In early August, sources confirmed to E! News that Clare Crawley had found love early on during filming and would be replaced by Tayshia Adams as the star of The Bachelorette. ABC and Warner Bros TV could not confirm, but photos of Tyashia on the La Quinta, California set soon appeared.
The season poster features comparisons to The Graduate's Mrs. Robinson—an older woman who dates a younger man and is eventually replaced by a younger woman—and Chris hasn't held back on social media.
"It's safe to say this season will be twice as good as any other!" he captioned the season key art on Instagram.
"I feel like this could be double trouble," he tweeted.
ABC's season description told us to "follow [Clare's] passionate, wild ride to find her soul mate and the explosive turn of events that will have all of Bachelor Nation talking."
Chris Harrison said on Daily Pop that "Clare is 100 percent the Bachelorette," but it's not entirely clear what that means.
"This whole season is all about her finding love," he continued. "Lord knows she waited long enough, I mean, she is our longest reigning Bachelorette ever."
About those "wild" rumors of Tayshia stepping in, Chris said he had no clue where they came from.
"Just crazy," he said. "Clare is 100 percent the Bachelorette. What happens above and beyond that, everybody will have to wait and see what happens."
In a promo for the season, Chris tells Clare she's "blowing up The Bachelorette." He couldn't tell E! News exactly how she does that, but he could give us a solid tease.
"I wish I could say a lot more but what I can tell you is you always think you've seen it all and done it all—and I've been doing this for 19 years—inevitably something happens that just blows your mind. This is an explosive season, it is a wild explosive season and it starts quickly with Clare. She is emotional and wears her heart on her sleeve and I think she was just bound and determined to come in here and find the love of her life. And that's what she was set to do."
Chris says the show is leaning into whatever happens and will not hold back.
"We're going to show you everything—warts and all, the good, the bad, the ugly—and take you on this ride," he said. "You're going to really get to see and feel everything we do. And that's kind of a cool thing and so as a producer as a host. My thought is, go with it, lean into it. Wherever Clare takes us wherever this season takes us, that's what you're going to get—you're gonna see it all."
While Clare reportedly left with her first impression rose winner, ABC did confirm that we'll get to a rose ceremony in the first episode when they announced the names of the men Clare got to choose from.
"At the end of the night, 23 lucky bachelors remain to toast the Bachelorette, with hearts overflowing and romantic adventures yet to come," the premiere description reads. "Will Clare open her heart once more and find the man of her dreams who will love her back? And on this special premiere night, Bachelor Nation will be rewarded with the first glimpse at the shocking moment that will change the course of this passionate, crazy journey, unlike any other in franchise history."
Chris also promised a supertease that's going to make our minds explode, so it sounds like the twist will first be teased in the season trailer at the end of the premiere.
In a new promo from Oct. 7, one of the guys asks, "Can we get a new Bachelorette in here?" He and some of the other guys seem somewhat unhappy with whatever is happening as Chris tells Clare that if she continues down this path, "it doesn't end well." What could it all mean?! We'll find out Oct. 13, as long as there's no NBA Game 7...