Meet Clare Crawley’s ‘Bachelorette’ Contestants for Season 16: See Their Names, Ages, Jobs and More!

We’re ready! ABC *finally* started production for Clare Crawley‘s season of Bachelorette amid the coronavirus pandemic, so got to meet her handsome guys after months of waiting. The show had some seriously hot contestants lined up for season 16, but along with how they’re shooting the show, casting changed a bit. The new leading lady definitely knows what she’s looking for, and we hope the new men live up to her expectations. 

Clare’s decisiveness may actually make the journey harder. “She told producers she no longer wanted to participate in the show” because she had “already fallen in love” with contestant , an insider exclusively told Life & Style about the hairstylist, 39, just mere weeks after her season started filming.

“Producers are scrambling to figure out what to do,” the insider continued following Clare’s shocking admission. “They are frantic trying to pick up the pieces without having to start over completely.” Hopefully, Clare sees the season through to the end, but we’re not mad about her finding a strong connection.

ABC announced all 32 men who would be competing for Clare’s heart on March 11, well before filming was supposed to start. Though all of the guys cast for the upcoming season were adorable, some fans were concerned about their ages. The Sacramento native had some older gents on the roster but many more were in their mid-twenties, and fans worried this wouldn’t give the hairdresser a fair shot at lasting love.

Production listened to fans (and maybe Clare) and recasted a slew of the contestants. It looks as though we’ll be welcoming some new faces into the fray — presumably, some who are a little closer in age to Clare.

Regardless of the guys ages, fans are so ready to see what a more mature lead will bring to the reality dating show. Clare also thinks her age is a major positive. “A lot of people put it out there as this negative thing,” the starlet told GMA. “But, I know what I want, what I don’t want and what I won’t settle for.”

It seems like ABC decided not to settle, either. Toward the end of March, Chris Harrison teased things might be changing up a bit. “These guys set aside a certain period of time — they took off work, I mean, our lives have been turned upside down — so just thinking that 25 or 35 guys can all do this again during the timeframe that we pick, that’s going to be difficult,” he told Access. “So I’m just saying there might be new guys only because some of these guys just might not be able to make it. I mean, who knows if these guys have jobs now, are looking for jobs, what their families look like. All of our world has been turned upside down, so we’re not going crazy trying to recast the show. I’m just saying we might have to.”

The network confirmed they were going to recast at least some of the guys for the season when they began airing the typical “we’re looking for men to date our new Bachelorette Clare Crawley …” message during their Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons Ever! recap specials. ABC announced the new cast list on July 15.

At least one of Clare’s contestants was sure to be replaced — Matt James. The Florida hunk, who happens to be besties with Tyler Cameron, was announced as the franchise’s first Black bachelor on June 12, amid pressure from fans to add more diversity to the show. While we’re pumped to watch him as the lead this winter, he was a little disappointed to miss out on meeting Clare.

“I have my eyes on somebody,” he exclusively told Life & Style in April. “I think she’s in Sacramento right now and hopefully when this is all said and done, I’ll get a chance to meet her. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while now. I’m excited about that.”

Clare first appeared in the Bachelor franchise on Juan Pablo Galavis‘ season in 2014. She then continued on to Bachelor in Paradise and Bachelor Winter Games, and the process proved to work for her. She got engaged to Benoit Beauséjour Savard from The Bachelorette Canada during the one-time Winter Games spinoff. However, they split one month later but promised that they had “no negative feelings” toward one another in a joint statement. 

Bachelorette Clare Crawley Hugs Ex Fiance Benoit After Winter Games
ABC/Paul Hebert

Benoit, 33, exclusively told Life & Style that he’s happy his ex is getting this opportunity but doesn’t “want her to get hurt” on the show. “I’m glad she got that chance at finding love because we both trust that process,” added the Bachelor Nation stud. “All I want for her is to be happy because she deserves the best.”

Clare’s former fiancé also took a moment to rave about her on Instagram after she was announced as the new leading lady. “She is smart, fun, strong, knows what she wants and most importantly, she will call out the guys messing around!!” he captioned a cuddly photo of the two. “Hell yeah!! Good Luck on your journey to find love, [Clare Crawley]!! You will be the best.”

He’s not the only fan of Clare in Bachelor Nation. Paradise alum Ashley Iaconetti picked the Sacramento native as her Bachelorette frontrunner long before she was announced. Clare is “such a warm, nurturing soul who knows what she deserves,” Ashley exclusively gushed to Life & Style.

We can’t wait to see what Clare (and her men) bring to season 16 — if she gets that far. Keep scrolling to meet her hunky contestants!