Clare Crawley has officially been announced as The Bachelorette’s upcoming Season 16 star, and the premiere date of her season has also been revealed by ABC.
ABC has announced the 38-year-old, four-time The Bachelor franchise participant will look for love — again — on the next edition of The Bachelorette when it premieres on Monday, May 18 at 8PM ET/PT.
Clare’s The Bachelorette participation was officially announced on Monday’s episode of Good Morning America.
Clare was a 32-year-old hairstylist from Sacramento, CA, when she was first introduced to Bachelor Nation on Juan Pablo Galavis’ season of The Bachelor in 2014.
Clare finished as Juan Pablo’s runner-up on Season 18 and memorably told The Bachelor star off during the Final Rose Ceremony in St. Lucia.
“I lost respect for you, because I’ll tell you what, I thought I knew what kind of man you are. What you just made me go through, I would never want my children having a father like you,” Clare snapped at Juan Pablo after he rejected her in favor of Nikki Ferrell.
Clare subsequently told the cameras in her final words, “It’s easy to just kiss and show your feelings. But don’t tell me you ‘love f-cking me.’ Don’t tell me that. That, to me, is not a man… Where is the man that makes me feel like I’m worth it, the man who would fight for me? Where is that man who would fight for me?”
In the press release ABC released for The Bachelorette’s new season, the network said Clare left Juan Pablo’s The Bachelor edition “with her head held high.”
“Clare left the season with a new sense of self-worth and a determination to never settle for anything less than the unconditional love and respect that she deserved,” according to ABC.
Clare then unsuccessfully continued to search for love on Seasons 1 and 2 of Bachelor in Paradise, which aired on ABC in 2014 and 2015.
After three years away, Clare then returned for The Bachelor Winter Games, which aired in early 2018, when she was 36 years old. She met a 31-year-old French Canadian bachelor Benoit Beausejour-Savard on Winter Games, but they broke up during filming.
However, Clare and Benoit, who appeared on the first season of The Bachelorette Canada, reunited once cameras stopped rolling and fell in love after dating for a couple of months.
Clare thought she had found a once-in-a-lifetime love with Benoit, and so she accepted his marriage proposal during the Tell-All reunion special for The Bachelor Winter Games.
However, they came to realize marriage wasn’t in the cards for them and split up in April 2018, only six weeks after the Tell-All special aired on ABC. Clare and Benoit apparently remain friends to this day.
According to ABC, Clare enjoys spending her days playing with her two dogs, Elby and Honey, doing yoga and hiking with friends.
She loves her career as a hairstylist and looks up to her late father as an example of the man she hopes to marry — “someone strong and compassionate that can live life to the fullest, just like her!”
Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone had reported on Saturday that ABC producers had chosen Clare as The Bachelorette’s Season 16 star.
Other women who were reportedly being considered for the role included Kelsey Weier, Tayshia Adams, Tia Booth, and a repeat season starring Hannah Brown.
“Monday morning on GMA, Clare Crawley will be named the ‘Bachelorette,'” the spoiler sleuth tweeted.
“I know everyone has their opinion because they wanted this girl, or they wanted that girl. Just know no one cares if you tell us you’re not watching. It’ll definitely be an interesting season for sure. Clare is passionate, emotional, and def falls hard.”
Clare, who will be turning 39 on March 20, is the oldest The Bachelorette star in the franchise’s history — by far.
During The Bachelorette’s fifteen prior seasons, the show’s oldest lead has been Rachel Lindsay, who was 32 years old when Season 13 premiered on ABC in 2017 (similar to Clare, Rachel’s birthday occurred while the season was filming).
Prior to Rachel’s selection, Season 1 star Trista Rehn and Season 2 star Meredith Phillips — who were 30 years old when their seasons began airing on ABC in 2003 and 2004, respectively — had been the oldest leads in The Bachelorette history.
Jillian Harris and Kaitlyn Bristowe, who were each 29 years old during their seasons, are The Bachelorette’s next-oldest former leads.
The ten remaining The Bachelorette stars have all ranged between 24 and 28, with the majority 25 or 26 years old. Hannah was the youngest Bachelorette ever when she starred on last year’s season as a 24 year old — meaning The Bachelorette will be going from one extreme to the other this year.
Clare will not be the oldest lead in Bachelor Nation history, however. That title is held by The Bachelor Season 6 star Byron Velvick, who was 40 years old during his 2004 season.
The Bachelor has featured several other 35-plus leads over the years, including Brad Womack, who was 38 years old when he starred on Season 15 of The Bachelor in 2011.
Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Nick Viall also each turned 36 years old during the production of their respective The Bachelor seasons, Season 22 which aired on 2018 and Season 21 which aired in 2017.
The Bachelorette, hosted by Chris Harrison, is being produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.
Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton, Nicole Woods, Bennett Graebner, Peter Gust, Tim Warner, Louis Caric and Peter Geist are serving as executive producers.