'The Bachelorette' producers reportedly asking "backup" Clare Crawley bachelors to join cast two weeks into filming
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/01/2020
The Bachelorette producers have reportedly reached out to previously-announced possible bachelors who were cut before Night 1 to come back and compete for Clare Crawley's heart, suggesting there's a problem only two weeks into filming Season 16.
The Bachelorette producers reportedly felt the need 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 earlier this month -- to come back and appear on the show.
"Last weekend, producers reached out to backup Bachelorette contestants who had been vetted for Clare's season but were ultimately not cast to film at La Quinta [Resort in Palm Springs, CA]," an insider toldUs Weekly.
"When producers reached back out, out of the blue, it was very apparent that something had happened with production."
When the production team started "calling backup contestants" who weren't part of the season's Night 1 cast and "asking them to come to La Quinta within 24 hours," the insider said all signs "obviously" pointed to there being an issue behind the scenes during filming.
It's possible a fewer number of bachelors than anticipated were able to film The Bachelorette due to COVID-19 although the 42 bachelors were required to undergo a quarantine period and coronavirus testing before the start of production.
But the sudden casting mix-up apparently has Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone baffled.
"THIS I can confirm actually did happen," Carbone tweeted Friday in response to Us' report producers reached out to backup men two weeks into filming.
"Why? I have no idea. But guys who were cut and never made to night 1 were reached back out to in the last week and asked back."
Carbone claimed, "None have accepted [the chance to come back] as far as I've heard."
The Life & Style source's claim Clare wants to quit The Bachelorette prematurely has sparked speculation The Bachelorette producers may be trying to cast new guys to make the season more competitive or give Clare more options.
"Producers are scrambling to figure out what to do," the source said, adding that Clare "refused to come out of her room" at one point.
"They are frantic trying to pick up the pieces without having to start over completely."
According to Carbone, Clare gave Dale the coveted First Impression Rose when The Bachelorette began filming in the middle of July.
ABC first announced a cast of 32 potential bachelors for Clare's The Bachelorette edition in March, but due to the coronavirus pandemic and a drastic delay in show production, the casting process was extended and more men continued to apply over the course of several months.
Rumors swirled ABC was trying to cast older men because fans and even Clare's friends were complaining guys in their twenties seemed too young for the mature 39-year-old hairstylist, who claims she knows what she wants and doesn't want to mess around.
ABC then released a revised version of Clare's cast earlier this month, with a total of 42 men on the list -- including 25 brand new selections and a total of 26 guys who are age 30 or older.
Fans were informed at the time the 42 bachelors "may" get to meet and date Clare onThe Bachelorette's sixteenth season given a typical The Bachelor or The Bachelorette season usually features around 30 contestants.
Clare'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 not yet announced a fall premiere date for Season 16. However, the show will air on Tuesday nights at 8PM ET/PT this fall.
The Bachelorette's new season was originally supposed to have begun filming in March and premiered on May 18, but global health restrictions in light of coronavirus had shut down nearly all Hollywood productions.
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.