Clare Crawley Dodges Questions About Her Bachelorette Replacement Ahead of Season Premiere
A source told PEOPLE that the reality star left abruptly mid-season after falling for one of her suitors
It's a good day for Bachelor Nation.
After a months-long delay due to the pandemic, fans will finally get to see Clare Crawley begin her Bachelorette journey on Tuesday night's two-hour season premiere. Ahead of the episode, Crawley, 39, stopped by Good Morning America to tease what we can expect. First things first — is she currently in love?
"I am in love with life right now," she said with a grin. "Things are really good."
"You know what, everybody keeps asking me, 'Are you happy? Are you happy?' And I keep telling everybody I was happy going into this," she continued. "So whatever came about it, I'm happy now. So things are well on my end."
When GMA's T.J. Holmes asked Crawley about the "rose-carrying elephant in the room" — her abrupt mid-season exit from the show — Crawley played coy.
"A lot of stuff happened on this season," she said. "And I feel like it would not be doing it any justice if I was to give any of it away to you."
Production on Crawley's season was supposed to begin in March at the Bachelor mansion but was delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It eventually kicked off at the La Quinta resort in Palm Springs 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.
And the global pandemic might not even be the most dramatic element of the season. In August, a source told PEOPLE that Tayshia Adams had been tapped to replace Crawley after she fell for one of her suitors.
"No one else stood a chance," the source said. "It just became so obvious from [Clare's] subsequent few dates that her heart wasn't in it and she just wasn't feeling it. Then she said she wanted out."
According to the source, Adams — a 30-year-old contestant from Colton Underwood's season 23 of The Bachelor, who later appeared on Bachelor in Paradise — was brought in as a back-up.
A second source promised this cycle really is "the most dramatic season ever," teasing at the time, "There's more to the story than just Clare falling for someone and not wanting to see what else could happen with other men."
For now, Crawley is staying mum on her current relationship status but recently told PEOPLE "there are good surprises" in store.
"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," she said. "I'm a woman who really listens to my gut. And it didn't lead me astray."
A newly dropped trailer for the season hints at the shakeup. In one scene, a contestant wonders, "I don't know how you can be so sure so quick," and later, another contestant suggests the 15 remaining guys "walk out."
"In the 18 years I've been doing this show, we've never dealt with anything like this," host Chris Harrison tells the men. "There's also not going to be a rose ceremony tonight. I can't even fathom how you guys are going to try and process this."
"I don't know what that means. Like, okay, do we get a new Bachelorette in here?" someone asks.
The Bachelorette premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.