The 38-year-old Bachelorette asked for new men to be submitted; her current cast's average age is 29 with the youngest 23 -- and only two are her age or older.
One of the biggest criticisms with the upcoming season of "The Bachelorette" has been the age disparity between Clare Crawley and her prospective suitors. At 38 years old (two days away from her 39th birthday), she is already the oldest Bachelorette in franchise history, and yet most of the men revealed are in their 20s, with only two her age or older.
This is due in large part to the casting of the men having taken place before producers had firmly settled on their lead. They were apparently courting former Bachelorette Hannah Brown pretty hard, and as she is also in her 20s, this field would make more sense.
Now, it looks like Clare might get a second chance at suitors before her second chance of love. ET reports the reality star essentially pot out a call for respective suitors during an Instagram Live event on Tuesday while the show is on a two-week (at least) hiatus.
"I'm not saying this personally -- but I feel like since we have a break in the show right now, I don't think it's too late to submit people," Clare said. "So, submit them, why not? What's the worst that could happen?"
Warner Bros. did not respond to the outlet's request for comment, but at the very least this sounds like perhaps wishful thinking on Clare's part. If it's not possible to tweak her cast, it certainly sounds like she kind of wants to.
Honestly, can you blame her? The odds are already incredibly difficult of finding lasting love on this show's format, but forcing her to have to date people ten years or more younger than her creates a whole new level of challenges. As a woman of 38 years, established in her sense of self and place in life, she's in a far different place than most young men in their 20s.
While she would never publicly suggest she was disappointed in her first batch of prospective suitors, it's easy to imagine she was hoping for a group closer to her age. This is the drawback of casting the men before the women.
We applaud the franchise for taking this huge step in having an older (relatively speaking) Bachelorette, but they should have done their due diligence immediately and realized they needed to recast this season once they settled on Clare. They could always invite this season's batch of guys back the next time they have a younger Bachelorette.
Let's face it, that's probably going to be next time. And unless Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron seal the deal after reportedly quarantining together, she very well may become the face of the franchise again.
While Clare said she's open to dating someone younger, she also qualified it by saying, "Not too much younger." Her contestants as it stands range in age from 23 to 42, with an average age of 29. Is almost a decade "too much younger"?
Filming was slated to begin on Friday, but has been delayed at least two weeks due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, and possibly longer. As such, Clare's phone has been returned to her, sparking her return to Instagram. ET further reports that the guys have had their phones returned as well, and "were seemingly released by production," possibly opening the field wide for a full recasting.
As if any more proof was needed where Clare stood on this whole thing, she shared to her Instagram Live on Tuesday night a declaration of "emergency" by her friend (and former "Bachelor" contestant) Michelle Money. Michelle went on a long rant over on her own IG Live where she pleaded for Chris Harrison and Bachelor producers to take a moment of thoughtfulness to Clare's journey and cast "manly men" mostly in their 30s (and no younger than 29) to give her the best shot at love.
"True friends look out for each other, always," Clare captioned her share of the first part of Michelle's rant. If that's not a ringing endorsement of Michelle's message that she wants to see older men in her cast, we don't know what is. So why not take the production hiatus as an opportunity to reassess and make your lead happy and improve her odds of finding love?
And they needn't worry, there are still plenty of gorgeous men in their 30s and 40s who look great with their shirts off.