Clare Crawley's season of The Bachelorette was already making history for having the oldest Bachelorette in franchise history and becoming the first season to be delayed due to a worldwide pandemic, but not two weeks into filming, the lead made headlines for another reason. In August, Vulture reported that Crawley, who was filming her season in a quarantine bubble at La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs under COVID-19 guidelines, quit the show after only 12 days of filming because she had fallen for then 31-year-old contestant Dale Moss.
Shortly after, rumors swirled that ABC had nabbed former Bachelor contestant Tayshia Adams to step in as the new Bachelorette. According to E! News, an insider reported that Adams joined production after undergoing quarantine, and that she was told ABC would "lead with Clare and her short-lived journey" and announce Adams as the lead later on.
Warner Bros. and ABC still haven't confirmed anything (nor have any of the cast members), but the season's teaser definitely alluded to a dramatic disruption shaking production. At one point, Chris Harrison congratulates Clare, telling her that she "blew up" The Bachelorette. There are references to the season being cut short, a new Bachelorette potentially coming in, and the path Clare was on not ending well.
When viewers finally got to see Clare and Dale's first meeting onscreen during the Oct. 13 premiere, it's safe to say the sparks were flying! Dale ended the night snagging the coveted first impression rose, solidifying the fact that Clare is already invested in their connection.
Adams previously competed for Colton Underwood's heart during season 23 and made it to the final three before he quit the show to pursue Cassie Randolph, and she also appeared in Bachelor in Paradise. If the rumors of Crawley's departure prove true, it would be the first time a lead has ever left in the middle of production — though considering the circumstances, it seems like Crawley's already accomplished what she came on the show to do! The added drama would definitely liven up the franchise like never before, actually making it the most dramatic season of them all.