‘The Bachelorette’ 2020 Premiere: Did Clare Crawley Just Meet Her Husband? (RECAP)

Clare Crawley Dale Bachelorette
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ABC/Craig Sjodin

The Bachelorette


Season 16 • Episode 1

We did it you, guys, we made it. Despite living through a global pandemic and the hellhole that’s been 2020, The Bachelorette is officially back.

Though we thought we’d never see the day when Clare Crawley would find love among a group of eligible suitors, we’re here. And let us just say, the Season 16 premiere lived up to the hype.

Episode 1 has everything we could ever ask for — embarrassing entrances, COVID-19 tests (OK, we didn’t actually ask for this), and a serious love connection. Let’s dive on in.

We start tonight’s episode learning how we got to where we are right now. Way back in February 2020 (which feels like a lifetime ago) Chris Harrison calls Clare to ask if she wants to be the Bachelorette. They make the announcement, share the cast of guys, and then — BAM! — COVID-19 hits.

After months of waiting around, Clare gets word they’re finally going to start filming in La Quinta, California so everyone can be quarantined together. Sorry Bachelor Mansion, we’ll hopefully see you in 2021.

Bachelorette Clare Crawley

ABC/Craig Sjodin

While it’s weird that we won’t get dates at concerts or among big groups of people, it’s nice that everyone can makeout and hug to their hearts’ content. That’s what The Bachelorette is all about, after all.

Alright, now it’s time to meet the guys.

Clare’s Men

All the men arrive at La Quinta to quarantine for a few days before getting their first COVID-19 test.

We briefly meet a SoulCycle instructor, a Harvard graduate, a guy with a daughter, and a bunch of other muscular gentlemen. After receiving their second negative COVID-19 test, the guys ditch their masks, jump into the pool, and bask in the sunlight.

Unlike past seasons, we don’t get the awkward video packages from contestants, which may be for the best. No cringe-inducing shower shots, no walks on the beach while staring out into the ocean, and no working out while shirtless. Silver lining!

Clare Crawley Chris Harrison Bachelorette

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Before the limo entrances, Clare talks to Chris about her journey and opens up about losing her father. She reveals she is proud of herself for just showing up, despite the fact love hasn’t worked for her in the past.

The first guy out of the limo is Ben, who is a former Army Ranger. He asks Clare to take a deep breath with him, which is actually kind of sweet? Other notable limo entrances include Jason, who came out with a pregnant belly (an homage to Clare’s entrance during Juan Pablo’s Bachelor season), Tyler, who rolled up in a station wagon, and Jay, who came in a straight jacket (we wish we were joking).

And let’s not even get started with Chasen, who walked up in a complete Medieval Knight armor set. These guys will truly do anything to get attention.

Everything stops, however, when Dale walks up. There’s been a lot said about Dale in recent months, but it’s clear they have an instant connection. In fact, Clare even starts to get emotional following their introduction. “I feel like I just met my husband. I’m shaking,” she says after he walks away. Chris has to come check in on her because she’s so taken aback.

Dale Clare Crawley Bachelorette

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Let the Games Begin

After meeting all the contestants, Clare comes in and gives a toast to the group. The guys start pulling her aside, but Clare only seems to have eyes for Dale. “It’s so crazy, everything feels so natural with Dale. There’s those butterflies, that nervousness, but that’s just because I like him. I know what I’m looking for and I’m big on energy and vibes,” she reveals.

Clare’s dog comes out and meets the guys, which is actually a great test. She’s not going to be with someone who doesn’t get along with her dog, right?!

Though everyone seems to be one big happy family, that’s certainly not the case. In fact, Tyler C. reveals he has a bit of dirt on one of the other guys — apparently Yosef sent an Instagram DM to someone Tyler knows, though the timeline is fuzzy. Tyler confronts Yosef about what he knows, but Yosef immediately shuts it down and claims he doesn’t know what Tyler’s talking about.

Bachelorette Clare Crawley Yosef

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Yosef goes to Clare to explain what the situation, but rather than play a game of he-said-he-said, Clare brings Tyler into the conversation, too. Yosef plays the “I have a daughter card,” and claims he would never put himself in that kind of situation.

First Impression Rose

In what’s probably the least shocking move in Bachelorette history, Clare gives her First Impression Rose to Dale.

“To have this First Impression Rose and just know that I’m going to be able to spend some more time with Clare, that’s huge. Even though it was just one night, we connected on so many different levels,” Dale says.

Clare Crawley Bachelorette

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Who Went Home?

Despite having to quarantine and take COVID-19 tests, there are still guys who have to go home on night one. Clare sends home Tyler C. (shouldn’t have brought up the Instagram drama, bud), Page, AJ, Chris, Jeremy, Jordan, Robby, and Mike. Have a good time back in reality, guys!

The Bachelorette, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC