About midway through Matt James' season, Katie Thurston was surprisingly sent home following what appeared to be a successful one-on-one date.
Katie's dismissal came as a shock to viewers, not only because Matt had seemed to enjoy himself on their date, but also because Thurston had become a major fan favorite in recent weeks.
After distinguishing herself as "Vibrator Girl" on night one, Katie set herself apart for her willingness to stand up to the "mean girls" in this season's contestant pool.
And while she may not have been Matt's cup of tea, it looks as though all the goodwill she built up among viewers has served Katie well - and proved The Bachelorette spoilers correct.
Reality Steve is reporting that she's the next Bachelorette.
It's unclear when this will be announced, but it looks like a done deal - and not one that everybody in Bachelor Nation is happy with.
Perhaps as a result of the mixed response, producers have also selected another runner-up from Matt James' season, and this second lucky lady will soon be filming her own season of The Bachelorette!
Here's a rundown of what this unprecdented move means for the future of the franchise:
It's Katie's Turn!
She may not be the most conventional choice, but it looks as though Katie Thurston will be the next Bachelorette.
A Divisive Decision
While her fans are ecstatic, many citizens of Bachelor Nation are not taking the news well at all ...
Katie may have offered some comic relief by bringing her vibrator with her on her first night at Nemacolin, but many fans thought she would be one of the first contestants to leave the resort.
The Silent Type
After all, Matt is a quiet, religious fella. Some folks have called him boring, but that's a conversation for another time.
Let's not forget -- soon after Katie arrived with her little friend, Matt became the first Bachelor in franchise history to kick off his tenure on the show with a group prayer. Awkward!
But it's not her ribald sense of humor or her candid discussion of her sexuality that's caused Katie's popularity to decline in recent weeks.
As you may recall, during her time on the show, Katie had a tendency to report problems in the house directly to Matt.
Quit Your Snitchin'!
Simply put, many viewers believe that Katie has shown herself to be a snitch.
Doing the Right Thing?
Granted, lots of fans applauded her for stepping up and putting a stop to the bullying and drama within the house.
While others complained that she went too far and should have spent more time focusing on her relationship with Matt, and less time worrying about the other women.
On to the Next One
Whatever the case, it seems that Katie's behavior worked out for her in the end.
Katie on Top
As for how the fans will react when she's officially announced as Bachelorette, well ... it seems that the majority of viewers (at least among the ones who responded to this poll) are still decidedly pro-Katie.
Of course, at the end of the day, Bachelor Nation is not a democracy, and Katie's fate is entirely in the hands of the show's producers, who obviously know her better than any of us.
Of course, Katie's housemates know her even better than the producers ... and their opinion of her seems to be rather mixed.
Take Serena Chew, for instance. She pointed out that all of the drama surrounding bullying and the behavior of the other girls seems to originate with Katie.
While that's not entirely true, there's no denying that Katie is something of a magnet for drama.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Drama is good for ratings, of course, but producers usually try to select a more low-key contestant, so as to not alienate viewers.
Or Rose, For That Matter ...
And whether you love her or hate, one thing is for certain -- Katie is no shrinking violet.
The Big (Unofficial) Reveal
But in the spirit of a new and more drama-free year, let's end by looking at some of the more positive to Reality Steve's bombshell Katie news.
Kate the Great
Katie's critics have been quite vocal -- but the good news is that her fans are even louder.
And if Twitter is any indication, that's a group that's growing larger by the day.
Cheers to a Real One
So raise your glass to the woman who will almost certainly be named the next Bachelorette in the very near future.
Out of the Frying Pan ...
After all, she's gonna need all the help she can get. The drama of Nemacolin is nothing compared to what Katie is about to endure.
As Katie has already learned the hard way, Bachelor fans can be a mighty opinionated bunch.
Up to the Task
But if anyone can handle them, it's the woman who had the nerve to meet Matt James with a vibrator in her hand!
UPDATE: Katie Won't Be Alone
In a shocking turn of events, it seems that Michelle Young has ALSO been singled out to star in her own season of The Bachelorette.
Quite a Consolation Prize!
Michelle, of course, made it to Matt's final two, but in the end, the final rose is gonna go to Rachael Kirkconnell. It's a decision Matt's probably regretting these days, but that's a conversation for another time.
A Long Wait
According to Reality Steve, Michelle's season won't begin filming until July, but there's a very good reason for that/
Committed to Young Minds
"The reason is that Michelle did not want to leave her class again to start filming in a few weeks (meaning she’d miss most of the remainder of her school year), hence the reason she is getting her own season this summer when she’s out of school," Steve reports.
Just when we thought we couldn't love Michelle any more, we learn that she's delaying her season so that she can continue teaching! We officially can't wait to see her take the reins as Bachelorette!
The Popular Choice
And this is one decision that we're sure the fans will love too!