[Bachelorette Spoilers Warning: This article contains spoilers revealing how Clare's The Bachelorette's 2020 season ended and what led up to producers replacing Clare with The Bachelor alum Tayshia Adams.]
Clare has seemingly had her eyes and heart set on Dale, a 32-year-old former college basketball and football player from Brandon, SD, ever since she gave him the First Impression Rose.
While Clare has embarked on dates with other guys and tried to get to know her cast, Clare always appears to have Dale in the back of her mind.
"He shows up. He has it and he has the way. It's not even the second Rose Ceremony yet, but I am so falling in love with Dale," Clare confessed to the cameras.
Clare also admitted to former The Bachelorette star DeAnna Pappas -- who paid Clare a surprise visit -- "Oh my gosh, this might be the shortest season ever."
During an afterparty in the latest episode, Clare escaped with Dale and madeout with him for 40 minutes to an hour in her suite at The Bachelorette resort, leaving the rest of her guys anxiously waiting for her return and wondering whether they even stood a chance.
Clare then couldn't stop talking about Dale even in her conversations with other bachelors.
"It literally feels like right now, she's only interested in Dale in this whole house to the point where I feel like I'm wasting my time in being here," Kenny Braasch, a 39-year-old boyband manager from Chicago, IL, told the guys.
"It feels like they're already dating and we're just f-cking around here. That's how I feel."
After a group of men roasted Dale on a group date, Clare decided to give the date's rose to herself, almost as a form of punishment for the guys making fun of her self-declared "fiance." (Clare called Dale her "fiance" when talking to producers 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?"
The next episode of The Bachelorette is set to air on a special night on Thursday, November 5 at 8PM ET/PT due to election coverage earlier in the week.
Sixteen of Clare's remaining 17 bachelors feel hopelessly confused about where they stand with the Bachelorette considering it appears Dale already won Clare's heart.
"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 shares the news with Clare's group of men that the cocktail party and Rose Ceremony are canceled.
"Will she get her wish or will Dale, the man of her dreams, walk away?" ABC teased. "Will the other men be left with dashed hopes?"
Clare embarks on an unprecedented path to happily-ever-after and formulates 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 share how he feels.
Tayshia therefore had 20 guys to date when her portion of The Bachelorette season commenced.
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 Jordan, 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 stuck around.
Clare reportedly fell in love with Dale just 12 days into filming
Clare reportedly quit The Bachelorette and decided to pursue a real relationship with Dale instead of continuing to date other men at the same time.
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 and didn't talk to any men before filming began in July.
"[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?"
Clare is reportedly engaged to Dale, and recent reports say the pair are still in love.
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.
Carbone couldn't confirm the engagement news, but he believes it's true.
"This season you'll get a Clare and Dale love story... I do know they're still together, and probably engaged. Do I know for a fact they're engaged? No. But I assume they are based on things I've heard," Carbone reported.
Clare's early The Bachelorette exit was reportedly not spontaneous and not even her decision!
Carbone has insisted Clare never really "quit" the show on her own or "locked herself in a room" because she didn't want to date any of the other men after falling for Dale.
Carbone also disputed sources' claims The Bachelorette producers were left frantic and "scrambling" over how to proceed with the show after Clare allegedly blew up the show.
Carbone wrote in his September 30 blog that production knew all along, from even before filming began, that Tayshia would replace Clare as the show's star at some point in the season.
"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 could reportedly tell from the get-go Clare was smitten with Dale.
"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.
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."
Clare ending her time early on the show "was production's [idea]," Carbone clarified.
"They were the ones that went to HER bringing up the scenario of basically,'What do you think of ending this now with Dale?' They both agreed."
Carbone admitted while he can't prove this and The Bachelorette producers will probably never admit it, he insisted, "It wasn't even Clare's decision to end the show with Dale."
Clare "liked" tweets speculating The Bachelorette producers forced her off the show
Clare "liked" multiple tweets from The Bachelorette fans on October 24 speculating production had essentially pushed Clare to leave the show early although it's been widely reported Clare up and quit Season 16 after falling for Dale.
Fans are apparently starting to believe Clare didn't leave The Bachelorette on her own accord due to her strong feelings for Dale.
The Bachelorette fan Marietou Sangare attempted to defend Clare's portrayal on the show and 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 Weekly 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.
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."
ABC executive Robert Mills reveals when producers realized Clare needed to be replaced
Rob 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's journey to find love on the show must end early.
"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."
Rob added, "And then at the cocktail party, every one-on-one is [Clare asking], 'So tell me why you said that about Dale. Tell me what goes on.'"
Rob said Clare's focus and attention on Dale was very "controversial" at the time.
"And we were like, 'Oh my God, we've really got to start thinking about this.' When she didn't give out that rose and just gave it to herself... that was it," Rob revealed.
"That was really it. That is when we started making the call [to replace her]."
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."
Harrison assured ET that producers didn't go into her season with some type of Plan B.
"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.