Katie Thurston and Michelle Young are teasing their upcoming seasons of The Bachelorette.
During Monday night's The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special, it was officially announced that Thurston and Young would be the next leading ladies for the franchise, with Thurston up next and Young's season to follow in the fall. Both women were contestants on Matt James' season of The Bachelor, which just wrapped.
Along with the back-to-back plan, more changes are coming with seasons 17 and 18 of the series: longtime host Chris Harrison's hiatus continues following backlash for his response to contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's past racist actions.
In his place, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will serve as hosts for the upcoming season of The Bachelorette.
Appearing on Good Morning America Wednesday, Thurston — who's currently quarantining in New Mexico before shooting her season — described the revamped franchise a "big reset."
"I think they're on the wrong side of history. It's 2021," she said of some viewers refusing to tune in without Harrison involved. "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."
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Additionally, Young said calling for more diversity will always be on the forefront of her mind as she prepares to headline her season. "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," she explains.
In the finale of James' Bachelor season, he ultimately gave Kirkconnell his final rose over Young. However, during the After the Final Rose special, the first-ever Black Bachelor revealed to host Emmanuel Acho that he ended their relationship after the controversy surrounding Kirkconnell's racially insensitive photos. Reflecting on not ending up with James, Young said she has found "closure."
"It was difficult. I mean, a broken heart takes time to heal. But, I was about to find my closure within myself," she said on GMA, adding that she is now "100 percent ready" to find love.
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