A new season of "The Bachelorette" is coming soon, and, even before its premiere, this might be one of the most controversial seasons in the Bachelor Nation universe. Here's everything we know about it.
With all the measures put in place to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, TV networks had to place their productions on hold while they figured out the best way to continue working without risking their personnel and stars.
One of those shows was "The Bachelorette," which was set to start filming season 16 in March before the world was put on lockdown following the state of emergency declared because of the pandemic.
However, the show has been affected in more ways than one. Not only was it rescheduled, but the bachelorette was replaced mid-season after she found love even before viewers—or her—got the chance to meet all her suitors properly.
THE NEW BACHELORETTE
When Clare Crawley was announced as the leading lady of the season on March 2, 2020, fans of the show welcomed her with open arms.
Crawley first came into the spotlight as a contestant on season 18 of "The Bachelor," where she failed to win Juan Pablo Galavis' heart but made an impression by standing up to him when he rejected her.
Harrison dropped his two cents on Twitter, calling this season "the most dramatic."
The now-39-year-old hairdresser appeared on seasons 1 and 2 of "Bachelor in Paradise," but had no luck finding the man of her dreams.
Then, in 2018, she appeared in "Bachelor Winter Games," where she was involved in a love triangle with Benoit Beauséjour-Savard and Christian Rauch, eventually leaving alone.
Benoit Beauséjour-Savard surprised her by proposing at the show's reunion, and although she accepted, they split two months later.
In an interview with "Good Morning America" before the lockdown, Crawley said she was looking for a man willing to "take off his armor" and show his vulnerable side.
Crawley, the oldest bachelorette in the franchise's history, also addressed comments about her age. She explained that being in her late thirties only meant she had more experience and clarity about what she wanted and what she wouldn't settle for.
"THE BACHELORETTE'S" CONTESTANTS
ABC announced the original 32 contestants for Crawley's season on March 11, and although there were some guys in their 30s, most of them were in their mid-twenties, something that Crawley admitted wasn't a problem for her.
Crawley had time to look up the contestants and swipe through their social media accounts with the production on pause.
She then made it clear on Twitter that anyone joining the show for the fame was wasting their time. Crawley seemed to have come across someone using Cameo, an app where celebrities get paid to record messages for other people, as she said:
"If you are doing interviews and creating Cameo accounts before you are even on my season... you are in it for the wrong reasons... #dontwasteyourtime."
Although Crawley didn't mention names, fans assumed the person in question was Matt James, who was partnering with Cameo to raise funds for The Robin Hood Foundation.
Luckily for James, he didn't get to join Crawley's season, as ABC decided to name him the next Bachelor instead, making him the first black man to lead the franchise.
Meanwhile, ABC called for more men to audition for Crawley's season. One of the reasons was the shoot's rescheduling, as some of the original members probably couldn't move work around that long to shoot the show.
In July, ABC announced 42 suitors. Out of those, only 17 were from the original group, and fans noted that the new additions were more age-appropriate for Crawley.
CRAWLEY QUITS THE SHOW
A few weeks after the filming began, rumors circulated about Crawley refusing to go on with the show because she had fallen in love with one of the contestants early on.
The man in question, 31-year-old former NFL player Dale Moss, allegedly received Crawley's first impression rose.
Several sources claim that Crawley and Moss had been talking online before the shooting started, and less than a month into the show, she knew he was the one and decided to quit the show. The pair are now reportedly engaged.
ENTER TAYSHIA ADAMS
With Crawley refusing to shoot the show, producers had to scramble to find a replacement. That's when Tayshia Adams came into the picture.
Adams, 29, first appeared on season 23 of "The Bachelor," where she was rejected by Colton Underwood when he decided to leave the show to pursue Cassie Randolph.
Adams also appeared on season 6 of "Bachelor in Paradise," where she started a relationship with John Paul Jones. However, they were only together for about three months.
THE NEW LOCATION
Although the show is usually filmed in a mansion and the cast gets to travel to different locations across the U.S. and worldwide to meet the families, the COVID-19 restrictions made this impossible.
Instead, the entire production is taking place at the Quinta Resort in La Quinta, California, where cast and crew are said to be following strict quarantine measures.
According to reports, Crawley is said to have stayed at the resort, although Adams arrived at some point in July to take over.
Former "The Bachelor" contestants Becca Kufrin and Hannah Ann Sluss were reportedly also seen at the resort.
Chris Harrison, who has been the host of both "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" since 2002, had to take a two-week break from his duties.
Harrison traveled to Texas to drop his son at college, and at his return, had to comply with a two-week mandated quarantine.
While he was away, season 12 "Bachelorette" star JoJo Fletcher took over the hosting duties. However, Harrison is reportedly now back to shooting.
Although "The Bachelorette" usually airs on Mondays, the show will be moved to Tuesdays after "Dancing with the Stars."
ABC announced the premiere date as October 13 with a poster that only features Clare Crawley. Harrison dropped his two cents on Twitter, calling this season "the most dramatic" and adding that "this could be double trouble."
The stakes are high with this season, and fans can barely contain their excitement about what the show has in store with all the drama that has gone down behind the scenes. It looks promising.