In case you haven’t heard, Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette has postponed production due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Filming was initially set to begin on Friday, March 13, with the season premiere to debut on May 18. However, with the show at a standstill for at least two weeks, the future of The Bachelorette Season 16 remains uncertain. Nevertheless, according to ABC exec Rob Mills, there is a silver lining to halting Crawley’s journey — and yes, it involves the cast.
Rob Mills explains the plus side of postponing Clare Crawley’s season of ‘The Bachelorette’
On Friday, March 13, host Chris Harrison announced Crawley’s Bachelorette season was postponed. However, this wasn’t the first time production was pushed back. As mentioned, the first day of filming was supposed to start on March 13, the same day the news broke. But according to Mills during an interview with The Ringer’s Bachelor Party podcast, production was already changed to a later date. And fortunately, we won’t get shots of Crawley at the Bachelor mansion patiently waiting for a limo that will never come.
“Our first day was supposed to be Friday, the 13th. But at that point, we moved it to Sunday, the 15th,” Mills said. “So Clare wasn’t sitting at the mansion on Friday and told, ‘OK wrap it up. Go home.’ She was not standing on a wet driveway waiting for a limo to show up. So it’s fine.”
Even so, it’s clear Crawley hasn’t received the best run on The Bachelor franchise. From enduring Juan Pablo Galanis to the coronavirus postponing her season of The Bachelorette, Crawley deserves more than she’s been dealt. And this is exactly why Mills thinks the upcoming season will be nothing short of phenomenal for the hairdresser.
“When we do this season, it’s going to be awesome,” Mills said. “You can’t keep getting bad breaks and then not get a good break. I think she’s going to get the best break. Like something is going to happen that this all happened for a reason. I think she’s very much a big believer in that, too. Everything in its own time.”
Meanwhile, Mills shared it’s not too late to apply for The Bachelorette Season 16, even if Crawley’s cast was previously announced. So it’s entirely possible the 38-year-old will find her match in the new crop of men.
“Look, maybe someone’s going to apply that we couldn’t have gotten on in time, that goes on and ends up being her person,” Mills said. “And then she’d say this was all worth it.”
He continued: “Hopefully, men are still applying and we can get some other good guys in there. I think there was a lot of criticism of the cast and the ages. But I do think the cast we had was very strong. So I’m not worried about that. But you can never have too many good guys.”
Clare Crawley and Chris Harrison discuss ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 16 cast after postponing production
After The Bachelorette Season 16 was postponed, Crawley expressed her thoughts on Instagram. Ultimately, the Sacramento native acknowledged prioritizing health above all else and she’s still excited about her journey, no matter when it begins.
“I’ve waited 38 years for these moments, what’s a little bit longer, right!” Crawley wrote.
Then in an Instagram Live on March 17, the next bachelorette encouraged more people to apply for her season while filming is postponed. “I feel like since we have a break in the show right now, I don’t think it’s too late to submit people,” Crawley said, per Entertainment Tonight. “So, submit them, why not? What’s the worst that could happen?”
Crawley also revealed she’s open to dating someone younger, but “not too much younger.” As Mills mentioned, viewers called out the franchise for casting men who were so much younger than the lead. The ages of Crawley’s cast range from 23 to 42, and viewers were worried about the maturity differences.
Meanwhile, Harrison hinted that recasting Crawley’s Bachelorette season may not be “such a bad idea,” especially since the franchise doesn’t know when production will resume.
“The thought that 25, 30, 35 guys — everybody that was able to take time off [then would be able to] come back on The Bachelorette, we don’t have a set time of when we’re going to come back,” Harrison said during an Instagram Live, per Entertainment Tonight. “So, the idea that everybody’s just going to be able to take off work and do this again? Probably very slim.”
The host then shared his own thoughts on recasting the season. “I’m all for casting new guys,” Harrison said. “Is Clare going to date a 23-year-old man? No, she’s not.”
No matter what happens next, we just hope Crawley gets her happily ever after on The Bachelorette. And of course, it would be amazing to see Crawley find her person in someone who wouldn’t have been on the show without the break. But quite frankly, if postponing production means everyone involved will remain safe, it’ll be well worth it anyway.