What You Don't Know About The Bachelor's Michelle Young

Matt James' historic season of The Bachelor has garnered a lot of attention. From the extraordinary drama in the house (we're looking at you, Queen Victoria and MJ) to the unprecedented nature of safely filming during the COVID-19 pandemic, to the accusations of racism that have rocked the franchise, Matt's season has been unlike any other. And one of the women who stood out among the crowd — for her kind nature, her obvious love for Matt, her dedicated career, and her charming personality — was Michelle Young.

Michelle came into the season late (more on that later), but she was instantly a fan favorite. Her connection with Matt was undeniable, and the two seemed to share more and more in common as their time together progressed. Michelle stayed above the drama and focused on why she was there: to find love. 

But who is Michelle? What does she do for a living? Where did she go to school? What does she like to do in her downtime? There are so many aspects that the camera misses, so we dig some digging to find the details that have slipped through the cracks. Here's what you don't know about The Bachelor's Michelle Young.

Michelle Young was not well-received by the other women on The Bachelor

The Bachelor is known for its drama, its petty fights, its name calling, and its "us versus them" mentality. And unfortunately, Michelle Young was caught up in some drama that she didn't ask for. 

Michelle didn't arrive at the mansion for Matt James' season of The Bachelor until week three. She was among four other contestants who came to the competition after it was under way, and that did not sit well with some of the women in the house. The phrase "varsity squad" quickly popped up in the vernacular used to describe the original women in the house versus the new additions, as noted by USA Today. There were rumors circulated that one of the new contestants was a high-end call girl (via Us Weekly), and some women simply went out of their way to ostracize the women that hadn't been vying for Matt's heart since the first night. 

Michelle did her best to avoid the drama, and she was clearly successful at winning Matt over, because he invited her on a one-on-one date the very next day after her arrival, as noted by Women's Health. You can probably guess how that decision went over with the other contestants.

The Bachelor favorite is a former Division 1 college basketball player

If you're a true Bachelor fan, you know that the funniest clips of the show play after the credits. And if you really paid attention, you would've noticed that the cameras caught Michelle Young doing push-ups before a toast to make sure her arms were popping (via Star Tribune). Yes, she was wearing a formal dress that looked like it was pageant-ready. Yes, she performed said push-ups in front of Matt and her fellow contestants. That may have come as a shock, but it's not surprising when you look into Michelle's athletic career. 

As noted by Marie Claire, Michelle played Division 1 college basketball at Bradley University. Not only was she the 13th highest scorer in the university's athletic history, but she was also a standout student. She was placed on the Bradley Athletic Director's Honor Roll every semester of college, she was a scholar-athlete of the week four times, she received her university commissioner's academic excellence award twice, and she earned the Presidents Council Academic Award, according to her athletic profile from Bradley University. Don't mess with Michelle; she's clearly an ambitious lady.

Michelle Young was ready to commit to Bachelor Matt James before their fantasy suite date

The most standout date in any contestant's journey on The Bachelor is the fantasy suite date. It signifies the culmination of a contestant's time on the show. And before Michelle Young went on her fantasy suite date, she revealed she was ready to commit to Matt James. In an on-camera interview beforehand, Michelle said that, as much as it scared her to admit, she was falling in love with Matt. 

"With Matt and I, I do feel like we connect on every single level. And this is the week of overnights, this is a week where I get to really start to talk about the details with Matt of what life would look like," she said. "I am ready to spend the rest of my life with Matt, and I'm ready to tell him that." Bold words, especially given that there were two other contestants still vying for Matt's heart at the time. Michelle and Matt did choose to go to the fantasy suite, with Michelle saying that he was the person she was "supposed to spend the rest of [her] life with." Only time will tell.

The Bachelor's Michelle Young loves to do these activities in her down time

Viewers see some really... interesting dates on The Bachelor. Some are great, consisting of spa days and exploring. Others are very daring — think naked bungee jumping and painting each other. Some are downright uncomfortable — we still can't forgive Matt James for taking a group of women to a farm for a "romantic" day of fun. It doesn't seem like the contestants can really do what they like to do for fun while on the show, which is a shame because Michelle Young's favorite downtime activities would make great dates. 

As noted by her official ABC bio, Michelle's favorite things to do when she's not working is hiking with friends or going wine tasting. Say it loud for The Bachelor producers: Both activities would make GREAT dates. Michelle's bio also noted that she is a real foodie, but with a twist. While most people often choose a favorite restaurant, Michelle's go-to for a great meal is a local food truck. She honestly seems really great — we'll have a food truck outing any time with you, Michelle!

Michelle Young has been working through the coronavirus pandemic

A huge aspect of Michelle Young's life — a part she made a point to highlight while on The Bachelor – is her profession. As noted by her official ABC bio, Michelle works as an elementary school teacher and is dedicated to "preparing her students to be the next generation of community leaders." She got her degree in elementary education at Bradley University, and she has formed an extra special bond with her students. During her hometown date with Matt James, some of Michelle's students Zoomed with the couple, making for a really touching moment on the show. 

But outside of The Bachelor world, Michelle has been working in her classroom amid the coronavirus pandemic. In February 2021, she took to Instagram to share her experience as a teacher during the public health crisis, showing herself in full protective gear. "The reality of a teacher's school year," she wrote. "Thousands of teachers are heading back into the classroom partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all. So proud of my fellow teachers who have continued to persevere and provide both academic and emotional stability/support for our students! Teachers...WE'VE GOT THIS!!"

Michelle Young's parents are a huge part of her life and are favorites of Bachelor Nation

The meaningful hometown dates looked a little different on Matt James' Bachelor season, given the travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Michelle Young's parents were able to make it to the Bachelor "bubble" and reunite with their daughter. LaVonne and Ephraim Young made it to the screen after Michelle and Matt spent a sweet day together, and Bachelor Nation just fell in love with them. Michelle seems like such a wonderfully kind human being, and given that her parents have truly the best parental vibes of anyone ever, it's no surprise as to why. 

Michelle's parents, like any protective duo, asked the hard questions during their dinner with their daughter and Matt, but ultimately they told Michelle that they would support her no matter what. "I just want you to be happy," Michelle's mom said. "If he makes you happy, and I can see that he does already, we'll love him and he'll be a part of our family." Cue the tears. As noted by Bustle, the Youngs are retired and live a pretty low-profile life in Minnesota. Let's petition for them to adopt us all.

How far does Michelle Young go in Matt James' Bachelor season?

If one show thrives off spoilers, it's The Bachelor. From the beginning of each season, we usually know who wins courtesy of Bachelor blogger Reality Steve. His spoilers are almost always spot-on, and according to him, Michelle Young comes in second on Matt James' season. Matt reportedly ultimately picks Rachael Kirkconnell, but unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Rachael has come under intense fire since the season was filmed due to past racist behavior. So although Matt and Rachael leave the season as a couple, it doesn't look like things stay all roses in their lives together. 

According to Reality Steve, "Matt and Rachael are broken up, there will be no reconciliation happening at the [After the Final Rose episode], nor will anything happen with Bri or Michelle either." To top off a sad ending to a historic season, "Matt seems to be content on leaving this thing as a single man, and frankly, seems to be done with this franchise." 

Here's hoping that Matt does an Arie Luyendyk and goes after Michelle after his season wraps or that Michelle finds the person who will change the world with her. Frankly, she deserves the best man out there.