'The Bachelor' star Clayton Echard: I wasn't perfect during the season, I "did some things wrong"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/29/2021
The Bachelor star Clayton Echard has admitted he was "not perfect" during his journey to find love and definitely made some mistakes along the way.
Clayton, a 28-year-old orthopedic sales representative and former college football player from Missouri, will be starring on The Bachelor when Season 26 premieres Monday, January 3 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC.
Based on a trailer ABC recently released for its 2022 The Bachelor season, there will be plenty of drama and tears as Clayton apparently fell in love with three women and admitted to two bachelorettes he had slept with them both.
"I definitely was not perfect. I did some things wrong," Clayton told Us Weekly ahead of the show's premiere.
However, that doesn't mean Clayton has a desire to rewrite history or take any of his decisions back if he could.
"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.
Based on a promo for the new The Bachelor season, Clayton even considers taking a rose back from a woman during Season 26.
"Question for you: Has anyone ever taken a rose back before?" Clayton asks The Bachelor host Jesse Palmer, who appears shocked.
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Clayton shared with Us 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."
Clayton and Michelle formed a connection while filming The Bachelorette and her fifth-grade students selected him as the best choice among her suitors, but Michelle eliminated the buff former football player when selecting her Final 4 suitors for hometown dates.
Michelle said she felt something missing with Clayton, and following his ouster, he cried about how he wants to have a wife and children "more than anything" and would do whatever it takes to make that dream come true.
Kaitlyn said Clayton's personality and big heart would "make for a good Bachelor."
"It's gonna be extremely difficult for him because of how, you know, sensitive and emotional he is, but that's such a great quality [that] you wanna see in a Bachelor," Kaitlyn explained. "I think it's gonna be a really great season."
"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 teased on GMA, adding, "I realized that, ultimately, I was going to find everything that I wanted and so much more."
Clayton certainly did apparently find everything he was looking for -- in more than one woman.
During The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All episode for Season 18, a special sneak peek of Clayton's upcoming The Bachelor season aired and featured Clayton dropping two bombshells on viewers.
"I didn't believe it could happen, but I am in love with three women," Clayton admits.
Footage then seemed to flash to Clayton standing in front of two ladies, who appeared to be either his Final 2 bachelorettes or two of his Final 3 women, after 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. I want to be fully, fully transparent, and I know it's not easy to hear, but I was intimate with both of you," Clayton confesses to the two ladies.
The drama apparently leaves Clayton feeling "so broken" as he stares at a diamond engagement ring, seemingly unsure of whom to give it to.