2021 is an exciting year for fans of “The Bachelorette.” For the first time in franchise history, Bachelor Nation will see two seasons released in one year. Season 17 is underway now, with Bachelorette Katie Thurston. Season 18 will be released in the fall and will feature Michelle Young. 

If both of those names seem familiar, it’s because they were contestants on Season 25 of “The Bachelor.” Fans and executives of the show were blown away by both women and decided each should have their own season. 

Related: Everything You Need to Know About “The Bachelorette”

Keep reading to get all the information you need to know about what’s happening with the current season and what to expect with the next season. 

What’s Happened This Season on “The Bachelorette”?

Season 17, with Bachelorette Katie Thurston, premiered on June 7, 2021. In a change from previous seasons, this season of “The Bachelorette” is being hosted by Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe rather than Chris Harrison. Both Adams and Bristowe are previous Bachelorettes and took over hosting duties when Harrison took an indefinite leave from the show after some controversial comments he made regarding a former contestant. Season 17 had its final rose ceremony during the season finale on Aug 9, 2021. 

Who Is the Bachelorette?

When Katie made her debut in season 25 of “The Bachelor,” she became a fan favorite from the beginning due to her sex-positive messaging and her support for the other women in a season full of infighting. Katie, aged 30, is a marketing manager from Washington. She’s known for her storytelling and her willingness to stand up for what she believes in. According to her Bachelorette biography, Katie is looking for someone who will laugh with her. 

Who Are the Contestants?

The season began with 30 suitors — plus one surprise contestant — from a wide variety of backgrounds and locations. 

  • Aaron, 26, is an insurance agent from San Diego, California.
  • Andrew M., 31, is a deputy district attorney from Newport Beach, California.
  • Andrew S., 26, is a pro football player from Vienna, Austria.
  • Austin, 25, is a real estate investor from Mission Viejo, California.
  • Brandon, 26, is an auto parts manager from Queens, New York.
  • Brendan, 26, is a firefighter trainee from Toronto, Canada.
  • Christian, 26, is a real estate agent from Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Cody, 27, is a zipper sales manager from San Diego, California.
  • Connor B., 29, is a math teacher from Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Conor C., 28, is a former baseball player from Costa Mesa, California.
  • David, 27, is a technical product specialist from Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Gabriel, 35, is an entrepreneur from Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Garrett, 29, is a software marketing manager from Salinas, California.
  • Greg, 27, is a marketing sales representative from Edison, New Jersey.
  • Hunter, 34, is a software strategist from Houston, Texas.
  • James, 30, is a software salesman from La Jolla, California.
  • Jeff, 31, is a surgical skin salesman from Jersey City, New Jersey.
  • John, 27, is a bartender from Pacific Beach, California.
  • Josh, 25, is an IT consultant from Miami, Florida.
  • Justin, 26, is an investment sales consultant from Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Karl, 34, is a motivational speaker from Miami, Florida.
  • Kyle, 26, is a technical recruiter from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Landon, 25, is a basketball coach from Dallas, Texas.
  • Marcus, 30, is a real estate agent from Portland, Oregon.
  • Marty, 25, is a dancer from Reno, Nevada.
  • Michael, 36, is a business owner from Akron, Ohio.
  • Mike, 31, is a gym owner from San Diego, California.
  • Quartney, 26, is a nutrition entrepreneur from Dallas, Texas.
  • Thomas, 28, is a real estate broker from Poway, California.
  • Tre, 26, is a software engineer from Covington, Georgia.
  • Blake Moynes, 30, is the surprise contestant this season.

What Are Some of the Most Memorable Moments?

Week three of the season showcased Karl attempting to create drama and finding out that Katie didn’t have the patience for it. After he was outed, she sent him home in a last-minute change of heart. 

It also didn’t take long for bachelor Thomas to be outed by fellow bachelors for his goal to become the next Bachelor for the franchise. This information resulted in Katie telling him to “get out” during the rose ceremony. 

