If you have kept up with Bachelor Nation news since the show went on an unexpected hiatus for nearly six months, then you have heard the rumors that this season of The Bachelorette is going to deliver a twist that has never happened before: a new lead mid-season. While The Bachelorette has yet to address that Tayshia Adams will replace Clare Crawley at some point, they did tease her arrival during the teaser at the end of The Bachelorette premiere. The dramatic montage of what’s to come focused entirely on Clare, which had fans guessing just how much of The Bachelorette is dedicated to Clare before Tayshia gets her shot. Even Reality Steve, the king of Bachelor spoilers, does not know exactly when Tayshia appears. So, after watching that 3-minute preview (more times than I would like to admit), I zeroed in on a few hints that suggest Clare will be giving us drama for at least four episodes.
The major blow up The Bachelorette keeps foreshadowing shows Clare fired up during a confrontation with a suitor and calling him, “sick.” During this scene, Clare wears a sparkly silver dress with huge matching earrings. In an exclusive preview Entertainment Weekly shared for episode 2, Clare is dressed in this outfit when she talks to the camera. The argument likely happens sometime during the second episode. This show loves to end on a cliffhanger, so I would not be surprised if episode 3 picks up after Clare stands up for herself. For this to happen, she has to be in a minimum of three episodes.
Another standout moment in the preview is when one man is overheard saying, “Why don’t the 15 of us just walk out?” We see the men leaving, but the scene does not provide any context so this could have happened after Tayshia took over. However, I am going to assume that Clare is still the Bachelorette still when this comment is uttered. Last year, during Hannah Brown’s season, 15 bachelors remained after the third rose ceremony. This is further proof that Clare sticks around to pass out roses for at least three rose ceremonies, which would equal four episodes.
After watching the Bachelorette premiere, it is easy to see why so many fans have accepted the rumors that Clare leaves the show early because she wants to be with Dale Moss as fact. The connection between Clare and Dale on night one was undeniable and the trailer highlights their attraction with multiple shots of them kissing and cuddling in bed. This has to be a misdirect to trick the audience into thinking Clare lasts until fantasy suites. It's also entirely possible that some of the footage is from an update of Clare and Dale’s relationship after she already stepped down as the lead — as we now know, The Bachelor and Bachelorette cameras never stop rolling. Madison Prewett and Peter Weber infamously filmed a reunion after regular Bachelor filming and Hannah Brown and Jed Wyatt taped their confrontation weeks after getting engaged during the normal process. If Clare and Dale did find happiness together, we can be sure producers sent a camera crew along to capture some bona fide evidence to use at some point this season.
And while all the evidence points to Clare acting as the lead of this season for about four episodes, it also just makes narrative sense. That gives the show enough time to air the love-at-first-sight romance between Clare and Dale while also devoting at least six episodes to Tayshia starting and finishing her Journey™. That would split the season almost exactly in half, which would allow us to be invested in both Clare and Tayshia's storylines.
But there's one caveat to all of this: The editing on The Bachelorette, especially when it comes to promos, is notoriously tricky. So we cannot know for sure when the focus will shift. All we know is we will have to wait a little longer until Tayshia steps out of that limo.