One of the worst-kept secrets in Bachelorette history was confirmed on Thursday, as Clare Crawley‘s romantic journey reached its conclusion… and Tayshia Adams‘ love story began.
The two-hour affair began with a “surprise” visit from Chris Harrison, who immediately demanded answers (wiith “no bulls–t”) from Clare. “Right now, the guys in the house are unhappy, they’re confused,” he explained. “These are good guys, and they’re not dumb. [Editor’s note: That is a lie.] They know what’s going on. The path we’re on right now, we can’t continue.”
When asked to spell out her feelings for Dale Moss, Clare explained, “We have this connection where it feels like I’ve known him forever. There really is that fine line between respecting the process and going for what you want — and Dale is what I want.” (Pay attention. This is the first of several references to “the process.”)
cyberstalking perusing Dale’s social media accounts while the season was shut down for COVID-19, saying that she instantly recognized him as “somebody I could see hanging out with.” That said, she insisted that she never spoke with Dale before filming the show. “Not one bit, not one word. I swear on my dad’s grave.” Yikes!
Chris’ next visit was to the guys, who were not thrilled to learn that both the cocktail party and the rose ceremony had been cancelled. They were also not thrilled when Chris took Dale aside to tell him that Clare canceled the evening’s festivities because she wanted to spend more time alone with him. Back in the room, the
men boys were vocally baffled by Clare’s decision, but can you really blame her? From “I’m a lot of things, but I’m not a quitter!” to “There’s a bunch of good dudes in here, so f–k that!” there doesn’t seem to be a salvageable gentleman in the pig pile.
That night, Clare took Dale out to dinner to pop the question (“Will you blow up The Bachelorette with me?”) while the ghost of Ashley and J.P.’s marriage wept silently from the bushes. (When Dale said that he “felt good energy” in the room, you know he looked nervous as hell. He probably sensed that spirit’s presence!)
Dinner looked delicious, of course, but there was a surprise item on the menu that Dale was not expecting: a full plate of expectations — and the helping was generous. But Clare’s outpouring of affections did not deter Dale. In fact, he told her that he still remembers her stepping out of the limo “like it was yesterday.” (It actually wasn’t that long ago, but it was a nice sentiment, so we’ll pretend we’re impressed.)
Clare replied, “I can’t put into words how you make me feel. It’s insane! It’s insane! That’s pretty much how I feel.” (At this point, we could relate.)
As for whether he was ready to take the plunge, Dale told Clare, “When we met, I felt love. I’m falling in love with you through this process. My heart is open, and I’m not going to fight that. I’ve been dying to share this with you.” [Cue some of the sloppiest, wettest kisses imaginable.]
In the cruel light of day, Clare was forced to address the angry horde. “How are you guys doing?” she asked, to which one of the guys — pretending to care — replied, “How are you, more importantly?”
“This is so hard for me, because you are all such amazing guys,” Clare told the group. “When I came here, I was so ready and open and willing to find the love of my life. What I came here for, I think I found — and it’s with Dale. I’m a woman who knows what I want, and I’m going for it.” The guys demanded an apology for wasting their time and “faking it” for the past few weeks, inspiring this meme-ready quote: “I’ll apologize if I’ve wasted your time, I’ll apologize if I’ve hurt you, but I’m not going to apologize for love!”
That night, while the other boys soaked their bitterness in the pool, Clare met with Dale to make things official. “There’s a lot I’m scared of, but it’ll all be worth it when he gets down on one knee,” she told the cameras. And lucky for her, that’s exactly what he did. She accepted his proposal (duh), then immediately screamed “Clare Moss!” into the void. (Also duh.)
With the entire Bachelorette franchise ripped to bloody shreds, the men — now devoid of all purpose — began to slowly vanish from existence. (We almost felt bad for them, but then one guy was like, “I still have a lot left in the tank.” Uh, bye!) Then came the episode’s final twist! Chris summoned the men back for a “historic” reveal: “Your journey is not over. Each of you needs to make a decision. Can you look past your feelings with Clare and move on?”
“You guys, to no fault of anyone, got a little cheated,” Chris told the group of brave man-children willing to continue. “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. That’s right, you guys have a brand new Bachelorette. This woman is incredible. She is smart, independent, wants to get to know you guys … and she really is in a place in her life where she wants to find love.”
That woman, as fans have likely already seen in countless headlines (including this one), is Tayshia Adams.
Your thoughts on The Bachelorette‘s Season 16 switcheroo? Do you think Clare and Dale have what it take to go the distance? Whatever’s on your mind right now, drop it in a comment below.
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