It’s safe to say Greg Grippo’s first impression rose has wilted. Season 17 Bachelorette Katie Thurston’s relationship with her front-runner crumbled ahead of the finale — and things just keep getting messier.
Greg, a 28-year-old account manager from New Jersey, caught the eye of the 30-year-old Bachelorette during the June 7 premiere, landing the coveted first impression rose.
“What I loved about Greg is he was just true to himself, which was this very nervous, very uncomfortable guy,” Katie exclusively told Us Weekly in June. “He didn’t try and act cool or, like, be this guy that he’s not. He was just like, ‘This is me and I’m really freaking scared.’ And I thought it was really endearing, you know? And I could tell as long as he opened up, there was something more there. And so I thought, you know, giving him the first impression rose would give him that validation of, ‘I’m into you. Let’s figure this out.’”
During their first one-on-one date, which aired on the June 14 episode, Katie admitted to ABC cameras that she was already “falling” for Greg. The pair’s relationship continued to progress, with Greg getting another one-on-one date on the July 19 episode.
Things took a turn, however, when Greg felt Katie dismissed his feelings after he confessed his love for her on his hometown date.
“I am in love with you. You just make me the happiest I’ve ever been. I see it with you. This is real to me,” Greg told Katie on the August 2 episode. “I haven’t been this vulnerable with anybody in my life. I don’t know what else to show you at this point or what else to tell you at this point. I know in my heart I’m not going to have any regrets after this. I’m not going to get down on one knee twice. It’s a one-deal thing for me.”
The former banking manager, who previously noted she was waiting to drop the L-word until the finale, subsequently replied, “I just love looking at you,” which upset Greg.
“I expressed that I do love you. I felt like I was telling that to a stranger. … This whole entire time has felt like Katie to me, and that night, I was thinking that I was expressing my love to my future wife, and you didn’t even feel it,” he said. “You just completely dismissed it in my eyes. … As much as it hurts me, I’ve reached my breaking point with this. I gave you everything. I really hope you find something.”
Katie, for her part, was in disbelief and tried to reassure Greg that he was getting a rose and her No. 1. He still left, accusing her of not being real.
“I’m, like, shaking. … I didn’t see any of this happening,” she said. “I really don’t know what to say, because I have given you everything. I’ve been nothing but honest with you the entire time, and I felt nothing but confidence in us the entire time until that very final moment of that night … I’m telling you everything and you still won’t even believe me! I’m losing you. I’m losing my mind here! This whole thing feels like [it’s] for nothing if you leave.”
After Greg officially walked away, Katie threatened to quit the show. The former couple is set to reunite during the After the Final Rose finale special on August 9.
Scroll through for a breakdown of the drama between Katie and Greg — and for a tease of what to expect at AFR: