It’s time for Katie Thurston’s journey as Bachelorette to begin, which also means Bachelor Nation is about to meet the many eligible bachelors vying for her heart. Time will tell which guys go on to become fan-favorites, but one contestant seems destined to tug on viewers’ heartstrings. I’m talking about The Bachelorette’s Michael Allio, who just may be one to watch.
The 36-year-old resides in Akron, Ohio, and works as an entrepreneur, but he has an even more important job title: single dad to his 4-year-old son James (that also explains why one of his Bachelorette “Meet the Men” fun facts is his ability to make a “mean plate of dino nuggies”). After his wife Laura died of breast cancer in 2019, Michael started an apparel company called the L4 Project in her honor. According to the L4 Project’s official website, the company “raises awareness about and works to address the social, emotional, institutional, and financial challenges that accompany a battle with cancer and the corresponding implications on individuals and families.”
Fans have learned plenty of emotional backstories on Bachelor Nation shows over the years, but Michael’s story is shaping up to be one of the most poignant ones yet.
Despite everything he’s been through, Michael seems ready to pursue love again. According to his ABC bio, the “aspiring do-gooder” is looking for a witty, strong woman who stands up against ignorance and is serious about a long-term relationship. If you saw Katie on Matt James’ Bachelor season or watched even one of her TikToks, it’s clear she fits that description pretty perfectly. And like Katie, Michael notes he already has an “incredibly fulfilling” life — he’s just looking for a partner to share it with again. But should Michael wind up being Katie’s Final Rose recipient, she needs to be ready to become an instant step-mom to James, because the two are a package deal.
Katie is ready to find her forever-man, and if she ends up with Michael, she can look forward to having two very special guys in her life.
Season 17 of The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.