The untold truth of Bachelorette Clare Crawley

Meet Bachelorette Clare Crawley. Longtime Bachelor franchise fans were delighted on March 2, 2020, when Crawley was officially named Bachelorette for the show's 16th season on Good Morning America. Runner-up on Juan Pablo Galavis' season of The Bachelor, Crawley has appeared in two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise, as well as in 2018's The Bachelor Winter Games. However, her adventure on The Bachelorette will undoubtedly prove to be her most exciting Bachelor franchise experience.

On Good Morning America, Crawley opened up about what she wanted from her season's contestants, saying she wants a man who is "willing to take off the body armor, open himself up, and be vulnerable." Crawley continued, saying, "A lot of people have seen that side of me that stood up to Juan Pablo and was like 'Don't mess with me!' And I'm that strong woman still..." However, Crawley is ready to find her forever love and wants a man who's willing to let her in.

So, how exactly did Crawley go from being a rejected runner-up in 2014 to being named the Bachelorette six years later? Here's the untold truth of Bachelorette Clare Crawley.

Bachelorette Clare Crawley is no stranger to the Bachelor franchise

Unlike most Bachelorettes who usually only have a season's worth of Bachelor franchise experience under their belts, Bachelorette Clare Crawley will be entering her search for true love as a seasoned veteran of the Bachelor franchise. Hailing from Sacramento, Calif., Crawley was first introduced to Bachelor Nation in 2014 when she appeared as a contestant on Juan Pablo Galavis' season of The Bachelor. Although Galavis ultimately rejected Crawley for Nikki Ferrell, Crawley became an instant fan favorite, securing her spot on the very first season of the hit Bachelor spin-off Bachelor in Paradise.

After leaving the first season of Paradise during the fifth week, Crawley was invited to return to the show for its second season. Unfortunately, the Bachelor runner-up didn't end up finding love on the beach, eventually getting eliminated during the third week, as noted by Hollywood Life. However, her Bachelor franchise journey wasn't over yet. The hairstylist took another chance on reality TV love in February 2018, appearing as a contestant on The Bachelor Winter Games, but Crawley didn't have luck finding her forever love on the Olympics-themed Bachelor spin-off, either.

Bachelorette Clare Crawley is responsible for an iconic Bachelor moment

As a contestant on Season 18 of The Bachelor, now-Bachelorette Clare Crawley accepted a rose from Juan Pablo Galavis week after week, even becoming one of the final two women left standing at the end of his season. However, her relationship with the Bachelor throughout the course of the season was fraught with drama. So, when Galavis ultimately rejected Crawley during his final rose ceremony, the usually polite, soft-spoken hairstylist had some choice words for the former soccer pro.

"I lost respect for you," Crawley said, upset that Galavis waited until the last minute to break up with her, instead of letting her go sooner. Walking away, Crawley continued, "I thought I knew what kind of man you were. What you just made me go through ... I would never want my children having a father like you."

Considering Galavis is widely considered to be one of the least-liked Bachelors in franchise history, Crawley's break-up speech was instantly iconic and a total homerun with Bachelor fans.

Before she became the Bachelorette, Clare Crawley found love on another Bachelor show

The Bachelor Winter Games saw Clare Crawley form romantic connections with two men: Canadian contestant Benoit Beausejour-Savard and Germany native Christian Rauch. While fans were rooting for Crawley to end up with Beausejour-Savard, she ultimately rejected the fan-favorite contestant for Rauch. Unfortunately, Crawley and Rauch's Winter Games relationship didn't play out the way the Bachelor franchise veteran had hoped, and Crawley left the show and headed back to Sacramento a single woman.

However, after leaving the show, Crawley reconnected with Beausejour-Savard over the phone. "We spent hours and hours each and every day talking to each other," Beausejour-Savard told People. In fact, Crawley and Beausejour-Savard's connection was so strong that the Canadian contestant proposed to Crawley during The Bachelor Winter Games: World Tells All special.

While Crawley gleefully accepted his proposal, the engagement didn't last long. The pair announced their split on Instagram in April 2018 (via People), telling fans there were "no negative feelings." They continued, writing, "We are simply two people who believed in love, and were open enough to give it a chance."

Bachelorette Clare Crawley was once known for talking to a raccoon

The Bachelor franchise is known for its tendency to splice and dice clips to create a made-for-reality-TV narrative — no matter how far from reality said narrative might be. And, as a seasoned vet of the Bachelor franchise, Bachelorette Clare Crawley knows all too well what it's like to be at the mercy of The Bachelor's production and editing teams. 

During the very first season of Bachelor in Paradise, Crawley found herself at odds with fellow Paradise castmate AshLee Frazier (via Marie Claire). During one unforgettable moment from the inaugural season, Crawley sobbed and vented to a Bachelor in Paradise producer about her argument with Frazier — however, the entire conversation was edited to look as if Crawley was confiding in an actual raccoon. Yes, you can add this to the reasons that The Bachelor is totally fake.

