Viewers have watched Clare fall head over heels with Dale, a 32-year-old former college basketball and football player from Brandon, SD, on The Bachelorette all the while trying to maintain relationships with other men, which have arguably been more shallow for the most part.
No matter who Clare dates or speaks with, she always seems to have Dale in the back of her mind. Dale also "shows up" at the right time with the right thing to say to Clare.
"It's not even the second Rose Ceremony yet, but I am so falling in love with Dale," Clare confessed to the cameras.
Clare even admitted to former The Bachelorette star DeAnna Pappas -- who paid Clare a surprise visit at La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, CA -- "Oh my gosh, this might be the shortest season ever."
During a group-date afterparty in the latest episode, Clare shut herself into her house with Dale and the pair engaged in a steamy makeout session that appeared to last almost an hour while her a group of her suitors questioned her whereabouts and intentions overall.
"I feel like I'm wasting my time in being here," Kenny Braasch, a 39-year-old boyband manager from Chicago, IL, told the other guys. "It feels like they're already dating and we're just f-cking around here. That's how I feel."
Clare later got a little offended when a group of men roasted Dale on a group date, and so she decided to give herself a rose instead of rewarding one of the guys.
Not only has the show featured Clare constantly gushing about Dale, but footage also captured Clare calling Dale her "fiance" when speaking to a producer behind the scenes.
"She doesn't really care about anyone else or is giving anyone else a fair [shot] besides Dale. This process is supposed to be for Clare to find a husband. Well, if she already found it, then what are we doing?" Kenny vented.
"She's obviously not giving anyone else a chance anyway. If you want to be with Dale, go be with him now and we'll all go home. If you've already got a boyfriend, what the f-ck am I doing here?"
Kenny added, "If you really want [Dale], if you want to get crazy, then let's get f-cking crazy. How about the rest of us walk out?"
Although the latest episode made it seem like the guys quit on Clare, a new The Bachelorette promo uploaded to the show's official Instagram account suggests Clare dumped all of her bachelors for Dale.
"Boys, it is great to see all of you here, because you guys got a little cheated," Harrison announces to the group in a promo of The Bachelorette's upcoming November 5 episode.
"You didn't really have an honest chance to find love."
Harrison then reveals to the men, who are all gathered in one room at The Bachelorette resort, another woman would be brought into the picture for them to date and get to know.
"So, your new Bachelorette is on her way here right now. Well, the big question: who is she?" Harrison asks as a limo pulls up to the resort.
"Well, how about I just go get here and I let her come in here?"
The guys simultaneously and eagerly reply, "That works!"
"The next person to walk through these doors will be your new Bachelorette, and possibly, your wife," Harrison adds. "Have fun tonight and I'll see you guys later."
The guys subsequently agree the new The Bachelorette star must be super nervous, and bachelor Bennett Jordan notes, "Hopefully she's ready for what she's getting into."
The next episode will kick off with 16 of Clare's remaining 17 bachelors feeling hopeless and confused about where they stand with the Bachelorette considering it appears no one can beat Dale's connection with Clare.
"Chris Harrison pays Clare a visit and cautions her that her journey cannot continue on its current path, only to have her make a stunning revelation," ABC teases, which is likely where The Bachelorette host tells Clare that she has "blown up The Bachelorette."
Chris then tells Clare's cast of guys what's going on and reveals Clare has canceled the cocktail party and subsequent Rose Ceremony, what was supposed to be the third Rose Ceremony of the season.
Clare throws out The Bachelorette format and comes up with a plan to share her deep feelings with Dale over a romantic dinner.
Clare finds out whether Dale feels the same way about her as the pair are serenaded by The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart winners Chris Watson and Bri Stauss with their song "Found You."
"What occurs next has never happened in the 40 combined seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette," ABC says. "Everything that occurs next is completely unprecedented."
Chris then sits down with Dale and lets him know where Clare stands and what she hopes will be the outcome. Chris encourages Clare to follow her heart, and then Clare approaches Dale to explain what's in her heart.
After the pair come to a conclusion or agreement, Chris announces the news to Clare's 16 other men, seemingly admitting Clare no longer wants to date any of them.
However, Chris offers the guys a second chance at love, presumably with the new The Bachelorette star, Tayshia, who is waiting for them.
