The Bachelorette: Clare Crawley Dumps the Remaining 16 Men and Gets Engaged to Dale Moss
This post contains spoilers from Thursday's episode of The Bachelorette.
Welcome back, Bachelor Nation. When we last saw her, Clare Crawley had decided she couldn't give out her second group date rose because all the men ragged on Dale — the one and only Dale Moss, Clare's dream man — during the comedy roast date. Needless to say, the choice made waves.
"It definitely didn't sit well with a lot of people," Demar said on Thursday's episode.
"She's not even giving anybody else in this house an opportunity," Kenny added. "It's almost like she doesn't care to learn about anybody else. Like, why am I here?"
Clare told Chris that ultimately, "I totally am like, head over heels for Dale." She also admitted to checking out all of her contestants' social media pages during quarantine (this was back when production got postponed in March), and decided that based on Dale's profile, he was the guy for her.
"He's somebody that I can see [myself] hanging out with," she said. "I like what he talks about. I like what he's interested in."
"It was, I would say, definitely built up before we even got here," Clare added of her connection with Dale.
When Chris asked if she spoke to Dale prior to shooting, Clare assured him she didn't. "Not one bit, not one word," she insisted. "I swear on my Dad's grave."
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Clare decided she wanted to spend the night with Dale so she could let him know how she felt instead of having a cocktail party or rose ceremony with the rest of the guys. Chris asked, "In your mind right now, is this over?" And Clare said it was.
"Congratulations, you've just blown up The Bachelorette," Chris said.
Chris proceeded to inform the men about the change of plans and pulled Dale aside to tell him that Clare wanted to see him that night. "I am so falling in love with this man," Clare told the cameras. "It's a scary situation to express your feelings towards somebody for the first time ... If he's not at the same place as me, I'll be crushed."
Clare and Dale embarked on a dinner date at the resort, where she began by telling him how strong she felt about their connection and how the former pro football player possesses similar qualities to her late father.
"I literally wasn't about to give a rose to any of them because I was thinking about you," Clare explained of her decision on the second group date. "We haven't even had a one-on-one date, yet I feel like I know you so much better than all the other guys."
As Clare and Dale discussed their feelings for one another, they bonded over the fact that both of their dads hitchhiked to see their moms after they first met.
"Every time I wake up, I think about you, and when I go to bed at night, I think about you," Clare told Dale. "I can't even put it into words how you make me feel. It's insane to me. It's insane. All I know is that I'm so falling in love with you."
Dale shared that he felt similarly. "When we met, I felt love, and like, that's what I came here for," he said. "And I'm falling in love with you through this process. I'm not afraid to say that at all. My heart is open and I'm not going to fight that."
After Dale and Clare expressed their mutual love, Chris and Bri from The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart came out to serenade them. Then, Clare and Dale spent the night together, alone in her hotel rooms sans cameras.
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The rest of the men continued to wonder what was transpiring between Clare and Dale and felt frustrated about not being able to talk to and spend time with her. But Clare still only had eyes for Dale. "I do have so many other great guys here and I genuinely wanted to get to know these guys and give them a chance, but nothing compares to what I have with Dale. Nothing," she said. "And I could most definitely gladly spend the rest of my life with Dale."
While Dale also felt the connection, he figured they would have time to build on it. "I didn't expect a lot of things to happen this quickly, but there's still a lot of time left in this process to really nurture this love that we have and really see where it goes," he said in an on-camera interview.
When Chris touched base with Clare, she told him Dale was "exactly what I am looking for," and that she "would be so honored to be with this guy for the rest of my life." Chris informed Clare that that meant the next step would be a proposal — that same night.
But first, Clare needed to fill in the 16 other men on what was going on, so she headed to their suite.
"What I came here for, I think I found, and it's with Dale," she told her remaining suitors. "I know each and every one of you have so much to offer, but I've always said I'm a woman who knows what I want, and I'm going for it. I just have so much respect for you guys. I would never, ever want to lead any of you on. And I hope you guys know it doesn't devalue any of the conversations, any of the energy that I put into you guys, because I was there and I was present. I hope that what I have found in Dale, I seriously and sincerely want the same for you guys."
