During the pair’s joint appearance on Good Morning America, Thurston, 30, teased that the female-led franchise will get a “big reset” following the controversy surrounding Matt James’ winner Rachael Kirkconnell and longtime host Chris Harrison.
James, 29, revealed during the post-finale episode that he broke up with Kirkconnell, 24, following her multiple allegations of racism. After Harrison defended her past behavior last month in an Extra interview with Rachel Lindsay, he apologized for his controversial remarks and later announced his temporary hiatus from the ABC franchise.
“I think they’re on the wrong side of history. It’s 2021,” the Washington native said, referencing viewers who won’t watch the series amid Harrison’s temporary absence. “I support Chris and everything that he’s doing, and I think that this is the best decision. … I really feel like this is the big reset. There have been a ton of uncomfortable conversations, but important conversations.”
Young, for her part, expressed her interest in seeing even more diversity across the franchise as she said, “They know that I’m going to push forward to make an impact in a positive way, and I think they’re kind of jumping on my train to do that with me.”
Thurston and Young, 27, both vied for James — the first-ever Black Bachelor — during the show’s 25th season, which premiered in January. While Thurston was eliminated during week 6, the Minnesota native became the runner-up to Kirkconnell. Young came face to face with James for the first time during After the Final Rose on Monday, March 15.
“I wasn’t OK, and … I needed to say my piece because I didn’t get the chance to,” Young explained to host Emmanuel Acho. “And so I asked if I could talk to Matt for two minutes, and not to change his route, to not get in the way of the relationship that he was pursuing that was still there. It was just for me to say my piece, but he refused to have that conversation with me. I think I deserved the two minutes to get my closure and move on.”
Toward the end of the special, it was revealed that Thurston and Young would star in back-to-back Bachelorette seasons. Thurston is currently quarantining in New Mexico before filming begins on her season, which is slated to premiere this summer. Former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe were tapped to host in Harrison’s place.
“I’m ready to find love, and not just, like, the temporary kind. I’m talking forever, my husband, and I’m in a place in my life where I feel like I’m the best version of me,” Thurston said during the After the Final Rose special. “Honestly, I’ve seen it work before, why can’t it work for me.”
Meanwhile, Young’s journey as Bachelorette will air sometime this fall.
“I was a little nervous, but once I found out that it was two different seasons, I was here for it,” the teacher shared on Monday. “I’m excited that I get to have somebody to bond over with this and share notes as we go. I really do think that this process works. When you can set down all these outside distractions and really dive in, I think you can learn a lot about somebody. I’m just excited. I’m ready to get started.”