2:30pm PT by Jackie Strause
ABC Reveals 'Bachelorette' Cast for "Unprecedented" Quarantine Season
The upcoming, quarantined season of The Bachelorette is beginning to take shape for viewers.
On Tuesday, ABC revealed that 31 men will be competing for star Clare Crawley's long-stemmed roses when the franchise returns with season 16 on Oct. 13. The "unprecedented" season, as it is referred to in the network's press release, was filmed at the private La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs, California, where the cast and crew were quarantined together under a slew of new on-set safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bachelorette was the first major primetime show to announce a return to filming in the U.S. and resumed production in July.
Back in March and before the show shut down production at the height of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the network had revealed the 32 (which later grew to 42) men who were initially cast for Crawley's season, and faced criticism over the predominantly younger crop that had been selected for the 39-year-old star. The official batch of suitors now boasts 20 contestants who are aged 30 and up. Only one contestant, however — a banker from Washington, D.C. — is in his 40s.
Franchise host Chris Harrison held a live reveal of the cast Tuesday, during which he thanked the crew for the "herculean effort" that went into making the season happen. Though marketing for the season has alluded to a reported major shakeup during the season (no spoilers here!), Harrison only said of the upcoming, sure-to-be-expected drama: "You may think you know everything, but you don't. It is a season you have to see to believe." ABC's press release offered this teaser about the Oct. 13 premiere: "Bachelor Nation will be rewarded with the first glimpse at the shocking moment that will change the course of this passionate, crazy journey, unlike any other in franchise history."
Amid calls and renewed pressure for the long-running franchise to be more inclusive in 2020, Crawley's season precedes the first-ever Black Bachelor season with star Matt James. The 28-year-old real estate broker and entrepreneur was initially part of Crawley's cast before he was tapped to star in the upcoming 25th season, which recently began filming in isolation in Pennsylvania. Rachel Lindsay, who was the first Black Bachelorette in 2017, specifically called for a "diversity makeover" from the franchise to see more diverse leads and more Black contestants and people of color included in the cast. The show's producers said at the time of James' announcement: "We acknowledge our responsibility for the lack of representation of people of color on our franchise and pledge to make significant changes to address this issue moving forward."
The Bachelorette marks Crawley's fifth stint with the franchise after first appearing on the 2014 Juan Pablo Galavis season of The Bachelor (where she memorably finished as his runner-up), followed by spinoffs Bachelor in Paradise in 2014 and 2015, and Bachelor Winter Games in 2018 (where she was briefly engaged).
The 31 men who will vie for Crawley's heart are photographed above and listed here (in alphabetical order): AJ, 28, a software salesman from Playa del Rey, California; Ben, 29, an Army Ranger veteran from Venice, California; Bennett, 36, a wealth management consultant from New York City; Blake Monar, 31, a male grooming specialist from Phoenix, Arizona; Blake Moynes, 29, a wildlife manager from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Brandon, 28, a real estate agent from Cleveland, Ohio; Brendan, 30, a commercial roofer from Milford, Massachusetts; Chasen, 31, an IT account executive from San Diego, California; Chris, 27, a landscape design salesman from Salt Lake City, Utah; Dale, 31, a former pro football receiver from Brandon, South Dakota; Demar, 26, a spin cycling instructor from Scottsdale, Arizona; Eazy, 29, a sports marketing agent from Newport Beach, California; Ed, 36, a health care salesman from Miami, Florida; Garin, 34, a professor of journalism from North Hollywood, California; Ivan, 28, an aeronautical engineer from Dallas, Texas; Jason, 31, a former pro football lineman from Arlington, Virginia; Jay, 30, a fitness director from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Jeremy, 40, a banker from Washington, D.C.; Joe, 36, an anesthesiologist from New York City; Jordan C., 26, a software account executive from New York City; Jordan M., 30, a cyber security engineer from Santa Monica, California; Kenny, 39, a boy band manager from Chicago, Illinois; Mike, 38, a digital media adviser from Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Page, 37, a chef from Austin, Texas; Riley, 30, an attorney from Long Island City, New York; Robby, 31, an insurance broker from Tampa, Florida; Tyler C., 27, a lawyer from Morgantown, West Virginia; Tyler S., 36, a music manager from Georgetown, Texas; Yosef, 30, a medical device salesman from Daphne, Alabama; Zac C., 36, an addiction specialist from Haddonfield, New Jersey; and Zach J., 37, a cleaning service owner from St. George, Utah.
The Bachelorette premieres Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m. on ABC.