Clayton Echard Michelle Young
Source: ABC

'The Bachelorette's' Clayton Echard Is the True Underdog of Season 18

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Nov. 2 2021, Published 10:17 p.m. ET

Spoiler alert: This article contains potential spoilers for Season 18 of The Bachelorette.

The Season 18 finale of The Bachelorette is still weeks away, but fans have predictions about who will receive Michelle Young’s final rose. Although several contestants lost their shot at love after being eliminated early on, there are a few frontrunners in the competition that have caught Michelle’s eye.

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Along with Nayte Olukoya, who won Michelle’s first impression rose in Week 1, Michelle’s chemistry with Clayton Echard has been off the charts. But how far does Clayton get on The Bachelorette? Read on for Season 18 spoilers.

Clayton Echard Michelle Young
Source: ABC
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How far does Clayton get on ‘The Bachelorette’?

Although it’s still early in the game, Reality Steve and Bachelor Nation Reddit have all but confirmed that Clayton will not be included in Michelle’s final four. Teasers for Season 18 suggest that Clayton is definitely in it for the long run, but rumors speculate that he will be sent home ahead of the hometown dates.

A Reddit thread shows screenshots from a flight attendant who allegedly was aboard a flight with Michelle and the final contestants — none of which happened to be Clayton.

While their love story was cut short, in an October interview with Entertainment Tonight, the Bachelorette said she still believes that Clayton “deserves to find his person.”

Michelle explained, “What the viewers are gonna see is that Clayton's just genuine. He's really sweet. He came there to find his person. As cliché as it is, he was there for the right reasons.”

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Clayton Echard Michelle Young
Source: ABC

Michelle spoke highly of her would-be lover, although spoilers reveal that she ends up with Nayte, who proposes in the finale. Among the other men in her final four are Rodney, Joe, and Brandon. But fans shouldn’t feel too bad for Clayton. Rumors suggest that his quest for love on reality tv has just begun.

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Who is the next Bachelor? Season 26 of 'The Bachelor' airs in January.

Clayton has made quite the impression on viewers, who have been rooting for the Missouri-born medical sales rep since day one. And producers at ABC apparently felt the same way.

The next Bachelor is normally announced during the “After The Final Rose” ceremony, but Christmas came early for viewers ahead of Season 26. According to reports, Clayton Echard is slated to be the star of the upcoming season, which will premiere in January of 2022 and be hosted by former professional athlete and Canadian TV personality Jesse Palmer.

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PARDEEP, CLAYTON, JOE, CHRIS S., MOLLIQUE
Source: ABC

Although Bachelorette hosts Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe did not confirm or deny the leaked information, they did share their thoughts on the 28-year-old heartthrob. "If he is the next Bachelor, he seems very emotionally mature, very vulnerable, very open with how he's feeling," Kaitlyn told Entertainment Tonight.

“He doesn't shy away from talking about how he's feeling. He always seems to be taking care of people. He's well-spoken and he has [a] good family,” she added.

You can see Michelle and Clayton’s love story (or lack thereof) unfold on The Bachelorette Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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