Nayte Olukoya was the lucky guy who got Michelle Young’s first impression rose on the Oct. 19 premiere of The Bachelorette. In his opening package, Nayte gushed over how excited he was to meet the Bachelorette. “Michelle is gorgeous, okay? Michelle is stunning,” he said. “She’s a teacher. My mom’s a teacher. I have crazy respect for teachers, and knowing that she’s a teacher has me believing that she’s a person who’s going to want conversations that are not superficial. That’s what I’m looking for.”
To kick off the show, Michelle met 30 guys before the first cocktail party, and she formed a connection with Nayte right off the bat. He was the first one out of the limo to meet Michelle. “I won’t take too much of your time,” he told her, to which she replied, “Take as much time as you need!” Nayte’s opening line continued, “I just want to say I’m so happy to be here with you right now and I’m looking forward to seeing if you and I have what each other is looking for. Before we start that journey, I just want to say — it’s better Nayte than ever!”
Michelle cracked up at Nayte’s joke and let him know that she “loved” it. After he went inside the resort, Michelle told the cameras, “That was a good start. Nayte! I like Nayte.” She was giddy as she looked back on her brief but fun conversation with the 6’8″ contestant.
During the cocktail party, Michelle connected with a lot of the guys, but ran into some trouble with one contestant, Ryan Fox. Ryan was exposed for coming to the show with notes about how to get screen-time, how to not be the villain and more. She sent him home after reading the notes in his room. The setback took a bit of a toll on Michelle, but she was brought back on track when Nayte pulled her aside for some one-on-one time right afterward.
Going into the conversation, Nayte was admittedly nervous about opening up. “I want to show this girl that I’m genuine,” he explained. “I do have this shell around me. I do have some hesitations about being vulnerable. I’m a little bit more guarded and don’t want to show those sides of me super early. I just want to be real about that at the end of the day.”
When he sat down with Michelle, Nayte explained that he didn’t really want to talk about his family because he didn’t grow up with the “strong and together” family aspect like Michelle did. However, she pushed him to open up and talk about his experience. “I had the best childhood ever,” Nayte said. “But my parents got divorced. My mom just went through another divorce with my stepdad who’s, like, my best friend. So I’m looking to meet that person and getting to bring together that togetherness. For example, I’m kind of on a tangent right now, but I’ve never seen my parents kiss. I’m sure that’s something you probably saw. Little things like that…I want my kids to be able to see, too.”
Michelle was impressed with Nayte for being so vulnerable. “I know it’s hard being vulnerable, especially here,” she told him. “It’s like growing pains. But look at you already!” She also gushed that she was “so happy” with their conversation and said that he helped “completely reset the night” after Ryan’s exit. Nayte was thrilled by how things went, too. “Michelle is amazing at just helping you open up,” he said in a confessional. “I’m ready to tell her everything about me — my family, my secrets, my fears, what makes me cry at night. I feel comfortable with her. I feel good, I truly do.”
After a few more good conversations, Nayte still stuck out in Michelle’s mind, and she presented him with the first impression rose. “I wanted to start by telling you how, when we were talking earlier tonight, you kind of expressed that it was difficult for you to be vulnerable and that it might be something that you ease into,” Michelle said. “But I truly saw you push yourself and even as you opened up, you were completely Nayte. Nothing but Nayte!”
Of course, Nayte accepted the rose, and they sealed the deal by making out. Nayte was her first kiss of the season, too. “Nate struggles with being vulnerable, but a wall came down, and for me, that’s all I needed to see,” Michelle concluded. “I feel what I came here to feel — sparks, butterflies, and everything that you wanna feel when you kiss someone!”