Between mixed fan reactions and the COVID-19 pandemic, some in the Bachelor Nation continue to wonder if Clare Crawley’s season will happen.
It will, ABC promises, and they’re explaining how — and even when — it will be filmed.
ABC exec Rob Mills stopped by Ryan Seacrest’s radio show on Wednesday to fill him, and listeners, in on the details.
Yes, Clare’s season is happening.
Every single contestant, producer, boom mic operator, camera operator, and anyone else otherwise involved will be tested for COVID-19.
They will also be isolated both before and during production.
As for when the season will be filmed, that answer is simple, as Mills says it begins "in about a month."
So we are looking at a start date anywhere from mid July to early August.
"We’re going to be in one location and everyone will be tested the week before," Mills explains.
"Everyone who comes back negative," he details, "we shoot inside that bubble basically."
That seems like a realistic approach to the season.
"Matt’s season, we’re hoping to start on time," Mills adds.
"Which would be the end of September," he notes, "and we’ll see where the world is."
"Maybe there’s some travel, maybe it’s just domestic, maybe it’s by bus," Mills suggests. "We’ll see."
"If things aren’t that safe," Mills realistically predicts, "we’ll shoot it the same way."
The way "where everybody is safe, they’re tested, they’re quarantined."
"And then," Mills explains, "you can having kissing and arguing and everything else."
Believe it or not, there were initially plans to go to Italy during Clare’s season.
Italy was one of the countries most ravaged by COVID-19 back in March.
Now, the entire season will be taking place in the Los Angeles area — partly at the Bachelor Mansion, partly at a slew of resorts.
"[Dates] won’t be at the Bachelor mansion," Mills clarifies.
"They’ll be at some sort of resort," he says, "and we’ve scouted several of them."
"And all of them have been scouted for good date locations," he adds.
"And you know, it will not be as over the top as… " Mills begins, "we had incredible travel planned for Clare’s season, going to Italy."
"All these places that were going to be great," he says with an air of regret.
"But they’ll be plenty of different date locations," Mills shares, "that will hopefully be as close to the Bachelorette as possible."
Mills also speaks of Matt James’ season of The Bachelor, which he says will probably film back-to-back with Clare’s season.
That, he explains, is why we got such an "early" announcement of Matt’s selection for the role.
We are meant to believe that it had little to do with the reckoning that racist insitutions are facing or outcry from fans and alums of the franchise.
"This really was a symptom of, we’re going to have to shoot these seasons in essence back to back anyway," Mills states.
"So," he reasons, "Clare’s season would not have even have aired when we started shooting The Bachelor."
"So it just made more sense to announce him now," Mills insists, "to get people applying and ready."
The effort to get contestants applying for Matt’s season has been extremely successful.
Apparently, over 6,500 women have applied for Matt’s season, "which is record-setting pace."
"People love this guy," Mills praises. "It’s great."
Mills also delves into the rumor that Clare had not actually been tipped off before the announcement that Matt would be the leading man.
He had previously been scheduled to be part of her season.
"Somebody said something to Us Weekly that she did not know," Mills acknowledges, adding "she found out on GMA."
Is it true?
"Of course we would never do that to Clare," Mills insists.
"She found out the day before," he shares.
"We wanted to keep this under wraps," Mills notes.
He adds: "We wanted to control the announcement and not have it leak."
"But Clare of course was told before that," Mills concludes.