Us Weekly confirmed in March that the season 11 Bachelorette and season 16 lead were guiding Katie’s season after the longtime host stepped back amid backlash for his comments about season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who came under fire for her racially insensitive past.
“Their role is more experienced girlfriends to Katie and experienced contestants to the guys,” a source told Us Weekly in April, noting they were “brought in at the last minute” to fill in for Harrison.
During an exclusive interview with Us ahead of the June 7 premiere, Katie confirmed she didn’t know Tayshia and Kaitlyn were going to be part of her season until she arrived at the New Mexico resort.
“I thought, maybe, there’d be people helping with dates, you know, here and there, but I certainly did not expect to have both of them there with me the entire time,” Katie explained. “And so I think I was just, like, so overwhelmed. you see [me], like, crying of relief and happiness and excitement to have them there to help me.”
A second source told Us that Tayshia and Kaitlyn “had to learn how to cohost” after Harrison had the job for nearly two decades. “It’s taken time. They’re lovely to work with and they get along with the crew,” the insider said. “It’s just completely different with them cohosting.”
Katie, meanwhile, credits the two women for helping her stick out the journey when it got tough, admitting she nearly quit.
“I was at my lowest and really wanted to leave,” the former bank marketing manager said. “And if it wasn’t for the amazing women who have been Bachelorettes before helping me navigate that, I probably would have. And so, I’m so thankful for all of them.”
She added, “They gave me different advice, but, [both pieces of advice] stand out. Kaitlyn said, ‘Don’t fall in love with one person on the first night, be open.’ And then Tayshia was the one who said, you know, ‘Surrender to the process. Trust the journey.’”
The Bachelorette airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET. Scroll through for everything Tayshia and Kaitlyn have said about Katie’s journey: