Clare Crawley already made history as the oldest lead in the Bachelor franchise, but will the season 16 Bachelorette change the course of the show forever? She certainly hopes so.
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“I hope that it does change the way future seasons go because when you follow your gut and you stick to that, you can’t regret anything,” the 39-year-old hairstylist exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the Tuesday, October 13, premiere. “You honor yourself … your truths. That’s something we all should be doing.”
While ABC has yet to publicly confirm reports that Tayshia Adams replaced Clare, 39, during the season because she found love with one of her suitors within the first two weeks of production, an insider told Us that fans will see the 30-year-old phlebotomist pick up where Clare left off. Even though Chris Harrison told the Bachelor Winter Games alum that she “blew up The Bachelorette” in the supertease for the season, Clare confirmed to Us that the host had her back throughout the whirlwind experience.
“Chris has nothing but the best interests for our friendship, for me as the Bachelorette,” she said. “His part in all this is to guide and to kind of give encouragement and to support. It’s not to cast judgment.”
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During a sneak peek of Tuesday’s premiere, fans see Clare become flustered as she meets Dale Moss, a 32-year-old former football player from South Dakota.
“I definitely feel like I just met my husband,” she says in the clip. “I’m shaking!”
Clare recalled the moment during her chat with Us.
“It was breathtaking,” she said of meeting Dale. “It was one of those moments where you don’t know it until you experience it, what exactly that feeling is and I still can’t put it into words … but it was when your body has that kind of, like, goosebumpy reaction to things; it just takes your breath away.”
The Sacramento, California, resident added that she’s always believed in love at first sight.
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“I knew it existed, I never had experienced it, so I didn’t know what it looked like,” Clare explained. “I didn’t know what it felt like. It could may have not been a thing, but I believed in it.”
The Bachelorette airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.