Kaitlyn Bristowe on Co-Hosting Katie Thurston's Bachelorette Season: 'It Was Nice to Be a Mentor'
"'My gosh, it would have been so nice to have this when we were the Bachelorette, to have women who have been in our shoes before come in and be there,' " said Kaitlyn Bristowe
During an appearance on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast on Tuesday, Bristowe shared how "fun" it was for her and fellow co-host Tayshia Adams to be a part of Thurston's journey on the ABC reality series, which was filmed in New Mexico.
"I think when you talk to networks and TV shows and people that are pitching things, I think the one common thing people want to see is community, women empowerment. I think people want to see love, happy relationships — relatable things, which this season is full of relatable things," Bristowe, 35, said on the podcast. "I think people will really enjoy this little — I don't know how to explain it — a refresh of being the support system of having two women there."
"One thing we kept saying is, 'My gosh, it would have been so nice to have this when we were the Bachelorette, to have women who have been in our shoes before come in and be there.' If it's just a shoulder to cry on, if it's you need advice, if you're feeling alone in it or if you're feeling like you can't do it, which we all feel at a certain point," she continued.
While the Dew Edit designer explained how it "was really nice to be there as a mentor and support system" for Thurston, 30, she also noted how it was "nice to just be on the other side of it and see how much effort and compassion and hard work" is put into making the show a reality.
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Bristowe additionally revealed that she was able to "find a bond" with Adams, 30, while they supported Thurston on her journey.
In February, longtime Bachelor host Chris Harrison revealed that he was temporarily stepping away from the franchise after his controversial defense of Rachael Kirkconnell — Matt James' final pick who came under fire for past racially insensitive actions. PEOPLE then confirmed in March that Bristowe and Adams would appear as co-hosts in Harrison's place.
Days later, Thurston was announced as the season 17 lead during The Bachelor's After the Final Rose special. Michelle Young, who competed alongside Thurston for James' final rose, was also tapped to star on the long-running reality series. Her season is set for this fall.
When Bristowe teased Thurston's season early last month, the Dancing with the Stars champion said that she advised the season 17 lead "to not try and control the narrative."
"[I always say] to be authentic to who you are," Bristowe told Hollywood Life on May 3. "There's a lot of pressure from the world watching, and a lot of times you get in your head about what they would want to see and how it might be portrayed, but you can't let that drive the narrative of the story."
"It has to be truly authentic to yourself and how you're feeling, no matter who you're going to piss off," she added.
The Bachelorette returns June 7 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.