Clare reportedly filmed The Bachelorette's sixteenth season for 12 days in July but decided to quit production because she had "already fallen in love" with one of her bachelors, Dale, a 31-year-old model and former college basketball and football player.
A source previously told Life & Style that Clare even "refused to come out of her room" at one point to film, and an insider told Us Weekly that The Bachelorette producers left "scrambling" and "frantic" about how to proceed with the show.
"I don't understand why Clare could just be like, 'Yep, this is the person I like. Let's just cut me off now,'" Dean, 29, toldUs on Monday.
"There's gotta be something else and I don't know what it is... It just seems a little fishy."
Dean said he's "not buying" that explanation, adding, "It's a little too convenient that Clare fell in love and 12 days and left the filming of the show just to pursue the relationship with this guy."
The reasoning behind Dean's skepticism is that he believes former The Bachelor stars Ben Higgins and Nick Viall were "99.9 percent confident" about their final pick on their respective seasons "after 10 to 15 days of filming" -- but neither guy quit filming.
"I'm sure at some point they leaned over to production and they're like, 'Hey, can you just, like, cut this production short? Because I'm going to just pick this person anyways,'" Dean said.
"And they're always like, 'No, you can't do that. You signed a contract to film for three months or however long you have to finish out the show.'"
Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone revealed in a recent Instagram Live session with The Bachelor alum Ashley Spivey, "Clare Crawley isn't leaving Southern California until this filming is over. She's there. She's not in South Dakota. She's not in Sacramento."
"Dale being in South Dakota has not changed anything in terms of everything people have been reading. Clare is with Dale, I can tell you that. Are they engaged? I don't know," Carbone insisted.
"My guess is 'yes,' but I don't know for sure. But they are definitely together... and they brought Tayshia in to be the Bachelorette and now Tayshia is giving out roses and they are filming Tayshia's season of The Bachelorette."
News of Tayshia's participation first shocked the world on July 31 when a spoiler about her replacing Clare was posted on Reddit and then Carbone tweeted there was "some serious validity" to the posting.
Entertainment Tonight subsequently confirmed on August 3 that Tayshia is the new star of The Bachelorette but Clare's short journey to find love will also be featured on the show when it airs this fall on Tuesday nights at 8PM ET/PT on ABC. (An official premiere date has yet to be announced).
What remains to be seen is whether more men will be brought to the resort to date Tayshia, giving her a full roster of The Bachelorette suitors, or if she will only have Clare's remaining men to choose from.
"Because of quarantine, it's not as simple as just starting over," a source recently told People.
"Everyone is being tested and contained within this bubble so anyone coming from the 'outside' is potentially a problem. So that still needs to be fully resolved at this point in terms of Tayshia's suitors."
While it appears Clare and Dale fell in love in only 12 days of filming, multiple sources claim their love affair began way before cameras even started rolling at the La Quinta Resort and Club in July.
"Clare Crawley never spoke to Dale before filming. That is 1,000 percent factual information," Michelle, who is Clare's good friend, recently said in her Instagram Stories reposted by Access. "Never happened. Fake news."
"She was impressed by his social media account," conceded Michele, who competed for Brad Womack's heart on The Bachelor's fifteenth season and also appeared on Season 2 of Bachelor Pad.
"But never DM'd, never texted, never talked. 1,000 percent fake news... [And] if the rumors are true, that she fell in love with Dale and stopped filming, can I just get a 'hell yeah' on how much self-respect and respect for the other men it takes to stop production."
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.