Filming season 16 of The Bachelorette is extremely different amid the coronavirus pandemic. Pile on Clare Crawley’s exit and Tayshia Adams stepping in to finish the season, and it’s been one big “s—t show” in terms of organization, an insider exclusively tells Life & Style

“Producers are scrambling trying to find a way to save this season of The Bachelorette now that Clare is out. Everyone on set thinks it’s a big joke,” continues the insider. “The contestants don’t know what’s going on, the producers don’t know what to do next … The guys don’t know what to do but laugh, they feel like they’ve been whipped around.”

Life & Style confirmed on July 30 Clare, 39, threatened to quit the show because she had already “fallen in love” with contestant Dale Moss just 12 days into filming. She “blindsided” the crew by her quickie decision and even “refused to come out of her room” to film with other guys, a second source told Life & Style. She and Dale, 31, are now engaged, and it’s Tayshia’s turn to take the lead. 

The plan was to “match” up the former Bachelor in Paradise contestant, 29, with the remaining men in hopes she finds a connection, the second source explained. Luckily, the contestants are staying positive about the surprising switch.

“The guys that are now left are just happy to get another chance at love,” says the insider. “The show is going to go on with a new Bachelorette and they are excited. Producers have to be creative, but they like the element of surprise and are hoping it will draw more interest.”

What Is Happening With the Bachelorette Tayshia Replacing Clare Crawley
Courtesy Tayshia Adams/Instagram

A huge perk of appearing on the reality dating franchise is the opportunity to travel and have once in a lifetime experiences. However, the cast and crew are currently isolated at La Quinta Resort in La Quinta, California, where they are shooting the entirety of the season amid COVID-19.

The show flew the contestants out “with all expenses paid” and they “immediately” went into quarantine upon arrival “with no human contact for 10 days.” To guarantee the health and safety of everyone on set, they were also “tested every four days” for coronavirus.

“[The contestants] spent their time working out, journaling, taking baths, whatever they could to pass time. Luckily, they were allowed to have their phones while they did all the prep work, photoshoots and preliminary interviews,” explains the insider. “Interactions with producers were all over Zoom until everyone was cleared, and once production started, they were testing the guys again every four days. There [are] no rules put in place in terms of physical contact/kissing since the thought is they’d all be in a bubble healthy.”

While filming during a global pandemic was a huge hurdle to overcome, Clare’s exit mere weeks into filming rocked the boat even harder. Producers who were “scrambling” to get back on track even began calling previously cut contestants.

“Someone was called back twice, went through the whole quarantine process for 10 days, was cut and then seven days later was called back a third time! At that point, he just declined,” dished the insider. “Contestants were wondering if they got the call because Clare asked for them specifically, or she just wasn’t happy with the guys that were left.”

Clare’s whirlwind romance with Dale surprised everyone — including the remaining contestants. “No one saw it coming … The guys all think it’s messed up,” added the source. “They were following the rules while she was figuring out her favorite pre-production. Now, it’s clear they’re headed in a new direction.”

This season promises to be one for the books!