The teaser for the upcoming fourth episode of The Bachelorette just made it official — Tayshia Adams will definitely be replacing Clare "So What Was Said About Dale?" Crawley as the season 16 Bachelorette. We've known that this was happening longe before this season premiered, but according to one Bachelor executive, the decision to fly Adams in was made in a split second.
When the Bachelor picked Crawley to be their next lead, they probably thought she was a perfect fit; she'd been a staple in the Bachelor Nation universe for quite some time, and she had a special personal story that producers were certain viewers would lean into. After being unceremoniously dumped by Juan Pablo Galavis and unfortunately failing to find love on her subsequent appearances on Bachelor spinoffs, the team was certain that Crawley's redemption arc would take place during her time as the Bachelorette.
Welp. So much for that.
Honestly speaking, Crawley's run as the lead of the popular dating show has been nothing but chaos since it started. We can't blame it all on her — to quote Clare, the coronavirus did do us dirty — but miss ma'am has been out of sorts ever since laying her eyes on Dale Moss. I don't know that I personally believe in love at first sight, but there's something powerful (Pheromones? True love? I truly don't know) between Crawley and her favorite boyfriend that prevented the Bachelorette from paying attention to her other beaus.
The Bachelor executives finally saw the writing on the wall when Clare shockingly decided not to give out the rose after the roast-gone-wrong. That decision made it clear to producers that things weren't going to go according to plan. In conversation with former Bachelor Nick Viall, ABC exec Rob Mills revealed the team's contingency plan should Clare decide to ride off into the sunset with Dale.
While both Viall and Mills acknowledged that it's not technically ahistorical for Bachelors and Bachelorettes to know who their person is from the jump (Viall still remembers the sting of losing out on Andi Dorfman's final rose to Josh Murray), Crawley's laser focus on Moss was shocking because she didn't even bother to try and connect with any of the other men. Her instant attachment set Bachelor producers on edge, forcing them to call in reinforcements.
But...how was Adams brought in so quickly? As we all know, the production site of this season of The Bachelorette isn't exactly easy to access; the ongoing pandemic forced Clare and her contestants to quarantine and routinely go through coronavirus tests for weeks before even arriving at the LaQuinta Resort. The nightmare group date happened during the second week of filming, and Mills said that was the event that led them to make the call. So how much time passed between Crawley's decision to hit the road with her man and Adams' introduction as the new Bachelorette?
Adams would have had to 1) be available, 2) test negative for the coronavirus, and 3) quarantine herself for at least two weeks before making contact with anyone on set. We know that ABC will drag out Crawley's departure, but they can't get two weeks' worth of content without replacing her. So how exactly did that work?
Nothing about this season is making sense — from Crawley's obsession to with Moss to the group dates (trauma bonding and naked dodgeball...okay, girl) — but that's the game. Welcome to The Bachelorette: COVID Edition.