Matt James wishes Katie Thurston nothing but luck on the next leg of her journey — including if she ends up as the next lead on The Bachelorette.
On Thursday's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, the current Bachelor, 29, addressed what he thought about fans calling for Thurston, whom he sent home on this week's episode, to be the next Bachelorette.
Speaking first about the drama between Thurston, 29, and Serena C., James said, "When I saw Serena C. and Katie's exchange, that had nothing to do with my feelings for Katie at that time. [It] doesn't say anything about her as a woman and how incredible she is, because she was there for a reason."
"And those are the type of women that should be in consideration for a Bachelorette role," he told host Andy Cohen. "She's bold, she's courageous and she stands up for what she believes in."
James eliminated Thurston on Monday's episode, after telling her during the evening portion of their one-on-one date that he hasn't "had those feelings that I need to have for finding a wife in this process" — a decision that Thurston said she "didn't [see] coming at all."
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Fans Are Calling for Katie Thurston to Become the Next Bachelorette — Everything to Know About Her
Thurston, a bank marketing manager from Renton, Washington, made a splash by introducing herself with a vibrator on night one, also emerging as a fierce advocate against bullying in the house during James' season.
And despite rumors that she could be the next Bachelorette, Bachelor Nation's Chris Harrison recently told Extra that as far as he knows, Thurston hasn't been picked.
"I promise you this: If we named her the next Bachelorette, I was not there," said the longtime franchise host. "We did not name her or anybody the next Bachelorette during the Women Tell All special. And in fact, we didn't even talk about who was the next Bachelorette … unless they started taping in the middle of the night after I left."
"So as far as I know, nobody has been named the Bachelorette. And I promise you this, it will not be a part of the Tell All special at all," continued Harrison, 49, adding that a "large debate" about who could be the next female lead is still going.
Later on WWHL, during a game of "Truth or Drink!," James also avoided directly speaking about Victoria Larson — the season's self-appointed "queen," whom he sent home last week — when Cohen asked him to rate how much he actually liked her from 1 to 10.
"Oh, wow, very good," Cohen, 52, said as James knocked back his cocktail after only a slight hesitation. "Wow, he's chugging it, that's how much he doesn't want to answer that question."
James previously told PEOPLE (the TV Show!) that it was "easy" to withhold a rose from Larson, 28, given how much drama she'd stoked with her fellow contestants.
"It was an easy [decision]," he said. "When that information was made available to me about what was going on in the house, that type of name calling and just blatant lies and rumors is unacceptable."
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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