Katie Thurston may be ready for season 17 of The Bachelorette to end, but speculation about her final rose is only heating up after Greg Grippo’s dramatic exit. Us Weekly is recapping the Monday, August 2, episode of the ABC series — and breaking down the finale theories — on the “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.
While members of Bachelor Nation are split regarding Greg’s decision to quit Katie’s journey after he accused her of not being “real” regarding their relationship, some viewers wonder whether the 28-year-old New Jersey native could return during the three-hour finale. It seems unlikely, however, as Katie, 30, implied Greg is a gaslighter — sharing the definition of the term via Instagram — after the episode aired. Greg’s friend and fellow reality star Kaitlyn Herman, meanwhile, claimed via Twitter that he was “broken” when he returned home.
Katie’s other two finalists are Blake Moynes and Justin Glaze. While it’s possible she ends up with either guy, the former banking manager threatened to quit the show after Greg’s exit. She previously told Us Weekly that cohosts Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams stopped her from completely leaving the show.
“At that moment, I was at my lowest and really wanted to leave,” she recalled to Us in June. “And if it wasn’t for the amazing women who have been Bachelorettes before helping me navigate that, I probably would have. … I’m so thankful for all of them.”
Katie has also been vocal about how “not traditional” her finale will be, opening up even more possibilities. Discussing her claims that her ending has never happened before, Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon recently noted to Us that a midseason arrival of a past contestant has never won the series, signaling season 16 alum Blake as the clear choice. Katie, for her part, hinted at signs of trouble still ahead.
“If you think Blake’s sister is brutally honest … just wait until you see the season finale #TheBachelorette,” she tweeted on Monday. “S—t is about to get real.”
Other fans, however, have been holding out hope for Katie to reunite with single dad Michael Allio, who quit to reunite with his 4-year-old son, James, ahead of the hometowns. He made headlines last month when he commented on a sexy snap of Katie via Instagram, writing, “Can’t say with I’d like to …” with a series of fire emojis. His comment has since been deleted. Michael, 36, also admitted to still having feelings for Katie at After the Final Rose.
“When I’m up on stage with [cohosts] Tayshia and Kaitlyn, you know, they ask me if I still have feelings for her and I’m not gonna lie,” he recalled on the “3 Things to Know with Stephanie Haney” podcast earlier this month. “It would’ve been easy for me to say, ‘You know, watching this back all those feelings are gone, I’m happy for her,’ and give some polished answer. But I really can’t detach myself that quickly. So when I said that I still have feelings for her, that’s very much real. … Kaitlyn kind of threw me under the bus here, because I believe Katie is totally happy. As long as she’s happy, I’m cool. But even if Katie did want to leave with me, she couldn’t say that on TV there’s still two more episodes [left] … so it was a lose-lose [situation].”
Regardless of whether Katie ends up with a Neil Lane diamond (or even a boyfriend), After the Final Rose is set to bring the drama. In addition to Kaitlyn promising more from the Greg saga, Katie sent a cryptic tweet after the taping.
Responding to Madison Prewett tweeting, “Never trust your tongue when your heart is wounded. Hush until you heal,” Katie wrote, “Should have read this before AFR.”
The Bachelorette airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET. For a complete breakdown of Katie’s season, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.