Some men understood and encouraged her to follow her heart, while others were frustrated. Blake Moynes expressed that he didn't want her to get hurt. "I just don't know how you can be so sure so quick, and it worries me for you a little bit," he told Clare.
Kenny, on the other hand, demanded an apology. "You don't have to apologize for falling in love with Dale, that's not what we're asking. I just feel like a lot of time's been wasted," he said. "Because the conversation we had, I could tell your head wasn't there. You know what I mean? Like, I'm talking to you, but I don't think you really cared. I can tell when someone's not into it and I said that to the group. You should apologize for faking it. And you should've admitted you were in love with Dale after the first night, because that's kind of what it looks like."
"I'll apologize if I wasted your time, I'll apologize if I hurt you, but I'm not going to apologize for love," Clare responded.
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Next, Chris called up Neil Lane and told the jeweler he needed an engagement ring, stat. Chris also let Dale know that Clare had broken up with all the other guys. "There are no more steps. This is it," he told Dale. "This is the end of this part of the journey. What's next is the final step. Clare is going to be waiting for you. She's going to be waiting for a proposal."
Although Clare felt certain about Dale and their future, she worried rushing to an engagement would be a detriment to their relationship. "I don't want to ruin a good thing because of pressure," she told a producer.
When engagement night rolled around, Clare awaited Dale's arrival. "There's not a doubt in my mind how I feel, but I'm scared because I have no idea what he wants to do tonight," she admitted.
Dale showed up in a suit, and Clare began to profess her love. "I'm just so in love with the man that you are," she said. "You made me feel like everything that I've ever been through, all the ups and downs and other relationships, it was all worth it because I've got you right now. And most importantly, you've shown me that you would never run away and never leave me and I've never, ever had a man who would stay. And you continue to show up for me. And I promise you I want to show up for you each and every day. You make me so happy."
Dale responded: "From the moment I stepped out of the limo, I knew this was special and I know you and I both felt it immediately and there was absolutely no denying it. You made it so clear and apparent at every phase of this that you believe in it, you believed in you and I."
"I know without a shadow of a doubt that you would go to the end of the world for me and I've never had that. And I'm so grateful for that," he continued. "And you talked about strength and compassion and how you saw that in me, similar to your father, and that meant everything. I want to be here for you. I want to be strong. I want you to feel protected. I want nothing more than to keep moving forward, to be there for you each and every day. And I thought a lot about my mother and what she would think about you and she would absolutely love you. And all she's ever wanted for me is someone who just loves me unconditionally and would be there for me no matter what. I mean, I know that I have that and I love you. And I'm so appreciative for you."
Preparing to get down on one knee, he continued, "And the best is yet to come. I'm not going anywhere. I want to make you happy each and every day. With that being said, I'm going to do it. I'm doing it. Clare, will you marry me?"
"Yes!" Clare said, adding, "Put that ring on my finger, I've waited a lot of years for this."
Clare gave Dale the final rose and the couple proceeded to celebrate their engagement. "It's wild that we're here right now, but when you know, you know," Dale said. "This is how it was supposed to happen at the beginning. We saw this coming a long time ago."
Clare added, "We so saw this coming. I felt it. I knew it."
Meanwhile, the remaining guys assumed they were packing it up and heading home. But Chris told them that if they wanted to stick around, they would get another chance to find love. He gave the men until that night to decide if they wanted to stay, and they all chose to remain on the show.
"You guys, to no fault of anybody, got a little cheated. You didn't really have an honest chance to find love," the Bachelorette host said. "And I said if you guys get dressed up and you show up tonight, that this journey would continue. And if you guys take this leap of faith, you will have a shot at love. Gentlemen, your new Bachelorette is on her way here right now."
With that, Tayshia Adams stepped out of the limo and chatted with Chris. All the while, the guys had no idea it was Tayshia who they'd be meeting.
"I just know that this process moves very quickly and you start to invest a lot of feelings really early on," Tayshia told Chris. "I don't know if that's the case for some of them, and if so, I am more than happy to have that conversation with them if they don't feel like this is the right time for them or I'm not right for them."
"But I feel like this is the right moment in time," she added. "I wouldn't be standing here I don't think if it wasn't meant to be."
The Bachelorette continues Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.