*“The Bachelorette” is getting a bit more colorful now that Tayshia Adams has been tapped to replace Clare Crawley for season 16.
Rachel Lindsay, the first Black female contestant on the ABC dating series, says she is “more than happy to pass the torch” after hearing about Adams’ casting news, per PEOPLE.
“When I stepped in as Bachelorette, I wanted to pave a way for more diversity, for more people who look like me and who didn’t look like the typical lead,” Lindsay told Entertainment Tonight on Monday. “So to see another Bachelorette of color, I’m thrilled.”
“I have been fighting for inclusion, and I‘ve said before that Tayshia would be an excellent Bachelorette, so I am more than happy to pass the torch,” she continued. “I am so excited to see what she’s going to do, how she will represent herself and her journey to find love.”
“Now she’s in the driver’s seat, and I’m excited to see her get this opportunity,” Lindsay added.
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Insiders claim Crawley, 39, found love with one of her original suitors after production was delayed in March due to COVID-19.
There are some whispers that the network parted ways with Crawley because she was difficult on set.
Either way, Adams was more than eager take her spot.
“One of her potential guys found a way to get in touch with her and they began talking,” a source tells PEOPLE of Crawley. “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 said, “What remains to be seen is if more men will be brought in now to give Tayshia a full roster of suitors.”
Another insider teased that this will be “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.”
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As for how the COVID-19 will affect production, “because of quarantine, it’s not as simple as just starting over,” the source said. “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.”
Meanwhile, Adams’ ex, Colton Underwood is speaking out about her replacing Clare, saying “Congrats @TayshiaAdams — good luck and I hope you find yourself a better kisser,” he tweeted on Monday.
His tweet was in reference to Adams admitting on “Bachelor in Paradise” last September that Underwood is not a good kisser.
Season 16 of “The Bachelorette” is expected to air in late September/early October.