Clare, 38, first entered The Bachelor universe in 2014 during Juan Pablo Galavis' season when she showed up wearing a fake baby bump. She landed as his runner-up after making headlines for a steamy hookup in the ocean. Clare ultimately told off the controversial Bachelor star at the final rose ceremony in Vietnam.
The California-based hairstylist later turned up on the first two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise, in 2014 and 2015. In 2018, she returned to the franchise for The Bachelor: Winter Games, where she became engaged to Benoit Beauséjour-Savard. The two split one month later.
In comments to ABC's Instagram post about the new Bachelorette, fans reacted to the surprising casting choice. Many felt Clare is "old news" who already had multiple chances to find love on the ABC dating franchise. Others were confused as to why the new leading lady isn't one of Peter Weber's Bachelor castoffs, and some newcomers to the franchise had no idea who Clare is.
"Crazy Claire?? No thanks. I'll be sitting out for the first time since season 1," one follower wrote.
"Me too for the first time ever. This girl has had so many chances. Why her?" another asked.
"I've been a loyal fan since season 1! Not missed an episode. In college, I would take them on a VCR! But I seriously can't stand her!... Not happy about this choice at all," another wrote of Clare.
"It's a hard pass for me," a fourth viewer wrote. "I mean these TV shows you're just getting lazy… we're not supposed to know that she's the same recycled person from how many seasons ago!?"On Good Morning America, Clare said she "literally just found out" she was picked to be The Bachelorette, although her casting had been widely predicted by spoiler sites.
While she had hoped to be named The Bachelorette six years ago following her stint on Juan Pablo's season of The Bachelor, Clare told GMA she now has "more years under my belt, more learning what I want, what I don't want and what I won't settle for."
Clare, who will turn 39 during the production of her season of The Bachelorette, also teased that she feels so much younger at heart than her actual age.
Clare Crawley's season of The Bachelorette premieres May 18 on ABC.