Bachelorette Clare Crawley is getting candid about making Bachelor franchise history.
Ahead of Tuesday's premiere of The Bachelorette, the newest lead sat down to dish on her season with ET's Lauren Zima, sharing as much as she could about the drama fans are about to see, including that jaw-dropping promo where Clare tells host Chris Harrison that she thinks she "just met my husband" -- during the limo entrances!
"It was one of those intangible, goosebumps all over the body [things]. Like, what just happened?" Clare recalls. "For me, being a confident woman, I honestly stood there all night and I was like, 'Great to meet you, I'm excited,' like, each guy, I was so into, I was so happy to meet them, and then with Dale, I felt like I was just a blubbering mess...I was like, 'What did I just say? Did it sound OK? What just happened?' For me to be caught off guard and for me to be at a loss for words -- I think that definitely says a lot."
The suitor in question is Dale Moss, a 32-year-old former NFL player, whom Clare admits to feeling drawn to instantly.
"That feeling that I've never felt before... just standing in front of a man, connecting on that level, and it being electric between each other - I've never felt that instantly like that before," she shares. "I had never felt it before, and I never even knew what to expect with those feelings. When you have not experienced it or felt it, you don't know if it exists, but when you feel it, you know exactly what that feeling is."
However, there are plenty of other suitors for Clare to get to know -- and she was sensitive to the fact that it's an unusual season of the show, especially for the cast and crew members who stayed on lockdown in Palm Springs for the duration of filming.
"My whole goal in all of this was for everybody to know and understand that even though I'm the Bachelorette and this is my personal journey to find love, it's also their personal journey to find love as well," she shares. "They went through all of the testing that I went through, they put themselves on the line, they put their jobs on hold, they put their families on hold, all to find love."
In ET's exclusive promo, the Bachelorette sits down with one eager contestant, Blake Moynes, who risked his status on the show by breaking the rules and reaching out to Clare on social media during the hiatus when the show was shut down due to coronavirus concerns.
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"Blake was the only person that messaged me, the only person I had any contact, talked to, any sort of communication with [ahead of the season]," she shares, noting the moment may not play out like viewers expect. "We're given these rules to respect, the process of it all, and I definitely, 100 percent respected the process. What he did, and the reason he did that, I also really respect."
As for her relationship status, Clare kept mum, saying only, "I'm very happy." She wouldn't share whether or not she was currently engaged or in love, but did say, "I mean, I feel like there's so much more to it."
"I think he's basically referring to that this is a season like no other," Clare admits. "And I can say that really confidently, being a part of this franchise for a while now. It was one of those things where, there was a lot of different things that played into it being such a dynamic, different season, that I think it's definitely going to blow people's minds."
When ET spoke with Harrison earlier this month, he confirmed that Clare wasn't "wasting time" this season. A source told ET in August that Clare ended her Bachelorette journey early, on good terms with producers, but said viewers would have to wait to see how everything played out until the show debuted in October. As Bachelor Nation fans have seen in recent seasons, "anything can happen" when it comes to the Bachelor franchise.
"She came into this unbelievably sincere and serious about finding love, finding a man, and it really wasn't about the pomp and circumstance for her. It wasn't about all the pageantry. It was about coming in and finding somebody, and I really respect the fact that this woman knows exactly what she wants and she is not afraid to go get it," Harrison added, describing Clare's season as a "pressure cooker."
"What we really learned was, at the end of the day, it is about the stories. It's about the romance. It's about Clare going on this journey. These guys coming in... they were kind of entering the unknown. It made things very intense."
The Bachelorette premieres Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.