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Bachelorette Michelle Young Defends Nayte Olukoya: He Isn’t Overly Confident, Has ‘Layers’ (Exclusive)

Confident or cocky? Michelle Young opened up about her connection with Nayte Olukoya, defending the season 18 contestant after some of her other suitors questioned him.

Related: Former Bachelor Nation Winners: Where Are They Now?

“When Nayte just stepped out of the limo, he was just very confident — but he didn’t have that overconfidence. He was still nervous,” the 28-year-old teacher exclusively tells Us Weekly. “I was nervous as well. Through the season, [I’ve] always enjoyed peeling back different layers, and, at the moment in the season, I’m really, truly figuring out just how many layers he has.”

In the “Still to Come” promo for season 18, Nayte is seemingly accused of being an “actor” on a reality show.

Michelle Young Defends Nayte Olukoya: He Isn’t Overly Confident
Rob Latour/Shutterstock; ABC/Craig Sjodin

“You’re going to have to definitely wait for Tuesday to figure out exactly how everything pans out, but there are a lot of things that do happen,” she teases about the November 23 episode. “There are a lot of tough conversations that have to be had, and there are going to be a lot of emotions involved with all of it.”

Tuesday’s episode also marks 200 episodes of the ABC series. “That is a huge mile marker,” Michelle says. “But to be able to have this 200th episode be with this diverse cast of just wonderful man, wonderful love stories, so unique, so different is pretty special.”

Halfway through the season, Michelle admits it’s an “odd experience” to watch herself on the show.

Related: Status Check! Bachelor Nation Couples Who Are Still Going Strong

“I didn’t realize just how vulnerable I was. And I’m very, I don’t know, I’m happy that I was able to challenge myself and push myself to open up,” she explains. “I don’t typically — with a sports’ past — always show emotion or wasn’t always one to shed tears in front of people. And so this is a huge step from that. And being able to show these men how I truly was feeling at times and talk about painful experiences, as well as showing emotion for them when they’re sharing their stories. The viewers hopefully relate to that.”

Michelle Young Defends Nayte Olukoya: He Isn’t Overly Confident
Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya. ABC/Craig Sjodin

As far as the finale goes, Michelle teases, “[The ending is] something that I didn’t necessarily expect, something that I didn’t think was possible for me. I’m excited for everybody kind of to see what that entails because I think a lot of assumptions are made, you know, of either who I end up with or if I end up with anybody.”

Related: Bachelor Nation Couples Who Have Split in 2021

The Bachelorette airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.

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