Production was left scrambling over how to handle the situation and "pick up the pieces," Life & Style reported, but they've since replaced Clare with The Bachelor alum Tayshia Adams and are trying to mix up the cast so Tayshia will have enough bachelors -- including fresh guys -- to choose from.
According to Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone, Clare gave Dale the coveted First Impression Rose at the start of filming last month.
Dale was one of the original group of 32 prospective bachelors ABC announced in March beforeThe Bachelorette season was postponed at the last minute due to the coronavirus pandemic and the casting process was extended so more guys could submit applications.
Before filming began, Clare had admitted she used the four-month hiatus to research the men online.
"Obviously. What woman wouldn't, are you kidding me?" Clare told Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrin during a June appearance on their Bachelor Happy Hour podcast when asked if she had googled her group of bachelors after filming was postponed.
Clare added at the time, "You can kind of tell people's lifestyles from their Instagram Stories. And I see some where I'm like, 'Mmm, that's not really my vibe.' And others where I look at them and say, 'Oh, that's hot. I can't wait to meet that guy and I hope he's on my season.'"
The unique situation appears to have created an online dating-like scenario in which Clare appears to have effectively gotten to pre-screen many of her The Bachelorette bachelors before she met them in person during Night 1 of filming.
Given Clare decided to quit The Bachelorette so soon into the filming process, many fans are also now questioning if Clare and Dale began communicating online directly prior to the commencement of filming in mid-July.
"The couple won't say exactly when cupid struck," the source told Life & Style.
"People are wondering if it was love at first sight when she and Dale met up in Palm Springs two weeks ago?"
Another Life & Style insider said Clare and Dale seem to be "a great match."
"[Dale] obviously loves working out, sports, of course, and anything involving health and fitness," the insider said. "He's very cautious about what he eats and likes to try new healthy things. He also loves dogs."
In addition, the insider noted Dale is "super close" with his siblings and "really cares" about his family.
Dale most "serious" relationship beforeThe Bachelorette was reportedly with golfer Seema Sadekar, and the insider told the magazine, "When it comes to girls, she's the one he would [talk] about the most."
A source told ET that Clare left the show on good terms with The Bachelorette producers although reports circulated last week that Clare was difficult on the set.
Late last week, Us Weekly reported The Bachelorette producers were trying to track down rejected bachelor candidates -- men who were not selected as part of the Night 1 cast but were among the 42 potential candidates released by ABC last month -- and bring them back to appear on the show.
Life & Style also reported producers would like to "match [Tayshia] up with the bachelors who are left" on Season 16 and were still filming when Clare found herself smitten with Dale.
Considering Clare's cast of 42 potential candidates went through a lengthy casting process and had to follow through with specific health and safety protocols amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, "execs hope the guys will still want to participate," according to another Life & Style source.
"It took them time to test them all for COVID and they've already been quarantined at the resort for 14 days," the second insider added.
"Please note this is unverified information: On [Monday, July 27] I got some messages saying that production is having a lot of problems with Clare during filming. Among other things, she cancelled everything that was supposed to happen... and they called in a new bachelorette," the poster wrote.
"They are recasting her with Tayshia. Tayshia is already quarantining at the hotel and they should be taking her phone on [Friday, July 31]. The plan is for her to call back some of guys that have already been eliminated."
The poster admitted to not believing the information at first and therefore withholding it from The Bachelorette fans for days, but after rumors swirled of recasting bachelors and Clare falling in love, the poster went public with his or her spoiler.
Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone initially couldn't confirm whether Tayshia would indeed be taking over Clare's position as Bachelorette, he said on Friday the Reddit posting had "some serious validity."
"(MAJOR SPOILER): I've been made aware of this Reddit post making the rounds. Been on the phone for the last 2 hrs digging. I cannot confirm with 100% certainty if it's true yet," Carbone tweeted on Friday.
"But if you ask my opinion, I think there is some serious validity to it based on what I'm hearing now."
Carbone elaborated on Twitter, "There's a lot to take in here that I don't have answers to yet (assuming this is true), but I will report back when I hear/know more...I don't have any definitive answers as of now."
Apparent additional evidence then circulated that Tayshia is the franchise's new Bachelorette.
ET reported Clare briefly returned to Twitter on Sunday, when she "liked" a tweet about Tayshia that read, "I'm sure many would be thrilled with Tayshia, too!!"
Clare removed her "like" on the post on Monday morning, ET reported, but screenshots of her social-media activity are widespread online.
In addition, Tayshia stopped posting on her social media accounts, which could be an indication she's had her phone taken away to film The Bachelorette.
Tayshia's pal Demi Burnett, who also appeared on Colton's The Bachelor season, also told Carbone during an Instagram Live session on Saturday that a text message she had sent Tayshia over the weekend was never delivered, Us reported.
It's standard for production to take away and turn off The Bachelor or The Bachelorette cast's phones amid filming.
Clare and/or Tayshia's official and final set of bachelors who will star on The Bachelorette's sixteenth season will be confirmed at a later date.
Given the unusual production situation, ABC has yet to announce a fall premiere date for Season 16. However, the show will air on Tuesday nights at 8PM ET/PT this fall.
Tayshia was widely reported to be a frontrunner to star on The Bachelorette's fifteenth season last year, but the position ultimately went to Hannah Brown.
Tayshia therefore appeared on last year's edition of Bachelor in Paradise, where she fell in love with John Paul Jones but dumped him before the season concluded.
While the couple briefly reconciled and began dating in the real world after leaving Paradise, Tayshia and John Paul ultimately split in October 2019.
Several months following her split from John Paul, Tayshia told ET that she'd be "open" to dating men in and outside of Bachelor Nation and she'd be "honored" to be selected as a future The Bachelorette star.
"No matter where life takes me, I am open to all opportunities, and I don't think that this is where my TV presence will end," Tayshia said earlier this year. "I would love to still interact with a lot of people in a beautiful way."
And just days before Clare was announced as The Bachelorette's Season 16 leading lady, Tayshia admitted to ET that she would be "ready" for the gig.
"I have to say, anything that comes my way, I am ready for," Tayshia shared in late February. "I am ready for love!"
Clare was a 32-year-old from Sacramento, CA, when she was first introduced to Bachelor Nation on Juan Pablo Galavis' season of The Bachelor in 2014. She finished as his runner-up.
Clare then unsuccessfully continued to search for love on Seasons 1 and 2 of Bachelor in Paradise, which aired on ABC in 2014 and 2015.
Clare got engaged to French Canadian bachelor Benoit Beausejour-Savard on the reunion special for The Bachelor Winter Games, which aired in early 2018, but they broke up in April of that year.