LYNNWOOD — Katie Thurston is the nation’s most eligible bachelorette.
She’s also among Lynnwood High School’s most famous graduates.
The starlet of the ABC show “The Bachelorette” hails from Snohomish County.
Thurston, 30, was working at a bank in Renton when she scored the lead in the guilty pleasure TV show.
The series is a gender-reversed spinoff of “The Bachelor.” The woman picks over a pool of handsome hunks for potential husband material. It’s like a dating show, drama and soap opera rolled into one. Tune in at 8 p.m. Monday for romance and bromance.
Thurston had 30 suitors swooning over her on the season debut 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.
She decides who stays or goes. About a dozen dudes have been cut so far. The math teacher is still in the running.
There are spoiler alerts about her final four and gossip about which man came out on top.
According to bloggers, filming wrapped up in April, a week ahead of schedule on a closed set in New Mexico at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa near Albuquerque. It is unknown if she gets engaged.
This is season 17 of the series that starts with the gal greeting each gent individually. Thurston told a reporter that her finance background — she had to know her customer’s face and name — helped her remember everyone.
She began her show biz career earlier this year as a final-round contestant on “The Bachelor.” She gave the bachelor a sex toy.
That got her noticed, for sure, but she also took a stance against bullies on set and spoke up for what she believes in.
She’s still speaking up. On this week’s “The Bachelorette,” she talked about sexual assault.
“Ten years ago, it was New Year’s Eve and I had been drinking and I was involved in a situation where there wasn’t consent,” she told the men in a group session. “And I was in denial about what happened. For years I had a very unhealthy relationship with sex. … For a long time I felt responsible for being too drunk, too irresponsible, too stupid. It’s not my fault. Consent is important and I did not give it that night.”
Her Instagram blew up, even more than usual among her 700,000 followers.
“Love this week’s episode and your no b.s. attitude,” a fan commented.
On the show, Thurston said her parents divorced when she was a baby.
“We grew up very poor,” she said. “I went to five different elementary schools, so making friends sometimes was very hard.”
The Edmonds School District confirmed there was a Katie Thurston who attended Oak Heights Elementary in the sixth grade, Alderwood Middle School and Lynnwood High.
She was mentioned in Herald sports stories in 2008-09 as a player on the Lynnwood Royals varsity girls volleyball team.
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.
Yvonne De La Rosa, who worked for a law firm that was a client of the bank, remembers meeting Thurston on the project.
“She was really nice and friendly. It was fun to be doing volunteer work together with a peer that was beautiful and real,” said De La Rosa, now a Whidbey Island resident. “I am so happy for her. I hope she has a good experience on the show.”
First Financial Northwest Bank, which online lists Thurston as an employee in Renton, would not comment on her status when contacted by this newspaper.
Thurston is back in Washington. She threw out the first pitch at last Friday’s Mariners game. The batboy gave her a rose, which she then gave to the Mariner Moose mascot.
As for living happily ever after, time will tell.
In the 16 seasons of “The Bachelorette,” many of the couples who hooked up have split up.
Andrea Brown: email@example.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.
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