We thought we’ve seen it all on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, from the former leads hopping fences, rejecting their finalists, and in return, getting rejected; however, no one could have predicted all of the season 16 plot twists.
Time to get up to speed: Reports claimed that Clare Crawley wanted out after 12 days of filming because she had already fallen in love with one of the contestants, Dale Moss. During this time, producers were “blindsided” and allegedly reached out to Tayshia Adams and previous contestants, who were not ultimately chosen for this season, and told them all to come to the La Quinta Resort in California, where filming is taking place.
A source close to the situation disclosed to PEOPLE that 39-year-old bachelorette Crawley fell in love with one of the original men, 31-year-old Moss, after the pandemic delayed production in March. A source told Life&Style that the two are now engaged after two weeks of filming.
The source said "The couple won’t say exactly when cupid struck,” which led to a lot of speculation and theories as to whether it was love at first sight or a rekindled flame.
"One of her potential guys found a way to get in touch with her and they began talking," the source continued. "By the time filming officially began, they were basically already in love. No one else stood a chance. It just became so obvious from her subsequent few dates that her heart wasn’t in it and she just wasn’t feeling it. Then she said she wanted out."
The source continued to explain that new bachelorette Adams was brought in as a backup and is ready to go. According to The Hollywood Gossip, the 29-year-old had already been quarantining in secret in case the show needed her.
"What remains to be seen is if more men will be brought in now to give Tayshia a full roster of suitors," the source said.
On July 15, ABC released the 42 men who would be vying for former Crawley’s heart on season 16 of The Bachelorette. 25 of those names were new while 17 of the men remained from the original casting list, amongst them, the athlete Moss.
Producers wanted to cast more age-appropriate men for the bachelorette, given the original cast was filled with men who Crawley could have probably babysat for. It is unclear if new men have now been brought in specifically for Adams or if she will be dating Crawley’s leftovers.
Another inside source told PEOPLE that this really will be the “most dramatic season ever.” The insider teased, "There's more to the story than just Clare falling for someone and not wanting to see what else could happen with other men."
Following the initial suspicions about hairdresser Crawley leaving the show on Reddit, Reality Steve tweeted a Reddit suspicion about Crawley being replaced by Adams, and Crawley liked the tweet, but later the like was removed. Talk about adding fuel to a fire!
The filming for season 16 has been taking place at the La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs. The resort has been shut down and is solely being used for filming and production. The cast and crew are following COVID precautions and wearing masks as well as being tested.
It still remains unclear how casting will continue from this point on because of quarantining and taking the correct safety measures. An insider source said producers are hoping the contestants still want to participate in Adams’s new The Bachelorette season.
The source told PEOPLE, "Everyone is being tested and contained within this bubble so anyone coming from the 'outside' is potentially a problem. So that still needs to be fully resolved at this point in terms of Tayshia’s suitors."
The premiere date for the new season is unclear as it was expected to air September/ beginning of October.
The one thing Bachelor Nation does know for sure is who the next bachelor will be. Matt James, who was one of the men cut from the original contestant list for Crawley, is confirmed to be the next bachelor.
James will be the first-ever black bachelor and is also the first in 12 years to be cast as The Bachelor without previously ever being on the show. The 28-year-old lives with Tyler Cameron, a bachelor favorite from season 15 of The Bachelorette. The two run a charity organization together called ABC Food Tours.