It's been widely reported Tayshia replaced Clare on Season 16 of The Bachelorette after Clare allegedly fell in love with bachelorDale Moss, a 31-year-old model and former college basketball and football player from Brandon, SD, just 12 days into filming and therefore quit the show.
But Harrison played coy when Entertainment Tonight reporter Lauren Zima, who is also his longtime girlfriend, asked him questions about Tayshia, 30, co-starring on the series.
"Clare is the Bachelorette," Harrison insisted with a big smile. "Have you not seen the promos?! Clare-ly you have not been watching the promos."
"Could that change?" Lauren asked.
"Next season it will change," Harrison playfully responded.
Lauren pointed out Tayshia would make a great lead for the franchise regardless of what happens on Season 16.
"In all seriousness, Tayshia is a very good friend of mine. I absolutely love and adore this woman, and I would love for her to have that opportunity to be the Bachelorette, should that ever arise," Harrison explained.
"She would be a great candidate [for Bachelorette]. She always was. She was on the top of our list from the start."
"Is Tayshia not the Bachelorette?" Lauren asked in confusion.
"She's not not the Bachelorette," Harrison replied.
Lauren pointed out that Harrison did not give her the Clare-ity she was hoping for that day.
A source previously told Life & Style that before Clare officially quit The Bachelorette, she even "refused to come out of her room" at one point to film dates with other men.
A source had told Us Weekly that The Bachelorette producers "were shocked" by Clare's choice to leave the show and were left "scrambling" and "frantic" while trying to figure out how to handle the unprecedented situation.
"[But they] had to find a way to continue the show without just starting from scratch," the source added.
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 Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone tweeted there was "some serious validity" to the posting.
"We saw a lot of people on set. [Becca Kufrin] and [JoJo Fletcher] and [Wells Adams] was on set. I don't think [they're] going to be the Bachelorette or Bachelor," Harrison said. "We brought a lot of friends in to help us out this season."
ABC just announced Clare's official cast of 31 bachelors for Season 16, which premieres Tuesday, October 13 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC pending the schedule for the NBA Finals.
Tayshia, a phlebotomist from Orange County, CA, first appeared on Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor and was eliminated during his round of overnight Fantasy Suite dates.
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.
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!"
The Bachelorette's new season was originally supposed to have filmed in March and premiered on May 18, but global health restrictions in light of coronavirus had shut down nearly all Hollywood productions.