Warning: Spoilers ahead for Clare Crawley's 2020 season of The Bachelorette, which is Season 16 of the franchise!
One of the best parts about either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, even for those who appear on the show, is getting to explore parts of the world that we might not otherwise be able to. While there are always several dates that happen around the United States on the shows, one of the most exciting aspects is watching the cast adventure around the world as they try to fall in love. They get to frolic in exotic waterfalls, picnic on mountaintops and hang out with wild animals we don't have here. But, it sounds like the threat of the coronavirus is changing that for Clare Crawley's 2020 season of The Bachelorette.
Fans will know that significant parts of each season of The Bachelorette and The Bachelor are typically filmed in far flung locations, but a special challenge has come up for the producers as they try to schedule travel and filming for Season 16 of The Bachelorette, starring the newly announced lead, Clare Crawley. The growing threat of the coronavirus has led the production to cancel its planned trip to Italy this year.
The Bachelorette is produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, and a spokesperson for Warner Bros. issued a statement to Variety about how the company is trying to protect its productions:
As the health and safety of our talent and employees are always our primary concerns, production travel is being evaluated on a case-by-case basis, factoring in the latest information from a variety of organizations, including the CDC, WHO, U.S. State Department and in-territory local health agencies.
This is a scary time for a lot of people. With the coronavirus beginning to make its way around the world, folks are doing everything possible to try and stop the spread, as well as treat people who've been infected and try to get them healthy again. The last thing any employer would want is to unnecessarily put its employees at risk of contracting the virus, so Warner Bros. is doing the right thing here by considering all of the locations The Bachelorette had planned to film in and determining whether or not it's still a safe bet.
As the statement noted, the best way to do this without completely changing a huge part of what fans expect to see on The Bachelorette is to evaluate countries on a "case-by-case basis" and use information from the many organizations which are working to monitor, treat and stop the spread of the coronavirus.
We all want Clare Crawley, her suitors and the rest of The Bachelorette production to be safe this year while they film Season 16, and the good news is that all international travel hasn't been scrapped for the show just yet, so production is still moving forward as planned, for the most part.
Speaking of Clare Crawley and her suitors, it seems like we're going to be in for a real treat this season, with Clare being the oldest Bachelorette who's ever led the show. While some people have been, frankly, pretty mean about the fact that she'll be 39 when she starts filming later this month, many are very excited to watch some grown folks look for their forever love on The Bachelorette. But, because Clare is way older than the typical 23-year-olds seen in the franchise, it has led to an interesting wrinkle for the production.
Bachelor Nation spoiler king Reality Steve reported recently that quite a few of the men who'd already been cast for Clare's season have now been rejected, namely a couple of 25-year-olds, because they're too young. Part of the issue was that Clare wasn't confirmed to lead The Bachelorette until a couple of days before she was unveiled on Good Morning America this Monday, so, clearly, there were much younger women like Hannah Brown (who wanted more money), and ladies from Peter Weber's current Bachelor season like Kelley Flanagan and Kelsey Weier, who were in consideration.
If you watched The Bachelor Women Tell All special last night, and paid attention to the commercials, you probably noticed that they are still looking to replace those younger men and cast the rest of Clare's season with appropriate suitors. But, spoilers are telling us that the producers have already snatched up 12 men over 25, with the oldest currently being 40. Plus, four of the men already cast have children, so it seems like they're on the right track to give (most) fans the more mature season of The Bachelorette that we deserve and have been asking for since Hannah B. let Luke P. stick around through fantasty suites.
Hopefully, and for several reasons, the coronavirus will be under control soon and The Bachelorette will be able to film safely in some international locations. Clare Crawley's season will begin shooting later this month, and will debut sometime in May, after the new musical franchise show The Bachelor: Listen To Your Heart wraps up. Meanwhile, you can watch how Peter's messy-as-hell love search ends when The Bachelor airs next Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.