These 6 Women Were Almost the Next Bachelorette—Why Clare Crawley Was Picked Instead

Tia Booth, Tayshia Adams and Kelsey Weier all reportedly signed contracts to be the next Bachelorette before Clare Crawley was picked

By Tierney Bricker 03 Mar, 2020 10:00 PMTags

Always a contestant, never a lead.

While it's not a sentiment most normal people can relate to, it's one a lot of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette alums know all too well, with only a rare few going on to become the franchise's next lead after they fail to find love on their season or on Bachelor in Paradise. 

But that doesn't mean they aren't seriously considered by the producers for the job...or even sign contracts before another person is ultimately chosen. And that's exactly what happened when it came time to pick The Bachelorette's season 16 lead, with Clare Crawley, the runner-up from Juan Pablo Galavis' 2014 season (and a two-time Bachelor in Paradise and Bachelor Winter Games star), being chosen over women from more recent seasons. 

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These 6 Women Were Almost Picked to Be the Next Bachelorette

Before Clare, 38, landed the role, producers met with at least six other women, according to our sources, with all of the contenders finding out the night before the decision was officially announced on Good Morning America if they had landed the gig or not. 

While some fans were surprised to see Clare announced as the new Bachelorette, a source revealed to E! News that she has actually been in the mix for some time, and had even been thought of for last season.

A second source explained, "They wanted someone who was older, more mature and had more life experience."

ABC/Paula Lobo

As for the other women producers met with, just one was one from Peter Weber's current season, which has been criticized by some fans because of the contestants' cattiness. And some viewers felt like they really didn't get to know any of the women that well due to the endless drama going on in the house. 

Clare, however, has consistently provided compelling moments throughout her four previous appearances within the franchise. 

"Clare is known to be very emotional and vulnerable and they know they are going to get a good season," a show insider explained.

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Clare Crawley to Star on The Bachelorette Season 16: Look Back at Her Journey to Find Love

Still, three other women reportedly signed contracts before Clare was picked, with one woman being revealed as their No. 2 choice had the hairdresser passed. 

Here are the six other women who were in the mix:

Hannah Brown

So how badly did The Bachelorette want to unleash the (Hannah) beast again after she delivered one of the franchise's most talked-about seasons ever? Well, they cast season 16 mostly with her in mind. 

But sources then told E! News that Hannah, who at 25 is the youngest of all the possible candidates, turned down the offer to become the first back-to-back lead when the pay wasn't enough for her. And then she signed on for the Dancing With the Stars stage tour, which made her unavailable for filming, and caused the producers to pivot.

Tia Booth

A fan favorite from Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s season and then Bachelor in Paradise, thanks to her dramatic on-and-off relationship with Colton Underwood, Tia was actually in a year-long relationship with Cory Cooper, who (gasp!) had no ties to Bachelor Nation), before they broke up in October 2019. 

A source confirmed to E! News that Tia, who recently moved to Nashville, did meet with producers in the last week and even signed a contract, along with several other women, before they made their ultimate decision on Sunday, the night before the official announcement was made on Good Morning America

But a source close to production told us that Tia, 28, was actually the second choice behind Clare and they were very interested in her.

Kelsey Weier

Really the only woman from Peter's current season that was seriously considered after she made it to the final four, Kelsey, 28, became one of the few beloved contestants despite the early drama from Champagne-gate (and that iconic .GIF of the champagne exploding all over her). 

But being part of Peter's polarizing season likely hurt her chances, with producers clearly wanting to course-correct after viewers voiced their concerns and issues with current pool of contestants. 

Still, something tells us Kelsey will be heading to BIP this summer, as producers, who we're told had the former pageant queen sign a contract for Bachelorette, clearly like her. 

Tayshia Adams

After her emotional finish in Colton Underwood's season, with the Bachelor breaking things off with her and Hannah Godwin to pursue Cassie Randolph, Tayshia met with producers about becoming the Bachelorette before Hannah B. ultimately nabbed the gig. 

But Tayshia, who is divorced, remained a fan-favorite thanks to her stint in Bachelor in Paradise, entering an unlikely rollercoaster romance with John Paul Jones before they split in October 2019. 

And she once again met with producers about becoming the Bachelorette, with a source telling us she even signed a contract, along with Kelsey and Tia, before Clare was picked. 

Kendall Long

Not long after the news of Kendall's breakup from Bachelor in Paradise's Joe "Grocery Store Joe" Amabile's broke, fans were calling for the fan-favorite from Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s season to finally become the Bachelorette.

While a source reveals to E! News that Kendall did meet with producers, the 28-year-old podcast host was never offered a contract like some of the other contenders. 

Katie Morton

After failing to form a connection with Colton Underwood on his season of The Bachelor, Katie, 26, found love with franchise veteran Chris Bukowski, with the two getting engaged at the end of Bachelor in Paradise's most recent season.

But it was clear to fans that things were already rocky by the reunion taping, with Katie initially taking off her ring, and the couple called off their engagement in December 2019. 

While she wasn't one of the top names being talked about for the Bachelorette job, a source told E! News that Katie met with producers and was briefly considered. 

The Bachelor's two-night finale begins Monday, March 9, at 8 p.m. on ABC, while The Bachelorette will debut this spring.