Katie eliminated Brendan Scanzano, a 26-year-old firefighter trainee from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, during an unexpected chat in her hotel room and also ousted Mike Planeta, a 31-year-old proud virgin and gym owner from San Diego, CA, in the middle of their first one-on-one date of the season.
Katie later denied a rose to Andrew, a 26-year-old pro football player who splits his time between Vienna, Austria and Chicago, IL, at the Rose Ceremony preceding hometown dates. Andrew, however, returned to see Katie the next day, which led to an emotional and confusing goodbye.
Katie's decisions ultimately determined Justin, a 26-year-old investment sales consultant from Baltimore, MD; Greg, a 27-year-old marketing sales rep from Edison, NJ; Blake, a 30-year-old wildlife manager from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and Michael A., a 36-year-old business owner from Akron, OH, as her Final 4 bachelors.
The Bachelorette broadcast began with only seven men remaining on Katie's journey to find love.
However, Katie knew hometown dates were right around the corner, and she wasn't quite ready to make seven guys become four.
"There are some guys I feel confident in, like, 'I want to meet your family, but I don't know who my Final 4 guys are! And I'm struggling a little bit," Katie explained to the girls.
With two one-on-one dates awaiting her, Katie reasoned, "I want to build on these strong relationships I have and use that [time] to just strengthen our relationship, especially heading into hometowns, but then, on the other hand, there are two guys who haven't had a one-on-one, and it's like, do I use this one-on-one time to really explore that more?"
The two men who hadn't received a one-on-one date yet were Brendan and Mike P.
Brendan told the cameras how he felt he could take over the world with Katie every time they got together, but he needed to take a giant leap forward with her to truly feel ready to introduce her to his family -- and Mike P. appeared to feel the same way.
Katie said she wanted to start narrowing in on which bachelor is her "person."
Much to everyone's surprise, the first one-on-one date for the week heading into hometowns went to Greg, Katie's First Impression Rose recipient who had also received the first one-on-one date of the season.
Greg said he never anticipated going on a solo date with Katie this week but he was so excited. The news left Blake "jealous," and Katie's six other men all questioned how they could play "catch up" with the "consistent" Greg.
Michael A., being a single father with a son, wished Katie would have given him the reassurance Greg was about to receive on his date. Michael wasn't sure how Katie would move into his life, which also includes the in-laws of his late wife, Laura.
Katie said she chose Greg for this one-on-one date because she "really" liked him and their first one-on-one date felt so long ago. It was important to Katie to spend some alone time with Greg.
For their date, Katie shared a little piece of home, Seattle, WA, with Greg. Katie brought Greg to "Katie's Place Market," which was designed to mimic a famous marketplace in Seattle.
Katie and Greg laughed as they tossed huge fish at each other, shucked oysters, put together flower bouquets, and played a little football.
Greg felt like they were two kids having fun, and Greg said, "I adore her, honestly. The connection that we have is just something I haven't felt in a really long time."
Katie told Greg how she felt nervous and giddy around him, and Greg said he felt the same exact way.
Katie believed she and Greg just understood each other, and Greg assured the Bachelorette that he was ready to introduce her to his beloved mother, who hadn't met many of Greg's girlfriends.
"I need him to really trust in this and be patient and hope that at the end of it, it was worth it," Katie noted.
As Michael A. was missing his son like crazy, Katie and Greg moved onto the dinner portion of their date. Katie told Greg that she was "scared" to lose him and "never felt this way before."
Katie wanted Greg to feel confident in what they shared, and he explained how he battled insecurities, mainly because his sister always teased him a lot and pointed out what makes him unattractive. Greg was also bullied in middle school for being short and skinny.
Greg said he hadn't let his guard down with anyone after his father's death and so he had his fair share of "weak moments" during The Bachelorette process, but Greg noted he felt like "the luckiest guy in the world" to be dating Katie and she continued to "amaze" him in every way.
"I'm excited to show my family the girl I'm falling in love with," Greg told the Bachelorette.
"That makes me really happy to hear. I hope you know how I feel. It's crazy because from the moment we met, there was something there. It's crazy to feel this pull -- this gravity -- that tugs me towards you every time I see you. I'm so excited about us," Katie revealed.
Katie said she and Greg connected on the deepest level and she needed and wanted to hear from Greg that he was falling in love with her. It apparently gave Katie the clarity she needed about their relationship, and so she gave him one of four roses for the week.
Katie shared with the cameras how she was feeling something totally new with Greg, something she had never experienced with a man before, and was definitely falling in love with him.
Katie and Greg then ran into a rain shower created just for them, to resemble the weather in Seattle, and they engaged in a steamy makeout session. Greg said Katie was exactly what he had been missing in his life.
