Fans met Katie during Matt James‘ season 25 of The Bachelor, which aired in early 2021, and she quickly became a favorite for her outspoken nature and positive personality. During the After the Final Rose special in March, she was announced as the lead for season 17 of The Bachelorette, with fellow season 25 alum Michelle Young following in her footsteps for season 18.
“This is a modern-day Cinderella [story] for me,” Katie told Good Morning America at the time. “I know nothing about the men yet. I don’t know what they look like. I don’t even know how many men there are here.”
Filming kicked off in New Mexico later that month and wrapped “ahead of schedule,” a source told Us Weekly exclusively. “Katie was in control and made sure the men she wanted were there and the men she wasn’t interested in, she sent packing,” the insider noted in April 2021.
To help her navigate the challenging experience, former leads Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams offered their expert advice in place of ousted host Chris Harrison, who officially exited the franchise amid backlash for his defense of Rachael Kirkconnell. The dynamic duo brought a different energy to the set and were thrilled to help Katie find love.
“She keeps her options open,” Kaitlyn told Us in June 2021, noting that first impression rose winner Greg Grippo “really stood out” to them.
Going into the show, Katie knew she would want to walk away engaged to her future husband. “I’m looking for a mature man who can handle himself, understand what he signed up for, which is you’re sharing a girlfriend right now and do the best that they can,” she told Us, noting that she was incredibly “serious” about the process. “If the thought of being engaged scares you, then you’re not ready to be with me.”
Though she was swept off her feet by Greg — and a handful of other standouts — on night one of her season, one of Katie’s cohosts warned her not to fall too hard too fast.
“Kaitlyn said, ‘Don’t fall in love with one person on the first night, be open,'” she recalled. “And then Tayshia was the one who said, you know, ‘Surrender to the process. Trust the journey.'”
While the road to a relationship came with its fair share of ups and downs, Katie wouldn’t have done it any other way. “I am happy,” she teased of her final decision in June 2021.
Keep scrolling to see all the times Katie has hinted at how her season ends: