Roses are red, violets are blue, the coronavirus won’t cancel The Bachelorette for you. The reality series has sauntered on amid the pandemic thanks to a quick pivot to a one-location pleasuredome in Southern California, where leading lady Clare Crawley (did you hear, she’s old?) will be seduced by dozens of age-inappropriate men for the 16th season. Until a new woman comes to replace her, that is. For the past several months, spoilers have managed to escape from the show’s Fort Knox-esque bubble thanks to trusted gossip accounts and patient paparazzi, who have revealed, in no uncertain terms, that Crawley abruptly leaves the show and is replaced by fellow Bachelor Nation alum Tayshia Adams. There’s already a favored narrative as to why, and when, Crawley departs, which will begin to unravel when the show premieres on Tuesday, October 13. Until then, we’ve answered all of your pressing Bachelorette questions here.
Did you say Tuesday? What the hell, I bought a T-shirt that says “Mondays Are for The Bachelor”?
Sorry, not a typo. Due to networks shuffling their limited programming due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Bachelorette will air on Tuesdays this season. We, too, will miss the tipsy Monday night ritual and being subjected to a few seconds of Dr. Shaun Murphy dialogue after the credits roll.
How did this season even film amid a pandemic?
Months after suspending production of the season in March, The Bachelorette was able to begin filming at a ritzy resort near Palm Springs, California, in July while following heightened, and strict, safety regulations. Crawley, contestants, and crew members were required to quarantine in their rooms for 14 days before being allowed to roam around the resort, and had to undergo daily coronavirus tests. These regulations pertained to host Chris Harrison as well: He left the bubble for a few days to drop his son off for his freshman year of college in Texas, and was replaced by alum JoJo Fletcher until he completed his two weeks of quarantine upon return. There have been no reports of any Bachelorette-specific positive coronavirus tests.
That’s nice, but what’s this about Crawley leaving?
Jeez, we’re gettin’ there. Following a month of standard things-are-still-filming reports from spoiler websites (most prominently from the patron saint of Bachelor Nation gossip, Reality Steve) the proverbial shit hit the fan over the weekend of August 1 and 2: It was reported that Crawley chose to depart the show early because she fell in love with a contestant, and was being swiftly replaced by Adams. This report first surfaced in the franchise’s main subreddit, with a verified account alleging that Crawley was being difficult and giving production “a lot of problems” amid the filming process. The account also claimed that Crawley began cancelling dates and events with contestants after she realized the extent of her feelings for this contestant, and as such, “they called in a new Bachelorette” who would be more cooperative with the show’s conventional production schedule. Reality Steve has since offered a less prickly verdict of the situation — Crawley, out of respect for the remaining contestants during a pandemic, asked to leave the show with her contestant when she knew her decision wouldn’t change.
Who’s Crawley’s lucky guy?
The fella who reportedly threw Crawley into a tizzy is Dale Moss, a 31-year-old free-agent football player and model who splits his time between South Dakota and NYC. Here’s his Instagram, do whatever you want with it.
So, the duo left the show together. Why was Adams chosen? And did she get new contestants?
Adams, a 30-year-old former phlebotomist and current influencer, was on the short list to become a Bachelorette leading lady in 2019, a role that ultimately went to Hannah Brown. (She made her franchise debut during Colton Underwood’s Bachelor season.) At the time, Adams told Vulture that she was indeed disappointed when Brown was given the opportunity, and offered her perspective about how her season would’ve been different. “The guys would definitely have to be much older, I’d tell you that much,” she explained. “I require a little bit more life experience, someone who really knows who they are and still aren’t trying to figure themselves out. Show up, or get out. No bullshit, let’s go, I’m trying to find a husband!”
Upon replacing Crawley, Adams inherited the men who were recruited for Crawley’s season, most of whom are very similar in age to Adams. However, producers reportedly invited back eliminated and back-up contestants to increase her pool of suitors. Additionally, Adams is now the second Black Bachelorette, after Rachel Lindsay held the title in 2017.
Has anyone commented anything in an official capacity about the switch?
If you count a cryptic teaser, then sure. On August 4, the show dropped a very short video that alluded to the switch: A hazy image of Crawley is featured sitting on a bench of roses, while a silhouette of a woman wearing a ballgown looks similar to Adams’s likeness. This has been the show’s sole wink at the switch, as the subsequent trailers, posters, and social media imagery have just been Crawley. (We love this quote from one of the trailers: “I’m 39 and single ’cause I didn’t settle for men like that!”) ABC hasn’t issued a statement about the events of the season. Adams, meanwhile, has started a new Bachelor Nation-sanctioned podcast with two of the franchise’s alums. Unsurprisingly, she’s said nothing about the rumors.
So we just have to … wait?
Pretty much! There’s no point in speculating about the exact episode Crawley and Moss will run away together, so at least that’s one element of surprise still in our future. We can divert our energy to former Bachelorette Becca Kufrin breaking up with her Blue Lives Matter fiancé instead.