Season 17 of the reality dating series expired Monday with Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams stepping into as co-hosts

“The Bachelorette” Katie Thurston is opening up on her experience as the end result of this new season which started Monday in ways no other has before: sans Chris Harrison.

Former Bachelorettes and mentors Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams were on hand to support Thurston, a 30-year-old bank marketing director from Lynnwood, Washington, at the season opener. The alums were also described during Monday’s episode as”co-hosts.”

In a brand new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Thurston admits that she had been reluctant to join the new season as it had been proposed amid the racism scandal, which saw Harrison step backwards as host and the franchise as a whole coming under fire for diversity issues.

“I had my own concerns,” Thurston informed the socket of the controversy. “I wanted my own experience to be true to myself and excellent for the guys who had been joining me and Bachelor Nation. And I think that was really taken into account and worked out. I voiced what I needed with my trip, and I think I had been listened to. As [viewers will see] together with the very first episode, it feels different. I have a great group of guys and I believe Bachelor Nation is going to be very excited to watch that and see a change.”

Thurston proceeds to call to be the show’s direct a”once in a lifetime chance,” but reveals she didn’t accept the offer immediately.

“You’re always going to question if it’s the right decision for you because you are opening yourself up to lots of attention; attention that you may not want. “So obviously it wasn’t an immediate yes for me. It had been something I had to consider as time passes. I didn’t want to live life with the sorrow of never taking this chance to fall in love in this very distinctive manner, so I said yes.”

To be able to ensure this season would welcome change to the show, Thurston stated she asked the throw be diverse.

“I certainly want diversity in my cast. And I want it to become a platform for all these guys to be heard,” she continued. “That’s what this is about — their stories, the love and also a bit less of what everyone else saw before.”

Thurston also theorized that she plans to tune in every Monday to watch her season, adding that she”can’t control” what manufacturers decide to put on air, she’s convinced”it was a really refreshing experience.”

She shared her expectation that audiences remain patient as the franchise tackles change.

“Change doesn’t happen overnight. That’s what people will need to remember: Change is occurring, it only takes time. And the further people continue to voice our wants and needs for this whole thing, the more that we’re listened to,” she concluded.