Bachelor spoilers: What happens on Clayton Echard's 'The Bachelor' season? Who does Clayton pick as his winner and end up with? (SPOILERS)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/03/2022
Bachelor spoilers have begun to leak out about Clayton Echard's 2022 season of The Bachelor, revealing major spoilers about the surprises that will unfold on Season 26 as well as Clayton's Final 4 and Final 3 bachelorettes.
Clayton, a 28-year-old medical sales representative and former pro football player from Columbia, MO, will be starring on The Bachelor's 26th season when it premieres Monday, January 3 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC.
"I'm just a Midwest guy from Missouri that just wants to find love," Clayton said in the first trailer of his season. "And I believe more than anything that my future wife is here."
ABC has boasted about Clayton's "rugged good looks and Viking-level athleticism," adding, "He is a puppy-loving goofball with a heart of gold (and surprisingly good dance moves) who is ready to find the love of his life."
Clayton was eliminated by Michelle Young on The Bachelorette's eighteenth season before hometown dates, and Clayton cried following his ouster about how he wants a wife and children "more than anything" and would do whatever it takes to make that dream come true.
Due to Clayton's alleged sincerity about wanting to find The One, The Bachelor producers selected him to be the franchise's next leading man even before viewers were introduced to the buff suitor onThe Bachelorette's Season 18 premiere.
Clayton's initial cast of 33 potential bachelorettes was announced by ABC in September, shortly after reports began to swirl about Clayton being cast as The Bachelor star for Season 26.
ABC subsequently confirmed Clayton's The Bachelor participation in late November and then unveiled his official cast of 31 women in mid-December.
Clayton's cast of bachelorettes range in age from 23 to 32 years old and include a pediatric nurse, a bar mitzvah dancer, an architectural historian and a former Olympian.
Former The Bachelor star and NFL player Jesse Palmer will serve as the host of Clayton's season following Chris Harrison's permanent departure from the franchise earlier this year.
So what happens on Clayton's The Bachelor journey to find love? Keep reading for all the spoilers that are currently out there!
Clayton has described what he's looking for in a wife
Clayton said after being announced as The Bachelor star in late November that he went into The Bachelor season with "a checklist of sorts" when it came to looking for his soul mate.
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"I was looking for somebody that was funny, intelligent, driven, [and] put forth effort. And so I figured, 'That's a good list and hopefully I'll find that,'" Clayton shared on Good Morning America.
"What I found is very quickly the women blew my expectations out of the water. They brought all of that and so much more."
Clayton's cast of bachelorettes apparently surpassed his expectations.
"[My] expectations continued to rise and I realized that, ultimately, I was going to find everything that I wanted and so much more... I learned a lot about myself and it has been quite the journey," Clayton said.
Clayton has confirmed he found love while filming his season
When Clayton appeared on Good Morning America to discuss his experience as the franchise's leading man in late November, he made a pretty big announcement.
"I did find love," Clayton confirmed at the time.
"And I was a little skeptical going into the whole journey, but I'm so pleasantly surprised that things worked out much different than what I had thought."
Clayton added, "And I'm so excited to watch it back and have everyone else watch it as well."
Just because Clayton found love on the show, however, that doesn't mean he left The Bachelor in a healthy relationship or engaged.
After all, many former The Bachelor and The Bachelorette stars fell in love with more than one person on their respective seasons.
One bachelorette, Salley Carson, called off her wedding shortly before going on the show
Salley Carson is noticeably listed as "previously engaged" in ABC's December cast announcement.
Salley, a 26-year-old spine surgery robot operator from Charlottesville, VA, apparently signed up for the show not long after ending a very serious relationship.
Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone tweeted on September 25 how news about one woman "floored" him.
"Salley Carson was engaged & having her bachelorette party a month ago," Carbone wrote at the time.
"She was set to be married TOMORROW [September 26] but wedding was called off a couple weeks ago. Now she's on The Bachelor ha ha."
On December 15, Carbone revealed on Twitter that Clayton wasn't okay with Salley's recent past.
