The unofficial tagline of 2020 is "there are no rules," which rings especially true for Clare Crawley's season of The Bachelorette. While every new lead comes with different hurdles, the 39-year-old has faced more than her fair share thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, which halted production on her season back in March. But even now that filming is underway, there are still a ton of irregularities about her time as the lead. If Clare's Bachelorette contestants' reactions to being cut early are any indication to how unique this season will be, fans might actually be in for the most dramatic season ever.
To recap, after Clare's season was pushed back due to coronavirus safety concerns, The Daily Mail captured footage of Clare filming at a resort on July 15, meaning production had finally begun. Us Weekly reported on July 14 that the contestants will film, date, and quarantine at the La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California, to reduce the risk of coronavirus. On the same day, The Bachelorette's Facebook page posted photos of 42 men who "could be" on the upcoming season.
Of the 42, fans expected some to be cut, since there are usually around 30 contestants at the start of the show. Turns out, they were right; some guys did get cut before the show aired — but what viewers didn't expect was to hear about it before the season's premiere.
On July 21, Bachelor fan account @Bachelornation.Scoop rounded up posts from Clare's first set of exes, revealing at least five guys have been cut (if not more who haven't spoken out). So far, Tien Yang, Ellis Matthews, Josh Elledge, Collins Youngblood, and Alex Brusiloff have spoken out about their departure from the show.
Collins, for example, posted an Instagram along with a very candid caption about leaving the show: "First and foremost, I want to thank @bacheloretteabc for this amazing experience. For those who do not know, I was recently cut from the show and I respect their decision. Please do not ask me on why I was cut. Most importantly, I want to thank all of my friends, colleagues, and family for their advice and support through this process. Love you guys and this is only the beginning."
Other former contestants were a bit more vague — like Alex, who posted an Instagram story that simply said, "COVID - 2, Alex - 0." That led some fans to believe he was cut because he tested positive for the coronavirus (everyone involved in the production had to get tested). However, Alex again took to IG stories to clarify: "No, I don't f*cking have COVID," so it's not super clear on why he's no longer part of the show.
Check out all the guys' posts below:
Normally, contestants have to wait until the episode in which they're cut airs to announce their news via social media, which makes fans suspicious these guys were released prior to filming anything at all. Still, considering how different this season will be (no international travel and no Bachelor Mansion, just to give you an idea), the rules of the past might have changed. As of now, it's unclear whether these guys will get any screen time once the season premieres.
Either way, fans are especially bummed to see two men of color — Tien and Collins — cut form the show. After the fan-founded Bachelor Diversity Campaign launched a petition on June 8 demanding more representation, resources, screen time, and work for BIPOC on the show, viewers were hoping to see these changes reflected in the upcoming cast of The Bachelorette. While the first Black male lead, Matt James, was announced as the the Season 25 Bachelor just days after the campaign launched, these Bachelorette casting cuts are raising some eyebrows. On a recent Instagram following the news Tien was no longer part of the show, a fan commented: "Really disappointed that you’re not going to be on Clare’s season. It would’ve been nice to see Asian representation in the Bachelor pool." Tien replied: "Agreed, I’m rooting for Joe [Park]! I guess 1 of 32 slots is progress lol."
It's unclear why these guys have left the show. It could be of their own choosing, or a decision made by production, or even the product of an elimination from Clare herself. Here's hoping all is revealed and even more tea is spilled before the first episode. Even though ABC has yet to announce an official premiere date, viewers can expect The Bachelorette to return sometime in the fall of 2020.