In a February 2017 appearance on Steve Carbone's Reality Steve podcast, Crawley said she'd been approached by Bachelor Nation fans who genuinely believed she'd held a full-on conversation with the raccoon. "I would have rather talked to a raccoon," Crawley told Carbone. She continued, revealing, "I was talking to Elan [Gale], one of the producers." Added Crawley, "I didn't even know there was a raccoon there!"

Clare Crawley is the oldest Bachelorette in the show's history

Featuring pilot Peter Weber in the leading role, Season 24 of The Bachelor was criticized for the way it seemingly placed the majority of its focus on creating and showcasing drama between the contestants rather than on Weber's supposed search for genuine, long-lasting love. Particularly, the shockingly young ages of the contestants competing for Weber's heart left viewers feeling as if The Bachelor had become a show about young 20-somethings gaining an Instagram following and pursuing their social media influencer aspirations.

By announcing Clare Crawley as the Bachelorette for the show's 16th season, Bachelor franchise producers seemed to send a clear, intentional message that it was time to return to the show's roots. Crawley — 38 years old at the time she was crowned Bachelorette — is a welcome departure from previous, younger leads who likely could have used a few more years of relationship experience before trying to find a spouse.  

Speaking with Lara Spencer during her official Bachelorette announcement on March 2, 2020, Bachelorette Clare Crawley said, "I feel so much younger at heart than my actual age!" Added the Bachelorette, "I'm proud of my age, but I just feel younger."

Bachelorette Clare Crawley is passionate about her career

While appearing on The Bachelor is pretty much a guarantee you'll be getting paid to promote FabFitFun boxes within a matter of months, Clare Crawley's Bachelor Nation debut happened at a time in which social media wasn't nearly as big of a beast as it is today. So, instead of becoming an Instagram influencer after being rejected by Juan Pablo Galavis, Crawley returned to her career as a hairstylist. 

Even after multiple appearances on Bachelor spin-off shows, the California native has remained committed to making other people feel beautiful as a hairstylist at De Facto Salon in East Sacramento. In a May 2019 Instagram post, Crawley said her favorite part about being a hairstylist is making connections with her clients along the way. 

Captioning a picture of herself and a smiling customer, Bachelorette Clare Crawley wrote, "I specifically remember one of my beauty school teachers telling me I'd never be successful because I care too much what the client thinks." The Bachelor favorite continued, writing, "Well, here we are years later, and I'm still obsessed with my job and surrounded by some of the most amazing clients and friends ever!"

Bachelorette Clare Crawley is a total dog person

In a February 2020 Facebook post reposted by longtime Bachelor spoiler Steve Carbone, a Bachelor fan revealed ABC's plans to announce Clare Crawley as the next Bachelorette. However, for dog lovers, likely the most exciting part of the fan's post involved a furry four-legged friend. "Clare's [going to] bring her dog, so they're trying to find someone to help take care of it," the poster revealed.

Though the claim was unverified, fans of Crawley weren't surprised to hear the rumored future Bachelorette would be bringing her pup with her for her big adventure. After all, Crawley is a noted dog lover, and her Instagram is full of pictures featuring her own two pups — a fluffy golden retriever and a pint-sized dog who appears to be a Maltese-mix named Elbie (Elbs for short). In a May 2017 Instagram photo showing Bachelorette Clare Crawley holding Elbie close during a car ride, she wrote, "Nothing better than a long drive on a beautiful day with Elbs as our co pilot!" 

Producers considered making Clare Crawley the Bachelorette after her split with Juan Pablo

While Bachelorette Clare Crawley went on to solidify her place within the Bachelor Nation history books with her appearances on Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelor Winter Games, fans of the Bachelor veteran were always left wondering why she wasn't chosen for the Bachelorette role she so deserved following Juan Pablo Galavis' disastrous season.

During an October 2018 appearance on Olivia Caridi's Mouthing Off podcast, Crawley opened up about why she wasn't named Bachelorette following her split with Galavis. Speaking with Caridi, Crawley revealed that she'd "definitely" talked with producers about becoming the Bachelorette and had even gone through the interview process. However, according to Crawley, she simply wasn't in the right emotional state to lead her own season of The Bachelorette.

"What people did not know [while Galavis' season was airing] was that my mom was really, really, really sick, and she was in ICU," Crawley revealed. She continued, opening up about caring for her mother in ICU, saying, "To me ... real life is so much more important than doing ... shows like that."

Bachelorette Clare Crawley has said she doesn't need a man to make her happy

Speaking with host Olivia Caridi on an October 2018 episode of the former Bachelor star's Mouthing Off podcast, Bachelorette Clare Crawley revealed what the "perfect relationship" for her life would ideally look like.

"For me, a relationship that I would settle into and be happy to be a part of would be [with] somebody who is very self-confident in themselves," Crawley told host Olivia Caridi. She continued, saying, "I have learned and taught myself how to create my own happiness, so I don't need a man for happiness." Added Crawley, "I've created a life that I love. I've created a life that I'm absolutely obsessed with, and it will take a lot for a man to kind of come in that." 

However, while Crawley definitely doesn't need a man to be happy with her life, she does have an idea of the type of guy who would make for her perfect mate. "I want him to be able to add value to my life," Crawley told Caridi. She continued, revealing, "I want a man that can get me out of my comfort zone."

