Prior connection? It appears Bachelorette star Katie Thurston and newcomer contestant Blake Moynes knew each other before filming.

The leading lady, 30, admitted the former contestant from Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams’ season slid into her DMs before she began her journey to find love on season 17. Blake, 29, surprised fans by appearing during week 4 of Katie’s season. 

Did Katie Thurston Know Blake Moynes Before Bachelorette?
ABC; Blake Moynes/Instagram

“I definitely knew who he was, which [he is] also Tayshia’s ex-boyfriend! So that’s weird,” the former banking marketing manager told Us Weekly about the Canadian stud in early June. “We had chatted before, but usually what happens is, like, the guys will reach out to the women once they’re eliminated and be like, ‘Good luck, you did great.’ Like very generic, you know? And so to see him, I was like, ‘Why is he here?’ Like, ‘What’s happening?’”

Bachelor Nation alum Nick Viall spilled more details about Katie and Blake’s prior relationship during an appearance on the “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast on June 22. 

The former Bachelor acknowledged he didn’t “know the back story” of the Washington native and her newbie contestant, but he thought Katie had “met” with Blake at some point. “She had told me about it, and it was filmed. They didn’t use it, but it was filmed,” Nick revealed, adding that there’s “so many moving pieces.”

The Wisconsin native was able to speak on personal experience given he entered Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season during week 4 after the two had a brewing romance beforehand. 

“It sounds like there was some dialogue between Katie and Blake. I don’t think it was to the degree that it was with [me and] Kaitlyn,” Nick said. “[For us], it was like a pretty intense, you know, two months of dialogue, but I do think Blake will go far.”

That being said, viewers watched the wildlife manager fall for two women during season 16. “Blake is going to get crap, obviously, for someone who fell in love with Clare without validation, fell in love with Tayshia without validation,” Nick continued. “So, when he’s [saying], ‘I’m in love with Katie,’ it’s fair to question [it] … I don’t question that he believes what he says. I just kind of question, like, ‘Do you just kind of love hard, bro?’”

What does the future hold for Katie and Blake? Click here for spoilers!