It was the switch heard ‘round Bachelor Nation. After rumors swirled over the weekend, ABC confirmed that Tayshia Adams is our new Bachelorette, as the previously chosen one, Clare Crawley, abdicated the throne after finding love 12 days into shooting her season. The unprecedented switch follows what already has been several chaotic months for the show, which was forced to create its own bubble situation at La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs after the pandemic delayed filming and the season’s original May premiere date. Not only will this be the first season of The Bachelorette to ever take place in one location, it’ll now also be the first to switch leads in the middle of the season. But, the show must—and will—go on, despite the messy situation at hand.
And thankfully, there are several ways to turn this debacle into an unparalleled success. Pour yourself a glass of Whispering Angel, get comfy, and don’t be afraid to jump in and stay awhile.
One thing The Bachelorette shouldn’t do is ignore the drama happening behind the scenes. This franchise is at its best when the contestants stray from the norm of dating 25-plus people over the course of a little less than two months, and with this Clare-to-Tayshia transition, the producers have a real opportunity to change things up. The Bachelor likes to portray itself as a show about romance and finding true love, but at its core, it’s really about one thing: drama. Think about the success of the Arie-Becca split screen, Colton’s fence jump, Hannah B.’s windmill conversation with Luke P., and the rise of the chaotic Bachelor in Paradise in recent years. Now they’ve been gifted with an even more singular, dramatic scenario; they’d be silly not to give viewers an all-access look into how Clare’s season was quickly derailed.
While we’ve already been promised a look at Clare’s journey, that most likely means only one or two episodes (three at the MOST) of footage of Clare going on a few dates and telling the men, “Look, I’m almost 40, and I know what I want, and I don’t think you can offer that to me from the conversation we just had.”
Don’t shortchange us! ABC needs to air the behind-the-scenes tape we all know it has of Clare doing recon on her men with a smuggled iPhone, meticulously scouring every inch of social media and the larger internet to find out which of the guys are there for the right reasons and which are there for the wrong reasons. Let’s see her stew in her anger as she witnesses these dudes promoting themselves on Instagram. Give us two hours of Clare reading Reddit threads and Reality Steve tweets aloud as if she’s reciting Yeats. Bachelor Nation deserves to hear Clare curse and say things like, “I DIDN’T FREEZE MY EGGS FOR YOU TO MAKE $25 CAMEO VIDEOS!” (Get it? Because she’s ancient in Bachelor years even though she’s not even middle age by normal standards! Hilarious!)
Additionally, and most importantly, the show should present a full breakdown of how Clare met and fell in love with Dale Moss, the contestant who has allegedly won Clare’s heart after a mere 12 days (which has to be a franchise record). When exactly did Clare realize that she wants to spend the rest of her life with Dale? Did she have another heart-to-heart with a raccoon? How much did COVID-19 factor into her refusal to let the season play out? Was it love at first sight, or was Dale the only clear winner in a group of losers? I have so many questions, and the least producers could do is give us access to how this romance blossomed so fervently.
Lastly, show us the transition to Tayshia. Show us Clare scrambling after accidentally liking a tweet about Tayshia becoming the Bachelorette. Show us the production meeting when they asked, “Who’s gonna be willing to quarantine and then film an entire season at a hotel with a bunch of guys who weren’t even selected for her?” Show us Tayshia blurting out “I’LL DO IT” before Rob Mills even asks the question. Show us Tayshia dramatically turning her phone off as she enters the Bachelorette Bubble. Show us everything.
Make the Most Dramatic Trailer Ever
You know how The Bachelor franchise loves to tease us with dramatic trailers? Well, what better way to drum up some pre-season excitement than with a dramatic trailer that includes the moment Clare tells the producers and Chris Harrison that she wants out of her season? As someone who’s seen their fair share of dramatic Bachelor trailers, let me try to paint you a picture of what could possibly be The Most Dramatic Trailer Ever:
We open with an exterior shot of the resort in Palm Springs where they’re filming. It’s the middle of the night, and we can see a full moon. A coyote in the distance howls ominously. We hear a bleeped-out obscenity and a rustling of bodies. The next shot is inside the resort. Clare is talking to producers in her suite.
Clare: “I can’t [bleep]ing do this anymore. I’m 39, I know what I want, and a year of my life has been wasted due to the coronavirus. I’m out of here.”
Bachelorette Producer 1, face blurred out: “Where is Chris? Someone get Chris.”
