"We're gonna start 'The Bachelorette' right now. Again."
Well, it finally happened as Clare Crawley official "broke 'The Bachelorette'" and wrapped up her journey to find love on the ABC reality show. She did it with 17 guys remaining in the show and a lot of story left to go.
So what happens next? As teased and speculated for weeks before the show even launched, former "Bachelor" contestant Tayshia Adams emerged from that black limo to step in to Clare's shoes.
But just like Clare's journey toward love was cut short, so, too, is Tayshia dealing with a shortened time-frame, as she's looking to pick up where Clare left off and just round out the rest of her season.
On top of that, she's picking up Clare's leftovers when it comes to the guys remaining in the house. Is that fair to her? Is it fair to them, after at least some of them had started catching feels for Clare.
For many others, they caught all her questions and comments about Dale. And after last week's disastrous group date where she interrogated them about roasting Dale earlier in the day and then proceeded to give none of them the group date rose, it seemed certain he was all that was on her mind.
Chris Harrison and the producers watched it all unfold, they saw the growing unrest among the 16 suitors who weren't named Dale Moss and they knew they had a huge problem. The men were about to mutiny, and we're not sure Clare would have even noticed if she walked into the room and they were all gone.
And so, we got that infamous conversation where Chris told her she'd just blown up "The Bachelorette" and Clare cried. But it wasn't nearly as aggressive as many were anticipating.
The point of the show was for Chris and the producers to help Clare find love, and they could have probably called it a wrap after Night 1. So in a lot of ways, the show succeeded, as she had clearly falling hard and fast for Dale.
Is that fair to the other guys? Absolutely not. Is the way she disrespected them during that group date acceptable? Again, absolutely not. But if she has found her "person," is it fair to have her continue on this journey, even if she agreed to it.
Well, even if it were, it probably wouldn't make for very good television. And certainly all of this drama was making for exciting and unpredictable twists and turns as these poor guys continued to get zero time with Clare and had to watch Dale monopolize the whole show.
But as much as Chris Harrison and team were clearly in Clare's corner on this one, they've also had absolutely no problem stringing these guys along and leaving them dangling on the edge of said string wondering what the hell was going on.
It all came to a head after that disastrous group date where no one got a rose. The next day had lined up a cocktail party and a rose ceremony. But when Chris surprised the guys earlier in that day, all he told them was that both of those things were canceled.
He then told them he'd talk to them again the next day and then called Dale out for a private conversation. What the guys didn't know was that everything was canceled so Clare could get a private on-on-one overnight date with Dale to see if he felt as hard for her as she felt for him.
That's great and all, for Dale and Clare. For the guys back at the "mansion," though, it was absolute confusion. Already, they felt they'd been jerked around by Clare and this process, and now they were left to just stew in their uncertainty and emotion.
It's no wonder we're already worried about what happens next week. These guys have been marinating in some pretty hard emotional feelings for several days now, and then they were just expected to pack all that away and move on (though they were given an out option if they wanted it).
As the guys floundered and guys like Blake and Chasen kept not believing that the things that were happening would ever happen in a million years, the courtship of Dale and Clare was moving at breakneck speed.
Never before have we had engagement talk with 16 guys still left in the competition, but that's where we were at. We cut between the guys talking at the pool, trying to figure out what was going on, to Chris talking with Dale and Clare about what comes next.
Finally, Clare showed up to break the news to all 16 guys at once that it was over. She'd made her choice and that choice was Dale. It did get a little emotional as Kenny (who should narrate every episode!) basically demanded an apology on behalf of every guy there.
"Can you tell me what I’m apologizing for, though. Because I’m sitting here, like-- I’m not going to apologize for love," she said.
"You don’t have to apologize for falling in love. That’s not what we’re asking. I just feel like a lot of time has been wasted," Kenny replied.
"The conversation we had, I could feel like your head wasn’t there," he continued. "Like, I’m talking to you, but it’s like I don’t think you really cared. I can tell when somebody’s, like, not into it. I said that to the group, so you should apologize for faking it when you were in love with Dale after the first night, because that’s kind of what it looks like."
Honestly, the producers were working very hard to make this look like it might not happen, but based on everything leading up to it, and even Dale's terrible attempts at acting with his face, there was no doubt that their story would end the way it did.
With every guy but one eliminated, all that was left was the proposal. Clare was ready for it, but was Dale? Her nerves were jumping through her dress as this was the point in her relationships (or sooner) where they always ran away. She opened up and they opened the door to leave.
Dale didn't do that. As she's so fond of saying is so important to her, he showed up. And he came through.
"The best is yet to come," he told her after they poured their feelings out. "I’m not going anywhere. I want to make you happy each and every day."
He then proposed, she accepted and the story was over, right?
Oh yeah, there's still 16 guys hanging around the resort. How long has this journey been at this point? Like five minutes?
Understandably, and because they still had a full show to somehow put together, Chris told the guys that if they were down to continue their journey to find love, they had until that night to figure it out.
Now, the show doesn't go into the logistics of this. If they knew Clare was starting to flake out on them, we get bringing in a new Bachelorette. But it doesn't seem like there was a two-week window in show time for her to have quarantined long enough to enter the bubble.
