According to The Bachelorette spoilers that recently surfaced online, ABC is not messing around this season.
The network knows it must account for a variety of unknowns, specifically as they pertain to the coronavirus and whether a crew member or contestant gets diagnosed.
For this reason, franchise guru Reality Steve reported last week that the series has actually invited a significant number of men to its California resort for Clare Crawley's season.
Because it must be prepared in case a suitor gets sick.
These contestants are basically on stand-by, prepared to jump in and compete for Clare's heart if someone must tests positive and must be quarantined.
Has this happened already? Do some of Clare's potential husbands have COVID-19?
We can't say for certain.
But Reality Steve Tweeted on Friday that 13 of the originally-cast suitors have already been sent packing. Weird, right?!?
To be clear, one of these men is Matt James, who withdrew himself from consideration in order to become the next Bachelor.
The other dozen, however? Their names were announced weeks ago by ABC as upcoming contestants... and now their names are listed below by Steve because they are no longer part of the cast.
This does NOT mean there aren't possibly others from the original 32 that aren't on. These are just the only ones I know about that aren't.
So please don't ask "What about so-and-so?"
This is all I know as of now.
The entire casting process for Crawley has been a mess, for multiple reasons.
First, as outlined above, there's the whole pandemic thing to worry about.
But there's also Clare's age to consider.
Crawley is 39 years old and will be the oldest Bachelorette in the history of the program.
After initially casting a bunch of 20-somethings to vie for her affections this fall, ABC admitted it had messed up and said it was going to use this hiatus to age the suitors up a bit.
It now sounds is if such a process is underway.
"Not gonna to kill myself trying to find out why all 13 of these guys didn't make it back," Reality Steve explained in his latest Tweet storm.
"I know why some didn't, but not all. It's not important why they aren't on really. What I care about (as should you) are who WILL actually be on the show.
"The "new" guys so to speak."
Steve went on to note that he's working on "profiles" for the new men, but even he won't know who made the cut until ABC reveals a final list.
There are clearly a lot of moving parts here.
But at least producers are now doing their best to find Crawley more suitable lovers.
What I'll say is of the 10 "new" guys that I have, every one is 30 or older.
So they definitely did Clare better in the age department during recasting.
Once that final cast list comes out, we'll be able to compare and contrast who made it and who didn't from the original 32.
Due to its unexpected shift to the fall schedule, The Bachelorette will now air on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Yes, Tuesdays. Crazy, right?!?
So as not to step on the toes of Monday's retooled (without Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews) Dancing with the Stars, that's how come.