Trust Me: Clare Crawley Will Be One of the Best Bachelorettes Yet

I'm not a betting type, but if I were, I'd put money on Clare Crawley being among the best picks to ever lead The Bachelorette. On Monday, the Bachelor franchise alum appeared on Good Morning America for the big announcement, which marks a fun change-up for the show following previous Bachelorette leads who have come directly off of The Bachelor. Unlike them, Clare is a veteran. She's appeared on three different Bachelor shows — and for good reason. She's kind, passionate, open, and unafraid to get emotional. In other words, she makes for great TV.

Oh, and she's in her late 30s, but more on that later.

Clare first appeared on our TV screens back in 2014, when she was the "runner-up," so to speak, on Juan Pablo's season of The Bachelor. The way she told off Juan Pablo during her exit was — how do I put this? — iconic. I've watched every season of this show starting way back in 2002, when I was 15, and it's a moment I'd put into The Bachelor Hall of Fame. Please watch the scene and enjoy:

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See what I mean? Passionate.

It's important to note that the Juan Pablo breakup took place nearly six years ago, and since then, Clare has also appeared on Bachelor in Paradise and Bachelor Winter Games, the latter of which resulted in an engagement for her in 2018. Clare's relationship with Benoit Beauséjour-Savard may not have lasted, but the point is, she's found love on TV before. She knows exactly how this show works, she believes in "the process," and she isn't afraid to get real in hopes that she'll find a relationship that could last in the world beyond the show.

In fact, Clare first joined the franchise back when the show (and "Bachelor Nation") looked very different. The social media influence — and the way offscreen drama impacted onscreen drama — was in its beginnings, and bringing back Clare offers a nod to the franchise's roots in a way that's fun for longtime fans.

Now is when I'll also mention the age factor, which has dominated headlines about her casting. Clare is 38 years old, making her the oldest Bachelorette in the history of the series. ABC heard our pleas for older Bachelor contestants, and although it's likely that most of the men for Clare's season have already been chosen, there's a great chance we'll see people with a little more life experience who know what they're looking for and how a relationship might fit into their lives.

For her part, Clare told GMA, "It's more years under my belt; more learning what I want, what I don't want, and what I won't settle for. I'm more wondering if they're ready for me, for my age."

I think I speak for a lot of viewers when I say: Clare, we are ready. I just have one last request for producers. Let's not go overboard on the raccoon jokes, OK? I'll give you one. But just one.

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