In early March, Clare Crawley was announced as the next star of "The Bachelorette."
However, after the pandemic delayed shooting, the season started to look quite different — it all takes place at one resort, many of the men were recast, and Chris Harrison will be temporarily missing.
But the biggest change of all: Crawley has been replaced by Tayshia Adams.
With so many changes before it even started airing, Insider is breaking down everything you need to know about season 16 of "The Bachelorette."
Every year without fail, Chris Harrison promises Bachelor Nation that the upcoming season of "The Bachelor" or "Bachelorette," or any of its spin-offs, will undoubtedly be the most dramatic season ever. This season, he may be right.
From a mid-season lead switch-up, to a 12-day relationship, plus changes due to the coronavirus, this season really does seem like it's going to be the most dramatic yet.
Keep scrolling to learn everything you need to know about this season of "The Bachelorette."
In March, Clare Crawley was named the next Bachelorette, seven years after she had appeared on Juan Pablo Galavis' season of "The Bachelor."
Crawley was a clear course correction. All season long, fans had complained about how young and immature some of the contestants were on Peter Weber's season of "The Bachelor." Crawley, at 39, would be the oldest Bachelorette yet.
However, soon after the announcement, the US shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, and filming was put on pause.
Filming was set to begin on March 13, but that week the COVID-19 shutdown began in earnest. So, while her contestants were revealed and put on social media, filming was put on pause.
It meant that Crawley was able to see her men, and it also gave the men time to beef up their social media presences, including a few of them creating Cameo accounts. Cameo is an app where people can pay celebrities, athletes, influencers, and other public figures to record messages for someone.
Crawley apparently didn't appreciate some of her potential suitors already capitalizing on their "fame," writing on Twitter, "If you are doing interviews and creating Cameo accounts before you are even on my season... you are in it for the wrong reasons... #dontwasteyourtime."
Before Crawley's season could begin, ABC announced Matt James would be the next Bachelor, an unprecedented move.
James was supposed to be a contestant on Crawley's season, but as the pandemic cut the season off before it could begin, he skipped a step. For the last decade or so, Bachelors and Bachelorettes have been picked from the prior (or few seasons prior) round of contestants, but James is an unknown to many.
But not all — James is one of Tyler Cameron's best friends. As you may recall, Cameron was the runner-up on Hannah Brown's season and became an instant star. He even dated Gigi Hadid. As a result, Cameron's social media presence skyrocketed and everyone in his orbit gained thousands of followers, including his best friend and roommate, Matt James.
The announcement came at a time of unrest in the US and after a push from members of Bachelor Nation for more diversity in the show. James will be the first Black Bachelor in the show's history, and the second Black lead overall, after Rachel Lindsay.
Crawley's season was shot at the La Quinta Resort in La Quinta, California.
It meant no trips around the world, no uncomfortable dates walking around a city, and no traditional hometown dates or fantasy suites. The entire season will be taking place at the resort, with strict quarantine measures and even less contact with the outside world than usual.
There was a significant amount of recasting when production picked back up again, as many thought the original group of guys was too young.
Jeremy, seen here, is 40 years old — that makes him the oldest contestant in "Bachelorette" history.
As filming began, reports emerged that Crawley had already fallen in love with one of her men and was quitting the show.
According to Life & Style, less than two weeks into the shooting process, Crawley decided she had found The One, and reportedly refused to go on other dates with her suitors. Some attributed this to her age — Crawley knows what she wants. Some thought Crawley had been talking to her guy before filming started, as she had access to all of their names.
Warning: Spoiler alert.
Crawley's pick is reportedly Dale Moss, a 31-year-old former NFL player from South Dakota. Reality Steve originally reported that Moss received the coveted First Impression Rose, but after just a few weeks, the two are reportedly engaged — though, Moss has been spotted back in South Dakota, while Crawley appeared to still be filming long after her part of the season ends.
However, as we saw in the latest previews, the guys seem to think that Dale is not all that he seems to be. On the flip side, viewers were shown their first meeting, with Crawley stating, "I think I just met my future husband."
Even before the first episode aired, it was rumored that Crawley would be replaced with Tayshia Adams mid-season.
Adams first appeared on Colton Underwood's season of "The Bachelor," and was eliminated during Fantasy Suites after Underwood infamously jumped the fence. She also appeared in the last season of "Bachelor in Paradise," during which she formed a relationship with John Paul Jones, though the two didn't last long.
The rumors first became prevalent due to a post on the "Bachelor" Reddit thread, and Reality Steve confirmed the news. The show did not deny the reports — and now, they've finally confirmed that she appears.
On August 21, the first photos of Adams at La Quinta were leaked and obtained by The Daily Mail.
Adams was one of the favorites to become the next Bachelorette last year, instead of Hannah Brown, so many are happy to see her take the reins, especially as she's another step in the right direction towards diversity — Adams will be the third Black lead overall, and second Black Bachelorette.
According to reports, more women were also flown in to the resort, including Becca Kufrin and Hannah Ann Sluss.
According to Us Weekly, Kufrin and Sluss were both spotted at La Quinta — however, as Kufrin has not publicly confirmed her split from fiancé Garrett Yrigoyen, many deduced that they were there to record messages of well wishes for Adams and encouragement for the guys.
On the October 27 episode, former Bachelorette DeAnna Pappas popped up to offer Crawley some advice.
In another shake-up, host Chris Harrison will temporarily be replaced by JoJo Fletcher while he quarantines after a trip.
Harrison left the resort to drop his son off at TCU for his freshman year of college, so when he returned, he had to quarantine for two weeks. As the show is already running on a tighter-than-usual deadline, production could not be halted, so Fletcher (a former Bachelorette) was brought in to temporarily take over hosting duties.
This year's fantasy suites will be held in Airstream trailers.
The fantasy suites, which is when the lead gets to spend a night with each of her finalists, are normally in an exotic location, such as Australia, Greece, or Portugal. However, this year's will look a little different due to the pandemic, Cosmopolitan reported.
It was also reported that, instead of traveling to hometowns, the contestants' family and friends have been flown out to California to meet Adams.
As Adams season has finished airing and we're already on to filming Matt James' season of "The Bachelor," normally we'd know Adams' winner, courtesy of Reality Steve. However, the show's resident spoiler expert hasn't been able to confirm the ending of Adams' season yet.
When the show premiered on October 13, there was no hint of Adams.
"The Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" used to air on Mondays, but since the show is airing in the fall, it's switching to Tuesdays due to "Dancing With the Stars."
When the air date was released on August 27, only Clare Crawley was featured on the poster.
But at the end of the episode on October 27, Adams finally made her first appearance.
Viewers were thrilled to get their first look at Adams this season, as she dramatically exited a pool in the last 10 seconds of the trailer for next week.
While the switch-up's details are still unclear, it definitely seems like Crawley and Moss are headed to some type of showdown with the rest of the cast, and all the men seem to be frustrated with Crawley's tunnel vision.
While we haven't seen her refuse to go on dates yet, like was rumored, she did choose to not give out a group date rose on a date that Moss wasn't on, let Moss monopolize her time during another group date, sent home Zach J. during his one-on-one, spent all of her time with the other men talking about Moss, and even called him her fiancé to producers.
Read the original article on Insider