So did they start sweating this journey early? Or did some clever editing, and lying, cover up a longer hiatus between the end of Clare's journey and the arrival of Tayshia Adams as the new Bachelorette "tonight"?
Chris gave the guys the day to decide if they were able to move on with a new Bachelorette, or if they felt any feelings they might have begun developing for Clare might get in the way of them fully committing to that next step.
Despite everything -- including Jason really opening up and being vulnerable with Clare -- everyone opted to stay. We're not sure if that's a good thing.
Because this is the "Bachelor" franchise we're talking about, we didn't get to see Tayshia's first meeting with the guys. So all we have to go on is the teaser for next week's episode.
In it, we can immediately see that some guys are hung up on Clare, talking about her to Tayshia the way Clare was talking about Dale during their one-on-one time. That's certainly not fair to Tayshia.
We also see that maybe some of the guys just aren't into her as The Bachelorette, for whatever reason. That happens, too. But there are only 16 guys left, so if a bunch of them bail right away, Tayshia's really getting a short-changed experience.
In that same teaser, though, Chris talks about things changing again. Could this be a shuffling of the guys again? Perhaps some of the ejected guys returning, or even entirely new ones. Maybe some of the ones originally cast for Clare's season who got booted before its delayed start.
There are a lot of possibilities, but it definitely looks like Tayshia is going to be facing some unique challenges in her own journey toward love.
From emotionally-wrought contestants to a smaller pool of choices to a shortened time frame to the possibility of new guys sliding in, her journey is poised to be just as unorthodox as Clare's.
"At the end of our group date, she left it like, 'You guys are all pieces of shit, I'm not giving you a rose.'" --Kenny
"She's not giving anyone in this house an opportunity. It's almost like she doesn't care to learn about anybody else. Like, why am I here?" --Kenny
"There really is that fine line between respecting the process, but also going for what you want. And Dale is what I want." --Clare (having already crossed that line)
"Right now, the guys in the house are unhappy, they're confused. These are good guys and they're not dumb. These are smart men. They know what's going on. The path we're on right now, we can't continue." --Chris (you think?)
"On Mother's Day, I happened to look at his social media and it was close to the anniversary that his mom passed away and I could just relate so much and my heart was so heavy for him. My heart went out to him. And I would see his sister that's in the care facility and I relate to that because my mom's in the same situation. It's just so parallel that it was, I would say, definitely built up before we even got here." --Clare (about Dale)
"What do we do, because I don't know how to go on? I don't want to disrespect these guys or waste their time." --Clare (too late)
"So in your mind right now, is this over?" --Chris
"Congratulations, you've just blown up 'The Bachelorette.'" --Chris
"Dale is the man of my dreams. I'm so in love with him. I know it sounds crazy, but I'm just feeling it. But I'm scared, because what if he doesn't feel the same thing. This is such a big risk ... I don't know if it's mutual." --Clare
"I literally wasn't able to give a rose to any of them because I was thinking about you." --Clare (to Dale, why she didn't give out a group date rose)
"All I know is that I'm so falling in love with you." --Clare
"When we met, I felt love. And that's what I came here for. Like, I'm falling in love with you through this process. I'm not afraid to say that at all." --Dale
"I could not sit through another rose ceremony without talking to you about it." --Clare
"It's right here, sitting in front of our faces." --Dale
"There was nothing going on before I got here." --Dale (insisting they didn't talk prior to filming)
"We should lie detector it, because nobody believes us." --Clare
"I didn't expect things to happen this quickly, but there's still a lot of time left in this process to nurture this love that we have and really see where it goes." --Dale (you sure?)
"I think it would blow me away if he slept over there." --Blake (but he did)
"Clare wouldn't do that this early in the game. The type of person she is, I don't think she would do an overnight with Dale and take that intimacy to the next level. I just don't see it." --Chasen (but she did)
"It's kind of unbelievable for me, and it's surreal. He's exactly what I've been looking for. I would be so honored to be with this guy for the rest of my life. Easily. Easily. And I don't even hesitate on that. He's my person." --Clare (to Chris with the widening eyes)
"I can't believe what you're doing to us. This is crazy." --Chris
"Does Dale want to get engaged to me? I hope that he's ready for this." --Clare
"What I came here for, I think I found. And it's with Dale." --Clare (to the rest of the guys)
"I just don't know how you can be so sure so quick, that worries me for you a little bit. But you gotta trust what you think in this sort period of time. It just sucks for other guys who truly thought their might be something there." --Blake (to Clare)
"I'll apologize if I wasted your time, I'll apologize if I hurt you, but I'm not gonna apologize for love." --Clare (to all the guys)
"At this point, I feel like kind of a joke." --Brendan
"This is unprecedented. I can tell you that Clare broke up with all the other guys today. With that said, there are no more steps. This is it. This is the end of this part of the journey. And what's next is the final step. Clare is going to be waiting for you. She's gonna be waiting for a proposal." --Chris (to Dale)
"You're doing it." --Clare (as Dale kneels to propose)
"Thank you so much for showing up." --Clare
"I do feel like you guys were cheated a little bit." --Chris (to the remaining guys)
Whatever's going to happen, "The Bachelorette" returns to its normal Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC time slot next week.