The hairstylist, 39, shared a playful Instagram Story on Monday, August 31, as she danced along to “Palm Springs Summer” by Cabana Ace. In the corner of the video, a GIF flashed the words “thankful,” “grateful” and “blessed.” Earlier that day, Crawley also posted a promo for the upcoming season of the ABC dating series, in which she demands “respect” from her suitors.
Crawley was announced as the incoming Bachelorette in March, making her the oldest lead in the show’s history. Filming was later put on pause amid the coronavirus pandemic, but ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke told The Hollywood Reporter in June that the network was still “hopeful” for a successful season. Later that month, Us Weekly confirmed that the show was heading back into production in one safe and quarantined location with “heavy-duty safety precautions” put in place for those on set.
Two months later, the season quickly took a turn as a source revealed that Tayshia Adams would join the show as a second lead after reports that Crawley exited the season after falling for one of the contestants early on. Bachelor Nation fans weren’t the only ones who were floored by the California native’s choice to step down — even those behind the scenes didn’t see the major twist coming.
“They were shocked by her choice,” another insider told Us exclusively of the “frantic” season 16 production team. “They had to find a way to continue the show without just starting from scratch.”
Though Crawley was disappointed that her journey to find love was initially stalled during the global health crisis, the pause on filming left her with a unique opportunity to learn about the men on her season before meeting them. The man who stole her heart “contacted her before the show and they really hit it off,” a source said in August, and the pair “started FaceTiming and things moved quickly.”
Before the season finally kicked off, Crawley hinted that she had done some research to fully prepare herself for finding The One.
“Obviously [I googled them.] What woman wouldn’t, are you kidding me?” she joked in a June interview on the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast. “I know how my Instagram is. It’s a piece of my life. … But there are some things where you can kind of tell people’s lifestyles from their Instagram stories, and I see some that are, like, not really my vibe, and others where I look at them and I’m, like, ‘Oh that’s hot. I can’t wait to meet that guy. I hope he’s on the season.'”
The two-hour premiere of The Bachelorette will air on ABC on Tuesday, October 13, at 8 p.m. ET.Listen to Here For the Right Reasons to get inside scoop about the Bachelor franchise and exclusive interviews from contestants!
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