Clayton, a 28-year-old orthopedic sales representative and former college football player, confirmed he'll be The Bachelor's Season 26 star when he spoke to a crowd of people while being filmed in his hometown of Eureka, MO, last week.
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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 franchise's next leading man.
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 Michelle's The Bachelorette season, which finished taping less than two weeks ago.
According to insiders, producers fell in love with Clayton's "story" during Michelle's The Bachelorette season and so he rose to the top of their potential-next Bachelor list, Variety reported.
A source also told Us Weekly that Clayton "stood out right off the bat" to The Bachelorette producers while filming Season 18 of the series.
"Producers ended up going with him because they believed he was the best fit for the role. They 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. The crew found out about it last minute. The decision wasn't even made until about a week prior to filming his intro."