The Bachelorette 2021: Who is Katie Thurston, When and How to Watch
Katie Thurston.

Who is Katie Thurston, the lead role of Bachelorette Season 17?

Katie Thurston, 30, from Renton, Washington, was announced as the season 17 Bachelorette at The Bachelor season 25 “After the Final Rose” special on March 15. Katie was a contestant on Matt James‘ season of The Bachelor but was eliminated in 10th place after Matt couldn’t see a future with her. However, Katie won’t be the only Bachelorette in 2021. Michelle Young, a 27-year-old teacher from Edina, Minnesota and the runner-up on Matt’s season of The Bachelor, was also announced as a Bachelorette at Matt’s “After the Final Rose” special. Michelle will be the season 18 Bachelorette and air her season after Katie’s.

Among the season 25 women, Katie emerged as a leading voice, who repeatedly stood up against bullying and negativity in the house, and women all over America applauded her for speaking up for what she believes in.

What is Katie Thurston's job?

Though Thurston works an official day job as a bank marketing manager in Renton, Washington, she's got a much more exciting side gig as a hilarious, no-holds-barred social media star. Prime example: She went viral on TikTok last summer for sharing a video in which she discussed her quarantine masturbation habits and mused about whether she'd hook up with a ghost (final answer: yes).

Between her frank online content and the fact that she stepped out of the limo on night one of The Bachelor with a vibrator in hand, Thurston has been widely praised for her sex positivity. And it's not just for show: "It wasn't some agenda that I had coming on to the show. It's just who I am and who I've been this whole time," she said during an appearance on the "Bachelor Happy Hour" podcast in January, per People. "It wasn't until after the fact that I realized how big of a deal it was—which excites me, because I do believe it's 2021 and women should be comfortable talking about their sexuality."

Read more: "The Bachelor": Who is Katie Thurston and Michelle Young?

What is Katie looking for?

The Bachelorette 2021: Who is Katie Thurston, When and How to Watch

Thurston turned 30 just a few days into the new year, and the day before the big milestone, she reflected on where the last few years have brought her and what she wants her next decade to look like.

"If I died tomorrow, I wouldn't be happy with what I've accomplished. I followed 'the rules' of life. Get the career. Save the money. Start that 401k. Buy the house. And for what? An entire decade to pass without feeling fulfilled? This past year, I finally unapologetically loved who I am," she wrote.

"What I do know is life is too short to feel unfulfilled. So what fills your heart? What makes you happy? I've enjoyed making people laugh this summer during what felt like a dark time for so many. I've enjoyed learning from my diverse community and hearing their stories," she continued. "I will passionately pursue a fulfilled life and refuse to let this next decade pass by without purpose."

Here's hoping that purpose includes shaking things up on The Bachelorette—and maybe even finding the ambitious, mature partner she described in her official Bachelor bio.

Who are Katie Thurston's 'Bachelorette' Contestants

The Bachelorette 2021: Who is Katie Thurston, When and How to Watch
Photo: ABC

So that’s Katie’s Bachelor journey in a nutshell. But who are Katie’s Bachelorette 2021 contestants? Well, according to Reality Steve, these are the men who will vie for Katie’s heart. Meet some of Katie’s Bachelorette season 17 cast ahead. (Be warned. These men look like trouble.

ABC released the photos and names of 34 potential love-interests for Thurston on their official Facebook page.

When will The Bachelorette with Thurston premiere and How to Watch?

Officially, we know that we're getting Thurston's season on ABC in summer 2021, which may mean June/July. Thanks to some spoilers from Reality Steve, we know that filming has started as of mid-March, and that the stars and hosts were already quarantining. Speaking of which, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams will be taking over as co-hosts this season as Chris Harrison continues his hiatus from the show. When asked about viewers who said they wouldn't watch the show without Harrison, Thurston replied, "I think they're on the wrong side of history. It's 2021...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." Fingers crossed that continues into these seasons, too.

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