Michelle Young, star of The Bachelorette season 18, admits she didn’t see her breakup with Nayte Olukoya coming. The Bachelor season 25 finalist accepted the 27-year-old’s proposal in December 2021, during the finale of her season. However, Nayte and Michelle announced their split sixth months later, on June 17, 2022. Less than a month later, details are starting to be revealed.
Many viewers of the ABC series were shocked by the announcement. The two had a strong connection from the start, which led to Nayte getting the first impression rose. The pair also appeared to conquer many issues over their season and were openly making plans for the future. Their joint statement did not specify any particular reason for why things didn’t work out. However, Nayte quickly denied allegations of cheating on Michelle in a statement he posted on his social media. Now, Michelle is spilling more details on her split from Nayte, hinting she was just as shocked by the development as her fans.
Michelle appeared on the Tuesday, July 5 episode of Bachelor Nation podcast Almost Famous, alongside her Bachelor Happy Hour co-host Becca Kufrin. The 29-year-old opened up to Almost Famous hosts Ashely Iaconetti and Ben Higgins, admitting to “good days” and “bad days” since her engagement ended. When asked if she was blindsided by the split, Michelle carefully responded, “I will say this is not something that I foresaw and I’ll leave it there.” Michelle, who decided take a break from teaching shortly before the Nayte split, later added, “It’s definitely not something that I planned to have to work through this summer.” The Minnesota native continued, “sometimes we have to work through things that we did not plan for or that were not in our life plans.”
Despite being caught by surprise, the podcaster is focused on healing. “Where I’m at right now emotionally, mentally, like, how my heart feels — this is not how the story ends,” she declared, adding, “and I deserve to really make it to that point where I get those things.” In addition to her friends and family, Michelle also thanked former Bachelorettes Becca, Rachel Lindsey, Kaitlyn Bristowe, and Tayshia Adams for their support.
On the subject of plans not working out, the $200k ABC gifted Nayte and Michelle was also addressed. The money was meant to go towards downpayment on a house. Fans have wondered what will become of it now. Michelle revealed she was “crying on the phone with one of the producers,” after the breakup, asking if she could “give the money to somebody else.” At the moment, she admitted, there are no concrete plans. But she voiced hopes to use it “to give back…to build an organization or just promote the change that I’ve been talking about…I think that’d be something that I’d feel really good about.”
Michelle and Nayte’s breakup was the latest in a trend of Bachelorette splits, some of which were more shocking than others. This included Tayshia and Zac Clark who, like Michelle and Nayte, were beloved by fans. Meanwhile, the past two The Bachelor winning couples shocked viewers by staying together. Matt James and Rachel Kirkconnell split over her racially insensitive past, but quickly reconciled. Clayton Echard, named The Bachelor season 26 lead after competing for Michelle, has also managed to beat the odds with Susie Evans. While Michelle’s romances with Matt and Nayte didn’t work out, she could still find love within Bachelor Nation as Becca, Ashley I., and Kaitlyn have before her.