Clare Crawley's 'Bachelorette' Men May Be Recast, Says Chris Harrison

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The Bachelorette producers are making the most of the delayed season, by mixing up the men who are competing for Clare Crawley's heart. While chatting with fans on Instagram Live on Tuesday, March 17, Chris Harrison revealed there will be "different guys" on Clare's Bachelorette season when it finally resumes filming. The new season was set to begin filming on March 13, but Warner Bros. announced the same day that they were shutting down production on Clare's season, due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

With filming currently postponed indefinitely, Harrison explained on his Instagram Live that "it's not out of the realm of possibility" that the Bachelorette team will have to recast the men competing for Clare's heart. Explaining that the "25, 30, 35 guys" who were originally cast have been released from production because "we don't have a set time of when we're going to come back," Harrison added that it's hard to ensure all the same men will be available when filming starts up again.

"The idea that everybody's just going to be able to take off work and do this again? Probably very slim." As a result, Harrison revealed that Bachelor Nation should expect that "there will be some different guys" in the cast when Season 20 of The Bachelorette premieres. "Maybe it will be completely different guys. Maybe it will be a mixture," Harrison teased. "Who knows?"

When Clare's men were first announced on March 11, many members of Bachelor Nation criticized the group for being too young for the hairdresser, who will turn 39 on March 20. Harrison referenced the age gap between her and the contestants — most of whom are in their mid-twenties — during his Instagram Live, when he revealed that he hoped the delay will inspired producer to cast older men. "I'm all for casting new guys," Harrison said. "Is Clare going to date a 23-year-old man? No, she's not. It's just not going to happen."

Harrison isn't the only person encouraging a new group of men to apply for the chance to compete for Clare's heart; on March 17, the Bachelorette herself encouraged new men to apply for her season during an Instagram Live of her own. "I'm not saying this personally," Clare said, per Entertainment Tonight, "but I feel like since we have a break in the show right now, I don't think it's too late to submit people." She continued, "So, submit them, why not? What's the worst that could happen?"

During that same Instagram Live, Clare noted that she is open to dating younger men, though she would prefer they not be "too much younger" than her. But while being the oldest Bachelorette to date might mean the producers need to shake up the cast, Clare sees her age as an "asset" that will help her find what she really wants on her Bachelorette journey.

"I feel like my age is really an asset," she told People early March. "I've gone through twists and turns and I know what I will and won't put up with. Twenty-three-year-old Clare had no clue what I wanted. And I’m glad that wasn’t the end of my love story because I’m such a different woman now." Here's hoping that with a new crop of men, Clare's delayed Bachelorette season will deliver her — and Bachelor Nation — a love story worth waiting for.