There are no winners in Katie & Greg’s break-up

The Bachelorette Season 17 highlights issues in the show’s environment

Katie and Greg grapple with a public breakup after ‘The Bachelorette.’
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This season of The Bachelorette had it all: drama, romance, and one of the messiest break-ups in the franchise’s history.

The infamous break-up between the season’s lead Katie Thurston and fan favourite Greg Grippo has divided the internet. While it’s easy to plant yourself in either Camp Katie or Camp Greg, both were at fault in the break-up. More than anything, their split reflects the fierce stressors in the show’s environment.

Katie and Greg’s relationship imploded in episode nine. After introducing Katie to his family, Greg tells her he’s in love with her, that she makes him the happiest he’s ever been, and that she fills the hole in his heart that has existed since his dad passed away.

Katie responds with, “I just love looking at you.”

This sounds bad—because it is. Katie should have said something other than “I just love looking at you” after Greg poured his heart out to her.

With that being said, Greg overreacted and handled the situation poorly. His feelings seemed to change overnight, from planning to propose to being sure the relationship could never work.

And something about the conclusion of their break-up—Katie on her knees, begging Greg to listen to her, while he says, “I deserve more,”—just doesn’t sit well with me. 

So, both parties were at fault. 

Katie and Greg were forced to discuss the situation again during the “After the Final Rose” special, in which the lead sits down with the hosts to recap the season and discuss their relationship status. The two of them rewatch their break-up and answer probing questions about it—all in front of a live studio audience. It’s all very Hunger Games.

Because of the very public environment, both Katie and Greg arguably felt the need to take back control of their break-up. This is very human instinct—to make sure people understand a story from your perspective. When audiences judge you based on what happens on the show, justification feels all the more crucial.

On the special, Katie says that Greg never really loved her, he never wanted to get engaged, and he came on the show “for the acting practice.” She even goes as far as saying he was gaslighting her—which just isn’t true, given the actual definition of the word.

There are no winners or losers in Katie and Greg’s break-up. Neither truly admit fault, and I think this reflects the public nature of the show—again, both felt pressure to take back control.

Both Katie and Greg struggled with the realities of The Bachelorette environment. Throughout the season, Greg struggled with the competition of the other men. Katie struggled to reconcile her feelings for Greg with her feelings for Blake and Justin, the two other men remaining. 

On The Bachelorette, contestants are placed under constant scrutiny, with cameras pushed in their faces when they are deeply hurting. Plus, the show is heavily edited to warp what really happens to contestants into something that’s watchable and entertaining to audiences.

I’m not in Camp Katie or Camp Greg. I’m in camp This Show is Really Weird and Stressful and Hard. As an audience member, it’s impossible to know what really happened with Katie and Greg. But, regardless of who or who wasn’t at fault, they’re both humans with feelings.

No matter who’s side you’re on, neither Katie nor Greg deserves to be attacked on the internet. Let’s save that for Chris Harrison.

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