He’s a catch! Bachelorette contestant Michael Allio is an early frontrunner on Katie Thurston’s season. The Ohio native, who is the father to son James, is giving love a second chance after his wife, Laura Ritter-Allio, died.
The 36-year-old’s biggest priority is his son, and he confirmed he’s allowed to FaceTime James, 4, daily, despite contestants not being able to have any access to technology while in the house. Katie, 30, acknowledged the “weight” of each rose she gives to Michael during the June 21 episode because she’s “also giving it to James.”
During his week 3 one-on-one date with the leading lady, he opened up the death of his wife. The two met in 2003 while attending Loyola University in Chicago and wed in September 2016. Seven months after giving birth to their son, Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 and died two years later in January 2019.
After sharing this story with Katie, Michael reflected on joining the cast of the reality dating show and possibly getting married again. “I look at it as what a gift to be able to fall in love twice,” he said.
In honor of Laura’s legacy, Michael founded the L4 Project, which offers support for families to “navigate the physical, emotional, institutional and financial complexities that come with a cancer diagnosis,” according to the website. In addition to running the non-profit, the Bachelor Nation newbie is also a founder and managing partner at Allstera, a company that sells sanitation products and PPE.
That being said, Michael “lives a life that is incredibly fulfilling” and “is more than ready to find someone to share it with,” his ABC bio reads.
“His dream woman is compassionate, empathetic, resilient and not easily offended. A witty woman with a funny bone and a self-deprecating sense of humor is a huge turn-on for Michael, and he loves when a woman has strong convictions and stands up against ignorance,” his bio continues, while adding he’s “serious” about finding love. “Michael says that life is short and that he’s ready to find a woman who makes him a better person every day that they are together.”
Good luck, Michael! If you can’t wait to see what happens between him and Katie, get up to speed on season 17 spoilers.