UPDATE (3/14/20 12:01 a.m. ET): Clare Crawley, the Season 16 “Bachelorette,” broke her silence after Chris Harrison revealed that production for The Bachelorette would be postponed. “Well hello! Talk about most dramatic season ever! In all seriousness, Everyone’s health is the most important priority at this time, and as I’m sure you’ve heard, we are pressing pause for now on filming The Bachelorette. 🌹,” Clare wrote in an Instagram post, which featured a photo of her and Chris holding hands. She continued, “We are taking it day by day and even hour by hour as this is so unpredictable. All I know for sure is that my heart is so full from all the love and support this far, and am still so excited for my journey to begin! I’ve waited 38 years for these moments, what’s a little bit longer, right! 😉❤️xoxo.”
ORIGINAL: Night one of Season 16 of The Bachelorette was supposed to be filmed on March 13. But on that very same day, President Donald Trump announced that the US is facing a national emergency amid the coronavirus outbreak. Shortly after, The Bachelorette/The Bachelor/BIP host Chris Harrison, 48, was forced to make a sad announcement himself. “Hello Bachelor Nation, it is with a heavy heart that I come to you tonight because right now, at this very minute, I should be standing on a very wet driveway with a very excited woman, ready to change lives. But in a fact lives have been changed,” Chris began a video, which he shared to his Instagram on Friday.
Chris proceeded to break the big news: “Production of The Bachelorette has been postponed for two weeks, at least. In two weeks we will reassess where we are in the world and figure out what’s happening, and if we can move forward.” While the longtime host assured this was not only the “right” but also “only” decision to make, he lamented that “jobs will be lost” as he considered the “hundreds” of people that make The Bachelorette a possibility.
Chris later gave a shout-out to Clare Crawley, the 38-year-old former contestant on Juan Pablo’s season of The Bachelor who was about to make history as the oldest woman to ever lead The Bachelorette. “To my friend Clare, you’re still my Bachelorette and hopefully we’re still going to get the opportunity to help you find love and make this work,” Chris continued. He then recalled the conversation they had a night before making this big decision: “I just sat down with Clare last night and we were still excited for what was going to come tonight. Tonight was going to be the first official night of production, where the guys would arrive…all that stuff seems so trivial now, in the face of what we’re all are about to face.” However, Chris admitted “it’s still tough” and “emotional” to set aside the show — you can watch his full video, below.
But what about Bachelor In Paradise? Just one day before breaking this news, Chris was unsure of BIP’s immediate future while speaking EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife at Seagram’s Escapes Tropical Rosè launch party in Hollywood on March 12. We asked if the show, which features contestants from past seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, could be filmed domestically in the US in the wake of coronavirus fears. Every year, the dating show is filmed in Mexico. In response, Chris admitted, “That’s all up in the air right now, it really is.” He then joked, “Yeah, it might be in my backyard.”