The show must go on! Clare Crawley’s Bachelorette season was supposed to premiere in May, but her journey to find love was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. There have been a lot of changes to season 16 from Tayshia Adams stepping in as the new leading lady and Clare getting engaged to contestant Dale Moss mid-season, but on August 27, we finally got the announcement we’ve been waiting for! 

“Get ready, Bachelor Nation!” ABC captioned its Instagram post, adding Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette will premiere Tuesday, October 13, at 8 p.m. ET. The original premiere date was slated for May 18, but filming didn’t even begin until July.

Life & Style exclusively broke the news on July 30 that Clare, 39, threatened to quit because she had already “fallen in love” with Dale, 31, just 12 days into filming. Talks among production say they are now engaged and Tayshia is the new leading lady. In addition, former Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher will also be taking over as host for a few weeks amid Chris Harrison dropping his son, Joshua, off at college at Texas Christian University, a source told Us Weekly on August 13.

Season 16 has proven to be completely unpredictable. One of the first twists to occur was when Matt James was announced as the new Bachelor on June 12, despite already being cast to appear as one of her contestants.

Although some fans feared that meant The Bachelorette would be skipped this year, Warner Horizon Unscripted confirmed to Variety on June 26 that the production team was getting ready to begin filming in July, but things will look a little different this season. The cast will be traveling to an isolated location in Palm Springs, California, where they will remain for the entire production to make sure they can keep everyone safe and healthy. The cast and production team will be quarantined on-site for the duration, and safety protocols will be strict. 

New Bachelorette Clare Crawley Smiles in Purple jacket With USA Flag on It
ABC/Edward Herrera

If there is anyone who’s deserving of finding love, it’s Clare, who first appeared on Juan Pablo Galavis‘ season in 2014. Since then, she appeared on the first two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise and Bachelor Winter Games. Afterward, she got engaged to Bachelor Nation’s Benoit Beauséjour-Savard. However, that was short-lived. The former flames called it quits one month later.

Fortunately, though, there are no hard feelings between the exes. If anything, Benoit wishes Clare the best on her journey as the new Bachelorette and even admitted he worries about her. The 33-year-old doesn’t “want her to get hurt,” he exclusively divulged to Life & Style.

Regardless of the risk, Benoit is rooting for the blonde beauty. “I’m glad she got that chance at finding love because we both trust that process,” he added. “All I want for her is to be happy because she deserves the best.”

He continued, “We are simply two people who believed in love and were open enough to give it a chance. We still care for each other very deeply.”

While it’s rare for there to be a throwback pick as the new Bachelorette, it turns out, the ABC host teased the possibility in February.

“We are big believers in there is no terrible idea, unless someone’s obviously married or in a relationship,” Chris told exclusively told Life & Style at the time. “But, if they’re not taken, and if they’re single, they’re a viable candidate.”

We’re glad Clare found her guy and hope the process works for Tayshia, too. Who else is excited for season 16 to premiere?!