Fan outrage caused 'Bachelorette' to change COVID protocols in the middle of live show

The three-hour-long season finale of The Bachelorette got off to a dramatic start Tuesday, but it had nothing to do with roses or relationships. Instead, it was viewers on Twitter noticing that the live studio audience for the After the Final Rose portion of the night was unmasked after host Kaitlyn Bristowe opened the evening live from the studio. And some were shocked that ABC would show a room full of unmasked people during the current surge with the Omicron variant.

It turns out the powers that be were listening. Later on in the night when Bristowe, whose co-host Tayshia Adams was not in attendance after she was exposed to COVID, checked back in with viewers who were still watching the events unfold on The Bachelorette, she gave an update on the audience’s mask status.

"We have seen a lot of chatter online, so just so we’re clear, everyone around me has tested negative," Bristowe said. "But just to exercise additional caution, our audience will remain masked throughout the rest of the show."

Of course, viewers had a reaction to that as well, both criticizing ABC for giving in to the will of the Twitter-sphere and also impressed that everyone was able to get masks on so quickly.

Sure enough, when the After the Final Rose portion of the night officially began, there were the masks.

And there was some non-mask-related drama Tuesday night as well. Following two hours of viewers being led to believe that Brandon Jones was going to be Michelle Young's choice at the end of the night and not Nayte Olukoya, her moment on the beach with Olukoya proved otherwise.

Because he proposed, and she said yes!

The Bachelorette season finale aired Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.

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