Mike Planeta, one of the 30 men Katie Thurston began her journey with on the most current season of The Bachelorette, has spilled juicy behind-the-scenes secrets of the ABC dating show.
The San Diego, California gym owner shared that his unlikely casting on the show turned into an experience he will never forget as he quickly found himself thrust into a situation where he formed a close bond with virtual strangers as they waited their turn to impress Katie on and off-camera.
Mike made it to the top six of the Washington native’s season before being eliminated in Week 7.
The duo participated in an experience which was meant to strengthen their physical relationship. A woman named Cuddle Queen Jean instructed the couple to form a close, physical bond with one another.
“We just couldn’t take the [Cuddle Queen Jean] seriously,” Katie revealed in an interview for Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Off the Vine podcast. “It was supposed to be a very intimate, serious moment. And the thing that people don’t know is Mike actually has a really great sense of humor and a really raunchy sense of humor. So him and I, we were just having a blast together, not taking it seriously, which was not the goal, not the task.”
Bachelor Nation would later drag Mike for telling Katie that she reminded him of his mother in that intimate moment. She would defend Mike by telling Kaitlyn that she found the comment “endearing.”
Mike Planeta spills behind-the-scenes gossip
Mike shared that life as a contestant on the reality show isn’t as glamorous as viewers imagine.
In an interview with AZ Central, Mike explained that while the men awaited their chance to spend time with Katie, they played endless games of cornhole.
Cornhole is a lawn game in which opposing players take turns throwing one-pound bags of corn kernels toward a raised board that has a hole at the top. Play of the game continues until either a team or player reaches or exceeds 21 points.
“So this wasn’t shown, but there was a big rivalry in cornhole, and … Michael A. and I were always paired, and then Andrew Spencer would always have a different partner. Most of the time, it was him and Justin. And sometimes Greg would pop in, too,” he admitted.
“You’re going stir crazy because you’ve been there for a month, and you’re kind of brothers at that point. So we would literally play cornhole for like three hours a day, and we would just keep score throughout the week,” Mike continued.
How did the men pass the time when they weren’t filming?
During their off-time away from The Bachelorette’s ever-present camera crew, the men of the season reportedly had some in-depth conversations.
“If you are not on a date, you had to sit and communicate, and it allowed us to not have surface conversations, and it allowed us to have depth,” Mike explained.
“And I think that’s why you are able to get so deep and so close to people so quick there because you’re forced to really actually get to understand who that person is,” he said of the friendships many of the men made with one another.
As for Katie, Mike said he has nothing but respect for the former bank marketing manager who said yes to Blake Moynes’ proposal on the final episode of Season 17.
“I will forever be in her corner. She’s one of my great friends, and she’s somebody that, you know, I only want the best for her,” he said.
The Bachelorette is currently on hiatus.