The Bachelorette season 16, starring Clare Crawley, is underway, and there’s already plenty of drama unfolding. One of the controversies that arose during the premiere has to do with whether or not Crawley was in contact with any of her contestants before they met in front of the reality show’s cameras.
As she admitted during the premiere, Crawley had communicated with at least one contestant prior to filming. Here’s what you need to know:
Crawley Asserts That the Only Contestant She Interacted With Before Filming Began Was Blake Moynes
During the season 16 premiere of The Bachelorette, a private conversation with contestant Blake Moynes revealed that, in the time between casting and filming, Moynes reached out to Crawley over Instagram DM, and that the two had been in communication.
The episode showed Crawley thanking Moynes for taking a risk in reaching out to make sure she was okay while dealing with her mother’s hospitalization. According to Crawley, Moynes is the only contestant who contacted her in advance of filming.
Crawley told Entertainment Tonight, “Blake was the only person that messaged me, the only person I had any contact, talked to, any sort of communication with [ahead of the season]. We’re given these rules to respect, the process of it all, and I definitely, 100 percent, respected the process. What he did, and the reason he did that, I also really respect.”
In Spite of Fan Suspicions, Even Reality Steve Says Crawley Did Not Communicate With Dale Moss Before Filming
Crawley was obviously smitten with contestant Dale Moss from the first moment they met, and the premiere of The Bachelorette certainly made it seem like love at first sight. At one point, Crawley even told Chris Harrison “I feel like I just met my husband.” Her immediately strong feelings for Moss had viewers convinced that Moss’s limo entrance was not their first time meeting one another, and suspicions arose that the two had likely been in contact with each other over social media before filming began, once Crawley’s contestants were chosen and production was on hold due to COVID-19.
Reality Steve refuted those allegations in his spoiler reports published ahead of the season 16 premiere, explaining, “Clare had 4 months… and if you heard Clare on Rachel and Becca’s podcast, she admitted she absolutely snooped the guys’ profiles and IG stories over those 4 months. Clearly during that time, she fell for Dale. Reports are they were talking were at first debunked by Michelle Money, and then confirmed by me. There was no pre-show relationship, talking, texting, etc between Clare and Dale.”
Harrison confirmed to ET that Crawley looked up her contestants in advance of filming, and actually voiced his support for that preparatory move. He said, “[Clare] admitted to me that she started looking through and getting an idea of what these guys stood for, who they were — not a terrible idea, and maybe that’s something we incorporate into the future of this show.”
New episodes of The Bachelorette season 16 air on Tuesday nights at 8/7c on ABC.