Kaitlyn Bristowe & Tayshia Adams on Mentoring Bachelorette Katie: 'We Were a Shoulder to Cry On'
Katie Thurston’s experience as the Bachelorette was particularly unique because she had two former leads — co-hosts Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams — acting as mentors throughout her search for love.
In a joint interview with the Washington Post published Monday, Kaitlyn and Tayshia opened up about their new roles within the franchise and helping Katie throughout the course of filming Season 17 at New Mexico’s Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa.
"For Katie, we’re mentors," said Tayshia, whose run as the Season 16 Bachelorette ended in 2020 with an engagement to fiancé Zac Clark. "We were just standing by her side and helping her navigate through these waters of being the Bachelorette, which are difficult waters to be in."
Kaitlyn — who led Season 11 of "The Bachelorette" in 2015 and is currently engaged to fellow franchise star Jason Tartick — added, "We were a shoulder to cry on, we were there to laugh. We’re there to keep extra eyes on some of the guys. And it’s definitely different because we’ve been in this position before."
Elsewhere, the duo explained how they balanced giving Katie advice and letting her make her own decisions.
“There werea couple of times I had to take a step back and realize that it was her journey and that she had to make these decisions for herself,” Kaitlyn said. “I’m sure a lot of times we would’ve been like: ‘No, he needs to go.’ But if she has feelings for him, who are we to say that?”
Tayshia agreed, explaining that she and Kaitlyn made a concerted effort not to encroach.
“And [Katie] would come to us. I always said: ‘Let her come to us,’” she recounted. “So that way, she can tell us what’s on her mind. We would always ask: ‘How are you feeling? What’s stressing you out? What’s going on?’ We wouldn’t overstep.”
During a recent chat with BachelorNation.com, Katie expressed her gratitude at having Kaitlyn and Tayshia by her side when her role as the Bachelorette became difficult to navigate.
“It was the best gift. It gave me comfort and this overwhelming joy, knowing that I’m going to have these two women helping me. It’s all I could ask for in this,” she said. “If it wasn’t for that sisterhood that I built with Kaitlyn and Tayshia, I don’t know if I really could’ve done it. They kept my spirits up and made me believe it was all worth it.”
“The Bachelorette” airs Mondays on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.