(WARNING: Potential spoilers for the upcoming season of The Bachelorette!)
The Bachelor franchise can't stop being outrageously dramatic even when it doesn't want to be. On Thursday, Life & Style reported that The Bachelorette lead Clare Crawley wanted to quit the show because she had fallen in love with a contestant after less than two weeks of filming. Then, on Friday, a rumor surfaced on Reddit that production was "having a lot of problems" with Clare, including Clare refusing to film. The post said that producers have brought in Tayshia Adams, a former The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise cast member who producers previously considered for the lead before opting for Clare, to become the new lead. Tayshia had been quarantining in preparation for entering the show's production bubble, and producers reportedly took her phone on Friday as she prepared to take over. She has not posted on Instagram since the rumor started. Producers have also reportedly called back some suitors who had previously been eliminated by Clare.
Bachelor spoiler Reality Steve said that he thinks there's "serious validity" to the claim. And on Monday, Deadline's Nellie Andreeva reported that Clare has left the show and Tayshia has stepped in, and the season's storyline will feature both women. Clare's Twitter account reportedly liked a tweet about Tayshia being the Bachelorette, but has since unliked it. (Cast members are not allowed to have their phones during production, but it's possible someone else with access to Clare's account liked the tweet.) Still, the like has been interpreted by fans as proof that Clare and Tayshia have switched. Sources have told E! News that the switch is taking place, and Clare will wrap up her journey early then introduce Tayshia as the new lead. It's not definite yet, but it seems to be happening. And Life & Style, which broke the original story, is now reporting that Clare and the contestant, Dale Moss, are already engaged. All we can say is "wow."
That a mid-production lead switch is even a rumor is an unprecedented development in the history of the franchise. If it's true, it's the first time a lead has ever quit during filming. Producers cast Clare because they knew she would provide drama, but this is more drama than they bargained for. It appears to be another unique development in what's shaping up to be an already very unique season of The Bachelorette, which is being filmed in quarantine as the entire production is localized at a resort in Southern California. The season was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and began filming a few weeks ago for a planned fall premiere date.
ABC and Warner Bros. declined comment for this story.