If you watched Matt James's Bachelor season, you're likely familiar with Michelle Young—the 28-year-old elementary school teacher from Minnesota who was the runner-up to season 25 winner Rachael Kirkconnell. After James made his decision, fans were eager to see where Young would land next and thrilled to learn during the After the Final Rose special that she would become the lead of season 18 of The Bachelorette. Young's season will premiere after Katie Thurston's season and after Bachelor in Paradise.Ahead, everything we know so far about Young's Bachelorette season, including the premiere date, contestants, film location, spoilers, and more.
When will Michelle's season start?
ABC announced Young's season will premiere on Tuesday, October 19 at 8 p.m. ET. Filming reportedly began on July 30. Apparently ABC and Young coordinated this schedule so Young could film during summer vacation and wouldn't miss out on time with her students. Here's the first pic from the season:
In the meantime, Bachelor in Paradise will air on ABC on August 16, 2021.
Who will host Michelle's Bachelorette season?
Definitely not Chris Harrison. Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe hosted Thurston's season, and People recently confirmed that they will be hosting Young's season as well. Originally, Adams and Bristowe told The Hollywood Reporter that if they didn't host Young's season, they would love to see other women hold the job.
"We’d love to be a part of it," says Bristowe. "And even if it’s not us, we would love to see women involved." "Absolutely," Adams continues. "If it’s not us, we would love to see women involved. I think Katie has even spoken to the fact that it really helped her and encouraged her. It’s a very different experience."
Where will Michelle's season be filmed?
It's unclear whether or not the same COVID-19 protocols will be in place as James's Bachelor season, which means Young's Bachelorette season could film anywhere and perhaps even in multiple locations. It's currently reported that Young's season is being filmed at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa near Palm Springs, California, followed by the Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Reality Steve posted a behind-the-scenes look at Young's season last week, in which Young and Adams were photographed filming by the Stone Arch in Minneapolis. He also reported that the show was filming the episode before hometown dates, as of August 23.
Reality Steve has also confirmed that the show has planned to film regular hometown dates this season, with Young traveling to each of the final four contestants' homes. However, he also added, "I do not know if that changes now due to the Delta variant. I guess we’ll see as they get closer to hometowns."
Who are the Bachelorette contestants for Michelle's season?
ABC dropped the full list of Young's 35 contestants earlier this month. Though most of the men look like typical Bachelor contestants, the roster does skew older, with most of the men in their late 20s to early 30s. Here's a refresher on Young's ideal man, per ABC, so you can get an idea of what she's looking for:
"As a partner, she describes herself as loyal, compassionate and supportive, and shows love through acts of service. Her dream man is confident but not cocky and will look at her as his equal in all things...Michelle has big dreams for the future and says she wants a man by her side that is supportive and driven to make the world a better place."
What about the rest of the controversy with the franchise?
The Bachelor franchise is attempting to work on its diversity problem both behind the scenes and on camera. Variety reported that The Bachelor just named Jodi Baskerville its first Black executive producer. Baskerville has been with the franchise for a decade and will begin her new role during Young's season.