With the 16th season of The Bachelorette set to start filming in mid-July, it’s been a bonkers ride to get to the starting line of love for the season’s lead, Clare Crawley. After being cast as the franchise’s oldest-ever Bachelorette in March, 38-year-old Clare’s shot at love was briefly put on hold (you know, that whole COVID-19 thing?), and her season is going to look *very* different than past instalments. For one thing, contestants are staying in one place this season, quarantining and then shooting the series at the La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California.
But one good thing to come out of this delayed season? More authentic casting. When Clare was initially announced as the Bachelorette, Bach nation fans were excited to *finally* have some much needed maturity and authenticity on the show. But, they were quickly disappointed by the picks for Clare’s season (mainly, a ton of 25-year-olds and Matt James, Tyler Cameron‘s BFF). But, since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in May, the franchise put out an additional casting call for the season, Matt James was announced as the season 25 lead of The Bachelor (the first Black male lead in the show’s history) and, according to Reality Steve, at least 13 of the original 32 men cast for Clare’s season won’t be taking part once camera’s start rolling, for various reasons. And FYI, a lot of the original cast that is no longer on the show were in the 23- to 28-year-old age range.
On July 15, ABC released a semi-updated batch of contestants on Facebook, showing off the men who “may be on this season of The Bachelorette,” and revealing that they’d cast 25 additional men since the shut down—bringing the grand total of men vying for Clare’s heart up to 42. Which is, a lot of men.
We are giving you an early look at the men who may be on this season of #TheBachelorette! Leave a 🌹 for who would get your first impression rose.
But don’t expect to see them all gracing our screens come the actual air date. According to Reality Steve, the network has gone ahead and just cast “extra guys” in case some have to drop out due to COVID and other factors (but don’t tell the men that). “I’m hearing this season they have way more guys flown out there than will eventually end up on the show, and that’s to have other guys ready to go if any test positive for COVID upon arrival,” Steve wrote in a recent post. “But in typical ‘Bachelor’ fashion, it’s not like they’re telling any of the ‘extra’ guys they flew out that they’re basically just a standby person.”
So take these dudes with a grain of salt. Until ABC releases the *official* line-up of men and FLARE can update this list with 100% certainty, here’s a guide to some of the OG fellas that Clare will be dating.
Meet the contestants vying for Clare Crawley's love
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