Tayshia Adams Weighs in on Clare Crawley's 'Bizarre' Bachelorette Season Premiere Mid-Pandemic
Adams, 30, spoke out about last week's episode of the hit ABC reality show, saying it was "bizarre" to watch people interact without masks on amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"I thought it was so interesting how many people and how many times they referenced, like, 'This is the first time I hugged somebody in, like, six months or, like, holding hands even,’ you know what I mean?" Adams said during the latest episode of her Click Bait podcast. "It's just, that's just the way of the world lately, and I couldn't imagine having that much freedom because we've been having to put masks on every single day, and so to be able to, like, walk around and date and kiss and hold and do all that stuff without a mask is kind of bizarre."
Production on Crawley's season was set to begin in March at the Bachelor mansion but was delayed due to the pandemic. 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 safety precautions.
Crawley and the contestants all quarantined on-location for two weeks and passed COVID-19 tests before they began filming.
But as loyal fans know, the coronavirus might not even be the most dramatic element of the season. In August, a source told PEOPLE that Adams had been tapped to replace Crawley, 39, after she fell for one of her suitors mid-season.
"No one else stood a chance," the source said. "It just became so obvious from her 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 contestant from Colton Underwood's season 23 of The Bachelor, who later appeared on Bachelor in Paradise — was brought in as a back-up.
Though Adams has yet to publicly comment on the news, a trailer for the season hinted at the shakeup. In one scene, a contestant wondered, "I don't know how you can be so sure so quick," and later, another contestant suggested 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 told 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 asked.
Crawley, meanwhile, is also staying quiet 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."
The Bachelorette airs Tuesday (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.