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By now everyone in Bachelor Nation has heard about the biggest rumor to come out of the franchise since Colton Underwood jumped that fence, which happened just last year, if you can believe it. After a very tumultuous start and loooooong wait (thanks, worldwide health crisis!), production on The Bachelorette Season 16 with Clare Crawley is finally underway. But, if the word going around is true, Clare has decided to quit after just a couple of weeks, because she's already fallen for one of her suitors. We've still had no official word on this from the show, ABC or Clare, but we may now know why it's unlikely that our latest leading lady will say anything before her season begins to air.
It's no secret that everyone who signs up for any Bachelor franchise show is under contract with ABC, and according to an anonymous source close to the production who spoke with OK! Magazine, if Clare or the guy she's supposedly fallen for, Dale Moss, utter one iota publicly about what's going on with The Bachelorette right now, neither of them will get paid what their contracts promised them. For Clare, that means she'd forfeit a cool $250,000 pay day. On top of that, each of them will put any possible futures with the network as a whole in jeopardy, meaning no Dancing With the Stars or high profile GMA interviews, for instance.
When production was finally able to get going a few weeks ago, they had to undertake some serious changes to the way things were usually done in order to keep everyone safe (though they aren't using any mannequins for all those make out sessions). The entire cast and crew holed up in a fancy resort, reportedly in Palm Springs, California, which was shut down through September so that they could film everything there and wouldn't need to travel. Of course, it would seem that one of the issues with Clare and Dale is that they had been at the Bachelor Mansion back in mid-March to film, with info on all the guys already released to the world, when they suddenly had to shutdown.
This, in turn, meant that when they released everyone to figure out how best to proceed with filming, Clare was able to look up all the guys who'd been cast for her season, which no other lead has been able to do. So, it now seems that Clare and Dale hit it off online and "cheated" by having some serious quarantine hang time, meaning that they likely fell in love without cameras following along with the process. Which would appear to be the only explanation for how those two could have truly fallen in love after roughly 12 days of filming.
While this whole situation seems to have entered a realm of the super messy which is beyond anything that Bachelorette producers could handle, you can believe that they're on the case to make sure as much of this ends up on air as possible. While additional rumors abound that Tayshia Adams will now be Season 16's new Bachelorette, the source notes that producers are working closely with the show's promotions team to figure out how best to feature all of this on the show, as well as how to continue to build the most interest in the season. You already hear Chris Harrison yelling that this will be "The most dramatic season ever!" don't you?
Apparently, Clare and Dale have been moved from the resort to a private home, but we don't know if that means the production will film them there (and show them throughout the season) or how much of their love story between getting to the resort and Clare quitting will be shown when The Bachelorette airs. Either way, it will amount to Season 16 being perfectly messy, and lead to a much bigger build up for the season than what we currently had.
All that Clare and Dale have to do now is stay quiet and stay boo'd up to get their cash, and be thankful that their combined pay checks will surely be enough to help them start a life together after the show is done with them. The Bachelorette will air on ABC, starting in September, at 8 p.m. EST on Tuesdays. For more on what to watch in the coming weeks, check out our summer TV schedule and guide to fall TV!