It’s no secret that Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette was just about to start filming when production had to be shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic back on March 13. But in a weird set of circumstances, ABC had already announced the cast on Facebook. So Bachelor Nation has been wondering what that means for the cast if/when the show can move ahead with filming.
ABC is Recasting The Bachelorette
The ad that aired during a commercial break for Listen to Your Heart said, “We’re looking for men to date our new bachelorette, Clare Crawley. To nominate someone or to apply, go to ABC.com/casting.”
A quick check-in with The Bachelorette site reveals that there is no cast posted there and the Facebook page has also taken down the cast photos. So it would seem that ABC is recasting the show, though they did not have an official comment at this time.
Perhaps the show will look for men a little closer to Clare’s age this time around. Look, an age gap is not a big deal, but some of the original cast members were 12-15 years younger than she is. That puts them in a very different place in their lives. Hopefully, if they do manage to figure out a way to film this season, the new cast members will all be 28 and older.
Speaking of the way they might film the season…
ABC is Reportedly Looking for a Site For Contained Filming
According to Reality Steve, ABC is currently looking for a resort where they can film the entire season in one location. The plan is to film for five weeks in July and August, with the entire cast and crew being tested for COVID-19 before they arrive and then keep production on complete lockdown for five weeks — i.e., no one leaves the premises.
This would mean no travel and all of the dates would take place at one resort. Plus, it sounds like the eliminated men would still be on the premises. So that would make for an interesting season. On the one hand, it could get very boring because there would be no changes in scenery.
However, if they could secure a resort that’s sprawling and lavish with enough different locations to make the dates different, that could be a lot of fun. It might actually make for more conversations and a better connection between the bachelorette and her suitors. Plus, if all the men have to remain there until filming wraps, the potential for returnees causing trouble is high — though there wouldn’t be any manufactured drama of having someone’s ex or someone who knows someone’s ex shows up to dish the dirt.
When Would it Air? What About the Next Bachelor?
This does raise some questions, though. If they shoot in July and August, it would start airing in September. But then what does that do for the next Bachelor lead?
If The Bachelor is going to start shooting in September, as per usual, then production would have to choose someone and cast it with only a few episodes of Clare’s season having aired at that point. So it seems unlikely that they would get someone from her season unless somehow a great lead gets eliminated really early.
And then would they also have to shoot The Bachelor the same way, i.e. at a contained resort? So many questions.
One idea might be to cast a man from Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart who really resonates with viewers. We actually asked Chris Harrison and EP Bennett Graebner about this very thing back in January (without having an inkling that production would shut down) and they said a new lead could “absolutely” come from Listen to Your Heart, so maybe that’s what they could do.
What About Bachelor in Paradise?
ABC has already canceled Bachelor Summer Games, which was slated to air during the Olympics. Will they also cancel Bachelor in Paradise? It seems likely because when would it film? If they can’t get The Bachelorette into production until July, when would they have time to film Bachelor in Paradise?
Reality Steve concurs — he thinks if this is the plan they move forward with for The Bachelorette, then Bachelor in Paradise will be scrapped for this summer.
The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.