'The Bachelor' star Clayton Echard reportedly worried about fan backlash to rest of his season
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/24/2022
The Bachelor star Clayton Echard is reportedly concerned the backlash he has received from some viewers will worsen as the remainder of his The Bachelor season airs and they see the decisions he made as his search for love wrapped up.
According to a source close to production, Clayton "is really struggling with the criticism he has taken for the decisions he had made on the show," E! News reported.
"He knows things could get worse for him over the next few weeks as fantasy suites come into play," the source added.
In a trailer ABC previously released, Clayton admits he found love with three women, before telling two ladies -- Rachel and Gabby, apparently -- that he had been "intimate" with them both, allowing fans to believe he had slept with two or more bachelorettes in the Fantasy Suites.
"Clayton does indeed fall in love with multiple women," the source told E! News, "and many hearts are broken in ways we have really never seen before."
Fearing how viewers will react to his seemingly-unprecedented The Bachelor ending, Clayton has apparently looked for support and guidance from former The Bachelor stars who have been in a similar position before.
"Clayton is so concerned with how things will play out that he even reached out to former Bachelors Matt James and Nick Viall for their advice and support," the source shared.
Back in January, The Bachelor host Jesse Palmer told the website that producers were caught off guard by the direction Clayton's season had ultimately taken, adding how fans are in for some big shockers.
"Viewers at home will see things this season that they've never seen in 20 years having watchedThe Bachelor," Jesse explained at the time.
"Sometimes those decisions to a lot of people at home may feel like they're sort of straying off the beaten path. It's not as formulaic as what we've seen in recent seasons, but I think that's a little bit refreshing about him."
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While The Bachelor was airing a new Season 26 episode on Monday night, show creator Mike Fleiss took to Twitter with a jaw-dropping tweet.
"Major Historic Announcement!" Mike wrote.
"This season's finale of #TheBachelorABC is totally spoiler-proof. No one knows how it will end, cuz it ain't over til it's over! And it ain't over..."
The tweet suggests that not only did Clayton not get engaged at the end of his season, but that the small-town medical sales representative and former college football player didn't even pick one of his remaining bachelorettes as his winner when The Bachelor season was filmed last year.
It remains unclear if there was even a Final Rose Ceremony of Season 26, and maybe Clayton's journey to find love continued in the real world once filming wrapped.
Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone, who reports his spoiler findings every The Bachelor andThe Bachelorette season, claims he is unaware of how Clayton's season ended.
"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 shared at the time.
"And I'm so excited to watch it back and have everyone else watch it as well," he added.
Clayton also told Us Weekly last year that while he had done "some things wrong" during his time as the Bachelor, he left the show with no regrets and wouldn't take any of his decisions back if he could rewrite history.
"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."