It turns out Katie Thurston is The One for Blake Moynes after his pursuits of Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams fell short. The season 16 Bachelorette contestant made his debut on season 17 of the ABC series on June 28, 2021, and less than two months later, the pair celebrated their engagement.
Bachelor Nation fans met the Canadian when Clare’s journey premiered in October 2020. While she quickly fell for Dale Moss, Blake was smitten with the Bachelor Winter Games alum, whom he admitted to reaching out to via Instagram before the cameras started rolling. Despite his feelings for Clare, she left the show within the first two weeks of production to be with Dale.
“It ended so abruptly. It was easy to just be like, ‘OK, fair enough,’” Blake told Us Weekly in December 2020 about Clare leaving early. “She fell in love hard. And you know, she broke it off, like, too bad for us. It is what it is. It’s unfortunate, but that those things happen. I didn’t see it happening the way that it did, and I was shocked, but I got closure.”
After Tayshia arrived at the Palm Springs, California, resort to take over, Blake stuck around and started to fall for her too. He was eliminated before the hometown date during a December 2020 episode, and she ended up engaged to Zac Clark.
“The connection [I had with Tayshia] was very slow. But every time that we’d make a step, I think I opened her eyes more and more and more,” he told Us. “And I think you saw that a couple of times, like, ‘Every time I talk to Blake, he shows a different side of him.’ And that’s what happened. I think she had her guard up just like she said at the Men Tell All, I walked in with a red flag over my head [because I had feelings for Clare too].”
Fast-forward to 2021 and Blake tuned into Matt James’ season of The Bachelor and watched Katie pursue the former football player. As a result, he opted to return to the series after filming for season 17 began in March for a shot with the former banking manager. Former Bachelor Nick Viall, who filmed a guest spot on Katie’s third episode, told Us that Katie spoke to him about Blake during his visit, even though footage of him won’t air until week 4.
“I think Katie had met him. I don’t know for sure. She had told me about it and it was filmed. They didn’t use it, but it was filmed,” Nick said on Us’ “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast on June 22, noting that there’s “so many moving pieces” on The Bachelorette and too much to cover from the group date to introduce Blake just yet.
Tayshia, who is cohosting Katie’s season with Kaitlyn Bristowe, confirmed to Us that she spoke to Blake before he officially joined the season 17 cast.
“I was a little shocked! But in a good way,” Tayshia told Us in June. “I had a conversation with him and he’s a good man. So, if he felt like he wanted to show up and surprise someone, then I stand behind it.”
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Scroll through for Blake’s complete timeline with Katie and the ABC series: