When Clare Crawley got engaged to Dale Moss much earlier than expected and bailed on her season of The Bachelorette, there were concerns that the show would be unable to recover.
These concerns were not directed at Tayshia, who's a fun, lively presence on camera, and arguably much better suited to the job than Clare.
But swapping out leads midseason after nearly half the men had already been dismissed?
Even after four new guys were brought it in, many viewers felt that Tayshia's time as Bachelorette would seem somehow incomplete.
That certainly hasn't been the case up to this point, with the show ascending to new dramatic heights and even attaining an unexpected degree of political relevancy.
This week's episode featured an important and heartfelt conversation between Tayshia and Ivan about the challenges of being black in America.
We also saw Tayshia losing her patience with her group of suitors, thanks to Noah's claim that some men had begun to question her integrity.
And of course, Tayshia's second rose ceremony winnowed down the batch of contestants and left a few more empty rooms at the La Quinta Resorts in Palm Springs.
Now that the shock of Clare's departure has subsided and the show has settled into some of its usual rhythms, viewers are beginning to wonder who will make it to the hometown and Fantasy Suite stages of the competition.
And folks, courtesy of the spoiler master himself, Reality Steve, we've got the identities of Tayshia's top four right here.
According to RS, Tayshia's top four are as follows:
Ben Smith, Zac Clark, Brendan Morais, and Ivan Hall.
It's a solid group, and fans would probably be happy to see Tayshia wind up with any of those guys.
Unfortunately, she may not have wound up with any of them. More on that later.
There's a major twist when Brendan, a 30-year-old commercial roofer from Milford, Massachusetts (above) exits the show unexpectedly.
His reasons for doing so are unknown at this point, but it's believed they had to do with the fact that he was recently divorced and found himself unable to enter a serious relationship so soon.
Plus, it sounds as though he didn't have his family's support.
"Brendan Morais leaves the show on his own. His family was the only one that didn’t show up for hometown dates," Steve wrote.
“By all accounts, Brendan is who Tayshia wanted and when he left, she was pretty distraught but still ended up picking somebody,” he added.
“The one thing I don’t know is if Brendan leaving happened at final 4 or final 3," Steve continued.
"Brendan’s divorce was finalized just over a year ago, and apparently that played a big role in why he left. Guess he just wasn’t ready to jump into another relationship.”
At that point, we learn the identities of Tayshia's top two:
"The issue only becomes who was #3 and who was #4 between Brendan and Ivan because I know that Ben and Zac C. are Tayshia’s final 2," he wrote.
That's when Steve dropped his biggest bombshell of this topsy-turvy season:
"Tayshia’s final rose went to Zac C. They did not get engaged," RS informed his readers.
Yes, sadly, it seems that Clare's is the only engagement we'll be seeing this season.
But that doesn't mean there's no hope for Tayshia and Zac (above), a 36-year-old addiction specialist from Haddonfield, New Jersey.
Yeah, if he found out he was her second choice after her first choice bailed, that probably didn't help with the early stages of their relationship.
However, as far as we know they didn't break up -- they just chose not to engaged.
And if 2020 has taught us anything, it's that life -- for better or worse -- is just full of surprises.