In teaser photos released by ABC ahead of the franchise’s June premiere, the 30-year-old looked stunning in a red lace gown with a v-neckline. She was all smiles in the snapshots as she stood outside of the New Mexico shooting location to greet her hopefuls.
In the first promo video for the Washington native‘s season, Katie revealed that she was determined to find someone she connects with this season after splitting from season 25 Bachelor lead Matt James. “I am who I am, and I wanna meet someone who knows who they are,” she asserted at the end of the sneak peek clip, posted on April 25. “My person’s still out there.”
She revealed following the breakup with Matt, 29, that she “just didn’t see” the split coming at all. “I just felt like the blood drain from my face when he started to tell me that I wasn’t getting the rose tonight,” Katie said. “I was already picturing what it would be like to spend time with him at a football game with Tyler [Cameron] and his friends and my friends. Yeah, you start painting your future, only for it to be erased.”
The former volleyball player opened up about taking on the lead role and exploring her options during the season 25 After the Final Rose special in March. “I’m ready to find love, and not just, like, the temporary kind. I’m talking forever, my husband, and I’m in a place in my life where I feel like I’m the best version of me,” Katie told sports analyst Emmanuel Acho, who filled in after Chris Harrison stepped back from his hosting role in the franchise. “Honestly, I’ve seen it work before, why can’t it work for me?”
Us Weekly confirmed on April 27 that the reality star’s season wrapped one week early. An insider told the outlet at the time, “Katie was in control and made sure the men she wanted were there and the men she wasn’t interested in, she sent packing.”