I often get annoyed by the hyperbolic declarations on the show like “most dramatic season ever” but this news lives up to the hype. It was a jaw-dropping revelation.
Some may consider this a spoiler, so if you don’t want to know anything about the upcoming season of The Bachelorette, you’ll want to skip this post. Though, I think this news is big enough it’s going to be hard to avoid. It’s truly unprecedented.
In fact, I was trying to avoid it at first. I saw that Reality Steve had leaked some major spoiler, but thought it was just the usual seasonal spoiler and I like to watch unspoiled (sometimes) so I skipped those tweets. Even with his recent podcast, I skipped ahead through the part that was discussing the spoiler, again figuring it was just the usual spoilers about the season.
Then I saw an episode of the Bachelor Party podcast appear in my feed and thought that’s odd for so early on a Monday and BAM, there was the news, which is…
…apparently Clare Crawley has left filming, for good, very early into what was supposed to be her season, and Tayshia Adams is stepping in as The Bachelorette instead. WHAT?! Nothing like this has ever happened before, ever (I’ve watched every season since Jason’s). Both Bachelor Party podcast host Juliet Litman and her guest, the former bachelor Ben Higgins, think this news is real.
So just to give a little background on this season (and I will give some background on my relationship with the franchise in another post at some point; I thought I had some time to do that before the new season started airing but just can’t let this news go without posting about it).
Like many of us frustrated by the lack of new TV during quarantine, I’ve been eagerly awaiting Clare’s season. And to be real, I haven’t actually watched a season in awhile (I think Becca’s was the last one I watched) though I listen to tons of podcasts about it and am always totally up to date on all the drama. But I was going to watch Clare’s season even before there was a pandemic and no new TV, and even more so after that became our reality.
Clare’s season was also (as far as I know), the first TV show to start filming again. They’re in an isolated resort in Southern California, and all the cast and crew had to isolate, get tested, and so on. They had 42 guys (many of whom had been recast since her original list of guys back in March when original filming stopped), and it was thought that a good chunk of those guys were backups in case someone got sick, because they usually start with 30.
I did see something on RealitySteve’s twitter about some of the guys who were backups or who’d been sent home being asked to come back and thought, huh, that’s weird. But I guess it makes sense in the wake of this news. Maybe they were being asked back, not to try again with Clare, which didn’t make sense, but to try with Tayshia instead.
I was really excited for Clare’s season. She’s 39, I’m 39, there’s never been a woman anywhere close to 40 as a lead before (I think Rachel, who I adore and who I wholeheartedly support in the latest controversy (which I just found out about today as well), might have been the only Bachelorette over 30 but that could be wrong).
I was excited for a Bachelorette my age. I was excited for a whole bunch of guys close to my age (part of the reason I haven’t watched current seasons is it gets old, at my age, watching 23 years old running around talking about getting engaged all the time, and I’m just not attracted to guys that are fifteen years younger than me) even though the average age still skewed younger than Clare. I was excited because Clare can be direct and impulsive and she loves hard, and would make great TV.
So I’m sad she left, and I hope her leaving has a happy ending, like she just runs off with one of the guys and it’s wild and fun and romantic. And then Tayshia comes in. I’m excited for her too. I didn’t watch Colton’s season where she was one of the contestants, or her season of Bachelor in Paradise (I haven’t watched that since its second season, sorry) but I’ve heard her on podcasts (in fact I was mid-listen of an old podcast episode with Tayshia as a guest when I found out the news) and am somewhat familiar with her story.
I think she’ll make a really compelling lead and that she has an open mind (remember JPJ?). And it’s cool that they went with a Black lead, later to be followed by Matt James as the first Black Bachelor. And she’s been married before, and I think has some life experience we don’t often see. It feels like it could be more real. It’s cool when the lead (and the contestants) have something different and don’t look like cutouts of each other, which is a long-standing complaint I have about a lot of the men and women on the show.
So, all in all, I’m sad we won’t have a full season of Clare, excited for Tayshia, and also intrigued by the prospect of watching this all play out. I hope all of this switch drama is captured on film (you know it will be). Maybe this will be “the most dramatic season ever” for real this time. Whatever it is, I’m going to watch. And maybe recap.
Also just an FYI, when I was looking for a picture for the post, ummm, I found for real spoilers about why Clare leaves, (and I’m HERE FOR IT), on accident and kinda wish I hadn’t because watching that happen without knowing would be such an amazing experience. So, be careful out there.
P.S. I’ve mostly been skipping the GOAT episodes that’ve been airing every Monday night on ABC because they’re kinda weird recaps of seasons I’ve (mostly) already seen, but I might watch tonight’s because it’s on Ali’s season, which is one of my all-time favorites, and it’s also been so long since I watched it that I’ve probably forgotten a lot, outside of the totally unforgettable, like the Kasey two-on-one, which was, to use a word the show overuses, amazing.