Bachelor Nation is only one week out from the Season 16 premiere of "The Bachelorette," and the suspense has been building for weeks. On September 29, the show released photos and bios of the 31 men vying for her heart, adding another dimension to what’s in store this season.
Get those wine bottles open and group texts ready, because "Bachelorette" Tuesdays will be back before you can say "Will you accept this rose?"
As we start counting down the days until the premiere, here are 16 reasons why we can’t wait to see Clare take the reins this season of "The Bachelorette."
1. Clare knows exactly what she wants
Although Claire didn’t find her happy ending on "The Bachelor," "Bachelor in Paradise," or "The Bachelor Winter Games," she is walking into this season with clear eyes and her heart set on finding her happily ever after.
When she was announced as the new lead, she told "Good Morning America," "The most important thing is I want a man that will take off his armor. I want a man who is strong, but is willing to take off the body armor, open himself up and be vulnerable, and I think that is some serious strength right there."
Clare told Becca Kufrin and Rachel Lindsay on "Bachelor Happy Hour" over the summer, "My happy ending would obviously be staying true to myself and I think that’s key to say because a lot of people have said in the past, 'How many shows have you been on?' or 'How many times are you going to do this? You’ve already had four tries at this.' When I say being true to myself, that means loving myself first."
Only a week till we find out whether any of those 31 men took notes on this!
2. Her dogs make an appearance
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Clare’s dogs Honey and Elbie hold major spots in her heart, but it’s clear that whoever wins Clare’s heart must win over her dogs’ too. On Monday, Clare explained in an Instagram post that her canines went with her to film the season and provided her with "happiness, peace, and unconditional love."
She called having them alongside her "the greatest gift."
3. She's a total romantic
Clare is looking for her happily ever after and her fairy-tale ending on "The Bachelorette." For her, what’s on the inside matters much more than physical appearance. She told People in March, "The most important thing I’m looking for is someone who can be vulnerable and open. I want a man comfortable in stuff he’s been through and self-aware enough to know what he’s learned. I need a level of maturity for sure."
When it comes to the man of her dreams, Clare want them to accept her for her faults, too.
She said on her "Bachelor Happy Hour" interview, "There’s a lot that I went through, and I want them to know the hard, ugly, embarrassing struggles of my life to appreciate the woman that I am today."
4. The men on her season pull out all the stops
Quarantine didn’t stop the men on Clare’s season of "The Bachelorette" from going over the top for their Night 1 entrances. Bennett arrived in a Rolls-Royce, and Tyler C. in a station wagon. Chasen was a literal knight in shining armor, while Demar flew in by parachute.
6. Chris Harrison says this belongs on the 'Mount Rushmore of wild seasons'
Aside from informing Clare she’s "blown up 'The Bachelorette,'" Chris Harrison told "Entertainment Tonight" in an interview, "It is unlike anything we have ever seen on this show before. I know I say that sometimes, but I truly think we have outdone ourselves this time."
The longtime host added, "I think it definitely goes up on the Mount Rushmore of wild seasons of 'Bachelor' and 'Bachelorette.'"
7. Clare speaks her mind
The finale of Juan Pablo’s season. Need we say more?
8. She speaks her mind: part 2
As a matter of fact, yes, we do need to say more.
Clare doesn’t shy away from having tough talks. She knows it’s better to put everything out in the open rather than suppress any emotions and feelings.
Take, for instance, her conversation with Benoît Beauséjour-Savard on "Bachelor Winter Games." Clare found herself in the middle of a love triangle with Benoît on one side and Christian Rauch on the other. Clare decided to pursue her relationship with Christian, which meant breaking up with Benoît.
As Bachelorette, she’ll surely have to face some difficult one-on-one chats, but Clare has proved time and again she has the strength to have them.
9. She forges her own path
Clare’s journey on "Bachelor in Paradise" wasn’t always rosy, but no matter what, she listened to her gut.
On Season 1 of "Paradise," Clare hit it off with Zack Kalter. They seemed like they would last, but Zack’s going on a date with another woman deeply affected Clare. She sat Zack down one evening and told him she came to "Paradise" looking for love, and if she wasn’t going to get it, she would leave.
"Going through 'The Bachelor' with Juan Pablo, the biggest regret, the only regret, I have from that is having that red flag and not paying attention to my gut," she said. "Because I have not listened to my gut before, I want to listen to it now. I think it’s best that I’m going home tonight."
