Needless to say, this has been an exhausting and terrifying week in America. It isn’t easy to turn off the news or log off of Twitter, but Thursday’s special episode of The Bachelorette will at least give us a lighthearted, much-needed two-hour break from all the dread and doomscrolling. According to the Bachelor Nation rumor mill — and some explosive promos — this episode will see Clare Crawley “blow up The Bachelorette” and exit with frontrunner Dale Moss, prompting Tayshia Adams to step in as the new Bachelorette. But even though the switch is finally confirmed, we still have a lot of questions. How, exactly, will the transfer work? How many episodes do we have left? Will Tayshia get a full season?
We’re approaching episode 4 on Nov. 5, and we’ll likely get some clarity — sorry, Bachelorette marketing people, but I refuse to call it "Clare-ity." But we can assume that, not counting Thursday’s episode, Tayshia will get seven, eight, or nine episodes. Let’s break this down why.
In the past, every season of The Bachelorette has had 11 or 12 episodes, but there have been a few notable, 13-episode exceptions. One of these seasons — Kaitlyn Bristowe’s, to be exact — was the first to attempt a different kind of two-Bachelorette season; Hannah Brown, meanwhile, was given an extra episode when there were some abrupt, post-filming revelations and updates to her love story. Both Kaitlyn’s and Hannah’s seasons still only aired for 12 weeks, and the bonus episodes were presented as just two-part finales.
It’s almost certain that Clare and Tayshia will get at least a combined 12 episodes, but more likely 13 — a double finale episode is practically a requisite at this point.
The current season of The Bachelorette will also likely wrap up before the new year. Historically, The Bachelor has always premiered in January, and despite all of The Bachelorette’s COVID-related delays, there’s no reason to believe Matt James’ historic season won’t air on time. According to many Instagram and Twitter clues, Matt has been filming in Pennsylvania since the end of September, putting him on track for an early January premiere.
We are currently on episode 4, and there are only eight Tuesdays left in 2020, which means we will likely be watching this journey until after Christmas if the schedule continues as-is. Of course, this show has been known to double up on episodes to meet a deadline, so it's probably not a bad idea to keep your Monday and Wednesday plans flexible for the next few weeks.
Despite reports and buzz dating back to August, The Bachelorette didn’t confirm Tayshia’s new role until the final seconds of last week’s episode. In a teaser, a teary-eyed Clare talks about following her heart — presumably, to Dale — while the 16 men who are not Dale argue and bemoan over what this means for the rest of the season. “We have never dealt with anything like this in the history of our show,” Chris Harrison says before the camera cuts to Tayshia, walking out of a pool.
We’ll find out exactly how this split season works on Thursday night — then, back to doomscrolling. And if we're very lucky, by the end of the night, we’ll have a new President-elect and a new Bachelorette.