The Bachelor has unveiled potential bachelorettes who may compete for the show's reported Season 26 star, Clayton Echard.

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ABC has announced 33 women who "may" have a chance to meet and date Clayton, a 28-year-old orthopedic sales representative and former college football player, on The Bachelor's 26th season, which is expected to begin filming this week and premiere in early January 2022.

RELATED LINK: MICHELLE YOUNG'S 'THE BACHELORETTE' SEASON 18 BACHELORS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED -- MEET THE MEN! (PHOTOS)

"We are giving you an early look at the women who may be on this season of The Bachelor! Leave a [rose emoji] for who would get your first impression rose," The Bachelor's official Facebook account captioned a slideshow of the 33 ladies on Saturday.

The inclusion of the word "may" suggests a few of the women may not actually appear on Clayton's season of The Bachelor; however, given the typical The Bachelor or The Bachelorette season usually begins with about 30 contestants.

Clayton's initial cast of women range in age from 23 to 33 years old.

ABC revealed names, bios and photos for the women on Facebook, and the photos display a variety of backgrounds apparently indicating the photos were not taken at the same location by the same photographer.

The network went about its The Bachelor casting announcement in a similar way to how Katie Thurston's The Bachelorette season had been handled.

An initial lineup of 34 bachelors was revealed in March and then Katie's official cast of 30 suitors for Season 17 was released in May.

ABC also put out a potential cast of 35 bachelors for Michelle Young's upcoming The Bachelorette edition days before Season 18 began filming in late July.

Michelle's official list of bachelors, however, has yet to be announced for the new season that premieres Tuesday, October 19 at 8PM ET/PT.

RELATED LINK: 'THE BACHELOR' FRANCHISE COUPLES NOW: WHO IS STILL TOGETHER?? (PHOTOS)

ABC began its current practice of publicly announcing each The Bachelor and The Bachelorette season's possible cast in 2019 as an apparent attempt to further vet each suitor's background before filming actually commences.
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Beginning last year with Clare Crawley's seasons of The Bachelorette, they also began bringing extra potential bachelors to the season's filming location in case anyone tests positive for coronavirus during the quarantine period that must occur before production officially starts.

Viewers will be introduced to Clayton on Michelle's The Bachelorette season.

Considering ABC already selected him to be the franchise's leading man for Season 26, fans can only assume Clayton got his heart crushed by Michelle on the show or his star-quality and/or storyline made him a natural fit to become the show's star for 2022.

"Clayton stood out right off the bat," a source told Us Weekly of the Eureka, MO, native. "Producers ended up going with him because they believed he was the best fit for the role."

ABC reportedly loves the fact Clayton is a fresh face whom America still has to get to know.

"[Producers] wanted to switch things up and go with someone new and someone who hasn't been in the spotlight yet," the source explained. "The mystery makes it more exciting for the prospective contestants."

Clayton's alleged casting reportedly came out of left field, as a handful of other men -- including The Bachelorette 17 suitors Michael Allio, Greg Grippo and Andrew Spencer, reportedly -- were being considered.

RELATED LINK: 'THE BACHELORETTE' COUPLES NOW: WHOM DID 'THE BACHELORETTE' STARS AND THEIR BACHELOR PICKS ULTIMATELY END UP WITH?! (PHOTOS)  

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"The crew found out about it last minute," the source told Us. "The decision wasn't even made until about a week prior to filming his intro."

Earlier this month, photos had leaked of Clayton appearing to film a promo shoot with a camera crew in his Missouri hometown.

And hours later, The Bachelor creator and executive producer Mike Fleiss hinted at Clayton's participation and that he was ABC's choice for the show's next lead.

Mike tweeted on September 15, "Major Announcement!!! Your new #TheBachelor is a great guy from Michelle's season of #TheBachelorette. Can't wait for you to meet him!"

Mike proceeded to write on Twitter, "Another Major Announcement!!! His first name starts with the letter 'C.' #TheBachelor."

There are only three other men with "C" names on the network's July list of 35 suitors who may appear on Michelle's The Bachelorette season, which already wrapped production.

Clayton all but confirmed he'll be The Bachelor's Season 26 star when he spoke to a crowd of people while being filmed in Eureka in mid-September.

Clayton told fans he's "excited" about the opportunity to look for his "person" but also "very nervous" at the same time, according to St. Louis' Fox affiliate.

RELATED LINK: 'THE BACHELOR' COUPLES NOW: WHO DID 'THE BACHELOR' STARS AND THEIR BACHELORETTE PICKS ACTUALLY END UP MARRYING? (PHOTOS)

While ABC and Warner Bros. have yet to officially confirm Clayton will follow in Matt James' The Bachelor footsteps, a banner hangs in Eureka that reads, "Go Find Love Clayton," and the town's mayor, Sean Flower, said on Facebook that ABC had purchased the giant sign.

Below is a listing of the 33 women who may be appearing on The Bachelor's 26th season starring Clayton,  however click on the BEGIN GALLERY link below to also see photos of all the bachelorettes!.

- Breauna Jade Kading, a 28-year-old from San Diego, CA

- Cassidy Timbrooks, a 26-year-old from Cave Creek, AZ

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- Claire Heilig, a 28-year-old from Virginia Beach, VA

- Daria Rose, a 24-year-old from Baldwin, NY

- Eliza Isichei, a 25-year-old from Berlin, Germany

- Elizabeth Corrigan, a 32-year-old from Highlands Ranch, CO

- Ency Abedin, a 28-year-old from Burbank, CA

- Gabby Windey, a 30-year-old from O'Fallon, IL

- Genevieve Parisi, a 26-year-old from Rehoboth, MA

- Hailey Malles, a 26-year-old from Orlando, FL

- Hunter Haag, a 28-year-old from Lake Wylie, SC

- Ivana Noble, a 31-year-old from Snellville, GA and Enterprise, AL

- Jane Paik, a 33-year-old from Los Angeles, CA

- Jill Chin, a 26-year-old from Scituate, RI

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- Kara Gandy, a 30-year-old from Cincinnati, OH

- Kate Gallivan, a 32-year-old from Clarksville, TN

- Kira Mengistu, a 32-year-old from Greensboro, NC

- Lindsay Dobbs, a 27-year-old from Warner Robins, GA

- Lyndsey Windham, a 28-year-old from Orange, TX

- Mara Agreat, a 32-year-old from Cherryhill, NJ

- Marlena Wesh, a 30-year-old from Virginia Beach, VA

- Melina Nasab, a 27-year-old from Los Angeles, CA

- Rachel Recchia, a 25-year-old from Chicago, IL

- Rianna Hockaday, a 26-year-old from Mount Pleasant, TX

- Salley Carson, a 26-year-old from Greenville, SC

- Samantha Jefferies, a 26-year-old from Dayton, OH

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- Sarah Hamrick, a 23-year-old from Spartanburg, SC

- Serene Russell, a 26-year-old from Oklahoma City, OK

- Shanae Ankey, a 29-year-old from Sycamore, OH

- Sierra Jackson, a 26-year-old from Oklahoma City, OK

- Susie Evans, a 28-year-old from Virginia Beach, VA

- Teddi Wright, a 24-year-old from Redlands, CA

- Tessa Tookes, a 26-year-old from Stamford, CT

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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.