10. She refuses to settle
As mentioned, Clare is a woman who knows what she wants, and she won’t settle for anything but the best. She spoke about this on an episode of "Bachelor Happy Hour" and how she doesn’t mind waiting for the right person.
"I laugh at people when they say, 'I can’t believe you’re 39 and single! You’re desperate,' or this or that," she shared on the podcast. "The best piece of advice I can say is I personally would rather be spending 20 years with the man of my dreams being wholly loved for who I am rather than 50, 60 years with the wrong man."
11. She's darn proud of her age
Clare makes history as the oldest Bachelorette, and at 39, Clare sees nothing but a bright future.
She said on "Bachelor Happy Hour" in June, "I can sleep in as late as I want, I have no kids bothering me, I can travel wherever I want to go. I’m not sitting here on a Friday night going, 'What can I do?' I’m not having pity parties by any means."
In terms of the men on her season, Clare said she hopes they’re ready for her, not vice versa. She told "Good Morning America," "A lot of people put it out there as this negative thing, but for me, it just is more years under my belt, more learning and knowing what I want, what I don’t want and what I won’t settle for."
12. Clare knows her self-worth
Much like not wanting to settle, Clare knows exactly what she deserves, although she admits it took her a while to reach that point.
She opened up on "Bachelor Happy Hour" about taking a journey to self-discovery and what she learned along the way.
"Coming off of Juan Pablo's season, I was weak. I didn’t know who I was. I wasn’t self-aware. Now, coming from there and doing the work all in my 30s, I'm an empowered woman now, and a strong woman," she said. "I would say even more than being a strong woman — because I'm not always strong — more than anything, I'm a courageous woman now. Even when I’m weak, I still have the courage in myself to do hard things."
13. She's all about female empowerment
Clare loves when women lift up other women, not tear them down. She hopes to use her platform as Bachelorette to make other women feel strong and know they deserve nothing but the best.
She said on "Bachelor Happy Hour," "I want so bad for other women who are waiting and have waited to know that their self-worth comes first more than anything. It’s taken me a little longer to work on it and feel it and believe it, but only till you feel it and believe it and you love yourself can you allow other love into your life."
Clare added, "Everything happens for a reason. It has given me the time to sit and go, 'What is my message? What is it I want to share with women my age, women of any age?' I want to be that woman for other women that says we all go through pretty awful stuff sometimes. Other people from just what you see, whether it be on social media or publicly, is not always the case. I want to be able to share my message."
14. She embraces her sexuality
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On an episode of "The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever!" Chris Harrison spoke with Clare and DeAnna Pappas Stagliano about the Fantasy Suites and female empowerment.
He asked, "Do you think because of the women that have come before you, you can be that powerful strong woman and own that intimacy, own whatever comes?"
Clare responded, "Because of the women, yes, but also because of the woman that I have become. I have been judged in the past. I’ve had the worst of the worst said to me and called the worst of the worst names. But when you believe in yourself and know what you stand for, this is something that I will gladly own and I’m excited for it."
15. Clare admits her mistakes
The Season 16 Bachelorette doesn’t run away from her past. Rather, she embraces it. She takes lessons from previous relationships and life experiences and uses them to propel her forward.
She shared in her "Bachelor Happy Hour" interview, "There’s a lot that I went through, and I want them to know the hard, ugly, embarrassing struggles of my life to appreciate the woman that I am today. I want a man to love me for that and not just for the easy makeup and hair. Anybody can love you for the easy, fun times and the smiles and the laughs."
Clare expressed, "Until I owned that part of my life and looked not at my past and what I’ve been through as shame, but to look at it as my superpower. These are the things that have made me into the woman I am today. Only until I am open with that, now I feel like I’m going to start attracting the right kind of men."
16. She's queen of the clapback
In trailers for the season, Clare can be seen telling off men who are disrespectful to her and the process. As we saw in a March tweet, the Sacramento, California, native isn’t afraid to clap back when the time calls for it.
Juan Pablo tweeted about the men appearing on her season, and one person responded accusing him of being jealous.
She wrote back, "And yet here you are, older than 99% of them and still cant practice compassion and kindness..."
Clare's season of "The Bachelorette" premieres Tuesday, October 13, at 8 p.m. on ABC!