The two-hour season premiere airs Tuesday on ABC

After months of anticipation, the new season of The Bachelorette is finally here.

On Tuesday night's premiere, viewers will get to see Clare Crawley meet her contestants as the cast enters the sequestered "bubble" at the La Quinta Resort in the California desert. In PEOPLE's exclusive sneak peek, Clare, 39, meets Dale Moss, 31, a former NFL player from Brandon, South Dakota.

"How are you?" he asks, emerging from the limo.

"Hi," Clare says. "Come on over!"

"I'm a hugger, so I've got a big hug for you," he says as wraps her in his arms and lifts her off her feet.

"I needed this," she says. "I needed this so bad, you have no idea."

The Bachelorette
Credit: ABC

He introduces himself, then says, "I really do feel this is going to be special. I can't wait to see you inside."

"I agree," Clare replies. "I can't wait either. Thank you for the great hug! That was amazing. You're a good hugger."

As he walks away, Clare buries her face in her hands. "I definitely feel like I just met my husband," she says. "I'm shaking!"

Production on Clare's season was initially supposed to begin in March but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It eventually kicked off at the Palm Springs resort in July, with a source telling PEOPLE at the time that the space was "essentially a protective bubble" with enforced temperature checks, testing and a quarantine for cast and crew.

Speaking to PEOPLE recently, Clare said the postponed schedule was "stressful," but there was a silver lining.

"There were also honestly so many pros to it getting shut down," she said. "Producers were able to recast some of the guys and get some that were more appropriate for what I was looking for. I wanted a guy who was genuinely there for me. There was a lot of talk about, 'Oh, I'm the older Bachelorette, are these guys too young?' But it was also about: Am I too old for them? It went both ways. So we were able to hone in on what everybody was looking for."

Ultimately, "the ones that wanted to be there after the hoops they had to jump through, that was what I was looking for," she said.

the bachelorette
Clare Crawley and her Bachelorette contestants
| Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

When the first night finally arrived, it was even more special. "To see the men standing in a room and know that most of them have the same interests and goals as I do, it really was magical," she said. "They were all amazing. I could feel it in my bones!"

And not only was her season filmed during a global pandemic, but PEOPLE reported in August that Clare left abruptly mid-season after falling for one of her suitors — and was replaced by Tayshia Adams.

"There are good surprises," Clare, who for now is staying mum on her current relationship status, told PEOPLE. "And there is so much that happens that people don't even know about and I just can't wait for everyone to watch and see."

The Bachelorette premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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