"I'm falling so in love with her. I think I've found the love of my life. She's made me love more than I ever thought I could," Greg gushed in a confessional.
Katie said she could truly see herself walking away with Greg at the end of this, getting married and having kids.
Back at the resort, Brendan and Mike P. agreed they weren't ready for a hometown date or an engagement without receiving a one-on-one date first.
Lucky for Mike P., a Date Card arrived with the following names on it for a group date: Justin, Andrew, Blake, Michael A. and Brendan.
After learning Mike P. would be going on the last one-on-one date before hometowns, a self-proclaimed "desperate" Brendan asked, "Why am I still here?"
Brendan then sought Katie out at her hotel room so they could talk. Brendan expected their chat to go well and "great" since their time together always propelled their relationship forward, but their conversation took the opposite turn.
Brendan explained to Katie how he had emotions invested in Katie and their relationship and felt they could take over the world together. Brendan said he has so much to offer and his family would love Katie.
As Brendan poured his heart out to the Bachelorette, Katie stopped him in his tracks.
Katie shared how Brendan had always been intentional with their relationship and put her first; however, their connection was not as strong as what she had established with several other bachelors.
"With hometowns being next week, I don't know if we can get there in time," Katie told Brendan, adding that it wouldn't be right to make him sit through a Rose Ceremony when she was aware of how she was feeling.
Brendan then said goodbye to Blake and headed away from the New Mexico resort.
The next day, Katie embarked on her group date with Andrew, Justin, Blake and Michael A.
The group had some fun by looking at art pieces -- which were "flowery with a twist," according to Blake -- and then were tasked with each creating a painting that would express his feelings for Katie. The guys were told their artwork could be "sensual" or "thought-provoking."
Blake admitted he's not an artist at all and doesn't really understand or appreciate art.
Michael A. created a sculpture of a woman's butt, Justin drew a rose and skeletons to represent his soul-searching, Andrew painted sushi to represent how and Katie are both foodies, and Blake painted something that needed to be censored because it was a sexual drawing.
During the evening portion of the group date, Blake told Katie that his mother was going to love her and he was "so all in" to their relationship. Blake said it was "inevitable" he was going to fall in love with Katie, although he wasn't completely "in love" yet.
Katie had struggled to fully embrace her feeling for Blake because he hadn't been a part of the process since Night 1. She said she wasn't sure if they were as far along in their journey as she was with some of the other guys on the show.
Justin presented Katie with a painting of a blue rose with two butterflies to symbolize his evolution as a man on The Bachelorette, from being in a cocoon of feelings to being able to release his emotions and open up to Katie.
Katie told Justin that she could be 110% herself with Justin, and Justin echoed how their connection was natural and not forced.
"With Justin, our connection is so strong and easy and natural," Katie explained in a confessional. "And that excites me."
Katie told Mike P. that she respected his decision to save himself for marriage because he had so much else to offer a woman.
Meanwhile, Blake explained how Mike P. lived "by the book," which seemed to be the opposite of how Katie lives her life. While Blake noted Mike P. is "a very nice guy," he couldn't picture the suitor being The One for Katie.
Although Katie and Mike P. bonded during their date and were able to act like a real couple, finally, Katie let the bachelor down gently.
Katie, in tears, explained how she was "struggling" because their date had strengthened their relationship and she wanted more of him but, if she was being honest with herself and looking at the bigger picture, she had developed stronger relationships with other men.
Michael A. then told Katie it was scary to wear his heart on his sleeve considering he has a child, but Katie promised the bachelor that she wouldn't force him into something they weren't ready for.
Katie shared how she could picture a "dream" life with Michael A. and his son James and that she thought about what could be their future every single day. Michael A. agreed that love is what mattered and he and Katie could figure everything else out later on.
Andrew subsequently spoke to Katie about how he didn't know what to do with his football career going forward. Andrew said he'd be willing to be done playing for Katie, which was "frightening" for him a little bit because he didn't have a Plan B.
But Katie insisted that she'd support Andrew in his dream to play football and would be willing to live in two different places every year for him. Katie also said she'd be okay with pushing back their timeline for having children in that case.
Andrew called Katie "amazing" and couldn't believe the amount of faith she had placed in him. Andrew then recreated his first one-on-one date with Katie by giving her a card that read, "I'm falling for you," as they stood under strings of lights outside.
Andrew was convinced he'd be getting the rose that evening, but Katie chose to hand out the date's only rose to Michael A.
Andrew admitted it "hurt" to watch Michael A. receive the rose because he had been putting "so much" into his relationship with Katie.
The following day, Katie and Mike P. went on their first one-on-one date. The couple went out of their comfort zones by participating in a hugging session in the woods with "a cuddle expert."
