While Clayton was getting ready to meet his cast of bachelorettes, about five hours before limo entrances, Salley Carson knocked on his hotel door and expressed how she wasn't in the right mindset to begin dating someone new after recently going through a broken engagement.
Although Clayton offered Salley a rose in the hope she would stay, Salley decided to leave the show because she still felt heartbroken over the thought her wedding had been scheduled to take place that very weekend.
And then during the cocktail party, Claire Heilig had one conversation with Clayton during a makeshift football-tailgate party at the Los Angeles mansion and claimed that she "hated" him and didn't feel a connection.
Claire actually bragged to the other women about how Clayton wasn't her type and she'd never typically go for "America's Sweetheart," and so she and Clayton mutually agreed she should not continue on the show.
But there was reportedly a third girl who also made an early exit before the first Rose Ceremony of the season: Samantha Jefferies, who arrived in a bubble bath and introduced herself to Clayton in a bikini.
Samantha was nowhere to be found in the episode following her grand entrance.
When asked where Samantha went, Clayton told ET, "That's a great question."
"I don't really fully know [what happened] She went home. As far as the reason, your guess is as good as mine," he explained, adding, "I don't know [why], I'm not sure really what happened on that one."
But Samantha gave fans a little insight into her unexpected departure by writing on Instagram after the episode aired, "Clayton and I privately talked night one. He was attentive, charming and kind."
FOLLOW REALITY TV WORLD ON THE ALL-NEW GOOGLE NEWS!
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!
"However, a romantic connection is important in a relationship," she added. "And I've made it a point in my life to not force anything I'm not feeling."
Samantha elaborated, "As much as I wanted to stay, it would not have been fair to try to take his heart, as well as take the opportunity away from a woman who was all in."
Clayton said looking back on Claire's bad attitude, she "clearly had some frustrations" with him and probably lashed out due to their limited interaction and her time with Clayton being stolen by another woman, Mara Agreat.
"I think she felt that she was cut off. She felt that I didn't give her the time of day," Clayton reasoned.
"I don't want to beat her up for it. There's a lot of emotions, a lot of stress, night one. I think that she was just frustrated. It is what it is."
But Clayton suggested in a separate interview with E! News that Claire's behavior was still a bit uncalled for.
"I get where her frustration is, but still, to be going around saying you 'hate' me, you 'just felt like it's a terrible connection, there's nothing there' -- Those are very strong emotions that you're claiming you have for me," Clayton explained.
"And I was like, 'I don't have time for this. I don't want to deal with this.'"
As for Salley, he said he respected the bachelorette's decision to walk away from the process given her heart wasn't fully open to finding love at the time.
Clayton also wanted to make it known that he didn't just throw a rose around after a few short minutes of meeting somebody.
"I was reading stuff online, like, '[Salley] tells Clayton, I was previously engaged and supposed to get married today,' and I'm like, I love you. Here's a rose,'" Clayton said with a laugh.
"Like, that's not how it went down. All right, guys, cut me some slack."
Clayton insisted he and Salley had actually spoken for "over an hour" and there isn't enough time in a single episode to show all of that.
"So there was more discussion between Salley and I," Clayton confirmed to E! News.
"I really liked what I saw out of her when we talked and my whole thought was, 'I like this girl. Maybe if she sticks around for a few more days, she'll be able to kind of quell a lot of those concerns that she has and start building a connection between the two of us.'"
Although Clayton's first day as The Bachelor star was a bit of a bumpy ride -- or had "turbulence" as Rachel Recchia would say -- he still felt a spark with multiple women and ended up kissing a total of five bachelorettes on Night 1.
Looking back on being rejected by three women as a result, Clayton shared with ET, "I don't think it has anything to do with me per se... and I will just keep that perspective in mind and not let it rattle me too much."
"You start to play this game of like, why did they leave? What was it? Is it the way I presented myself? Are they just not physically attracted to me? But whatever the case, you just have to go back to, they are not interested for whatever reason or they are not in the right head space."
Clayton noted how he was able to "move on" and not think about his lost bachelorettes too much.
"It will eat you up if you do," he acknowledged.
After Salley and Samantha quit and then Clayton sent Claire packing, the medical sales representative and former pro football player narrowed down his lineup of bachelorettes to 22 women.