This year, Chris Harrison may actually be accurate in saying this is the most dramatic season of The Bachelorette ever. It was already proving to be an unorthodox season filmed entirely at the La Quinta Resort and Club after a months-long production delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic before reports of an unprecedented casting shakeup rocked Bachelor Nation.
Now, on the brink of what is expected to be Crawley’s last episode as the lead of the franchise, being replaced by Tayshia Adams, there is a brewing controversy over whether she quit or was forced out of the popular dating franchise.
Here’s what you need to know:
Crawley Liked Tweets Saying She Was Forced out
Amid harsh criticism of her performance as the Bachelorette, Crawley liked a series of tweets insinuating she did not willingly leave the dating franchise. One of the tweets from Marietou Sangare read, “I think they were trying to force her out on some real. It was reported that she quit 12 days after filming and she locked herself in her room and wouldn’t come out, which was hard to believe considering how bad she wanted it.”
Sangare also touched on a growing accusation against production when she wrote, “They had Tayshia quarantine 9 days after Clare started filming. They wanted to remove Clare. And I just don’t think it’s fair.” To begin filming, every member of the cast and crew had to quarantine for 14 days and test negative for the coronavirus. Reality Steve has affirmed this timeline.
“They knew Clare would be removed at some point during this season and replaced as the “Bachelorette” by Tayshia. Did Clare know? No. Did the guys know? No. But production sure as hell did,” wrote Reality Steve. He claims early conversations with Crawley made it clear she would be interested in Moss.
In October, she discussed the rumors she quit with ET. She said, “I did not quit the show.” Crawley added, “I stayed the whole time, I went, I did what I was going to do there. I showed up, I didn’t quit anything.”
Her ex-fiancé, Benoit Beausejour-Savard spoke with ET about the topic.”I think, like, ultimately it was production that came at her and said, ‘You know what, Clare, I feel like you’re not giving it a fair chance, you’re really into Dale, so we want you to be happy,’ and they had like, a common agreement on her maybe leaving the show,” he told the publication. “But I feel like it wasn’t her ultimate decision.”
Chris Harrison Asserts the Show Was in Crawley’s Control
Despite the insinuation to the contrary, Harrison has maintained that Crawley was in control. “I would just say she has complete control,” he said during an ET interview. “This season of The Bachelorette was completely about Clare. It’s all about Clare, and she will decide where we go from here. It’s totally, completely up to her.”
Viewers will remember after first meeting frontrunner, Moss, Crawley said, “I definitely feel like I just met my husband.” Harrison said he has never seen anyone fall so hard that first night, adding, “I’ve had a lead say, ‘Wow, I’m really blown away. I really like that person,’ and end up with that person in the end, but it was not a just out and out, ‘Let’s just stop this right now’-type of feeling.” Nevertheless, he asserts the goal was always to continue with “Plan A.”
When ABC Executive Rob Mills stopped by The Viall Files, he elaborated on when they knew Crawley’s season was likely to end. During a group date where her suitors had to perform a roast, many of them focused their jokes on Moss. After spending her cocktail party asking all of the men about him, she decided to not hand out a rose.
“At the time it was sort of controversial,” Mills said. “This was the time when we started thinking, ‘Oh my god, like we’ve really got to start thinking about this.’ When she didn’t give out that rose and just gave it to herself.”
Tonight’s episode did see Harrison arrive at Crawley’s door to bring up the topic of how the show moves forward, telling her, “The path we’re on right now doesn’t end well for anybody.” When asking her what she wanted to do, she said she wanted to focus on her time with Moss.