The Bachelor franchise loves a good surprise every now and then.
Our next Bachelorette was announced Monday on Good Morning America, and it's Clare Crawley! The 38-year-old hairstylist from Sacramento, California, has tried her hand at finding love on TV before -- on Juan Pablo Galavis' season of The Bachelor, two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise and Bachelor Winter Games -- but it's been a while since fans have seen her on TV.
"I literally just found out. So unexpected!" Crawley exclaimed on GMA. "Can you believe this? I cannot believe it. I mean, six years later. What is happening?"
In a recent interview with ET's Lauren Zima, Ben Higgins admitted he was "100 percent shocked" by the decision.
"This was not a name that would have came to my top 20 list before the announcement," he said before quickly praising Crawley for her maturity and readiness for the gig.
"I love that she is mature and she does know what she is looking for and she really wants to find a partner. We've been shocked with Colton [Underwood] when he was the Bachelor, we were shocked with Hannah [Brown] when she was announced as the Bachelorette, and it turned out great for the franchise," Higgins noted. "So, I am shocked, but I believe this could be good."
Becca Kufrin, meanwhile, told ET that she's "all in."
"I am excited! I watched Clare on Juan Pablo's season and on Winter Games. I don't know her, but I am ready to kind of go back to the basics, to bump up the maturity level a little bit and to finally have hopefully deep real connections and conversations," she explained. "So, I am excited to watch her!"
Crawley's last Bachelor relationship was on Winter Games in 2018, when she got engaged to Canadian Bachelorette contestant Benoit Beauséjour-Savard on the series' reunion show. They broke up less than two months later. While some fans wondered what made Crawley the right choice for this season's Bachelorette, Rob Mills, ABC's senior vice president of alternative series, specials & late-night programming, told ET last month that age and maturity was something the production and casting team would look at "going forward," after Peter Weber's criticized cast of The Bachelor.
Here's a look at some of the reactions to Crawley's casting from both fans and Bachelor franchise alums.
Picking @Clare_Crawley for the next #bachelorette is an excellent choice!— Nick Viall (@viallnicholas28) March 2, 2020
1) More believable with the times we are in. People are getting married later in life than ever before.
2) she as deserving as anyone
3) she doesn’t know how to be inauthentic or hold back
Everyone is asking who Clare is, but I don’t know how you forget a person who talked to raccoons, told off Juan Pablo and briefly was engaged to a Canadian with an overwhelming French accent. #TheBachelorette— Erin Crabtree (@erinhcrabtree) February 28, 2020
Cannot wait to watch Clare Crawley, a 38-year-old woman, star on #thebachelorette. In past seasons, a star's average age has been 27, with only 2 women in their 30s.— Lisa Bonos (@lisabonos) March 2, 2020
Placing bets that they'll have a 23 year old guy that claims he's "ready for marriage and to settle down" even though she's 38 #TheBachelorette— Rachel TDill (@RachelTDill) March 2, 2020
Crawley's season of The Bachelorette starts filming soon, while The Bachelor: Women Tell All airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Weber's season finale will air Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10.