The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC

By Dory Jackson
July 19, 2021 10:00 PM
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This post contains spoilers from Monday's episode of The Bachelorette

With only one week until hometowns, Bachelorette Katie Thurston is narrowing down who she can see herself having a future with after admitting last week that she was feeling "overwhelmed."

"I'm actually really excited going into this week with this core group of guys who I have connections with and hopes for," Katie, 30, told Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe at the beginning of Monday's episode. "It just feels like a fresh start."

Asked by Tayshia, 30, whether she knew whose parents she wanted to meet, Katie said that "there are some guys who I feel very confident" about wanting to take that step with.

"I don't know who my final four guys are," Katie said. "I'm struggling a little bit, because this week I have two one-on-ones. And in some ways, I want to continue these strong relationships I have and use that to just strengthen our relationship, especially heading into hometowns."

The Bachelorette
Katie Thurston
| Credit: Craig Sjodin/abc

Katie acknowledged that there were two men — Brendan Scanzano and Mike Planeta — who had yet to receive a one-on-one date, which led her to question whether she should use the solo dates this week to "really explore that more." The reality star admitted that she was "kind of struggling" with deciding what she should do.

Before the first date card was distributed, Brendan, 26, told the guys that he felt "a little bit behind" and wanted to spend "the whole day" with Katie.

FIRST ONE-ON-ONE DATE

Katie picked Greg Grippo to go on the week's first one-on-one date, where she showed him a bit of her life at home in Washington. In a confessional, Katie said it was important that they get extra time together since "it really has been a while since we've been able to be alone."

Katie and Greg, 27, arrived at a place that mimicked Pike Place Market in Seattle. They playfully tossed around a fish, shared oysters, played a game of football and kissed after giving each other an arrangement of flowers. 

The Bachelorette
Credit: Craig Sjodin/abc

Sitting down to chat after a day filled with activities, the pair talked about their progression since week one and how hometowns week was approaching.

As Greg revealed how he hadn't introduced someone to his mom in "a long time" and that it is a "really serious" step for him, Katie asked if he was "ready" for them to take that step. Responding yes to her question, they then shared a kiss.  

"After spending today with him, I feel very confident in our relationship," she said in a confessional. "I just need him to really trust in this and be patient and hope that at the end of it, it was worth it."

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As Katie and Greg sat down for dinner, the twosome talked about how Greg had felt "insecure sometimes" having started his Bachelorette journey and related it back to being bullied growing up.

Still, he was "really excited" to introduce his family to Katie and said he was "falling in love" with her.

"I'm just happy I told you how I'm feeling," Greg said, as Katie responded, "It makes me really happy to hear."

The Bachelorette
Credit: Craig Sjodin/abc

Before giving him the one-on-one date rose, Katie told cameras that she "really" wanted to meet Greg's mom.

"Greg is somebody I'm definitely falling in love with," she said in a confessional as Greg said in his own on-camera interview: "I think that I've found the love of my life. She's made me love more than I ever thought I could."

GROUP DATE

Before Katie's suitors received the group date card, Brendan and Mike P. discussed their nervousness about not receiving a one-on-one date before hometowns week. Blake Moynes, Michael Allio, Andrew Spencer, Justin Glaze and Brendan's names were listed on the group date card.

"I'm happy for you, dude, because, like, you and I are in the same shoes," Brendan said to Mike P. after it was announced who would be attending the group date. "The biggest question is: Why am I still here? I didn't get time [on the] group date, I didn't get time [at the] cocktail [party]. I'm still here. Three great guys went home, why am I still here? I didn't get a one-on-one, why am I still here?"

Immediately after, Brendan paid Katie a visit to speak with her privately about where they stood — and she ended up sending him home.

"I want you to know that the first night I met you, you were bold and you always put me first and you were always intentional with our relationship. You've continued to put yourself out there, you've gone out of your way to make me feel special," she said. 

"I mean, even you being here right now and checking on me means a lot. You are somebody that I felt a connection with. I was like, 'This is somebody I really want to get to know more,'" she said. "But what I will say that is hard for me is because of hometowns being next week, I don't know that we could get there in time. At this point, given you coming here and talking to me, I just don't think it would be right to even make you go through that."

On the final group date of the season, Katie wanted to see Blake, 30, Michael A., 37, Andrew S., 26, and Justin, 26, "have fun and loosen up a bit."

She took them to create their own intimate paintings after seeing a series of sensual portraits. The men were asked to use Katie as their muse, which led Justin to paint a picture of his "journey" with Katie while Blake created something that couldn't be shown on television. 