Episode six of “The Bachelorette” saw Aaron being sent home. Aaron was known to fans for his difficult relationship with the other bachelors, especially Cody. They two knew each other, although not well, before the season. Aaron had told Katie Cody wasn’t there for the right reasons, leading to an altercation and both their eliminations in different episodes.  

Bachelor Andrew’s elimination brought fans to tears when Katie admitted she wasn’t falling for him. After leaving, he returned and visited Katie in her room to tell her he would always be there if she needed him, despite the elimination. In episode eight, one of the fan’s favorites, Michael, self-eliminated from the show after a tear-inducing phone call from his son helped him decide he couldn’t spend any more time away from family. Before leaving, he told Katie that she taught him how to love again, which has led to speculation that he’ll be chosen as the next Bachelor. 

The second to last season ended after a tearful breakup with Bachelor Greg and Katie in the bathroom threatening to leave the show and go home. Despite the threat, though, Katie stayed for the finale. 

Who Won “The Bachelorette” Season 17?

In the finale, Katie went on overnight dates with both Blake and Justin. However, during her date with Blake, they declared their love for each other. After letting Justin down gently, Blake got to meet Katie’s family. They asked some tough questions of both Katie and Blake, which caused Blake to get a case of the jitters. Have no fear, though, because when they met on the platform, Blake popped the question, and they got engaged. 

What to Know About the Upcoming Season of “The Bachelorette”

Season 18 of “The Bachelorette” brings not only new faces but also a new time slot — moving from Monday to Tuesday evenings. The two-hour premiere will air Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, at 8 p.m. EST. We’ll dive into everything you’ll want to know before the season launches below. 

Who Will the Bachelorette Be?

Michelle Young began her journey on “The Bachelor” late but quickly became a fan favorite. After making it to the final two, she was broken up with during the season finale. Michelle is a 28-year-old teacher living in Minnesota. In fact, Reality Steve reported that the reason Michelle got the later season is that she requested not to leave her students during the school year. 

In college, she played Division I basketball and now brings all that hard work to her class and her relationships. According to her Bachelor biography, Michelle says her dream man is someone who is “supportive and driven to make the world a better place.”

Can You Still Audition to Be on “The Bachelorette” for Next Season?

The unofficial list of 35 bachelors was recently released. Although there will likely be some changes before the season premiers, the franchise is no longer holding auditions. The list that was released is made up of men in their mid-20s to mid-30s and from a variety of backgrounds, including an engineer and someone who owns their own pizza shop. 

While you may have missed a chance to be on season 18, the popularity of the show makes it more than likely a 19th season will take place. If you’re interested in auditioning, the first step is to fill out an application, which can be found on BachelorNation.com

You can also complete a paper application and take it with you to one of the open casting calls held around the country. Make sure you take a look at the eligibility requirements before taking the first step. The requirements cover everything from being 21 and older to apply to not being a candidate for a political office. They also include information on what you’d be agreeing to as a contestant.

Where to Watch “The Bachelorette”

When season 17 ends, you’ll have to wait a few months for season 18 — but don’t worry. You can enjoy a new season of “Bachelor in Paradise” in between. That show premieres on Aug. 16.

Season 18 of “The Bachelorette” will premiere on Oct. 19, 2021, at 8 p.m. EST. You can watch it — and all of the Bachelor franchise seasons — unfold on ABC. Or, if you are a cable cord-cutter, stream it through the ABC app or your live streaming service. 

Get All the Latest Updates on “The Bachelorette” From BuddyTV

If you need help staying on top of all the details from “The Bachelorette,” “The Bachelor,” and the rest of the franchise, have no fear. Keep yourself up to date on the drama, the fantasy suites, group dates, rose ceremonies, and more with help from BuddyTV. We update our site regularly, so you won’t miss a moment of drama on your favorite shows, including “The Bachelorette.”

Laura Matney

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV