A Bachelorette Season Unlike Any Other

It’s safe to say that this year is unprecedented in many ways, and reality television is no exception. To say that ABC’s newest bachelorette Clare Crawley is a force to be reckoned with would be an understatement.

Bachelor nation faced uncharted territory shortly after announcing Crawley as the next bachelorette in March. Usually, "The Bachelorette" begins airing in May, but due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the show’s start date was postponed. Following "The Bachelorette," the next season of "The Bachelor" would normally be filming right now to air in January. Instead, the next season of "The Bachelorette" will be airing in October and "The Bachelor" is postponed until 2021. "Bachelor in Paradise," a show combining contestants from "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," always takes place during the summer following "The Bachelorette." However, there was no season this past summer due to the pandemic. Fans are hopeful that there will be a new season during the summer of 2021 and that the show’s schedule will get back on track with the premiere of "The Bachelor."

Information about the contestants on "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" is usually released right before the show begins filming, but because of the timing, details about Crawley’s contestants have already been released. Given the unusual circumstances created by the pandemic, contestant Matt James started making Cameo videos. As a result, Crawley posted a Tweet to explain how even though circumstances were out of the norm, she still wanted to take the process seriously.

For months, people were unsure when Crawley’s season would begin filming. In the meantime, the Bachelor franchise announced Matt James as the next bachelor, which means he will no longer be a participant in Crawley’s season. Filming for "The Bachelorette" began in July, and ABC announced that her season will be premiering on Oct. 13.

As if COVID-19 didn’t cause enough chaos, Crawley’s season has managed to attract even more mayhem-- and it hasn’t even aired yet! Most Bachelors and Bachelorettes come from previous seasons, and Crawley is no exception. She was a participant on Juan Pablo Galavis’s season back in 2014. She remained relevant over the years by participating in both "Bachelor in Paradise" and "The Bachelor Winter Games." Crawley is most known for her legendary response after bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis dumped her during the season finale. Thinking he was about to propose to her, Crawley made sure he knew exactly how she felt after he broke her heart.

Despite the fact that it has been six years since Crawley was on "The Bachelor," producers believed she was the perfect fit over more recent contestants because of her maturity and because she knows what she wants out of life. Crawley is not afraid to speak her mind or go after what she wants, and she is serious about finding her husband. However, 38-year-old Crawley is the franchise’s oldest Bachelorette yet. This decision seems like a logical choice for producers to make because of recent seasons where the contestants have been viewed as too young and immature. Because of her age, many of her suitors are over 10 years younger than her, which is certainly questionable. The biggest age gap in bachelor history was between 36-year-old bachelor Arie Luyendyk and 22-year-old contestant Bekah Martinez. Will Crawley be breaking Bachelor history yet again?

Keeping up with the uncommonness of this season, Crawley decided early on that she wanted to quit the show in order to solely pursue contestant Dale Moss. Former Bachelors and Bachelorettes have formed strong relationships with several contestants early on, but no one has ever been certain of one relationship so soon. Given the structure of the environment, the show makes it difficult for the Bachelor or Bachelorette to be certain of who they want to spend the rest of their life with until the very last week.

Considering the show has never had a Bachelorette quit on them in a previous season, let alone this early on, producers decided to cast a new Bachelorette. Tayshia Adams, a fan favorite and one of the runner ups on Colton Underwood’s season of "The Bachelor," has recently been named the new bachelorette to replace Crawley.

As an avid fan of the franchise, I find it crazy that this has never happened in the 18 years of the show’s history. However, I am excited to see how the producers divide the showtime between Clare and Tayshia. There are so many questions now up in the air: How many episodes will Clare and Tayshia be featured in? What will happen with Clare and Dale? How will fans react to Clare leaving and Tayshia taking over?

Only one thing is for sure: Oct. 13 is reserved in my calendar, and you’ll find me sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn.

Here’s a look at the first promo of the season.