What is going on with The Bachelorette?
First, an answer to the question in the headline: Who the hell knows? Over the weekend, rose lovers, a Reddit user posted this bombshell about Clare Crawley's season of The Bachelorette, which is (allegedly) filming now, (possibly) at a resort hotel in Palm Springs:
In a totally not-shocking turn of events, ABC has no comment on any of these rumors... which could mean that they're true, but it could also mean that something even weirder is going on here. After all, this is 2020, folks.
So if the Tayshia-replaces-Clare narrative is just a red herring leaked by production to throw Bachelor Nation off, what might the real story be? Using my vast wealth of (useless) Bachelor and Bachelorette knowledge, I've devised three more conspiracy theories about what's might be going on with Clare's "journey":
Conspiracy theory No. 1: Clare did fall in love... but not with one of the contestants.
Viewers first met Clare Crawley back in 2014, when she was used and discarded by The Bachelor's biggest mistake ever, Juan Pablo Galavis. From there, she became a regular fixture in Bachelor Nation, meaning she and host Chris Harrison have spent a lot of time together over the years — through two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise and one of Bachelor Winter Games. Perhaps after spending a few weeks sequestered together in the Bachelorette bubble, Clare and Chris pulled an REO Speedwagon and realized they simply can't fight these feelings anymore. When she was first announced as the Bachelorette, Clare, 38, told Good Morning America that she's looking for a man "who is strong, but is willing to take off the body armor, open himself up and be vulnerable" — and doesn't that describe 49-year-old Harrison to a T? It's possible, then, that right now production is on hold while Tayshia does her pre-Bachelorette quarantine and ABC negotiates a deal with a host to replace Chris Harrison with... former Dancing With the Stars host Tom Bergeron.
Conspiracy theory No. 2: There was a breach in the Bachelorette bubble
Though ABC and Warner Bros., which produces the Bachelor franchise, have not confirmed details about production on Clare's season, it's reportedly taking place at the La Quinta resort in Palm Springs, Calif., and there are vigorous safety procedures in place to keep the cast and crew healthy during the Covid-19 pandemic. But what if someone from the outside managed to infiltrate the so-called "Bachelorette bubble"? Say, for example, that six-time (!!!) contestant Chris Bukowski decided to go for his seventh appearance on the Bachelor franchise and snuck into La Quinta via, like, a laundry delivery truck? The whole production would have to shut down temporarily while everyone was re-tested for coronavirus, and Clare and her men would have to re-quarantine for two weeks to ensure no one was infected.
Conspiracy theory No. 3: Our reality... isn't.
INT. MIAMI BUNGALOW — MORNING
Clare Crawley, 38, wakes up in her California King bed. She sits up and looks around... the bed is empty. Confused, she walks toward the bathroom, toward the sound of water running. She opens the door to find... JUAN PABLO GALAVIS, her husband, in the shower.
In other words, rose lovers, what if — and go with me here — Juan Pablo actually gave Clare his final rose in 2014, and they've been married ever since? Could it be that everything that came after was just a dream Clare had, and we — like the staff of St. Elsewhere — are just figments of another person's imagination? Discuss.
Whatever's really going on, the rumors are going to continue to swirl until later this year, when ABC starts rolling out its 2020 season.
One single woman searches for her future husband amid a sea of studs in this romantic reality series. Will you accept this rose?