Tayshia was featured for the first time at the end of The Bachelorette's October 27 episode. She looked stunning in a sexy bikini, teasing her entrance.
"There are good surprises," Clare recently told People about what will unfold on TV.
"And there is so much that happens that people don't even know about and I just can't wait for everyone to watch and see."
She added, "I'm a woman who really listens to my gut. And it didn't lead me astray."
Clare reportedly doesn't send any more bachelors home
Zach Jackson, a 37-year-old cleaning service owner from St. George, UT, got eliminated during a one-on-one date in the latest episode, and Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone said he was the last guy Clare sent packing during her time on the show.
Carbone wrote in his blog he had wrongly reported that Clare participated in three Rose Ceremonies this season and ousted Jordan Chapman, a 26-year-old software account executive from New York, NY, at some point.
The 16 men who reportedly compete for Tayshia after Clare leaves include Ben Smith, a 29-year-old Army Ranger veteran from Venice, CA; Bennett, a 36-year-old wealth management consultant from New York City, NY; Blake Moynes, a 29-year-old wildlife manager from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Brendan Morais, a 30-year-old commercial roofer from Milford, MA; and Chasen Nick is a 31-year-old from Walnut Creek, CA.
According to Carbone, Tayshia will also meet Demar Jackson, a 26-year-old spin cycling instructor from Scottsdale, AZ; Uzoma "Eazy" Nwachukwu, a 29-year-old sports marketing agent from Newport Beach, CA; Ed Waisbrot is a 36-year-old from Pittsburgh, PA; Ivan Hall is a 28-year-old from Dallas, TX; and Jason Foster, a 31-year-old former pro football lineman from Arlington, VA.
Jay Smith, a 30-year-old fitness director from Fort Lauderdale, FL; Joe Park, a 36-year-old anesthesiologist from New York City, NY; Jordan; Kenny; Riley Christian, a 30-year-old attorney from Long Island City, NY; and Zac Clark, a 36-year-old addiction specialist from Haddonfield, NJ, also reportedly stick around.
Clare reportedly left The Bachelorette early in order to pursue a real relationship with Dale instead of continuing to date other men at the same time.
But how could she have fallen in love with a man so quickly?
Clare previously admitted she had researched some of her 32 potential suitors who were announced back in March, before filming got postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
(A revised list of 42 bachelors was released by ABC in July, and then the final and official cast of 31 bachelors for Clare's The Bachelorette season was unveiled in late September).
"There were definitely a lot of emotions," Clare told People of her season being postponed. "It was stressful. But there were also honestly so many pros to it getting shutdown."
Given The Bachelorette didn't begin filming until mid-July, Clare had a total of four months to google some of the men and scan their social-media accounts, including Dale, who was one of 17 original cast members announced back in March to appear on Season 16 and date Clare.
"Clearly during that time, she fell for Dale," Carbone said of Clare, adding that Dale was her frontrunner on Season 16 from the moment he stepped out of a limo.
But Clare supposedly didn't communicate with Dale or get to know him prior to production commencing.
Carbone reported Clare had "no pre-show relationship" with Dale, which supports The Bachelor alum Michelle Money's prior claims.
Michelle, who is Clare's good friend, previously insisted that Clare followed the rules.
"[There was no] talking, texting, etc between Clare and Dale. [But] Clare clearly had a frontrunner in her head going into filming, and that was Dale," Carbone wrote in his blog.
Clare also told Us Weekly in early October she never even considered reaching out to any of the guys.
"I knew that this was going to happen eventually where I was going to get the chance to meet these guys," Clare said.
"I didn't want to kind of prejudge anybody and shoot myself in the foot by having these conversations and putting that at risk, because, it's like, you only really know when you meet them in person and it can actually be around their pheromones to see them in person to know, do we have that connection?"
"So if I was to start something up with a guy beforehand, it would just be doing myself a disservice... I'd be putting it all on the line for that? I mean, that makes no sense to me," she elaborated.
Clare also reportedly "liked" a tweet shutting down rumors she and Dale communicated before meeting on Night 1 of The Bachelorette's sixteenth season.
"The rumours of them talking before hand are false I rather believe Clare and Dale's sister when they said they was no contact," the tweet read, according to Us. "I'm hoping they are together because they are both great together."
Clare and Dale are reportedly now in a relationship -- and are happy!
