Spoilers ahead for the Season 16 premiere of The Bachelorette on ABC.
The sixteenth season of The Bachelorette starring Clare Crawley (for now) launched with an episode that proved quarantining didn't stop the men from bringing some drama into the La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, and Clare seemingly fell head-over-heels at first sight with one gent, but her conversation with the man who already broke the rules was a standout of the episode.
Clare revealed that 29-year-old wildlife manager Blake Moynes from Ontario, Canada actually contacted her before coming on the show, opening a line of communication when that isn't supposed to happen ahead of seasons in Bachelor Nation. She shared that Blake messaged her "a couple months back" when she was "struggling really bad" because her mom had fallen and broken her nose. It was a risky move from Blake, and Clare had a conversation with him about breaking the rules.
Blake looked more than a little apprehensive when Clare started, and it's hard to blame him based on her first few sentences. Clare shared:
Over quarantine, it was really hard for me. And you were the only guy that reached out to me the entire time. I didn’t want to bring this up, but there are these weird rules that we have to follow for the show of not contacting somebody. So you broke the rule. But I want you to know that that time you broke the rule meant everything to me. The fact that you risked not coming on here and putting that on the line at a time where I was really struggling, it meant everything to me.
Breaking the rules in general might not be the best idea in Bachelor Nation, and doing anything for "the wrong reasons" is a surefire way to make a mess, but Clare didn't hold back in expressing how much Blake reaching out meant to her in her difficult time. The quarantine (which was long enough that The Bachelorette ran the risk of losing some of the men vying for Clare's heart) wasn't all quiet on the bachelor front for Clare, and she was happy about it.
According to Clare, Blake's instinct to make a risky move wasn't good just in this one instance. She continued her heartfelt speech to Blake, saying:
Taking the risk for something you believe in and for something you care about, I mean, take the risk every single time. And you were the only man that did that. And I cannot even tell you how much that meant to me.
Unfortunately for Blake, his reaching out may have meant everything to Clare, and it may have gotten him the first kisses of Clare's season, but he didn't receive the first impression rose. That honor (unsurprisingly) went to 31-year-old former football player Dale Moss, who had Clare swooning and imagining him as her husband almost as soon as he stepped out of the limo.
Even if all signs didn't point toward Clare running off into the sunset with Dale, he definitely earned that first impression rose. Clare practically had the vapors after a quick introduction! She of course had to send some guys home before the end of the episode, and she simplified things for Bachelor Nation fans by eliminating Season 16's Tyler C. and sparing us a season of confusing him with Hannah Brown's former suitor Tyler Cameron!