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Why this Season of 'The Bachelorette' is *Actually* the Most Dramatic One Yet

The Bachelorette returned to ABC for season 16 on Tuesday, October 13 and, unexpectedly, Chris Harrison failed to say his all-time, go-to phrase: It’s the most dramatic season yet.

Our favorite TV host sounds like a broken record with his *dramatic* claims but, this time, he may shock the franchise’s approximate 8.1 million viewers. But where Harrison tends to sound like a broken record, this season’s Bachelorette, Clare Crawley, is breaking records as the oldest star looking for love (during a quasi-quarantine lockdown, nonetheless) at 39-years-old. SPOILER ALERT: Rumors surfacing many media channels claim Crawley will dip out of the Bachelor-padded mansion halfway through the season, being replaced by Tayshia Adams.

So, though Harrison says this season will be “dramatic” he does not say it's “the most dramatic season yet” as he usually does. Why is this? Coming attractions predict Clare “will not settle” after crying and disappointedly pointing at an unknown man vying for the husband spot, but nothing insanely *dramatic* seems to poke its way throughout this season. In an event viewers do not know of yet, however, Harrison said – in all of Bachelor history – “Nothing like this has ever happened on the show.”

This season is a tricky one to lock down, with ABC producers certainly keeping us on our toes with every clip they show (and don’t –Tayshia, where are you?). So gals (and guys – yes, my boyfriend watched the season premiere with me, so he *definitely* deserves the best boyfriend award), whip out your champagne glasses and rosé (to celebrate the new season we all needed during stagnant days at home), buy yourself a bouquet of roses (just because) and plan your watch party with your besties (even if it is virtual this year). Here’s why it’s going to *actually* be the most dramatic season yet – even though Chris Harrison failed to proclaim it.

  1. 1. Chris Harrison gave the Bachelorette her COVID-19 test results

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    Let’s just start here – what? Yes, Chris Harrison was possibly Clare’s emergency contact on the COVID-19 form she filled out before having swabs up her nose (I’ve been there, it’s no carnival ride). Even though this moment of the premiere wasn’t filled with catfights or anyone being “blindsided” yet – that’s a Bachelor-favorite word, for sure – this bizarre event certainly added to the drama at the episode’s start. Not only did producers craft Clare as being a damsel in distress, somewhat incapable of finding love as her biological clock is ticking (which has been said plenty), but they also added a pandemic twist – emphasizing just how difficult romance may be for Clare. 

  2. 2. Clare claimed to have ‘found her husband’

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    The season premiere started like any other – an introduction of the spotlight Bachelor or Bachelorette, a sit-down with Chris Harrison where season expectations were disclosed, and the limo processional of 30 or so contenders for an end-of-season proposal. But something unheard of and Disney-magic-like occurred once all the guys were out of the limo and settled in the mansion – Clare said she “definitely” just met her husband.

     

    That being said, was Dale -- the so-called front-runner of the season and one who received quite a lot of air time -- the one Clare had in mind to walk down the aisle with? He received the first-impression rose, too. Just because a contestant receives this desired accolade doesn’t mean he makes it all the way, but because Clare just knows she found her husband, did she give too much away on the season premiere or is she trying to throw off those 8.1 million audience members? 

  3. 3. The producers are giving too much away

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    Is it just me, or are the producers extending two arms instead of one? Season 16 most definitely feels rushed compared to others. It seems that, in addition to Clare being confident on who is husband-material, producers are curating this season to have a clear-cut ending topped with a never-before-seen twist. Could this be about Tayshia crashing the California mansion? Likely so, yes. From what the press is claiming, it seems like Clare will run off in the sunset arm-in-arm with Dale, and Tayshia will (maybe) find love of her own, too.

  4. 4. Hannah B. & Clare said goodbye to a Tyler C.

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    What’s up with ABC picking Tyler C.’s? Maybe they do it for ratings or to replace him (although he certainly can’t be replaced), but Tyler C. was sent home on the first night. Much to my dismay, may I add, because he seemed rather respectful and genuine toward Clare (despite some viewers who labeled him as an off-brand Tyler C. from Hannah B.’s season). He was sent home after drama with Yosef and similarly, Hannah B. sent home her own Tyler C. for dog-food-jingle-maker Jed, whom she found to be unfaithful. What would have happened if both Tyler C.’s stood on a bit longer? Bachelor World will never know…

  5. 5. Someone may actually walk away engaged (and eventually married)

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    So, Jason’s season of The Bachelor in 2009 had a different vibe than in recent years. Chris Harrison went from asking “Who will the Bachelor end up proposing to?” to “Will the Bachelor end up finding love?” His growing uncertainty over the years stems from no recent Bachelor or Bachelorette hearing “Here Comes the Bride” after a season’s closure. 

    Last season, Peter the Pilot had commitment issues with Madison and Hannah Ann. The season before, Miss Hannah B. called off her engagement with Jed and asked for Peter back. Colton’s season featured no proposal (although fans knew he had strong feelings for Cassie) and now, Cassie has put up a restraining order (and even extended it) on her former boo. So, it’s safe to say the last couple of seasons haven’t had the fairytale wedding and the white-picket-fence dream house as was the case for Jason’s season (and one of my favorites, Sean Lowe). 

But this season can be the catalyst for change. Clare seems set on her future husband (for now), and if Tayshia returns for her third time with Chris Harrison (the first on Colton’s season, the second on Bachelor in Paradise), she may find love of her own, too. 

Maybe there'll be two proposals – how exciting would that be? There are many uncertainties Bachelorette viewers have to unpack but this season may prove COVID-19 doesn’t have love in lockdown – a fresh start with a *dramatic* twist.