Clare: “Where is Dale? We’re leaving. Dale? Let’s go!”
Bachelorette Producer 1: “I need Chris here NOW!”
Chris Harrison hastily enters wearing a half-zip, clearly unprepared for what is about to happen.
Clare: “Chris, I’m not doing this anymore.”
The camera zooms in on Clare, she sees it and blocks her face.
Chris: “Clare, it’s been 12 days, take a second—”
Clare: “Are you [bleep]ing serious? We’re in a global pandemic, I’ve found the hottest guy here, and I can’t spend one more day inside this glorified Sheraton.”
Clare removes her mic, gets up, and sprints out of the hotel room. The production crew follows, and we get shaky camera footage of Chris chasing after Clare as ominous background music plays.
Clare: “DALE? DALE? WHERE ARE YOU? WHICH ROOM ARE YOU IN?”
Clare starts pounding on all the hotel doors, and one by one, each of her suitors wakes up and opens their door to sheer pandemonium.
Suitor 1, shirtless: “What the [bleep] is going on?”
Suitor 2, also shirtless: “What the [bleep] …”
Bachelorette Producer 2, speaking to the men: “We’re going to need you all to get back inside your rooms.”
Suitor 3, yeah, he’s shirtless too: “Wait a second, we deserve to know what’s going on!”
Bachelorette Producer 1: “GET BACK IN YOUR [BLEEP]ING ROOM!”
The camera abruptly cuts out and we hear Chris’s voice in a dramatic voice-over: “Get ready for the MOST DRAMATIC SEASON OF THE BACHELORETTE … And this time, I TOTALLY MEAN IT.”
ABC, I’m available to cut trailers. Call me.
Give Tayshia a Dramatic Grand Entrance
It would be a disservice to Tayshia if the powers that be just drop her into Clare’s position as if nothing happened. I want Chris Harrison to give us his best acting performance to date by telling the men that something serious has gone down and that they’re needed in the hotel’s ballroom immediately. To amp up the shock factor and really mess with their heads, we’re gonna need these guys to be running on only a couple of hours of sleep, Survivor style, so that they’re confused and scared. Once they’ve all gathered in the ballroom and are each amply terrified, Chris Harrison will come in and drop the bomb that Dale and Clare have escaped the compound—I mean, resort—and right as the men are about to cry and collapse into the fetal position, he’ll bring in a giant box that—SURPRISE!—Tayshia will pop out of. Bachelor producers love tired stunts like this; there’s a pretty good chance they’ve already planned something identical to this.
It’ll be like the time Wells Adams popped out of a cake to announce the sex of Evan Bass and Carly Waddell’s child on the Bachelor in Paradise reunion show—only instead of Wells, it will be someone I can tolerate and don’t want to punch!
Bring Back JPJ
This is a no-brainer. The producers must bring back John Paul Jones, a.k.a. JPJ, the man-boy who had a torrid love affair with Tayshia on the last season of Bachelor in Paradise. Honestly, what is this man doing besides living in Los Angeles and trying to start a band with Honey Baked Ham? JPJ brings the drama, the absurdity, and a pure love for Tayshia. BRING HIM INTO THE BUBBLE NOW.
Give Us Clare’s 12-Day Season As a Holiday Special
If the powers that be decide to give us the minimum amount of Clare this coming season (i.e., one episode devoted to her journey), there’s still another way to package the best behind-the-scenes footage as a one-off special that’s begging to be called The 12 Days of Clare Crawley. Seeing as there’s seemingly no way the pandemic-induced lockdowns won’t continue through the rest of the year, ABC will need something to air around Christmas, and that’s where The 12 Days of Clare Crawley comes into play. It’s exactly what the title implies: 12 episodes that cover each of the 12 days in which Clare was the Bachelorette. It’s as simple as that, and Freeform can simultaneously air it as part of its 25 Days of Christmas programming. We love synergy!
Will people watch this? Yes. Throughout this summer, millions of people have watched The Bachelor: Greatest Seasons—Ever!, a weekly three-hour clip show summarizing seasons of television that aired like nine years ago. They’ll certainly watch as much new footage as ABC is willing to air. Seriously, I’m all in for whatever manufactured drama this coming season of The Bachelorette brings us. In this global pandemic, knowing that we’re about to get a new season of The Bachelorette—no matter how wonky—somehow makes the world feel a little more normal.