Warning: This post contains some spoilers for Clare's season of The Bachelorette.
This really may be the most dramatic season of The Bachelorette yet, because midway through filming, Tayshia Adams is reportedly replacing Clare Crawley. The show itself refused to acknowledge this for quite a while, making all of its promos and teaser trailers solely focused on Clare's journey. But the promo from The Bachelorette premiere finally alluded to the big switcheroo.
"I'm a grown woman. I do what I want to do when I want to do it," Clare said, foreshadowing her exit in the name of allegedly finding love with Dale Moss and cutting the show short. Then her exit was teased with Clare apologizing to the men "if I wasted your time." The contestants were left very confused. "I didn't expect the process to be cut short," said one. "Do we get a new Bachelorette in here?" asked Kenny. Why yes, Kenny, you do. The final shot of the promo was a limo pulling up and Chris Harrison waiting to greet whoever was in it. Presumably the limo is carrying Tayshia, ready for her journey to find love.
Clare's season started with 31 Bachelorette contestants, seven of which were eliminated on the first night. And the promo suggests that Clare leaves when there's about half the men left, since one of the contestants could be heard angrily saying, "How about the 15 of us walk out?" when Clare's big news is revealed.
In the early weeks of a regular Bachelorette season, about three men leave each rose ceremony. So we could see Clare's exit and Tayshia's arrival in about five weeks around November 10 (since the show is likely to skip airing the week of the election). Of course, that timeline could change if more or less men are eliminated each week or if the show wants to drag out the Clare exit drama. In real life, the Tayshia news broke less than a month into production, but the series may stretch that out longer to get more episodes out of it.
Host Chris Harrison recently told Refinery29 that out of respect for Clare's journey and how long she waited to be The Bachelorette, they wanted to make it all about her for as long as they could. "Clare is our Bachelorette. And this whole thing was about her journey," he said. "We were excited to give her this moment. She's earned it. So it's all about Clare. Up until the time… it doesn't need to be."
Normal seasons are about 10 episodes long, so if Tayshia comes around Episode 5, we'll get a pretty even split between Clare's journey and Tayshia's journey. And as we get closer to the change over, we're likely to get even more promo clues and hints about what's gonna happen when Clare shakes up the whole show. Keep your eyes peeled.