They say you know true love when you find it — but one member of Bachelor Nation thinks that Clare Crawley and Dale Moss' whirlwind engagement came about in part because of pressure from the producers. Bekah Martinez said Clare and Dale were "almost coerced" into becoming engaged during a new Us Weekly interview about the current season of The Bachelorette. The former Bachelor contestant called the producers' handling of the situation "bizarre" and revealed that she "would not be happy" if she had been in Crawley's shoes, referring to how Tayshia Adams took over as the Bachelorette part-way through the season.
"It just felt like there was a lot of spinning of what happened to make her [leave]," the Chatty Broads podcast host said. "I mean, it was just so obvious as a viewer at the very end that the two of them were almost coerced into getting engaged."
While Martinez didn't elaborate on what she felt was the coercion, many fans pointed out at the time that host Chris Harrison appeared to spring the idea of a proposal on Moss just hours before he was expected to pop the question. The duo had only known each other for two weeks. "It seems like they really love each other, but that was bizarre, and I would be really upset as a lead," Martinez added.
In fact, the former contestant thinks the proposal came about because Crawley was being "intentionally pushed" off of the show, referencing rumors that producers always intended to replace her with Adams as the Bachelorette. (Harrison has defended the show's switch, saying that "clearly [Crawley's] head was not there anymore" after falling in love with Moss so early on.)
"I would be pretty pissed off. I would be like, ‘You sort of shorted me of a season that was supposed to be mine,'" Martinez said. "But, you know, at the end of the day, I have to give it to Clare, because I think that she really was there for the right reasons. She wanted to find love and she fell in love. So, you know, I’m sure she’s just happy about that."
Despite Martinez's — and many Bachelorette fans' — concerns about whether or not Crawley and Moss' whirlwind romance was the real deal, both the former Bachelorette and her new fiancé have defended their relationship and their decision to get engaged so fast. "[It was] never a question [if I'd propose]," Moss told Entertainment Tonight on Nov. 6. "I said from the beginning there was never a time I wouldn't be there for you. And my heart was so full. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Never a second thought. If you see in the episode, we're so relaxed and we're so calm together, and we knew at that moment that we were exactly where we were meant to be."
A few days later, he reiterated that sentiment during an interview with People. "For me personally, there is no explanation needed," Moss said of their quick engagement. "I've never been afraid of commitment. And when I met Clare, I knew I was all in. She lights a fire in me that I was missing for so long." Crawley added, "It may be fast for some people, and that's okay. But for us, it's working."
Despite all of the doubts and questions, Crawley and Moss have made it clear that they're very happy together — and very much in love with one another. "Everything since the show has been reaffirming of why I chose Dale," she told People. "He's even better off camera, in person, one on one at home. Dale is the yin to my yang. And this is the happiest I've ever been."
In the end, what more can fans (and Martinez) hope for?