The Bachelorette
Credit: Craig Sjodin/abc

During the night portion of the group date, Blake was the first to pull Katie aside. Though Katie said that it was "probably the easiest" with him since they are very much alike, Blake said that he was "not in love" with her, but that he believed it was "inevitable" that they would reach that point. Blake also said that he was ready for her to meet his family.

Justin brought Katie another painting and they discussed how "natural" their relationship felt, while Andrew S. opened up about how they would handle the future of his athletic career off-screen and recreated a special moment from their one-on-one date. He also told her he was "falling" for her.

Meanwhile, Michael A. admitted that this experience was "scary" but wanted to assure Katie that "nobody can love you like I can." Katie also answered multiple questions about their future together, including how his son would fit into the equation. 

Michael A. received the final group date rose.

SECOND ONE-ON-ONE

Mike P. headed out to meet Katie on their solo date, where she noted that she had a "fun" outing planned for them. A cuddle expert had them change into more comfortable clothing and practice different cuddle positions together. 

"Things are awkward but Katie's very calming. She is a nurturer, and man, do I love nurturers," he said. "She reminds me of my mom. My mom brings a nurturing touch to everything and every situation she comes in contact with. Katie does the same thing."

Mike P. said that they "were able to experience our first intimacy as a couple." After the cuddle expert left, Katie and Mike P. continued to cuddle alone as they talked about his virginity. Mike P. also told Katie that she reminded him of his mother because she could "take on people's feelings," which Katie said was both a good and bad thing. He also said he'd rather have his heart broken than to break someone else's heart.

The Bachelorette
Credit: Craig Sjodin/abc

Not long after, while Mike P. was sitting on a bench, Katie joined him. After hugging him, she began to tear up before sending him home.

"I can't deny the fact that, like, today strengthened us and bonded us more. And it's hard because, selfishly, [I'm like], 'Let me meet his family and keep him here. I want more of him.' But also, if I'm being honest with myself and like, the bigger picture of what this is, I know I do have stronger relationships," she explained. "It's tough because today would have had to really taken our relationship to the very top, and it didn't. I just don't think it would be fair to make you go to a dinner with me tonight. I don't think it would be fair to continue our journey and involve our families if deep down I know where my heart is headed. It's a hard decision to want to send you home."

Mike P. added, "I told you this and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, no matter what the result is, my respect for you is never going to change. I know what type of wife you're going to be and what type of mother you're going to be. One of those guys is really lucky."

ROSE CEREMONY

Katie had a talk with Tayshia and Kaitlyn, 36, before the rose ceremony about questioning whether she would make "the right decision" on who to eliminate. "I feel like I know what I'm going to do," Katie told Tayshia and Kaitlyn. "And the part where it hits me is when I picture myself seeing them. And that's when it hits, that's where it really hits." 

Heading into the rose ceremony, Katie told the guys that she was giving roses to people who she could "see a future" with. Blake and Justin received the final two roses, while Andrew S. was sent home. 

As she walked Andrew S. out, they had a tear-filled conversation about her decision. "You are such an amazing man," she told him. "And you give 100 percent to everything that you are passionate about, and that's what you deserve. And that's not something I could give you. I could not look at your mom or your sister in the eye and tell them what they would want to hear, because they know what you deserve. I know what you deserve."

After he left, Katie admitted to a crew member that she wasn't "fully confident" in her decision and continued to break down in tears.

The next day, Andrew S. visited Katie to make sure they ended on better terms.

"I hope you know that it wasn't, like, an easy decision. It was one of those things that it felt like, even up to like, the last, like, second … I think that's what makes it really hard. It was the first time I made a decision that I didn't feel confident about," she said.

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The Bachelorette suitors
Credit: Craig Sjodin/abc

Andrew S. said that "it was real" between them. "I can really say, you know, I fell for you. That's what, like, makes me, you know, in the pain that I have, it gives me comfort because you know, it's a feeling I've never really felt with anyone," he continued. "I'm super proud of you, and just love the woman you are. You are just incredible."

He then gave her a handwritten note before walking out, which read: "If you change your mind … I'll be waiting."

After reading his letter, Katie burst into tears and immediately ran after him. She leapt into his arms and asked him whether he would be interested in continuing forward in the competition.

He, however, turned down the opportunity even though it was "tough."

They shared one final kiss before he left the resort for good.

"I wanted to say yes. I'd love nothing more than to be with her," Andrew S. said in a confessional. "She f------ sprinted down the stairs, and I said no. But I want my future wife to choose me and, you know, I wasn't chosen. So I had to say no. I don't want to go through this with her again. I don't want to be standing at a rose ceremony, waiting for her to not choose me."

The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.