Not only are Clare and Dale still together and in love, but the couple is reportedly engaged!
Clare was spotted wearing a diamond ring on her left hand while walking through her hometown of Sacramento in October, but Clare later set the record straight on social media that she often wears a ring she had purchased for herself to symbolize self-love.
"I can report to you that this was in production's plan before Clare's season started. They knew Clare would be removed at some point during this season and replaced as the Bachelorette by Tayshia," Carbone reported.
Producers reportedly knew early on Clare would have to be replaced at some point
"Production 'knew' Clare and Dale were gonna end up being a thing based on pre-show conversations, knowing that this season might be boring because of the one location shoot, they decide to have Tayshia 'ready' to go once Clare and Dale went down," Carbone explained in his blog.
Production reportedly didn't think Clare would be able to hide her feelings about Dale and put on a show for the cameras for weeks.
"So I guess the question comes down to, what would you have rather her do? Fake it for a whole season with guys she wasn't nearly as into, or, decide to leave with Dale once they realized they wanted to be with each other?" Carbone wrote in his blog.
"Did Clare know? No. Did the guys know? No. But production sure as hell did."
Carbone added, "So Clare falling for Dale early... this was gonna be their 'twist' from this season."
According to Carbone, producers proactively brought Tayshia to La Quinta Resort & Club to begin quarantining nine days after Clare began filming the season.
Carbone therefore claimed, "The reports that came out during filming of production being caught off guard, Clare putting them in a tough spot, they didn't know what to do, etc. is all BS."
Many fans are apparently starting to believe Clare didn't leave The Bachelorette on her own accord due to her strong feelings for Dale and desire to be with him.
The Bachelorette fan Marietou Sangare tweeted, "I think they were trying to force her out on some real. It was reported that she quit 12 days after filming and she locked herself in her room and wouldn't come out, which was hard to believe considering how bad she wanted it."
According to Us Weekly, Clare "liked" the tweet, which continued, "They had Tayshia quarantined 9 days after Clare started filming. They wanted to remove Clare. And I just don't think it's fair."
"And I really feel like they are giving her a bad edit (just my opinion). They are feeding into the narrative and the rumors and making it seem like it was Clare's decision that this ended and I feel like that's not the case."
In an additional tweet liked by Clare, Marietou went on to say, "Production knows exactly what they were doing. They've never had a lead just 'quit' and with how excited and how bad Clare wanted this, I doubt it. They were ready with a back up and as soon as they found out that Clare was into Dale it was a wrap."
"Don't you see with how the last two episodes have been produced, there's no drama and the drama that they've shown has been dramatized and fixated to make Clare look a certain type of way," Marietou added.
"Production has control over literally everything. They know what they're doing."
Michelle recently had Clare's back in telling Us that Clare has received a bad edit and production is "doing [Clare] dirty" by making it seem like Clare neglected all of her bachelors except for Dale.
Marietou had apparently used Carbone as her reference for the information in her tweets.
ABC executive Robert Mills tries to set the record straight on Clare's departure
Rob Mills told former The Bachelor star Nick Viall on his The Viall Files podcast the group date in which men roasted Dale and Clare decided to give herself a rose was the telltale sign the 39-year-old hairstylist had her mind made up on Dale.
"The guys are starting to be in revolt. It was a combination of Clare sort of [being] fixated on Dale, and those shots with producers, we don't really like to show [them] because it's breaking the fourth wall. Especially now, we've tried to show less and less, if at all -- if possible," Rob explained.
"And we had to show that scene where she's just like, 'That wasn't funny.' So you can see what's going through Clare's head."
Nick asked Rob whether Clare opted to leave the show on her own or producers thought to themselves, "We can't get through this whole season, the way this is going."
"I just wonder... if we had done a regular season with travel, maybe it would've been [different]," Rob wondered.
Given Clare still had six more weeks of filming at the same location, La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, CA, Rob figured, "At that point, maybe [Clare] was like, 'I just can't fake it through this.'"
"I think it was just this one person that she believes -- I mean, she said it, 'I think I met my husband,'" he added. "I think she just couldn't keep doing it anymore. I think she was sort of going crazy a little bit."
Rob said it was "a big worry" that the entire The Bachelorette season was just going to be Dale and Clare from "from Episode 1 to Episode 10."
