As if getting derailed by coronavirus wasn’t enough, Season 16 of “The Bachelorette” has gotten off to a rocky start.
According to “Us Weekly,” producers have contacted backup contestants for Clare Crawley — aka guys who were cut before the season started production on July 17 — to return to the La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California, where the whole season is being shot.
“Last weekend, producers reached out to backup ‘Bachelorette’ contestants who had been vetted for Clare’s season but were ultimately not cast to film at La Quinta,” a source told the magazine, adding that the men were given a 24-hour window to come back. “When producers reached back out, out of the blue, it was very apparent that something had happened with production.”
Spoiler guru Reality Steve confirmed that this casting crisis did happen, but he does not know what spurred it. He also reports that none of the rejects have agreed to return as far as he knows.
“THIS I can confirm actually did happen,” he tweeted Friday. “Why? I have no idea. But guys who were cut and never made to night 1 were reached back out to in the last week and asked back. None have accepted as far as I’ve heard.”
THIS I can confirm actually did happen. Why? I have no idea. But guys who were cut and never made to night 1 were reached back out to in the last week and asked back. None have accepted as far as I’ve heard https://t.co/QBbNgMH57E
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) July 31, 2020
It’s not out of the realm of possibility to think someone in the cast tested positive for COVID-19 or is even just sick — the show had already flown out extra guys, after undergoing recasting, to quarantine in case of any positive tests. That brought the semifinalist group to a massive 42 men, which, based on social media comments by the rejected guys, was then cut down to 32 before production started (the original cast that was announced in March had 32). Or it could be as simple as some guys deciding to bounce on their own for whatever reason.
Season 16 was supposed to start filming in March before everything went into lockdown. The season is now filming in one closed-off location with the cast and crew being regularly tested for COVID-19.
“The Bachelorette” is slated to air on Tuesdays at 8/7c in the fall, but no premiere date has been announced yet.