'The Bachelorette': Clare Crawley Declares Her Time as Lead Is 'Over'

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Clare Crawley is done being the Bachelorette. Roughly two weeks into filming, the Sacramento native decided she had found her "match" in contestant Dale Moss -- and therefore exited her role as lead.

It all played out at the top of this week's episode of The Bachelorette, as host Chris Harrison confronted Clare about her clear feelings for Dale and disinterest in the other guys.

"Right now, the guys in the house are unhappy," Chris told Clare. "They're confused. These are good guys and they're not dumb. These are smart men. They know what's going on. The path we're on right now, we can't continue."

"What are you feeling? And be totally and completely honest with me. No bullish*t," the host said.

"I... totally am like, head over heels for Dale. He's amazing. I don't know, like, it's so crazy. I feel like maybe the universe was working in my favor," Clare said, opening up about how when COVID-19 shut down production in March, she started looking at the guys' social media, and felt connected to Dale through his posts. "It's just so parallel, that I would say it was built up before we even got here."

All that talk of social media led Chris to a very important question. "Don't f**k with me," he said. "Did you guys talk at all before the show?"

"Not one bit, not one word. I swear on my dad's grave," Clare insisted. "And that's why I'm so into this. I've just spent years knowing what I don't want, and it's given me so much clarity coming into this... to focus on what I do want. I feel like Dale is my match.... He continually shows up for me."

Clare asked Chris what happens next, to which he admitted they'd have to "reinvent" this whole season. "What would you like to do?" he asked her.

"I would so just love to spend as much time as I can with him. I want to be able to let him know how I feel and see if it's something he's feeling as well," Clare said.

"In your mind, right now, is this over?" Chris asked.

"Yeah," Clare confirmed -- leading Chris to deliver the much-teased line: "Congratulations, you've just blown up The Bachelorette."

Clare -- who seemingly debuted an engagement ring just hours before Thursday's episode -- connection with Dale was evident from Night One, and in an interview with ET, she described their attraction as "electric." ET first learned in August that Clare had exited her role as Bachelorette after falling for one of her contestants -- though her recent social media posts seemed to suggest she believed she was "forced out."

"I think they were trying to force her out on some real. It was reported that she quit 12 days after filming and she locked herself in her room and wouldn’t come out, which was hard to believe considering how bad she wanted it," read a tweet Clare liked last month. "And I really feel like they are giving her a bad edit( just my opinion). They are feeding into the narrative and the rumors and making it seem like it was Clare's decision that this ended and i feel like that’s not the case."

Chris told ET Clare was definitely not forced out of her role.

"I would just say she has complete control," he said. "This season of The Bachelorette was completely about Clare. It's all about Clare, and she will decide where we go from here. It's totally, completely up to her."

This week's episode of The Bachelorette airs Thursday. The show returns to its usual airtime on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT next week.

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