Double roses: Promos for the first back-to-back seasons of ‘The Bachelorette’ show stark contrast in quality

Anya Grondalski, Staff Writer

On Aug. 31, ABC released the official trailer for Michelle Young’s Bachelorette season.

Illustration by Connor Lawless

Every show in “The Bachelor” franchise proves to enter uncharted territory and be full of wild surprises. 

In 2020, “Pilot” Pete Weber left with Hannah Ann Sluss, only to call off their engagement so that he could date runner-up, Madison Prewett. After the break-up, he got together with another contestant from his season, Kelley Flanagan, who he dated for eight months. Clare Crawley left her season on “The Bachelorette” with Dale Moss just 12 days into filming, so Tayshia Adams jumped in to finish the season during the height of COVID-19 last summer. Matt James was cast as the first-ever Black bachelor in January of 2021 but had a complicated ending as his final pick Rachael Kirkconnell fell under scrutiny as a photo recirculated of her attending an antebellum-themed party in 2018. 

As you can see, anything #bachelornation is always messy, which is why I love the franchise.

At James’ “After the Final Rose” television special, it was announced that for the first time in history we would have two “Bachelorette” seasons back-to-back. The first season just aired, with Katie Thurston getting engaged to Blake Moynes, a competitor for both Crawley and Adams — third time’s the charm, I suppose. 

The second season will star Young as the lead, James’ runner-up who joined the show in week 3. However, her delayed entrance didn’t put their relationship at a disadvantage. At the “After the Final Rose” special, James said, “And I always tell people who ask that you weren’t late — you were right on time.” 

I was very excited about this news, as I loved both women on James’s season. I was especially attracted to Thurston’s energy, as she came across as a very boss girl on television. I could only imagine how great a season dedicated to her love story could be. 

Young is projected to finish filming her season two weeks into September, and it will debut Oct. 19. You can watch the promo here

Aside from the excitement surrounding the new #bachelornation content, many have noticed the glaring differences between Young’s clearly highly budgeted promo and Thurston’s white wall and a t-shirt. Young is seen glimmering from head to toe, walking through a path from flower-adorned halls, to a diamond basketball hoop, ending off in a classroom with bursting red apples. Not only is the setting and editing more high-end, but Young is also seen wearing a custom-designed gold gown. Thurston wore a white top and purple leather skirt, which many people commented was worn backward. She does a quick outfit change, which Young did not do, into a tacky prom dress and a white t-shirt that says “Be a Katie.” 

One Instagram comment from user @steph.ferriswheel on Sept. 2, read, “they spent more money on flowers for Michelle’s promo than they spent on everything for Katie’s season.”

There has been speculation that producers disliked Thurston during her season. Fans quickly noticed that no producers took to social media to congratulate Thurston and her fiancé Moynes on their engagement, as has been the tradition for previous bachelor couples.

Thurston is also known for her brutally honest nature and sex-positive attitude. Her “night one” entrance on James’s season was complete with a purple dildo. During the season she was presented as someone who did not tolerate bullying from the other contestants. She approached her own Bachelorette journey with what #bachelornation described to be a “take-no-nonsense” attitude, sending home any man that she had reservations about without discussion. Fans of the show remember her infamous handling of a situation regarding contestant Thomas Jacobs, whom she sent home week four saying “Your bachelor audition ends tonight. So get out.” 

However, Thurston seems relatively unbothered by the difference in fashion and video quality between the promo videos, posting a tweet that read “Y’all – I wore a rubber purple skirt (backwards) which was a shoutout to my vibrator. Regardless, I found love and I hope Michelle does too.”

Regardless of the differences between these two promotional videos, both Thurston and Young were great picks for Bachelorette. While Thurston refreshed the franchise with a more liberal and real approach, Young will bring a fun, athletic and honest energy to her season.