If Ben Smith, a native of Noblesville and alumnus of Cathedral High School, wins the current season of “The Bachelorette,” he will receive the final rose from someone other than Clare Crawley.
Crawley, star of the current season of the ABC reality show, is scheduled to make a controversial exit from the series in Thursday’s episode.
Speculation that Crawley would fail to make it through the entire 16th season of “The Bachelorette” has been prevalent for weeks. On the October 13 episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the talk show host asked Crawley for details, but offered little information.
Crawley denied leaving “The Bachelorette” in the middle of production because she had formed a romantic bond with contestant Dale Moss, which made the rest of the season pointless.
During the first three episodes of the season, Crawley paid noticeable attention to Moss.
“I want to know more about this woman, and it’s not coming from the conversations about Dale,” Smith said on the Oct. 27 episode.
Smith, a 2009 cathedral graduate who became an Army Ranger after attending the US Military Academy at West Point, outlasted 14 other contestants to be among the Top 17 vying for Crawley’s affection .
A promotional video for the November 5 episode, former “Bachelor” finalist Tayshia Adams will replace Crawley in the series.
Bachelorette host Chris Harrison told Variety magazine that viewers should expect the unexpected.
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“A lot of people feel like they know exactly what’s going on this season. You don’t, ”Harrison said. “It’s an explosive season, unlike anything we’ve seen before.
More than one Hoosier tried to win Crawley’s heart. Blake Monar, a native of Rockport, Indiana, who played baseball at Indiana University, was eliminated in the second episode of the season.
Smith, the son of Noblesville residents David and Julie Smith, now lives in Venice, California, where he works as a personal trainer.
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The list of Bachelor Nation alumni with ties to Indiana includes Ben Higgins, a native of Warsaw, who starred in one season of “The Bachelor” after appearing in one season of “The Bachelorette.” Former IndyCar driver Arie Luyendyk Jr. also starred in a season of “The Bachelor” after appearing in a season of “The Bachelorette”.
Moved due to Election Day, this week’s episode of “The Bachelorette” airs Thursday at 8 p.m. on WRTV-6. The series usually airs at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.