"It was all really about Plan A, and it was all about, 'What do we do with this season with Clare, and where do we go with that?'" Harrison explained.
"Really, it was about Clare and her decisions. It's her decisions that you're gonna see -- well, you saw obviously, in Tuesday's episode. I really put it in her court, it is completely up to her."
He added, "I like for you to see everything and then you can judge, but in my humble opinion, I really feel like you'll see next week, it's her call where we go from here."
When Dale stepped out of a limo and spoke to Clare for the first time, she said she felt like she had just met her husband, and she appeared to be dizzy and overwhelmed with excitement.
"The first night, I went in more of just to capture that moment and lean into that moment,'" Harrison recalled of his surprised reaction to Clare's big revelation on Night 1.
"I kinda thought, 'This'll be good because we won't be going in this direction in just another week or two, and this'll be interesting that she was falling so hard for this guy and felt so strong, yet here we are on this other path.' That tends to be what happens."
However, the storyline didn't play out as Harrison had anticipated.
"That's not what's happening here, and that was just the tip of the iceberg, and it's only gone more severe in that direction," Harrison told ET.
"So, I go back to that and I wanna go, 'Wow, okay, maybe she was onto something and maybe she really did feel that strongly.'"
Harrison acknowledged he had "never seen a lead fall that hard that heavy" on the first night of filming.
"I've had lead say, "Wow, I'm really blown away. I really like that person,' and end up with that person in the end, but it was not a just out and out, 'Let's just stop this right now'-type of a feeling," The Bachelorette host explained.
DeAnna Pappas has seemingly confirmed Clare and Dale are still together
DeAnna dropped a major hint about the current status of Clare and Dale's relationship during an early November appearance on The Ben and Ashley I: Almost Famous Podcast.
"I've had the luxury of since we filmed seeing Clare and getting to chat with Dale," DeAnna said.
"What I tried to encourage Clare with is that hopefully some really great things will come out of this, hopefully some really great opportunities."
DeAnna continued, "What I encouraged them both to do is definitely enjoy the ride, take the opportunities because they'll forever change the way their lives go and to love it and to enjoy it but also to nurture and take care of what they have."
DeAnna all but gave away Clare and Dale are a couple amid reports Clare and Dale are happily engaged.
"So, I think that would make her so happy, to just be in Sacramento and to live her life and live her love story with Dale -- and she's totally fine with that," DeAnna shared. "She's waited a really long time."
"As you saw in the episode [when I visited], it looks like Clare only talks about Dale, but I legit heard about a lot of guys and I heard about her experience. We did not just talk about Dale!" DeAnna said on The Ben and Ashley I: Almost Famous Podcast of her one-on-one time with Clare on The Bachelorette.
"Poor Clare, man. She has been put through the wringer. And I think anybody who's been on the show... can relate to this, that it is hard."
"The things people are saying about her and her life and stuff online can just be really hurtful," she added.
DeAnna added that she feels "bad" for Clare because The Bachelorette is supposed to be a "really joyful" time for the show's lead.
"This should be a really great experience and probably one of the most exciting things she'll go through, it has not been that for her," DeAnna explained.
"And on most days, she's feeling really down about the things that people are saying about her online and the editing of the show. So actually today, the girls and I sent her flowers today just to let her know that we love her."
DeAnna noted, however, this is just "a blip" in Clare's life and will "all be done" soon.
"Whatever the outcome is [Thursday] night, she's going to be able to walk away and move on and hopefully have someone that she genuinely loves and can be with -- and people will forget about this and they'll move on," DeAnna said.
"And apparently Tayshia will be the next Bachelorette, so hopefully this is just a blip in what seems like a difficult time for her."
DeAnna said she tries to reach out to Clare on a daily basis to make sure she's okay and to assure her that she's doing great.
"I feel like she has so many cards stacked against her. What I think is so interesting is that when they announced Clare as Bachelorette, everybody was like, 'Yes, finally! A 39-year-old woman who knows exactly what she wants and she's not messing around and she's not going to take any B-S for an answer!" DeAnna recalled.
"Except now, there are so many people online who are shaming this 39-year-old woman who's not taking B-S and who knows exactly what she wants, and now people are hating on her for that exact thing we were praising her for in the very beginning, which I think just sucks. It just sucks."