The time has finally arrived for Clare Crawley.
Following many months' worth of rumors, and three very painful episodes of The Bachelorette, Crawley will leave the show next Tuesday night.
She'll be replaced by Tayshia Adams and fans will debate whether Clare was fired or whether she walked away on her own to start a life with Dale Moss -- but the bottom line will remain the same either way:
Crawley will stop being The Bachelorette after one more episode.
Appearing opposite ex-Bachelor Nick Viall on his “Viall Files” podcast this week, Robert Mills -- ABC's Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming -- took viewers behind the scenes of what transpired with Clare.
He had A LOT to say on the topic.
"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.'"
So that's why the network went with Crawley over Tia Booth, Kendall Long and Adams.
But where did things go wrong?
According to Mills, Clare insisted that Moss be included on a date after he got the first impression rose... which the show typically 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," Mills admits. "Because it would’ve changed everything."
He compared Dale and Clare’s immediate 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," he said.
Mills thinks Clare would have been better off in the "group setting" of Bachelor in Paradise.
As the lead of The Bachelorette, and the woman tasked with juggling numerous suitors, producers started to have a "big worry [that] it was just going to be Dale from episode 1 to episode 10."
This, of course, is what happened on the latest awkward episode.
Everyone remarked on how Crawley only seemed to have eyes for Moss.
Here is what also happened on that latest episode:
After the roast group date, Clare decided to give herself a rose instead of any of her contestants.
"I did not get what I needed with you guys, so right now, I feel like this rose, I won't be able to give this out tonight," she actually told the men.
And when producers witnessed this defiant act? Says Mills:
"That was really it, when we started making the call [to replace her].”
Because Crawley and Moss fell for each other so quickly, there's been speculation that they were in contact before filming started.
Mills says this wasn't the case, however.
“She swears on her dad’s grave that they didn’t speak before,” he told Viall.
“[I think she was thinking] you still have six more weeks at La Quinta … I just can’t fake it through this … she just couldn’t do it anymore, I think she was sort of going crazy a little bit.”
But will we see Clare or hear from her again? At all?
According to Mills, Clare and Dale’s relationship will be “chronicled” here and there, but there won't be a heavy focus because there is no point in viewers watching their “honeymoon phase.”
He also confiirmed a Men Tell All special will air at some point... which ought to be especially interesting this year, don't you think?