to this place where I'm ready to open up my heart... What a gift to be able to fall in love twice."

Katie said she respected Michael's forever love for Laura and wasn't intimidated by that. Katie said his love with Laura was beautiful and it didn't make her feel insecure.

"It's my job to make you feel that the relationship that we create is unique in our own [way], and I have no doubt that we can do that," Michael said.

Katie broke down about how beautifully Michael spoke about love, and she totally believed that the love they could create would be totally unique.

Katie then offered her rose to Michael and the couple kissed, and Michael called the Bachelorette "extraordinary."

"[Katie] has given me hope. She's someone I could love, 100 percent," Michael said, before the pair looked at the stars together.

And Katie added in a confessional that if she and Michael walked away from The Bachelorette together, it would truly be "a forever kind of love" and that's all she wanted.

"I think this could be the start of me falling in love with Michael, and it's no unexpected!" Katie gushed in tears.

The next day, Aaron complained about how he thought Thomas was "some manipulative psychopath" and "sociopath."

And David confided in Connor B., "He interrupted Aaron and he said, 'I had something really important to tell her.' And he [supposedly] said, 'I am 100 percent falling in love with this woman.'"

However, Thomas also said at the group party that he didn't tell Katie flat out that he was falling in love with her, so the guys didn't know what to believe.

Brendan called Thomas "a pathological liar," and so Connor B. determined, "I'm done with him." Hunter, Quartney and Josh also appeared to believe Thomas was full of lies and manipulation.

Before the second week's second group date when all of the men were gathered in one room, Hunter called Thomas out for "flipping and flopping" and seeming "fraudulent, almost like a campaign."

Hunter asked Thomas if he had ever thought about being the Bachelor, but Thomas dodged the question multiple times until Hunter bluntly asked him again. Hunter said he wouldn't be okay with Katie getting her heart broken.

"Were you thinking about being the Bachelor?" Hunter asked again.

"Before coming here, I didn't know what to expect," Thomas replied.

"I'm not asking you what you expected. Was being the Bachelor -- was that a prerogative for you?" Hunter repeated.

"Okay, I can't be disingenuous with you guys, and I'm not going to be. Yes, coming into this, one of the thoughts on my mind was potentially being the next Bachelor," Thomas admitted.

Hunter said Thomas' answer -- which was both "upsetting and frustrating" -- made a lot of things clear for him.

Tre applauded Thomas for doing a good job with his manipulation and tricking him multiple times, but Thomas insisted that thought was now gone from his mind, which no one appeared to believe.

Hunter feared another guy being on the show for the wrong reasons would derail the process and make Katie give up and go home.


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About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.