The Bachelor featured Mara Agreat and Sarah Hamrick facing off, Clayton Echard deciding he couldn't trust Sarah and kicking her to the curb, Genevieve Parisi shutting down, and the Bachelor determining his Final 4 bachelorettes for hometown dates during the Season 26 episode that aired Monday night on ABC.

Clayton chose to eliminate Mara, a 32-year-old entrepreneur from Collingswood, NJ; Sarah, a 23-year-old wealth management advisor from New York, NY; Genevieve, a 26-year-old bartender from Los Angeles, CA; Eliza Isichei, a 25-year-old marketing manager from Berlin, Germany; and Teddi Wright, a 24-year-old surgical unit nurse from Highland, CA, heading into hometown dates.

Clayton's Final 4 bachelorettes are therefore Gabby Windey, a 30-year-old ICU nurse from Denver, CO; Rachel Recchia, a 25-year-old flight instructor from Clermont, FL; Serene Russell, a 26-year-old elementary school teacher from Oklahoma City, OK; and Susie Evans, a 28-year-old wedding videographer from Virginia Beach, VA.


The Bachelor broadcast began with Sarah saying after her one-on-one date with Clayton in Hvar, Croatia that "karma is a b-tch" and "the liar" in the house who had attempted to bring her down was probably going to be brought down herself.

Sarah, with a rose in hand, called it "a b-tch-ass move" that wasn't believable on that woman's part, and the bachelorette added, "I am just thankful the truth prevailed. I'm going to find a vase for my rose and you can book your ticket home!"

Once Sarah returned to her hotel suite with the other ladies, she announced how an allegation had only made her relationship with Clayton stronger.

"It's no one's place to tell Clayton what they think I'm ready for... that I'm not ready for commitment or here for something serious," Sarah declared.

Sarah asked who had brought this allegation to Clayton's attention because she believed she had treated everyone with kindness and respect, and Mara was shown rolling her eyes.

"I know getting a second one-on-one would put a target on my back. It's a difficult position to be in, but this is real life," Sarah said. "This is a real relationship that I am very much in."

Mara said she had spoken to Clayton about how it wasn't fair two women had yet to receive a one-on-one and Sarah was invited on two solo dates. She also added how Clayton wanted an engagement at the end of the show and she didn't think Sarah was on the show for that.

"It's more looking out for him," Mara said.

"I always have his best interest in mind, and I'm looking out for him as well," Sarah argued.
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"One last thing to say is that Clayton identified this as a 'last-ditch effort' by someone who feels like they're going home, so whatever is being brought to him is not being received the way you're hoping it to."

Sarah told producers in a confessional that Mara had only protected Clayton from herself and she probably wouldn't be receiving a rose the next day.

It then became time for the cocktail party in Croatia preceding the sixth Rose Ceremony of the season, and Sarah, Teddi and Rachel already had roses from dates earlier in the week.

Clayton sat down with Serene first and showed his appreciation for how she had opened up about her cousin, who apparently lost her life to an addiction only a couple of years ago.


Clayton put little lights in a jar to represent how Serene and her cousin would chase fireflies as kids, and Serene called the gesture "very special" and noted how Clayton was clearly listening to her and she was "honestly speechless."

The lights reminded Serene of her favorite childhood memory, and she confirmed she was "falling in love" with The Bachelor star.

Teddi told Clayton that she was confident in their relationship enough to introduce him to her family, and then Mara suddenly pulled Sarah aside for a chat and gave her a piece of her mind.

Mara explained to Sarah how her comment about "a last-ditch effort from a woman going home" was "insensitive and a little ignorant." Mara said Sarah was acting like Clayton was "a trophy to be won" and she already had the competition in the bag.

Mara accused Sarah of calling the other women "the in between" of her relationship with Clayton, meaning Sarah thought she was going to end up with the Bachelor, but Sarah denied ever saying that.

"You're getting a little sloppy, and it's showing. And it's only a matter of time before he sees it," Mara told the bachelorette.

