As Katie Thurston’s stint as the Bachelorette comes to a close, the season 17 lead reflected on her biggest heartbreaks — and teased the nontraditional ending of her journey to find The One.
“I would say Michael [Allio] was definitely the hardest goodbye. I needed to kind of see that breakup to get that final closure tonight,” the 30-year-old reality TV personality exclusively told Us Weekly at the Men Tell All taping. “And I feel good about it now. In the moment, it was a little rough, but I’m happy to have met him. And I feel like that closure.”
Michael, 36, quit Katie’s journey during the Monday, July 26, episode of the ABC series after an emotional FaceTime with his 4-year-old son, James.
“I always go back to that day when I had to say bye to Katie. It’s not something I wanted to do but as a parent, [it was an] easy decision. I would do it a million times again, just like I did there without thinking twice,” the single dad told Us, noting that he still continues to feel “pain” from their split. “I knew when I had to make that decision, that I was leaving an opportunity to pursue an amazing life with someone that I care about it and finding that person is really difficult.”
While Michael left before hometown dates, Katie is set to meet the families of Greg Grippo, Blake Moynes and Justin Glaze on the August 2 episode. She cited sending Andrew Spencer home as another difficult part of her journey.
“It was really tough with Andrew because there was a part of me that wanted him to stay. And maybe if hometowns weren’t so soon, I would have just made that happen,” Katie told Us. “But with the hometowns coming up, I just knew ultimately it wasn’t the best decision for both him and I.”
“All the Bachelorettes are in a big group chat. We all support each other and encourage each other. So that’s always been fun,” Katie said. “Kaitlyn has actually given me advice on how to deal with the aftermath of it, you know, in terms of watching it back and reliving some of these old emotions that are coming up. And she’s just been really great on guiding me through the second half of my journey —[that’s] what I call it.”
As for the ending, which Katie previously told Nick Viall is “not traditional at all,” the ABC star told Us, “I don’t think that this has ever happened. I’ll say that. So it’s a first, for sure. And a shocking ending.”
The Bachelorette airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Johnni Macke