After a steamy summer of “The Bachelorette,” the world found out last week that Katie Thurston is engaged to a bloke named Blake, from Canada.
But did you know that she’s not the hopeless romantic from Renton that so many media accounts have led you to believe?
She’s from Everett.
What’s up with that?
In a recent phone interview with The Daily Herald, the 2009 Lynnwood High graduate talked about her Snohomish County roots.
“I just bought my condo (in Renton) about a year ago. Before then I’d always lived in the Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds area. Everybody is there. Even my dentist, doctor. My whole life is there. This is home,” she said.
“Everett is where I grew up when I was a child. My mom lives in Everett and my aunt lives in Sedro-Woolley.”
We’ll get to her now-infamous Aunt Lindsey later.
Thurston, 30, has been engaged since April after a two-month dating bonanza on the closed set of the ABC TV reality show in New Mexico, at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa.
The three-hour reveal with the three finalists aired Aug. 9.
Greg Grippo, the fan fave and frontrunner, broke up with her.
“I deserve more,” Greg told her after she ran after him.
She ended it with runner-up Justin Glaze, who’d made it to the final round by default anyway.
Last man standing was Blake Moynes, who then had a cold-feet moment looking at rings.
Three long hours of drama it was.
Thurston, a Renton bank marketing manager, launched her TV career as a contestant on “The Bachelor” when she gave that season’s hunk a sex toy.
She scored the lead in season 17 of “The Bachelorette,” a gender-reversed spin-off in which the woman picks over a pool of handsome hunks for potential husband material.
She had 30 suitors swooning over her on the first episode June 7. Contenders included a math teacher in a cat costume, a motivational speaker on a skateboard and a firefighter with a broad smile and big abs.
How many of the 30 did she kiss?
“All of them. Honestly,” she said.
Not just merely kissed them, but like really kissed them?
“Um, yeah,” she said.
You quickly learn to block out the cameras, she said.
What’s the most guys she’s dated — before this — at one time?
“One,” she said. “I only date one guy at a time.”
Blake, 30, a burly wildlife manager whose meme is Sulley from “Monsters, Inc.,” is no virgin when it comes to trying to get a wife on TV.
He dated two prior Bachelorettes.
“There were two bachelorettes and neither wanted you,” Aunt Lindsey told him on last week’s season finale.
Aunt Lindsey didn’t stop there.
“Like, you ultimately mean nothing,” she said. “I hate to break it to you, but like, you better be secure as (expletive) coming in our family. Because at the end of the day, you’re here because we want you here, not because we need you here.”
Thurston’s mom, who was not named on the program, was the good cop. She just wanted her daughter to be happy.
“That’s all that matters to a parent,” she said on the show.
Thurston’s parents divorced when she was a baby and she attended five different elementary schools.
At Lynnwood High School, she said her best times were playing volleyball on the Royals varsity team.
“Volleyball games are so much fun in the way students came and hyped us up,” she said.
She wanted to be a vet but instead of attending Washington State University she worked in banking after community college.
Thurston was featured on The Herald’s “Way to Go” page in 2018 as part of a group of volunteers from First Financial Northwest Bank and Edmonds Young Professionals who packed 135 backpacks with school supplies for the YWCA’s School Days drive.
She plans to show her beau her favorite places.
“I love Ono Poke in Edmonds,” she said. “I just love Edmonds in general. That’s where I spent a lot of time.”
Steven Ono, owner of Ono Authentic Hawaiian Poke, met Thurston when she came in with her Edmonds bank colleagues.
“We all hit it off as friends. She has always been kind of the same person you see on TV, just really down-to-earth, genuine,” Ono said.
He said Thurston has stopped by for spicy salmon several times since the show ended. She gave Ono Poke a shout-out on Instagram, where she has about 1 million followers.
“She supports everybody in the community still. Not just us. She never forgets where she’s from,” Ono said.
Thurston also promoted donating items to a Seattle shelter for homeless women and children.
She plans to move to San Diego for “the sun” and to explore career options. This week she’s in Ontario with Blake and her future in-laws.
Most of the relationships during the previous 16 seasons of “The Bachelorette” didn’t last.
Social media can be brutal.
Comments about Blake include: “Katie, we all know he was your consolation prize.”
Others called him “a serial love bug.”
“So, this is the one now?” his sister said on the show, pointing out how he was in love with two former bachelorettes.
“Katie Thurston finally chose her future ex-fiance,” guest host David Spade said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Thurston shrugs it off.
“I don’t believe there’s a right way to fall in love or to find your person,” she said. “To the skeptics, I say, ‘I don’t care. See you in a year.’”
Until a week ago, she had to keep her April engagement under wraps.
“We would meet up in secret locations. We’d fly in separately, go in separate cars,” she said. “We’re just living life, trying to get situated in our relationship and where we want to plant roots.”
On “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Spade quizzed the couple how many times they had “made whoopee.”
She said 43. He said 30.
Well, which is it?
“I’m sure it’s just somewhere in between,” she told The Herald.