"Confidence? Great. Overconfidence? Not cute. And that's where you're headed, and I'm just saying, for everyone's sake, it would be best if you went back to a just a cute, quiet confidence."

Mara said the women were questioning themselves and whether they were good enough for Clayton because Sarah was already acting cocky, like she's The One for Clayton.

Sarah insisted that was just Mara's belief and she got along well with everyone, but Mara assured the bachelorette that she was protecting the others and Sarah's comments were "manipulative" and "breaking the other girls down."

Rachel agreed in a confessional how Sarah had made it seem like it was "her and Clayton against the house."

Clayton handed out roses to Susie, Serene, Gabby, and Genevieve. Clayton therefore eliminated Mara and Eliza.


"It's really sad and scary knowing that I am going home and Sarah is still here. She's walking around like she's already got this in the bag, but I think it's going to come back and bite her in the ass," Mara said in her final words.

"It will all come out in the end. I want to find my person. Just because Clayton isn't it doesn't mean that I'm not ready and I don't deserve it and I'm not going to get it. Because eventually, your person will come along and it will all make sense and it will all be worthwhile."

Clayton and his seven remaining bachelorettes then traveled to Vienna, Austria for the next week of dates, and hometown dates were looming right around the corner.

Susie received the first one-on-one date in Vienna, and Genevieve admitted she was very jealous. At this point, Genevieve was the only woman who hadn't enjoyed a full one-on-one date with The Bachelor star. She had only been on a two-on-one date against Shanae Ankney.

Clayton picked Susie up in a classic vintage car and then brought her shopping in a boutique, where it appeared Susie picked out bags and bags worth of clothing and accessories. Susie felt totally spoiled and said she never had that kind of luxury experience before.

Clayton said he and Susie made "every moment matter" together, and then Susie was afforded the chance to try on gowns by a world-renowned Austria designer.

Clayton gushed about seeing many sides to Susie that day -- her funny, romantic, fun and humble sides -- and the Bachelor said she was making it easy for him to fall in love with her.

Susie cried because she felt so grateful for such a special date, and she noted how she felt "on top of the world with Clayton," who made her feel giddy as if she's a child again.

While Susie was getting ready for the night portion of her date, a hotel employee dropped off a gorgeous red gown she had tried on earlier in the day.

The other girls were envious of Susie's princess-style date, and both Susie and Clayton agreed their date was like a fairytale, especially since they ate dinner in a palace.

"No man has ever wanted to do something like that for me. It felt foreign from how I live my life," Susie revealed to Clayton, adding how she comes from "a humble home."

Susie said she struggles to accept things from a man because she wants to stand on her own two feet and make her parents, who both had tough upbringings, very proud. But Clayton told Susie that she deserved the world and he wanted to remind her of that.

Clayton gave Susie a rose, totally "elated" to meet her family soon, and then the couple enjoyed a private concert by Chris de Burgh on the piano. They danced to the song "Lady in Red," and Clayton said there was no holding back on his part and his romance with Susie felt "natural."

"Clayton is everything I ever wanted in a partner, in a boyfriend, in a fiancee and a husband. He's everything I could ask for. I think it's safe to say that I'm falling in love!" Susie gushed.


Meanwhile, a Date Card arrived for the following bachelorettes: Sarah, Teddi, Genevieve, Rachel, and Gabby. That meant Serene would be going on another one-on-one date with Clayton.

Genevieve felt she needed more time to make sure she and Clayton were on the same page and so she was feeling "unsure" and anxious about everything.

The next day, Clayton and his group of bachelorettes met with a psychoanalyst named Katherine, who hoped to unveil the ladies' deepest layers, fears, emotions and anxieties in their subconscious mind.

Each woman received a couple's therapy session with Clayton, and Genevieve acknowledged how she was "terrified" and struggles to open up in an environment where she doesn't feel truly comfortable.