"Clayton was probably informed of this [engagement] and went to talk to her in her hotel room pre-show, which is why [a December 14 promo] had him saying the first rose of his season was rejected," Carbone wrote.
"He's referring to Salley choosing not to be cast for the show."
Salley therefore reportedly never even appeared on Night 1, even though she's part of ABC's cast announcement.
"Once this all got out the day of the headshots being released, Salley was asked by production if she still wanted to do the show and she said no," Carbone explained.
Clayton sent eight bachelorettes home on Night 1
"We've got a drunk girl this season. It does not end well for her," Carbone tweeted on November 5.
Carbone later reported on December 6 that Claire Heilig, a 28-year-old spray tanner from Virginia Beach, VA, reportedly drank too much at the first cocktail party of the season and was sent home prior to the Rose Ceremony.
In addition to Claire, Clayton also reportedly eliminated Daria Rose, a 24-year-old law student from Baldwin, NY; Hailey Malles, a 26-year-old pediatric nurse from Orlando, FL; Ivana Noble, a 31-year-old bar mitzvah dancer from Queens, NY; and Jane Paik, a 33-year-old social media director from Los Angeles, CA.
The other bachelorettes who didn't make the cut on Night 1 were Lindsay Dobbs, a 27-year-old neonatal nurse from Jacksonville, FL; Samantha Jefferies, a 26-year-old occupational therapist from San Diego, CA; and Rianna Hockaday, a 26-year-old registered nurse from Dallas, TX, Carbone reported.
One bachelorette gets a rose and then Clayton takes it back
Based on a promo for the new The Bachelor season, Clayton considers taking a rose back from a woman during Season 26.
"Question for you: Has anyone ever taken a rose back before?" Clayton asks host Jesse Palmer, who appears shocked.
Clayton recently shared with Us Weekly of the controversial idea, "I will just say obviously I said that because the thought crossed my mind. Now whether or not I acted upon it, that's what everyone is going to have to wait and see."
"But there are many moments throughout the journey where I was shocked and I was just kind of, yeah, asking Jesse sometimes these questions, like, 'Is this something that I can do? Because this is how I feel.'"
Clayton elaborated, "I was just navigating my love journey the way that I felt was right."
According to Carbone, the woman in question was Cassidy Timbrooks, a 26-year-old executive assistant from Los Angeles, CA.
On November 19, Carbone tweeted, "There is a woman this season who was texting a guy in the hotel pre-show before she got her phone taken away. This becomes a storyline on the show."
Carbone reported weeks later on December 6 that the situation resulted in Clayton sending Cassidy home.
"Kinda goes hand in hand with that first tweet as to why she got her group-date rose taken away and sent home," Carbone tweeted.
Which bachelorettes get one-on-one dates with Clayton during season?
Susie Evans, a 28-year-old wedding videographer from Virginia Beach, VA, received the first one-on-one date of the season with Clayton, according to Carbone.
Sarah Hamrick, a 23-year-old wealth management advisor from New York City, NY, also received an early one-on-one date in Los Angeles, CA.
Once the cast traveled to Houston, TX, Clayton asked Serene Russell, a 26-year-old elementary school teacher from Oklahoma City, OH, and Rachel Recchia, a 25-year-old flight instructor from Clermont, FL, to join him on one-on-one dates.
Moving on to Toronto, Canada, Clayton enjoyed a solo date with Gabby Windey, a 30-year-old ICU nurse from Denver, CO.
Also during his stay in Toronto, Clayton reportedly embarked on a dramatic two-on-one date with Genevieve Parisi, a 26-year-old bartender from Los Angeles, CA, and Shanae Ankney, a 29-year-old recruiter from Sycamore, OH.
Clayton proceeded to take Sarah and Teddi Wright, a 24-year-old surgical unit nurse from Highland, CA, out on separate one-on-one dates in Croatia.
And finally, Susie and Serene received solo dates with Clayton in Vienna, Austria towards the end of the season.
