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Bachelor Nation’s Eric Bigger Believes Producers Let Clare Crawley ‘Connect’ With Her Contestants Before Filming (Exclusive)

More to the story? Eric Bigger isn’t convinced that Bachelorette producers didn’t play a big part in Clare Crawley’s quick romance before she exited as the season 16 lead.

Related: The Plot Thickens! ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 16: Everything We Know

“I have a different idea of what might went down,” Bigger, 32, exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, August 20, while promoting his new book, Change Your Mindset, Change Your Energy, Change Your Life, with coauthor Chris Randone. “I love the plot twist. I’m not gonna lie, it’s must-see TV. I think people are gonna watch it for sure.”

Us confirmed earlier this month that Crawley, 39, walked away from the series two weeks into filming after falling for one of her contestants. Bigger, who competed on season 13 of The Bachelorette, doesn’t think Crawley’s 12-day onscreen romance is the full story.

Eric Bigger Says He Loves the Clare Crawley Bachelorette Plot Twist
Eric Bigger and Clare Crawley. Scott Kirkland/Shutterstock; Francisco Roman/ABC

“I think over this pandemic, because [production] was shut down and they didn’t have the time to film, I believe maybe the producers, the people of the show, allow[ed] her to connect to some of the contestants,” the Maryland native told Us. “And kind of, virtually date and see which one she connects to.”

He continued: “And maybe when they did start filming, she probably took some of the producers of show [and told them] that ‘I really liked this guy. I think he might have a chance.’ It might’ve been two or three guys. I’m just thinking out loud. I think that’s what happened.”

Related: Clare! Arie! Nick! All the Times ‘The Bachelor’ Shocked Fans With Its Lead

The season 5 Bachelor in Paradise alum is on board with however the hairstylist found love — whether it was filming the series or by allegedly talking to a suitor ahead of production resuming.

“I mean, if you know, you know,” Bigger said. “Intuition is a gut feeling. It’s like when you see someone, you just know something about me. I know this person is a good person. So, a lot of times I think [in] the love department, we put so much [pressure regarding the] quantity [of] it and not [the] quality [of] how a person feels. And granted, the environment can kind of trigger that.”

The fitness trainer continued, saying, “She’s a mature woman. She knows what she wants. She needs her time. She doesn’t need 10 weeks, eight weeks. She knows the decision. And that’s when she’s going with.”

Us confirmed in August that Crawley will be replaced by Tayshia Adams part way into the upcoming Bachelorette season. Both Crawley and Adams’ journeys for love will air this fall when the ABC show returns.

“Congrats [to] Tayshia on other hand,” Bigger told Us. “Congrats as well, diversity matters. Let’s get, it will be fun. If she falls in love and finds someone that’s even better. So they did it right. I mean, these people [are] clever. You’re going to have to watch now.”

As Bachelor Nation waits to watch how Crawley and Adams, 29, fare on their adventures as the Bachelorette, Bigger is focused on his new book, which he cowrote with Randone, 32, about mental health and how one can overcome personal difficulties throughout the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

Related: 'Bachelor’ Stars Who Returned Again and Again

Bigger’s biggest hope is that readers “take back the power and responsibility for their lives and their thoughts and their emotions.” He told Us that “this will allow you to unleash a lot of negative emotions, a lot of good feelings about yourself. We just want to challenge people to be greater and to live a fulfilling life based on the information they have available already within themselves. So this is just a deep dive of self-reflection and transformation.”

The Bachelor Winter Games alum added: “I’m passionate about giving back, especially when it comes to, like, health and wellbeing and just emotions in general. So, it’s good to have something that people can benefit [from].”

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

Hear the Us Weekly editors break down the most surprising celebrity births during the pandemic in under 2 minutes!

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