Gabby cried about her previous misunderstanding of what love is due to the condition in which she was or wasn't given love and affection from her mother as a child. Gabby shared how she and her father, however, have a great relationship and he's always been supportive and wants to see her happy.

Clayton said his connection with Gabby progressed with every single conversation they had, and Teddi was also vulnerable about her growing feelings for Clayton.

Genevieve, however, appeared pretty shut down. She couldn't express how she was feeling and explained to Katherine how she doesn't like to talk to other people about her emotions.

"I don't even think I know what's going on inside of me. I think that's the problem," Genevieve reluctantly shared.

When asked what Clayton could do to help her, Genevieve replied, "I don't know," and Clayton expressed how they couldn't move forward if she couldn't tear her walls down.

After the therapy session, Clayton explained to Genevieve, "It's hard for me to see myself meeting your family when I can't see what's inside the walls."

"Of course. I get that. I've taken a long time to let my walls down and I haven't completely, so I completely understand. You have very strong connections... and I can feel and tell that we're both not there yet," Genevieve said.

"I think it comes down to that we ran out of time," Clayton said.

Clayton therefore sent Genevieve home, and she had a graceful exit.

Genevieve shared how she had no idea how hard this process was going to be, adding, "I'm not going to get anywhere if I don't let my walls down... It just happens. Nothing against Clayton -- anyone would be lucky to end up with him. I have some stuff to work on, that's for sure. But I really have no regrets because I did everything I could. It just wasn't meant to be."

Once Rachel sat down with Clayton and Katherine, Rachel expressed how she was having insecurities and questioned whether she could even go on with the process at times. Rachel noted how she trusted Clayton but the possibility of losing him was very difficult for her.


Clayton didn't want Rachel to get inside her head because he really liked her and could see a future with her. He didn't understand what the reasoning behind her seemingly-sudden insecurities were.

Sarah then revealed to Katherine how therapy is a big part of her life and she always takes an opportunity to become a better person. She cried about being an easy target for the other women and having faced untrue accusations, but Clayton shared how they had established trust and were able to push through the adversity.

Sarah believed she had locked in a rose and a hometown date that day.

Meanwhile, Rachel told the cameras how Sarah had shared "very intimate details" regarding her relationship with Clayton.

"What she's sharing makes us feel insecure, and I don't know her intentions at all. I just don't want it to affect any more time," Rachel said in a confessional.

Gabby explained to the girls how Sarah's approach seemed to be a "tactic," suggesting Sarah's actions were malicious and not negligence. Gabby also didn't think Sarah would be able to keep track of her lies.

At the end of the date, Katherine announced how one of her conversations with the women was not honest and came across "performative" to her, which clearly surprised and upset Clayton.

"I don't think it's Teddi, I don't think it's Gabby, and it's not me," Rachel told a producer. "So it's inevitable at this point that we're going to have to talk about Sarah. He's going to have questions, and [we're] going to have to be honest."

At the afterparty, Clayton wanted to get to the bottom of the idea someone had been "putting on an act."

Clayton told Rachel that he knew the performative person was not her because she had been feeling insecure and needed validation. Rachel therefore shared how Sarah had made her think the process was "done" after her one-on-one date with Clayton.

Rachel recalled Sarah bragging about her connection with Clayton after that date.

"[She said] you guys were crying together, and me and Teddi were like, 'I don't know how we're going to get there,'" Rachel said in tears.

"She said I cried?!" Clayton asked. "Hearing that, it's a shock to me. I don't know why that's being said because there's no truth to it. In Croatia, it kind of flipped for me, because me and Teddi keep hearing all of this stuff that she's saying to us."

Rachel felt Sarah was manipulating the women to get them to pull away from Clayton, and she called the situation "scary." Rachel didn't want to give up on the process, but she was definitely having her moments.

Clayton said he couldn't believe it because he had trusted Sarah, and then Gabby and Teddi both corroborated Rachel's side to the story. Teddi even admitted that, like Rachel, she had briefly considered leaving the show.

"If I find out with 100 percent certainty that Sarah is manipulating me, then she is gone!" Clayton assured the cameras.


When Clayton confronted Sarah, he explained how the other women had felt like they didn't even stand a chance in the competition due to Sarah's alleged boastful comments about their strong connection. Clayton said Sarah had allegedly made it seem like he'd already made his decision.

Sarah denied having said any of those things, and she broke down into tears, claiming she had celebrated with her friends when they were happy and also acted like a soundboard for them when they were upset.

Sarah said she was feeling like she wasn't allowed to talk about her strong connection with Clayton and it seemed like she couldn't say or do anything right in the last week.

"I almost just want to leave now because it's so heartbreaking," Sarah cried to Clayton.

After Gabby was shown saying The Bachelor seemed to be "a game" for Sarah now, Clayton confessed to Sarah, "I feel like you were trying to fake cry to me, like, it didn't feel genuine at all."

"Honestly, I have no tears left because this has been a really, really tough week," Sarah explained.

"I felt like you were really trying to force the tears out... I'm here trying to find my future wife, and what scares me, is it sounds like you were trying to manipulate these women into thinking there was more there -- to the point where they felt like they should just give up."

Clayton said everyone, at one point or another, almost walked out thinking, "What's the point?"

Clayton concluded, "I'm sorry, but I just don't believe you. And I think we're done. I just can't move forward with you, and so I would like to walk you out."

Gabby said Sarah had been playing the victim and seemed delusional as Clayton walked Sarah out.

Sarah told Clayton that she had developed strong relationships with the women in the house but their dynamic should be separate from the couple's romance; however, Clayton reiterated how he didn't believe Sarah and they couldn't continue if he didn't trust her.

In her final words, Sarah lamented, "I'm annoyed. If someone says they're feeling insecure because of where my relationship is at, then how does that become me being manipulative or it being something that I need to fix?"

She continued, "People want to go cry to him about it, and the fact that he believes that, I don't even want to be engaged to somebody like that -- I don't."

Clayton decided not to hand out a rose that evening since drama had taken over the night and he needed more time to think.

Clayton went on to enjoy a one-on-one date with Serene, and she said she never questioned her trust in Clayton, which meant a lot to him at that time. He appreciated Serene's effort and her desire to know how he was feeling.


Serene and Clayton took a horse-drawn carriage through Vienna and they ate chestnuts and danced in the city streets. Serene was clearly falling for Clayton, and that night, over a romantic dinner, Serene revealed how her parents had only met one man -- her high school boyfriend.

Serene said she dated this man for so long because it felt comfortable for them and she almost feels like she had wasted a lot of time.

"I wanted to tell you that I am falling in love with you," Serene told Clayton.

"Wow, I cannot tell you how happy that makes me, to hear that," Clayton responded. "Because I know what that means. I didn't expect that, I didn't."

Serene said it was scary to fall but also "oddly comfortable" at the same time and Clayton just made it so easy for her to dive deep. A weight had been lifted off Serene's shoulders, and she could tell Clayton looked really excited when learning how she felt.

Clayton then gave Serene a rose, and she believed Clayton could be The One for her.

The episode concluded with the seventh Rose Ceremony of the season in which Clayton gave out roses to Rachel and Gabby.

Clayton therefore eliminated Teddi, who had received Clayton's First Impression Rose.

"I was not expecting that tonight. I don't know what changed within a week, because I felt like it was me from our last conversation," Teddi said.

"It's hard to hear that he didn't see a future with me and that it's not going to be me. I did trust him and I did feel safe with him, and I haven't felt that way in a relationship before. I crave that safety and that trust and that bond with someone."

Teddi said she felt worthy of love but kept coming up short and she didn't understand why.

"I do want to be someone's first choice, and I deserve that," Teddi cried. "I deserve to have someone stay. Of course I thought that could be him, but it's not."


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About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.