‘The Bachelorette’: Everything to Know About Clare Crawley Before Her Season Begins

It’s official. ABC announced on Good Morning America who will take the reins for the next season of The Bachelorette. Clare Crawley is the lady of the moment, as predicted by Reality Steve. If you can’t quite put your finger on who she is, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what fans should know about Crawley before tuning in to season 16 of the franchise.

Clare Crawley competed on Juan Pablo’s season of ‘The Bachelor’

Clare Crawley
Clare Crawley | Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Getty Images

In 2014, Crawley was introduced to the world as a contestant competing for Juan Pablo Galavis’ heart on The Bachelor. Crawley didn’t walk away an engaged woman, but she did finish as runner-up.

Around that time, rumors swirled that Crawley could be the chosen bachelorette for the following season. But instead, the title went to Andi Dorfman.

Crawley didn’t give up on finding love. The reality TV personality also appeared on Bachelor in Paradise in 2014 and 2015. She also returned later on for The Bachelor: Winter Games, in which she developed a relationship with fellow contestant, Benoît Beauséjour-Savard.

The two became engaged on After the Final Rose but broke things off two months later. At the time, the couple posted an explanation to Instagram.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we have mutually decided to end our relationship,” they said. “We think the world of each other, and we were hoping we could make this work.”

“I’m sorry that this may not be what you want to hear, but it’s our truth,” they continued. “Just know there are no negative feelings here, we are simply two people who believed in love, and were open enough to give it a chance.”

While Beauséjour-Savard ventured onto another season of Bachelor in Paradise, he didn’t find love.

Here’s what Crawley said about being chosen as the next bachelorette

Although the rumor mill named a few possibilities from Peter Weber’s Bachelor season to be the next bachelorette, Crawley’s name swooped in for the win.

Some think the choice had to do with Weber’s iffy finale, set for March 9 and March 10. To announce someone from his season might have spoiled the ending.

“I literally just found out. It’s so unexpected, can you believe this? Six years later — what is happening?” Crawley said on Good Morning America.

When the topic of Weber’s contestants being so young came up, Crawley, who will be 39 when filming starts, said, “Babies. I feel like I could be their mom.” 

As the oldest bachelorette ever, Crawley added, “It’s more years under my belt — more learning what I want, what I don’t want, and what I won’t settle for. I’m more wondering if they’re ready for me, for my age. I feel so much younger at heart than my actual age. I’m proud of my age, but I just feel so much younger.”

“It’s all what’s on the inside for me,” she added. “There’s no one thing that I’m looking for physically. It’s more if they go out of their way, if they make me feel special. Because this is about me now, and I’m ready for it.”

Why some say Crawley is a polarizing choice

Fans are divided on whether Crawley is a good choice for the Bachelorette franchise. Whether it was from her time on Juan Pablo’s season, her strange affinity in conversing with animals, the whole Benoît-Christian fiasco on Winter Games, or her two-time stint on Paradise, some love her while others can’t get on board.

Conversations about the franchise continue, even in the wake of choosing Crawley as the latest lead. Many say the age of the contestants has gotten far too young, meaning Crawley’s age should be a refreshing change.

However, some still can’t help but point to the franchise history of lacking in diversity — especially with no casting of a black male lead ever and only one black female lead, Rachel Lindsay.

As far as what Crawley’s looking for, she’s pretty open.

“The most important thing is, I want a man that will take off his armor,” she said. “I want a man who is strong, willing to take off the body armor and be vulnerable. I think that is some serious strength right there.”

“A lot of people have seen that side of me that stood up to Juan Pablo and said, ‘Don’t mess with me,’ and I am that strong woman still,” she continued. “But what even more so is added to that is, like I said, taking off that armor and actually saying, ‘I’m strong enough to let somebody in, to be vulnerable, to open up and share that with them.'”

Whether you love her or hate her, Crawley is the one who wears the next crown. May the odds be in her favor.