The Bachelorette Season 18 Release Date, Cast, And How To Watch

Fans just watched Katie Thurston, the 17th lead of "The Bachelorette," ride off into the sunset of engagement bliss with winner Blake Moynes (despite her nearly walking off the show when fan-favorite Greg Grippo self-eliminated). Bachelor Nation is now locked into "Bachelor in Paradise" after a two-year break from the show as a result of COVID-19. As fans tune in twice a week to watch single contestants from Peter Weber's season, Clare/Tayshia's season, Katie's season, and even Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s season mingle and fight on the beach in Mexico, filming of Season 18 of "The Bachelorette" is well underway.

In a typical cycle, there is a season of "The Bachelor" followed by a season of "The Bachelorette," and the franchise's programming closes out with "Bachelor in Paradise." However, this year, ABC is airing a second season of "The Bachelorette" after "Paradise ends." A source told Variety this was because once Katie was all but chosen to be the next Bachelorette, Michelle Young "was such a star, the network couldn't imagine not having her lead her own season." 

Here's everything you need to know about Season 18 of "The Bachelorette."

When is Season 18 of The Bachelorette set to premiere, and where can you watch?

Michelle Young's journey to find love begins on October 19 at 8/7c, according to ABC. Fans can watch live on ABC or on-demand on and Hulu. Back home in Minnesota, Michelle is a teacher, so production coordinated filming to happen in the summer so she wouldn't miss time with her students. Filming reportedly began on July 30, according to Reality Steve. The founder of "The Bachelor" franchise, Mike Fleiss, tweeted the first official image of the 28-year-old educator filming her season on August 7.

Michelle's season is reportedly being filmed in Palm Springs, California, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, near her St. Louis Park, Minnesota home, per Marie Claire. There are no official reports about whether or not Michelle will travel to the hometowns of the final four men or anywhere else due to COVID. If it's anything like the past three seasons, Michelle will likely stay in one (or in this case two) places throughout filming. 

So, who is hosting Season 18, and who are the men that will be vying for Michelle's heart?

Who is hosting and who is competing on Season 18 of The Bachelorette?

Chris Harrison was removed as the host of the "Bachelor" franchise after his controversial comments during a conversation with Rachel Lindsay. Former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe took over the hosting gig for Katie Thurston's season of "The Bachelorette." So, will they be returning to help Michelle find love? The official Bachelorette Instagram account posted on August 2 that the duo would be returning as hosts. "We love queens supporting our queens! @tayshia and @kaitlynbristowe are returning to host #TheBachelorette this Fall!" the account shared alongside a photo of the pair, who also hosted the "Men Tell All" and "After the Final Rose" specials.

So, who are the men who will be vying for Michelle's heart? ABC's official Facebook account revealed the names, ages, and hometowns of the potential Season 18 contestants, via Us Weekly. They shared images of 35 eligible bachelors, which will be cut down to 25 by the time the show airs. They range from ages 25-38 and feature men from everywhere from the Dominican Republic and Argentina to Minneapolis, Minnesota, near Michelle's hometown. 

Fans will have to tune in to find out which men will get the opportunity to meet the 18th Bachelorette.