Bachelorette Exec Reveals the Moment They Realized Clare Crawley Had to Be Replaced
As fans have seen so far, Crawley, 39, fell hard for contestant Dale Moss during episode one — ultimately bringing the season to an abrupt conclusion (of sorts). Though her exit — and replacement with Tayshia Adams — has been rumored for months, the switch was made official during a teaser that aired after Tuesday night's episode.
"Not this" unpredictable, however, Mills said on The Viall Files.
Mills said it became clear that Crawley's season couldn't continue on as usual when she decided to not give out a rose at the end of a group date that did not include Moss, choosing instead to give the rose to herself.
"At the time, it was sort of controversial," Mills said. "This was the time when we started thinking, 'Oh my god, like we've really got to start thinking about this.' When she didn't give out that rose and just gave it to herself."
"I felt like I saw that coming," Viall replied. "It's like 'Dale's not on this date, I'm just not going to give a rose.'"
"Right. That was it," Mills said. "That was it, that was when we started making the call."
Following the date, which was centered around a group roast that ended up being all about Moss, the cameras showed Crawley approaching producers with obvious disappointment. Mills said that, at that point, the other contestants were "starting to be in revolt" because of her clear preference for Moss.
"Those shots with producers that we don't really like to show, breaking the fourth wall … we had to show that scene, [so] you could see what's going through Clare's head," he explained.
Mills and Viall both agreed that while the phenomenon of a lead Bachelor or Bachelorette falling hard for someone early on is "common," not to the extent of Crawley and Moss.
Referencing Viall being the runner up on Andi Dorfman's season in 2014, Mills said, "No offense to you Nick, but I think on Andi's season that was a little bit of the problem. … It was really always going to be Josh."
He added that JoJo Fletcher will also discuss the topic when she fills in for Harrison later on in the season. "She kind of knew night one it was going to be Jordan," he said of Fletcher's fiancé, Jordan Rodgers.
And needless to say, producers weren't prepared for what ultimately went down with Crawley.
"It was always about, 'They're going to walk off.' You know as the lead, you have moments where you're like, 'I'm done, I'm out,'" Mills said. "It was sort of never, 'Oh my God, what if they've met this person [early] and we've got to shut this whole thing down?'"
RELATED VIDEO: Nick Viall Defends Clare Crawley 'Dropping the Ball' as Bachelorette: She's Being 'Authentic'
He went on to address the rumors that Crawley had actually met Moss prior to The Bachelorette filming. "She's been asked, 'Did you guys speak before this?' and she swears on her dad's grave that they didn't," Mills said. "She had never seen this guy."
Though the rest of this season will be pivoting to focus on Adams, 30, as the new lead, Mills confirmed that fans will get to see a glimpse of Crawley embarking on her relationship with Moss.
"She just couldn't do it anymore," he said of Crawley's departure. "I think she was sort of going crazy a little bit."
Mills added, "Tayshia will be part of the season starting next week. This is where, as Chris Harrison says, The Bachelorette will blow up."
The Bachelorette returns Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.