'The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All': Aaron Reacts to Katie Mistakenly Calling Him Thomas (Exclusive)
By Paige Gawley
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Aaron Clancy forgives Katie Thurston for her slip of the tongue. One of the most shocking moments of Monday's Men Tell All special came when Bachelorette Katie referred to the insurance agent as Thomas, the villain of the season who Aaron helped to expose.
The cringeworthy mistake came when Katie faced all her exes onstage, and Aaron decided to share some kind words with her.
"I know my journey really got encompassed by conflict, but hopefully you know that I always had your best interests at heart," he said. "Hopefully it made it easier for you to fall in love with whoever you did. I don’t know how it ended, but I’m always going to be in your corner."
To that heartfelt declaration, Katie replied, "Thanks, Thomas."
"I think the craziest moment was when Katie accidentally called me Thomas," Aaron told ET following the taping of the special. "I’ve already forgiven Katie. My therapist might not, but I’ll send her the therapy bills."
It was clear that Katie felt awful about her mistake on the show, as she couldn't even bear to look at Aaron, and told the audience she felt like "a d**k" about the situation. While speaking to ET, she admitted that she "will never forgive" herself for using the wrong name.
"I really have no words at this point. No comment," she said. "I will apologize 100 times. It will never be good enough, though."
Many of Katie's exes, including Connor Brennan, Tre Cooper and Andrew Spencer, agreed with Aaron that Katie's name mix-up was the craziest moment of the reunion.
"I would be lying if I said that's not going to be sticking with me forever. I’m going to give Aaron a hard time about that for the rest of our time as friends," Tre said. "It was an innocent slip of the tongue, but it's just funny. Obviously our interaction with Thomas, we take that a little more seriously than most might have taken it. It was really funny."
"That put the icing on the cake for sure," Andrew agreed. "... It took me by surprise."
As for how Katie and her exes feel about Thomas' virtual rather than in-person appearance, they were largely confused by the choice.
"I don't know why he didn't show up. I wish he did. I know he likes to flex his kind of big body on everyone, so it's kind of confusing why he didn't," Aaron said. "But maybe he thought he'd be larger than life on the screen. Who knows? I kind of wish he was here though."
"I don't really know why Thomas wasn't here tonight. If I had to speculate, he didn't think tonight was going to go well for him. It's a lot easier to be on a video conference and atone for some of your stuff you did than to be in a room with the guys and the woman that you wronged and atone for that," Tre told ET. "No one really knows but Thomas for why he wasn't here."
"If [he] didn't want to face Katie or the guys then I think he wouldn't have done that either," Tayshia speculated of Thomas appearing virtually.
Katie, though, didn't care one way or the other.
"Part of me is not surprised. He is such old news to me that I would not have cared either way," she said. "It was nice to get his apology and kind of let go of that grudge and move forward, but also he is old news in my life, so, whatever."
During his apology, Thomas said, "My biggest regret over everything was speaking any doubt or uncertainty into your journey of finding love. A lot of my actions ended up taking away the attention from you and away from a lot of amazing guys in that room. I just want to say, I am so sorry for that."
While Katie accepted his apology on the show and even offered one of her own, she told ET that "it is hard to know when he is being sincere or being a rehearsed fan."
Her exes, meanwhile, did not take Thomas' words to heart.
"I've just given up on trying to understand Thomas or whether he's telling the truth or not... Even during his apology I just had to tune out because I've bought into it so many times. I don't know if he's telling the truth or not and that confuses me," Connor said. "So I just kind of... have to remove myself from that and just let him live his life."
"I’m just glad he was apologetic and didn't double down on what he did... I wish him the best going forward, but I have a tough time believing anything Thomas says," Tre agreed.
When it comes down to it, Katie thinks Thomas still "has a lot of growing to do."
"I don't think he is ready for an engagement," she said. "But I do believe people learn a lot about themselves when they watch this back and I think he is doing that as we speak."
Aaron, meanwhile, jokingly referred to Thomas as his "mortal enemy," quipping, "Next time I see him, we're going to have to sword fight."
"I think he's sorry that what he did had the reaction that it did," Aaron said of the real estate broker. "He's sort of sorry when it's convenient for him."
Tune in to Tuesday's episode of Entertainment Tonight to see more of ET's interviews from the Men Tell All special.