Clayton's Final 4 bachelorettes are Serene, Gabby, Rachel and Susie
"How that Final 3 elimination went, I don't know yet. What we do know is that Clayton found love this season (something he admitted on GMA), so whatever drama they want you to believe ensued from that conversation of saying he was intimate with 'both of you' obviously didn't derail anything," Carbone wrote in his blog on December 7.
Clayton therefore ended up with either Gabby, Susie, or Rachel.
"I've heard rumblings about all three since filming ended," Carbone reported.
"And nothing either of them are posting on social media has confirmed or denied anything. I'm leaning towards one person based on info told to me, but again, until I get the confirmation I need, there's no need to tell people what I'm 'hearing.'"
Carbone assured his readers, however, "When I'm confident I know who he picked, I'll let you know."
Clayton has sex with at least two of his bachelorettes
During the trailer that aired duringThe Bachelorette: The Men Tell All for Michelle's season, Clayton is shown standing in front of two ladies -- either his Final 2 bachelorettes or two of his Final 3 women.
Clayton appears to be leading a Rose Ceremony following his round of overnight Fantasy Suite dates.
"I just want you to know that what I'm about to say is not going to be easy to hear," Clayton announces to two ladies.
"I want to be fully, fully transparent, and I know it's not easy to hear, but I was intimate with both of you."
A brunette woman cries, "I'm done," while walking away from The Bachelor star and then falling to her knees.
And another bachelorette with long blonde hair sobs in her hands, "I've never felt anything like this before."
The drama apparently leaves Clayton feeling "so broken" as he stares at a diamond engagement ring, seemingly unsure of whom to give it to.
Clayton reportedly gets intimate with both Rachel and Gabby
The blonde woman in the trailer that aired during The Men Tell All was reportedly Rachel.
And while the brunette woman crying was Sarah, Carbone reported that Sarah did not make it to Iceland, where the final dates and Rose Ceremony were filmed.
"It was sent to me numerous times... that the venue Clayton is standing in is in Iceland (where we know the overnights and final rose ceremony are) and that the two women whose backs are two us (and he's seemingly telling he was intimate with both) are Rachel and Gabby, two women we know had hometown dates," Carbone reported in his blog.
"The shot of Sarah crying was squeezed in from another point in filming since we know Sarah didn't make it to Iceland."
The Bachelor fans are therefore assuming Gabby and Rachel finished as Clayton's Final 2 bachelorettes; however, Carbone is not convinced that's the case.
"Certainly looks that way, but with the way the editing works and how tricky they can get sometimes, the only thing we know for sure is that whole scene happens in Iceland," Carbone explained.
"Saying they're the Final 2 because that's the only two you see there with their backs to us, I don't know yet. Maybe it is and the show just gave away their Final 2."
Carbone noted, however, that he'd like to think producers are "smarter" than just giving away Clayton's Final 2 bachelorettes in a pre-season trailer.
Clayton's winning bachelorette pick has yet to be reported
There is no spoiler out there yet revealing Clayton's winner and whether he got engaged at the Final Rose Ceremony.
However, Carbone is sure Clayton ended up with one of his Final 3 bachelorettes and the contestants have been instructed not to say a word about the show's ending or post anything on social media that could give it away.
Although Clayton never revealed whether he's currently in a happy relationship or engaged, he did tell Us Weekly that he left The Bachelor with zero regrets.
"I definitely was not perfect. I did some things wrong," Clayton told Us.
But that doesn't mean Clayton has a desire to rewrite history or take any of his decisions back.
"I think for me, I realized that I can't say that I have any regrets because if I would've done things differently, would it have been my 100 percent authentic journey? And I think the answer to that is no," Clayton explained.
"So what I did and every moment while I was there was what I thought was right. Does that mean it was right? Probably not, no."
Clayton said while he's an imperfect human and made some wrong moves, "I did everything under my volition and what I thought was best."
"And so for that, I'm like, 'You know what? You stayed true to yourself, and you developed some battle scars along the way, but that's just what life is,'" he said.