Spilling the behind-the-scenes tea. ABC executive Robert Mills got candid about the unprecedented season 16 of The Bachelorette, revealing the moment he knew Tayshia Adams was going to have to start handing out roses for Clare Crawley.
Mills, the head of ABC’s Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming, joined former Bachelor Nick Viall on his “Viall Files” podcast after the Tuesday, October 27, episode of The Bachelorette.
“I think that Clare was exactly what we thought she’d be, which is Clare — unpredictable,” he began. “She sort of faded, and this is what really appealed to us when we met with her last February. She kind of faded out of the spotlight, she was just back in Sacramento, being a hairdresser and she really came into it like, ‘Look, if you guys want me, that’s totally great, I would be honored. I would love it. If not, [I] get it too.’”
After ABC ultimately went with Clare, 39, over a contestant from Peter Weber’s season — Tia Booth, Kendall Long and Tayshia were also considered — filming was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic. When production resumed in July in Palm Springs, it wasn’t long before Clare was head over heels for contestant Dale Moss. According to Mills, Clare insisted that the 32-year-old former football player be included on a date after he got the first impression rose, which the show usually discourages.
“I remember at this point this is where I started to think, (it’s a shame Clare and Dale aren’t) on Paradise right now. Because it would’ve changed everything,” he said, comparing Dale and Clare’s instant connection to Bachelor in Paradise season 2 couple Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert.“They would’ve been able to go off, they would have been there the entire time.”
While Bachelor Nation first met Clare on Juan Pablo Galavis’ season 18 of The Bachelor in 2014, she was also featured on seasons 1 and 2 of BiP and Bachelor Winter Games.
“Nothing ever comes easy to Clare,” Mills said on the “Viall Files” podcast. “The one time she’s the Bachelorette, she would have been better off in that group setting.”
Sources confirmed to Us Weekly in August that Tayshia, 30, was set to take over for Clare after the hairstylist found love with Dale within the first two weeks of filming. Fans got their first glimpse of Tayshia, who appeared on Colton Underwood’s season and season 6 of BiP, during the teaser for the upcoming November 5 episode.
“As the lead, you have moments where you’re like, ‘I’m done, I’m out,’” Mills told Nick, who agreed. “[But production never thought], ‘Oh my God, what if they’ve met this person [early on] and we’ve got to shut this whole thing down.’”
Keep scrolling for everything we learned about season 16 of The Bachelorette — and the future of the franchise: