Tayshia Adams is taking center stage on season 16 of The Bachelorette.
Clare Crawley apparently fell in love with one of her original suitors while the show was on a production delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“One of her potential guys found a way to get in touch with her and they began talking,” the source explains. “By the time filming officially began, they were basically already in love. No one else stood a chance. It just became so obvious from her subsequent few dates that her heart wasn’t in it and she just wasn’t feeling it. Then she said she wanted out.”
The source adds that Adams — a contestant on Colton Underwood‘s season 23 of The Bachelor who later appeared on Bachelor in Paradise — was brought in as a back-up.
“Tayshia was game and ready to go,” the source says. “What remains to be seen is if more men will be brought in now to give Tayshia a full roster of suitors.”
Another insider promises this cycle is “really the most dramatic season ever.”
“There’s more to the story than just [Clare] falling for someone and not wanting to see what else could happen with other men,” the insider teases to PEOPLE.
A rep for ABC and The Bachelorette had no comment when reached by PEOPLE. Adams, 29, has not yet commented.
Fans began speculating about Crawley’s status on the show over the weekend after Reality Steve tweeted a Reddit theory that alleges she was being recast. Crawley fueled rumors that she had left the franchise after liking a tweet about Adams being her successor.
“I’m sure many would be thrilled with Tayshia, too!!” read the tweet, according to a screengrab captured by Entertainment Tonight. The like has since been removed.
Crawley was first seen filming at La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs, California, last month. The resort was closed to everyone but the cast and crew due to COVID-19, with everyone wearing masks and being tested as precautions.
As for how the casting shakeup will affect production, “because of quarantine, it’s not as simple as just starting over,” the source tells PEOPLE. “Everyone is being tested and contained within this bubble so anyone coming from the ‘outside’ is potentially a problem. So that still needs to be fully resolved at this point in terms of Tayshia’s suitors.”
Is this a true off-camera love story — or are producers just looking for a way to spice things and take advantage of the ‘moment’ by throwing a Black girl in the mix? Only time will tell…