It’s customary that the next Bachelor is crowned during the “After the Final Rose” special, but Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette unfolds much differently. One month ahead of the Season 17 premiere, producers announced that Clayton Echard will be the star of Season 26.
The news came as a surprise to Bachelor Nation, many of which were confused by ABC’s decision. Clayton hails from Missouri, where he makes a living as a medical sales representative, but so far, the Bachelorette hopeful has yet to make an impression on viewers.
So why is Clayton Echard the next Bachelor? Fans are skeptical.
Why is Clayton Echard the next ‘Bachelor’ lead?
Showrunners selected Clayton Echard to lead the upcoming season of The Bachelor sometime before the Season 17 premiere. Spoilers for the fall 2021 premiere of The Bachelorette confirmed that Clayton is eliminated ahead of the season finale, but in September, it was revealed that he’ll get another shot at love on the upcoming season of The Bachelor.
Following the announcement, Clayton broke his silence on the matter and expressed his excitement. “I’m also very, very nervous," he added. "I’m looking to find my person."
According to an insider, producers felt that Clayton stood out from his fellow contestants immediately, which made their decision easy.
“Clayton stood out right off the bat. 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 insider told Us Weekly.
Since then, fans have impatiently awaited the moment that Clayton proves himself to be the best man for the job — which, according to viewers, hasn’t happened yet.
One Bachelorette viewer wrote on Twitter, “I’m starting to think they spoiled Clayton being the Bachelor because everyone would’ve been flabbergasted as to why they chose him. I mean I still am confused because he’s about as interesting as unseasoned tofu. Like, where’s the pizazz?”
Along with concerns about Clayton’s charisma — or lack thereof — many are unimpressed by his lack of chemistry with Michelle. “I really wish Clayton being the Bachelor hadn’t been leaked because I can’t take his relationship with Michelle seriously at all,” another fan complained.
Michelle Young says that Clayton Echard is on ‘The Bachelorette’ for the right reasons.
While fans aren’t very happy with ABC’s latest candidate for The Bachelor, both Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe have vouched for Clayton. And they weren’t the only ones who are excited for the upcoming season of The Bachelor.
Although things didn’t work out between Clayton and Michelle, the Bachelorette gushed that he was definitely on the show for the right reasons.
Clayton continues his quest for love on Season 26 of The Bachelor, which is hosted by Jesse Palmer and premieres on ABC in January 2022.
You can see how the rest of Season 17 of The Bachelorette unfolds on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.