At one point, it looked as though Katie Thurston’s Bachelorette finale would be the most boring and uneventful in the show’s history.
Two men had already withdrawn themselves from the competition, and Katie sent Justin Glaze home before their scheduled one-on-one date, so we knew about 45 minutes into the broadcast that Blake Moynes would be receiving the final rose.
That would’ve been fine, were it not for the finale’s three-hour runtime.
Fortunately, there were still surprises around the corner.
First, we met Aunt Lindsey, arguably the most intimidating TV personality since Tony Soprano.
And then, in the After the Final Rose portion of the show, Katie let out her inner Aunt Lindsey by lashing out at Greg Grippo for the way he broke off their relationship.
Fans were puzzled by Katie’s reaction to Greg.
After all, she had just gotten engaged to a man whom she calls the love of her life.
A little anger at someone who you feel was unfair to you in a previous relationship is understandable, but Katie was more than a little angry.
On Twitter and elsewhere, many voiced the opinion that Katie had been unfair to Greg.
Some even went so far as to suggest that she seemed to think her search for love was more important than his, simply because she was the Bachelorette.
Indeed, the interaction seemed to suggest that there was more to Greg and Katie’s story than meets the eye, and it’s not hard to see why so many concluded that Thurston still has feelings for Grippo.
That remains undetermined, but Greg has continued to comport himself well and explain his position in a compelling fashion.
Case in point: Greg appeared on Nick Viall’s "Viall Files" podcast this week, and he was refreshingly candid about the whole ordeal:
“I was confused after I initially left after AFR because I really wanted to end it off on a good note between us,” the New Jersey native told Nick on Wednesday.
“But I saw how hurt she was and so I really tried to watch back the second time from her lense. And yeah, I mean, I was ashamed about how I reacted in those moments. She didn’t deserve it plain and simple. It wasn’t fair to her.”
As for the rumors that Grippo is an aspiring actor who was only using the show to boost his career, Greg says they’re completely baseless:
“To bring up the acting stuff, I’d rather people say, ‘Oh, he was acting,’ than to look myself in the mirror and be like, you know, ‘I still have work, obviously, to do on myself.’ I projected a lot on her,” he said.
“And it was my own fears and insecurities, my own sadness, my own anger. And yeah, a lot of that has to do, you know, with what I haven’t processed," Greg continued.
"Even my brother [said] it during my hometown, I haven’t really talked much about my dad, you know, I tried going to therapy right off the bat. And only went for a limited amount of time.”
From there, Greg recalled the breakup, and it seems that he simultaneously regrets his actions, and feels that he did the right thing.
“I felt like it wasn’t going to be me in those moments. I mean, me leaving, it was one of the hardest decisions ever,” Greg told Viall.
“I remember calling my mom, she’s like, ‘What the hell happened?’ You know, she thought I was just gonna, like, tell her that I just got engaged.”
As for Katie, she recently explained her emotional reaction to Greg’s appearance on After the Final Rose:
“We watched [my breakup with Greg] right before going into filming After the Final Rose, so there was a lot of emotions that I felt that I didn’t feel in the moment with Greg,” Thurston told Us Weekly.
“And that’s what people need to remember is After the Final Rose is about kind of speaking your own truth and getting it out there for that final closure. And really that’s what Greg and I both were able to do," she continued.
"And we’re ready to just close that door forever and move forward. You can be happy and in love in your relationship, but still be upset with how someone treated you in the past and you want to speak on it.”
Greg says he considered reaching out to Katie to explain the rumors about his acting career, but he feared that doing so might be inappropriate.
"I told Katie AFR, like, I really wanted to reach out to her when this was all coming out, but I didn’t want to step on Blake’s toes at all or, you know, I figured that they were engaged at that moment," he said.
"And Blake’s an awesome guy and I just like didn’t want to cross any boundaries.”
At the end of the day, it sounds like two decent people let their emotions get the best of them, and then millions of people judged them harshly on the basis of their lowest moments.
It’s harsh — but that’s what reality TV is all about.