After her mom's devastating diagnosis, Bachelorette Clare Crawley almost "crumbled"

According to Bachelorette Clare Crawley, before her surprise engagement to Benoit Beausejour-Savard on The Bachelor Winter Games: World Tells All special, she had talked to her former Canadian beau about liking the idea of capturing an engagement on film so that her mother could see and feel Crawley's excitement. 

"My mom has Alzheimer's and dementia," Crawley revealed during an October 2018 episode of Mouthing Off with Olivia Caridi. Tearing up, she continued, saying, "For her to be able to watch that ... back would be beautiful, I think."

In an Instagram post on Jan. 13, 2020, Crawley opened up about how deeply she'd been affected by her mother's diagnosis. Revealing to followers her difficult journey to finding hard-earned happiness in her life, Crawley wrote, "2019 was awful tough. I don't show it often, but there were so many days where I wanted to just crumble." The Bachelorette continued, writing, "My CHOSEN family, and [two] sisters fought right along side me when I was struggling, ... And I am forever forever grateful! They held me up when the weight of my moms diagnosis crushed my soul."

Bachelorette Clare Crawley loves the outdoors

The Bachelor franchise is known for planning extravagant, romantic, and sometimes downright terrifying dates for leads and contestants. Whether its skydiving, eating bugs, naked bungee jumping, riding in helicopters, or being serenaded by country music artists that happen to be a contestant's ex-boyfriend, ABC's reality dating show has seen and done it all. 

Hopefully, the guys on Clare Crawley's season of The Bachelorette consider themselves to be outdoorsy types because Crawley is a known nature-loving gal. Just one look at the Bachelorette's Instagram, and it's clear Crawley would rather be adventuring outdoors, surrounded by nature, than just about anywhere else. In a May 2018 Instagram post featuring a photo of Crawley taking a hike through the woods, the Bachelorette wrote, "Higher elevations always manage to cleanse my lungs and my soul all in one!" 

Alongside another Instagram photo featuring herself and her dog, Elbie, lounging beside a lake, Bachelorette Clare Crawley wrote, "My body (and the foggy weather) was telling me to stay in my cozy bed and [watch Netflix] all day, but my soul was craving fresh air!" Added the Bachelorette, "Needless to say, I don't regret my decision!"

Bachelorette Clare Crawley was super close to her father

During her intro video for Juan Pablo Galavis' season of The Bachelor, Clare Crawley opened up about the most important man in her life — her late father. 

Recounting her father's tragic passing from brain cancer, Crawley told the Bachelor cameras, "When my dad passed away I feel like it just shattered my world because I was his baby girl." Crawley continued, revealing that, before her father passed away, her dad "made a DVD for [her] future husband to watch." No one has watched the DVD yet, as Crawley is "saving it for the right man to watch it." 

Speaking with Us Weekly in 2018, Bachelorette Clare Crawley revealed, "Before my dad passed away, we had our own little like father-daughter dance at home, when we knew he was going to pass away." Added the reality star, "After that, the wedding wasn't important. ... I never thought I'd have a wedding."

Bachelorette Clare Crawley doesn't regret her time on The Bachelor

Between her contentious, dramatic relationship (and eventual break-up) with Juan Pablo Galavis, her failed appearances on Bachelor in Paradise, and (of course) her disastrous love triangle and eventual broken engagement from The Bachelor Winter Games, one might think Bachelorette Clare Crawley would go back in time and change a thing or two about her reality TV career thus far. However, according to the Bachelorette, she's not one to harbor regret. 

Following her highly publicized split with Galavis, Crawley told Good Morning America in March 2014 (via The Kansas City Star), "The greatest thing is that I have zero regrets." The reality star continued, saying, "I went into this feeling I'm going to be 100 percent open and I'm going to be 100 percent myself and I'm going to think about what I do and, because I thought and then acted, I'm proud of that."

In a March 2015 Instagram post, Crawley echoed her sentiment, writing, "When someone asks me ... 'So, do you regret going on the Bachelor??' My answer has and will always be the same — NOT FOR A SECOND. "

Bachelorette Clare Crawley doesn't like to flaunt her love life on social media

In a September 2017 Reality Steve podcast interview (ahead of The Bachelor Winter Games), Clare Crawley opened up to host Steve Carbone about her dating history, revealing that she'd actually been romantically involved with another person (or other people) from the Bachelor franchise, aside from former Bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis. However, according to Crawley, exactly who she's dated will likely always remain a secret, as the reality star admittedly prefers to keep her relationships private.

"I really don't put my dating life at all on my social media. ... I do like to keep it all private," Crawley told Carbone. She continued, saying, "In real life, in my regular life, I can be very ... introverted. ... I have a very peaceful, calm life." Added the Bachelorette, "I actually really, really like my private life [to be] private. So for somebody whose motives are to try to get followers or to be part of the crew or part of the franchise, it's kind of not what I want to be involved in."

You heard it here first, fellas — Bachelorette Clare Crawley has no time for aspiring Instagram celebrities.