"On a scale of one to 10, 10 being the most anyone has ever needed to be distracted, tonight’s episode of The Bachelorette arrived with the nation collectively hovering somewhere around 12," says Willa Paskin of Thursday's episode that confirmed the rumors that Clare Crawley had ended her Bachelorette courtship early by picking Dale Moss, with Tayshia Adams succeeding her. "Thankfully the episode on offer, which had been built up for weeks as an incredible spectacle, was, like so few things in this life, not overhyped. Instead of saving her last rose for the finale, Clare Crawley, this season’s bachelorette, fast-forwarded through the normal arc of a season in a 36-hour period, racing from confession of love to fantasy suite to engagement in a mad dash that was as engrossing as it was ill-advised. Distraction, granted." Paskin adds: "On The Bachelorette, as in a casino, the house always wins: There is no onscreen drama that does not work in the show’s favor. But this whole incident was even better for it than most hubbubs. Not only does it allow the show to effectively deliver two highly rated season finales in one season, it burnished the series’ regular way of doing things. Compared to Clare and Dale’s blitzkrieg courtship, finding a husband over multiple weeks of a reality show seems positively sane, if not downright old-fashioned. The Bachelorette delivered a rush-job engagement that even it seemed to know was a little far out and ill-advised, but came out looking squeaky clean. You can bet against Clare and Dale—and the good money should—but never bet against The Bachelorette."
Tayshia Adams recalled to Jimmy Kimmel getting the call from Bachelorette producers: "Honestly I got the phone call and it was more so, 'Hey you're the girl,' and I'm like, 'I got you,'" she told Kimmel. "And I was there. I think everything was just kind of moving very quickly, and no, they didn't share that news (of Clare's abrupt ending) with me." Adams said she went to CVS to get makeup and a toothbrush, and was at the Bachelorette bubble in Palm Springs within 48 hours, with her mom the only person who knew about her new role.
ABC reality boss Robert Mills explains how and why Tayshia Adams replaced Clare Crawley: Mills says they began thinking of Tayshia with Episode 3 because they wanted to keep viewers invested for 10 weeks while Clare was getting closer to Dale Moss. "We had to proceed as if this is ending soon after these three-and-a-half weeks, and then we’re going to bring in Tayshia and roll the dice," he says. "Clare had her one-on-one and had her overnight, and that was it. We just had to figure out how to (get) Neil Lane in the bubble and get that ring here." How did they break the news to Tayshia? "We had met with her earlier (in consideration for The Bachelorette), and told her that this time, it’s going to be Clare, so since this was so unexpected, she came in and basically said, 'You never know when things are going to shake up in your life,'" he says. "And we are so lucky that we ended up getting two all-time Bachelorettes.” Mills also emphasized that Clare will be back this season.
In defense of Bachelorette "terrorist" Clare Crawley: "Good for Clare!" says Laura Bradley. "In these trying times, when so many of us are struggling to string two sentences together in casual conversation, do we not deserve a patron saint of stilted social interactions? Don’t we yearn for such an inspiringly brazen example of COVID cuffing? (Seriously—the two rushed to the 'fantasy suite' in the same amount of time it often takes me to pick up a prescription from the pharmacy!) And anyway, really, do we not ache for such splendidly stupid drama? Why should Clare waste her time pretending to be interested in Patrick Bateman lookalikes when she can snag herself a bona fide quarantine cuddle buddy right now? As our devil-may-care Bachelorette put it, 'It seriously is true. You know when you know. And I know.' You know what? Sold."