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The 2020 Bachelorette Is Clare Crawley, Here's Why That's A Big Deal

The Bachelor franchise is known for recycling its former contestants and remaking them into season leads, but in this case, ABC really reached back into its archives to crown Clare Crawley the 2020 Bachelorette. The announcement was made on Good Morning America on Monday, March 2, ahead of the current Bachelor season’s “Women Tell All” episode, a move that surprised many fans. But there’s more than one reason Bachelor Nation is all in a tizzy about this new development.

Clare’s history with the franchise dates back to 2014, when she was a contestant on Juan Pablo Galavis' Bachelor season, coming in second place but winning the real prize of chewing out the Bachelor for his skeezy ways. After that, Clare starred on Bachelor In Paradise Seasons 1 and 2, as well as The Bachelor Winter Games, the latter of which resulted in her getting engaged to fellow contestant Benoit Beausejour-Savard. However, only two months after the proposal, the couple announced their split.

If you didn’t pick up on it from the above timeline, Clare has been around a bit longer than the average person to appear on a Bachelor show. Especially in recent years, the casts have skewed super-young (I mean, Hannah Brown was 24 when her Bachelorette season aired), and viewers have had pretty mixed opinions about this fact. At 38, Clare is a departure from that early-20-something vibe the past few seasons have had. Whether that means there will be less petty drama and more intense quests to find love remains to be seen, but fans are hopeful.

During her interview on Good Morning America, Clare acknowledged the potential age difference she may have with many of her future suitors. “I have been known to date younger guys, so that’s not a problem for me," she said. "The thing is, I wonder if they’re ready for me, for my age, so I feel like that would be more of an issue than for me with them."

During her time in Bachelor Nation, Clare has become known for her empowering quotes and no-BS attitude (and befriending a raccoon, but, like, that was one time.) "I think a lot of people have seen that side of me that stood up to Juan Pablo," she said on GMA. "I am that strong woman still, but even more so, what's added to that is taking off that armor and actually saying, 'I'm strong enough to let somebody in, to be vulnerable and open up,' and share that with them."

It sounds like Clare will be taking this open and honest approach to finding a partner very seriously, and hopes the men in her cast do as well. "I want a man who is willing to take off the body armor, open himself up, and be vulnerable," she said. "I think that is some serious strength right there, and I want a man who can do that."

But enough about the men. Clare has been in enough Bachelor ensemble casts in her lifetime, so she's eager to step into the spotlight: "This is about me now, and I’m ready for it."

The Bachelorette is expected to premiere in the spring of 2020.