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ABC Exec Denies Theory About Tayshia, Clare Swap: ‘We Didn’t Plan This’

When one Bachelorette gets her happy ending, another leading lady swoops in to hand out roses. ABC executive Robert Mills teased Tayshia Adams’ upcoming journey on the reality series — and denied theories that the show pre-planned Clare Crawley’s early exit.

“It is insane,” the head of ABC’s alternative series, specials & late-night programming told Variety after the Thursday, November 5, episode of The Bachelorette. “You just think, ‘Oh my gosh, I swear we didn’t plan this.’”

Us Weekly confirmed in August that Clare, 39, stopped filming season 16 of The Bachelorette within the first two weeks of production because she was already head over heels for one of her suitors. After the October 13 premiere, it was clear that Dale Moss was the contestant who stole the hairstylist’s heart. The network subsequently called in Tayshia, 30, to continue the journey with Clare’s contestants.

“We knew on JoJo [Fletcher]’s season that her person clearly was Jordan [Rodgers]. And she definitely knew with Jordan, but she wasn’t ready to stop the show,” Mills said. “She definitely had feelings for a lot of these other guys, and there were some great guys, so I don’t think she was ready until the end. But if she — or anyone else — had said that, I think we have to listen to that. Clare essentially said, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ so how could we not listen to her? She said, ‘When I’m with other guys, all I think about is Dale.’”

During Thursday’s episode, Clare broke the news to her remaining 16 men that she was in love with Dale. After spending the night together, the 32-year-old model proposed.

“At that point, Clare started to feel like Dale is The One, so she needed a one-on-one quickly to spell this out and that’s why they had an overnight,” Mills explained. “Plus, one of the benefits of having Chris Harrison living on site is that he was able to talk Clare through everything at a moment’s notice. He steps in as a parent and a therapist. We had to make sure that Dale feels this way, too, and that it wasn’t just Clare.”

The exec went on to credit the producers and art department for getting La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs proposal-ready.

“Clare basically called him there to say that she felt this way, and he said he felt this way, too. They both acknowledged that this was crazy, but they basically said, “When you know, you know.’”

The Bachelorette airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET. Scroll through for more from Mills: