Clare Crawley is ready for those rumors to not be rumors anymore.
Her season of The Bachelorette finally premiered on Tuesday night and while it did show off her potentially show-stopping attraction to Dale Moss, it didn't do much by way of explaining what's going on with the show this season. In fact, it left us more confused and intrigued than ever. The supertease at the end of the episode appeared to show the guys threatening to walk out on Clare as host Chris Harrison told his star she had just "blown up" the show, but Clare tells E! News you shouldn't read too much into those moments.
"I think you need to take those tidbits in the previews for face value and know that there is so much bigger of a picture behind where those stem from," she says in the video above. "So I really implore people to watch it to see and actually understand where all these conversations are coming from and where they stem from."
So what can she say about what's coming up? Only that she's proud of her choices.
"This is going to be a season that is going to be interesting to watch for people because there's going to be a lot of judgments on 'She should have done this,' or 'She should not have done that,'" she says. "But this was my journey for what I'm looking for. And it works. It works for me to follow my gut. So as long as I align with that, I couldn't go wrong for myself, and at the end of the day, I'm the one that needs to be accountable to myself, and that I can be proud of."
"First of all, the intangible," she tells E!. "You cannot force chemistry. And he also really had a calming presence to him that grounded me when the night was so chaotic."
It was clear in the episode that Clare was completely overwhelmed by Dale before he even said a word, and she says she can't even explain what was happening.
"I've never felt that feeling before in my life," she says. "I believed something that could happen to anybody; I had just never experienced it so having it happen to me just really took my breath away. And I think until you feel that feeling and have felt it before, you can't describe it."
Clare says that "of course" she Googled her potential contestants as she waited to film during quarantine, and while she promises us that Blake Moynes was the only one who actually contacted her before production began (which is technically breaking the rules of the show), she definitely saw something she liked on Dale's Instagram.
"I was excited to meet Dale," she says. "Everything that he showed on his social media aligned with my life and what my life looks like now and what I want my life to look like in the future. So I was really excited to see if there was actual chemistry there that you can't know until you meet somebody."
Clearly, that chemistry was there, and while we'll have to wait to find out exactly how her Bachelorette journey ends, there's one thing we know for sure: Clare is a happy girl.
"I'm very happy," she says. "I went into this happy, I'm happy now."
The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.