The reality TV rumor was made into... well... a reality this morning.
It really is true and it really is pretty random:
Clare Crawley is the new Bachelorette.
The official announcement was made Monday on Good Morning America, ahead of the conclusion to Peter Weber‘s season of The Bachelor next week.
“I literally just found out,” Crawley said on air. “So unexpected, can you believe this? Six years later? What is happening?”
This is basically the same question being asked all around the Internet at the moment, considering Crawley was a contestant way back on Juan Pablo's season of The Bachelor and then also on seasons 1 and 2 of Bachelor in Paradise.
She wasn't a suitor Weber's ongoing run and, let's be honest, she's barely been on the Bachelor Nation radar for the past half-decade.
How did this selection even come about?
Neither Chris Harrison nor any producers has addressed the surprising decision just yet -- but Crawley thinks her age actually played a role.
A positive role, that is.
"I feel like a lot of people put it out there as this negative thing," explained the 38-year old on GMA. "For me, it’s just more years under my belt. More years learning and knowing what I want and what I won’t settle for."
What is Crawley looking for in a husband?
“I want a man who is strong, who is willing to take off the body armor, open himself up and be vulnerable,” she told Lara Spencer, adding:
“I think that [shows] some serious strength right there, so I want a man who can do that."
Crawley thought she found this previously, of course; She got engaged to Benoit Beauséjour-Savard during The Bachelor Winter Games finale in February of 2018.
And then the couple broke up a month later.
"We realized we were different and wanted different things,” says Crawley. “But we still totally stay in touch. And we root for each other and for each other’s happiness."
Crawley is a hair-dressed and she hails from and Sacramento, California... and she will be 39 when her Bachelorette season starts shooting in two weeks.
This will make her the oldest Bachelorette in series history.... by a whopping seven years.
"If you line up all the guys I’ve dated in the past, there’s no one type physically," continued Crawley when talking to Spencer. "It’s more if they go out of their way for me, if they make me feel special. This is about me now. I’m ready for it.”
As for why Crawley would return to the franchise after numerous unsuccessful attempts at finding love?
The answer is fame and money, of course.
“People always talk about, ‘Why would you go on the show again?'” she tells People Magazine, answering her own question as follows:
“But it’s common for people, especially my age, to go through relationships.
"And whether they are good or bad, you take something from them. [Each experience] has propelled me into a different level with myself.”
With The Bachelor spoilers having already previewed how Weber's run will end on March 10, all eyes and all attention are now on Crawley.
What can they expect from her when The Bachelorette premieres on May 18?
"I feel like my age is really an asset,” she concludes to People.
“I’ve gone through twists and turns and I know what I will and won’t put up with. Twenty-three-year-old Clare had no clue what I wanted. And I’m glad that wasn’t the end of my love story because I’m such a different woman now."