We've finally arrived at Tayshia Adams' portion of The Bachelorette. But these are uncharted waters for the show. They've never replaced the lead halfway through a season in the middle of a pandemic. How does this even work? Does Tayshia just... get Clare's leftovers? Well, yes and no. Clare’s remaining 16 men were offered the chance to stay on and date the new Bachelorette, and Tayshia also got a partially new Bachelorette cast. Four new men — Peter, Montel, Noah, and Spencer — joined the season, bringing the contestant group up to 20 people. It’s less than usual, but that’s thanks to the pandemic.
Ahead of the season, it was reported that producers attempted to reach out to some of the men who were initially considered for Clare's season but not cast. She originally had a group of 42 potential contestants that were whittled down to the 31 she met on premiere night. Us Weekly reported that two weeks into filming, a source claimed that production began "calling backup contestants and asking them to come to [the set] within 24 hours," perhaps in hopes of bringing them out for Tayshia. Bachelor blogger Reality Steve claimed to have heard the same thing. He also said that the 42 potential contestants were announced days before filming, and at least four of the 11 previously uncast men were still available when the switch to Tayshia was made. They’re Spencer, a 30 year old water treatment engineer; Montel, a 30-year-old gym owner; Peter, a 32-year-old real estate agent; and Noah, a 25-year-old registered travel nurse.
Stopping production to vet 30 new contestants, fly them out, quarantine them, and test them would have taken too long for a show that was already extremely delayed. But at least the show could reach into its binders full of men for four new faces for Tayshia. And there's a silver lining to having fewer contestants: the series usually begins with a bunch of men clearly cast for drama purposes who are eliminated in the first few rose ceremonies, and now, Tayshia gets to skip all that noise. It's not like she would have necessarily connected with someone like Yosef anyway.
She may have marginally less contestants than she would in a regular Bachelorette season, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Tayshia is going to have a bad time. There were only 17 total men on season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise, and Tayshia found a significant romantic connection with John Paul Jones then. Turns out it doesn't always take a room of 30 potential boyfriends to find a gem.
Update: This story has been updated since it was originally published Nov. 5, 2020.