The Unprecedented Clare & Tayshia Bachelorette Drama & Rumors, Explained

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Bachelorette host Chris Harrison loves to say that each season of the show will be "unlike any other," but when it comes to Clare Crawley's season, it's likely true. And now, given the new rumors swirling around the internet about the season — one of which was just confirmed — we can safely say that this one is truly for the Bachelorette history books.
Season 16 of ABC's The Bachelorette picked its filming back up in July, after halting production in March due to COVID-19. ABC announced that the film and crew would follow strict coronavirus safety protocols while filming in one location — the giant La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California — and then revealed the final list of 42 suitors who would compete for Crawley's heart (and who actually are grown-ass men, as Crawley is notably the oldest Bachelorette in history at 39).
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Not even a month into production, however, some wild rumors about some major changes to this season have come to light, including one that was recently officially confirmed.
Here is a breakdown of the speculation happening around season 16.

The Rumor: Tayshia Adams is the Bachelorette

This particular rumor has been confirmed. Many believed Clare Crawley was being replaced as the bachelorette by Tayshia Adams, who was one of the final two in Colton Underwood's season 23 of The Bachelor and went on to star in Bachelor in Paradise season 6.
Beyond a Reddit thread by a "Bachelor spoiler account" who said to have gotten a few tips, former Bachelor contestant Demi Burnett told noted reality TV online personality Reality Steve on Instagram Live that she has been suspicious of her friend Adams' recent whereabouts. She said that she had tried to text Adams, but none of her texts went through, which would suggest that her phone is off — something that ABC producers require show contestants to do while filming.
But then, on the morning of August 3, fans spotted that Crawley’s Twitter account liked a tweet about Adams being the Bachelorette, and then quickly unliked it. This would not only mean that Crawley has her phone back, but suggests that she could be confirming the internet's theory.
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Later that day, ET's Lauren Zima (who notably just celebrated her 2-year anniversary with boyfriend Chris Harrison) confirmed the rumor by posting an Instagram with the new bachelorette. "BREAKING: CONGRATS TAYSHIA! ❤️" Zima wrote. "ET has learned Tayshia is the new #TheBachelorette. That doesn’t mean we won’t see Clare Crawley’s journey, and I can’t WAIT to watch them both. This will be a franchise first."
Adams was reportedly among the original frontrunners to be the bachelorette, along with Crawley and fellow Bachelor alum Tia Booth. She told ET back in February that she wouldn't say "yes or no" to the job and "pleaded the fifth."
"I have to say, anything that comes my way, I am ready for," Adams said. "I am ready for love!"
It looks like Adams has to get ready much faster than she had predicted.

The Rumor: Clare Crawley left The Bachelorette

Why would we need a new bachelorette at all, you may ask? Because there has been a rumor that Crawley had indeed opted out of the gig. Over the weekend, US Weekly reported that contestants who were vetted to be on the show but ultimately weren't cast for Crawley season were contacted by producers, and were asked "to come to La Quinta within 24 hours.” The show has reportedly only been filming for two weeks, and things seemed to be back on track when fans were glad to see that Crawley's new pool of suitors were more age appropriate (read: over 30) than the pre-COVID batch. But according to US Weekly's source, “when producers reached back out, out of the blue, it was very apparent that something had happened with production.”
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While a bachelor or bachelorette has never left the show mid-season before, Crawley notably left Bachelor In Paradise mid-filming in 2014 because of a rift in her relationship with Zack Kalter, so Crawley has proven to be a woman who isn't going to stick something out just because cameras are rolling.
According to ET, Crawley will still be "a part" of season 16, so whether that means she begins and then leaves mid-way or continues in some capacity on the show is still a mystery.

The Rumor: Clare Crawley is dating Dale Moss

The alleged reason that new Bachelorette contestants needed to be contacted is that Crawley dropped out of the show, and so suitors who signed up to exclusively date the hairdresser left La Quinta as well. The rumor is that not 12 days into filming the show, and Crawley has already fallen in love with contestant and former NFL player Dale Moss. Life & Style Magazine reported that Crawley “refused to come out of her room” while filming and said she would quit because she had already found what she was looking for. It's unclear whether the two had met prior to the show.
This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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