Bachelor

Tayshia Adams Is the New (Surprise) Bachelorette!

The fan favourite is replacing season 16's original lead Clare Crawley

Well, The Bachelor is nothing if not full of surprises; and this latest twist may be the most shocking yet! On August 3, ET confirmed that Bach alum Tayshia Adams is the new Bachelorette.

And if you’re scratching your head and wondering how in the heck this is possible, then you’re not alone. Don’t we already have a lead for The Bachelorette‘s 16th season?! Well, yes, or at least we did. According to several reports (and confirmed by Reality Steve), Tayshia—a Bachelor nation fan favourite—was called in mid-season to replace season 16’s original lead Clare Crawley, after she found love *very* early on into her season with contestant Dale Moss. (Clare herself seemingly confirmed this switch-up, liking a tweet about Tayshia becoming The Bachelorette on August 2, before unliking it the next day).

Read this next: A Comprehensive Guide to Clare Crawley’s Bachelor Contestants

ICYMI, Clare’s casting was a pretty big (and historic) deal. The 39-year-old hairdresser was the oldest lead in the franchise’s history, and when her season was initially postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her season was re-cast with older men to round out the group of twentysomethings they originally gave her. It was a power move, and we loved it.

Per several reports, after the filming of Clare’s season was delayed in March, mere hours before the show was set to start shooting, 31-year-old pro football player Dale Moss reached out to Clare, leading to the two corresponding throughout quarantine. “One of her potential guys found a way to get in touch with her and they began talking,” the source told People. “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.” According to Life & Style, Dale and Clare are already engaged. Enter: Tayshia. The new Bachelorette—who was a contestant on Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor, and appeared on season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise—was reportedly brought in as back-up and is currently isolating per COVID-19 guidelines before she begins filming.

Read this next: Clare Crawley’s Season of The Bachelorette Is Filming Soon!

While some reports have claimed that the men cast for Clare’s season would remain in the running for Tayshia’s, this hasn’t been confirmed. Re-casting suitors would be challenging, as all the men cast for Clare’s season underwent two weeks of isolation pre-filming, and anyone new coming in would have to do the same.

According to People, the upcoming season will feature *both* Clare and Tayshia’s love stories, but don’t expect for anything to be officially confirmed by the franchise. As Variety senior correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister shared on Twitter, reps for ABC and Warner Bros. have declined to comment on the new casting rumours, with no announcement set to be made until the season airs (no premiere date has been confirmed). Because, you know, drama!!

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Our only question: Does this mean we’ll get to see *two* Neil Lane rings this season?

FLARE has reached out to ABC for comment. The story will be updated with their response.