It's not uncommon for people in Bachelor Nation to meet outside of the franchise's shows before actually connecting on screen. When you have so much overlap between contestants appearing on multiple seasons of The Bachelorette or The Bachelor, it's bound to happen.
Some fans might remember Blake from Tayshia Adams' season of The Bachelorette, which means he is technically her ex. And since Tayshia is Katie's friend and one of the hosts of The Bachelorette in Katie's season, it wouldn't be totally surprising if Katie had met Blake through Tayshia before. It is the Bachelor Nation way, after all.
Did Katie and Blake know each other before 'The Bachelorette'?
According to Bachelor alum Nick Viall, who appeared on Us Weekly's Here for the Right Reasons podcast, Katie and Blake did meet prior to her season of The Bachelorette.
Nick claimed that from what he had heard, "It sounds like there was some dialogue between Katie and Blake."
He did admit that he didn't know if there was anything serious or intense between the two, but said he'd heard Blake and Katie had made contact.
Blake is also on Katie's season right after being on both Tayshia and Clare Crawley's joint Bachelorette journey, though. Because of that, there may have been little room for him to have conversed with other women in the franchise before filming started, and Katie hasn't said that she and Blake knew each other prior to filming.
"I will say, coming off my season with Matt [James], people were really shipping him and I before, so I was a little familiar with who he was and kind of his background," Katie said on the Chicks in the Office podcast of Blake's later arrival in her season, compared to the other men.
Despite what Nick said about Katie and Blake talking before her season, she doesn't seem to have the same recollection. It's honestly a lot of he-said-she-said at this point.
Blake is also Tayshia's ex from her 'Bachelorette' season.
When Clare's season of The Bachelorette ended with her choosing her match before the predetermined finale, her contestants were welcomed to stay on for Tayshia's subsequent season. Blake was among those men and seemed to fall hard for Tayshia. Unfortunately, he only made it to Week 9, which was pretty far, but not far along enough to propose.
Blake and Tayshia didn't work out, much like he and Clare didn't go very far. What that means for his chance of winning over Katie, who is Tayshia's friend, is still unclear for now.
What viewers can be sure of, though, according to the promos for the season, is that Blake falls for Katie almost as fast as he fell for Clare and Tayshia before.
Watch The Bachelorette on Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.