Ali Fedotowsky may have been the Bachelorette 10 years ago, but she understands where Clare Crawley is coming from with her decision to leave the upcoming season just two weeks into filming after falling in love.
“I don’t even think that the producers make you keep people. You do have to keep a certain amount of people, you know what I mean?” the 35-year-old reality TV personality dished on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast before news broke that Crawley bowed out early. “If it were up to me when I was the Bachelorette, there would have been no season … [or] there would have a season and it would have been Frank [Neuschaefer] and Roberto [Martinez] the entire time. I knew night one, it was Frank and Roberto for me, I knew it, one or the other.”
Us confirmed on Monday, August 3, that the 39-year-old hairdresser refused to finish filming season 16 of The Bachelorette because she was already in love with one of her suitors. Fedotowsky, for her part, told Us that most leads know their finalists not long into filming … but feel as though they have to continue the show.
“Instead of saying, ‘Do I really see something with this person?’ Because, obviously, that’s not true — for anyone to believe that a Bachelor or Bachelorette sees something with 25 people the first night … that’s just so unrealistic,” she explained. “So instead of thinking, ‘Do they see something in this person?’… It’s like, ‘What do I want to know about this person? Or what do I want to find out about this person that I’m not done exploring?’ And not even romantically, like, maybe because I find them interesting or because I find that I know they’re up to something. I’m gonna figure it out. So there’s always a reason and that reason isn’t necessarily ‘I see a future with you.’”
Season 16 of the Bachelorette has had unprecedented circumstances from the start. After ABC named Crawley the lead in March, production was suspended until July due to the coronavirus pandemic. After less than two weeks of filming, the Bachelor Winter Games alum opted to stop her journey to solely pursue one of her contestants whom she spoke to before shooting began.
According to a source, the mystery man ”contacted her before the show and they really hit it off. They would DM a bunch and then started FaceTiming and things moved quickly.”
As a result, producers called in Bachelor alum Tayshia Adams to pick up where Crawley left off.
Fedotowsky noted to Us before the news broke that Crawley likely did some research on her contestants as several names were announced months before filming started.
“Clare probably [knew] night one who she’s picking based on who she’s been talking to the past few months, like, for sure,” she noted. “It’s impossible not to [look the contestants up]. The show, I’m sure, politely asked her not to. And she said, ‘Sure.’ [But] I mean, she had to have.”
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After Crawley’s brief journey airs, fans will watch Adams try to find love when The Bachelorette returns to ABC Tuesdays this fall.
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