As Katie and Mike P. hugged in different positions and essentially latched onto each other, the pair couldn't stop laughing. The expert called it "nervous laughter," which was a sign Katie and Mike P. were uncomfortable with these type of interactions.
"It's awkward but Katie is very calming. She is a nurturer, and man, do I love nurturers! She reminds me of my mom! My mom brings a nurturing touch to everything... Katie does the same thing," Mike P. explained.
Mike P. felt he and Katie had experienced their first intimacy as a couple, and Mike P. acknowledged that he was ready to move on from relying on his mother for his nurturing needs.
However, once the day portion of their date ended, Katie approached Mike in tears and gently let him down.
"Today would have had to take our relationship to the very top, and it didn't," Katie admitted, referring to how Mike had to essentially catch up to other bachelors considering he went so long without a one-on-one date.
She therefore broke up with the bachelor and called it "a hard decision" to send him home, "truthfully."
But Mike assured the Bachelorette that he still respected her and knew she'd become a wonderful wife and mother.
"I'm bummed I don't get to experience life with you, but it doesn't mean that I'm not going to be rooting for you," Mike P. said following his ouster, adding that he wished he and Katie had more time together.
"Sometimes things aren't meant to be," he added. "She's incredible, so she deserves the world."
After her week of dates, Katie had three roses to hand out at a Rose Ceremony. She knew whom she wanted to send home, but she was afraid to eliminate the wrong man, someone who was meant to be her fiance and ultimate husband.
Katie worried she'd doubt or second-guess her decision when looking at this man, who would be her fifth-place finisher, in the eye.
Katie immediately got choked up when handing out her first rose to Blake. She then gave a rose to Justin.
When walking Andrew out, Katie apologized and Andrew had tears streaming down his face. Katie thanked Andrew for giving her 100 percent throughout their entire journey, saying he deserved that from a woman in return and he deserved more than she could give him.
Katie explained how she had established stronger connections but believed Andrew is "one of a kind" and deserves to "find a great love." Andrew promised to hold Katie near and dear to his heart.
When Andrew walked away and left the scene, Katie fell to her knees and essentially bawled her eyes out.
"It's heartbreaking. I haven't felt this way about a woman before. I poured myself into every little bit of this... It hurts, because I put everything into it," Andrew lamented following his ouster. "Obviously she knows what husband she's looking for... and it's not going to be me."
Katie cried to a producer about how the decision didn't feel good and it was the first time she "wasn't fully confident" in her choice. Katie just had to "hope" it was the right one.
The next morning, Katie woke up feeling a little better, but she was still questioning the decision she had made the night prior to send Andrew home. Katie admitted letting Andrew go was "extremely difficult" and she'd always think about him.
With that being said, Katie received a knock on her hotel-room door, and it was Andrew with a big, happy smile on his face.
Andrew explained how he wanted to leave the show on good terms with Katie, with the both of them being happy and having closure. Katie expressed how she didn't feel confident in her decision, which made Andrew feel a little bit of comfort because he had really fallen for her.
Andrew told Katie that he was proud of her and she's just an incredible woman.
Before Andrew left, he gave Katie an envelope with a card inside. He told Katie to read the card, which resembled a Date Card with its bold black writing, once he left.
The card -- which immediately made Katie cry -- read, "If you change your mind... I'll be waiting," along with a smiley face.
An overwhelmed and emotional Katie then stormed out of her hotel room and chased the bachelor down. Katie ran down a flight of stairs and yelled, "Andrew!"
A shocked Andrew turned around, and then Katie jumped into his arms for a passionate embrace.
Andrew hugged Katie as she cried in his arms, and when she pulled back for a second, she said, "I'm sorry. I felt like I had to see you."
"I believe there's something there. And whenever, if ever, you have me," Andrew noted.
Katie then gathered up the courage to say, "If there's a way for you to stay a little longer, would you want to? You can say 'no,' or you could say 'yes.' I don't know."
Andrew confessed, "It's tough because [the breakup] did happen, and I feel hurt in this place."
The couple therefore seemed to mutually decide to part ways, with Katie responding, "You're right."
Andrew subsequently elaborated in a confessional, "I would have loved to say 'yes.' I'd love nothing more than to be with her. She f-cking sprinted down the stairs and I said 'no,' but I want my future wife to choose me -- and I wasn't chosen. So I had to say 'no.'"
Andrew concluded, "I don't want to have to go through this with her again. I don't want to be standing at a Rose Ceremony waiting for her to not choose me again."
After one more hug and one final kiss, Katie let Andrew go, and they told each other, "You're the best."
Katie said although she didn't want to say goodbye to Andrew and it was "so hard" to watch him drive away, she had received the closure she needed and was one step closer to finding her husband.