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After months of rumors, but no confirmation, last week's episode of The Bachelorette Season 16 finally saw Clare Crawley ride off into the Palm Springs sunset after getting engaged to suitor Dale Moss only a few days into her time as lead. What came next, in the final moments of the episode, was Tayshia Adams taking over as Bachelorette, as we'd heard would happen for many weeks. But, if you're wondering why Tayshia was the right woman for the job, among many potential options, we now have the answer for you.
Tayshia first stole hearts last year on Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor, then moved on to give us a lot of drama on that year's showing of Bachelor in Paradise. As we all know, though, producers could have easily chosen any of a dozen (or more) women to pick up leading lady duties after Clare found her (possibly) forever love, even if they had just mined the casts from Colton's season or Peter Weber's early 2020 season. Now, ABC's senior vice president of alternative series, specials and late-night programming, Rob Mills, has spoken out about why they all thought that Tayshia was the new Season 16 lead we all needed, telling Variety:
I don’t think they’re as different as you might think on the surface. Tayshia had been through a divorce, so I think there is a lot of maturity that comes with that, and she is super serious about settling down, just like Clare was, so it actually did not seem like a huge stretch for these guys. Also, you have to remember that we cast a lot of guys that weren’t necessarily announced for Clare because she was announced as The Bachelorette so late, so some of these guys would have been there for someone else that was chosen as the lead, anyway. It all ended up working out incredibly well, even though it provided some hurdles at first.
You'll probably recall that one of the major deals made about Clare being chosen for The Bachelorette (both before her season started and as we saw her time play out on screen) is that she's the oldest of the bunch so far. After Peter's season, fans had clamored for someone with more maturity to come in as Bachelorette, and the show managed to give us Clare, who turned 39 a few months before they filmed her part of the 2020 season.
Of course, age doesn't always equal maturity, but Rob Mills is saying that everyone involved in the decision to cast Tayshia (who's a decade Clare's junior) believed that she would also offer up the maturity that fans seemed to be looking for in their new Bachelorette. He also noted that because Clare was already announced rather late in the Bachelorette game, that many of the guys who were cast might have been hoping that someone else was going to be chosen anyway, so Tayshia seemed like a good fit to help them forget Clare and be able to become emotionally attached (hopefully) to someone else quickly.
Of course, Tayshia's journey is just getting started, so we can all see how it turns out (and if the rumors of her final rose pick are true) as The Bachelorette continues to air, Tuesdays on ABC at 8 p.m. EST. For more on what to watch in the coming weeks, check out our guide to fall TV and see what's coming up early next year!