When news “leaked” and was later confirmed that Clayton Echard would be the next Bachelor lead, the majority of Bachelor Nation narrowed their eyes in confusion and let out a collective “who?”
Despite his appearance looking strikingly similar to past Bachelor leads (white, athletic, tall, ripped physique, born in the Midwest, works in sales, wants a marriage like his parents, etc.) he was chosen by what we can only assume was a giddy producer who had heart eyes for his abs.
The decision has been so confusing to Bachelor Nation, no amount of pictures of Clayton holding a pack of puppies is going to help, and that’s saying a lot.
The real fan favorite was Rodney Matthews, who was eliminated during hometown dates, and broke Bachelor Nation hearts before they even had a chance to pick up the pieces from the last.
And really, to be fair to Clayton, we haven’t seen a final four in the Bachelor franchise that could elicit as many heart-eye emojis as Michelle Young’s did.
After Clayton was announced as The Bachelor, die-hard fans and past alums all seemed to have something to say about it.
Nick Viall was as confused as everyone else with the choice
Nick Viall recently waded into the debate, though let’s be honest, he’s been in the deep end of The Bachelor franchise for what feels like 112,000 years now.
The two-time Bachelorette runner-up, Bachelor lead, and Bachelor in Paradise alum (Nick’s Bachelor credentials sound like he’s being introduced as the world heavyweight champion) spoke to People about why he’s confused that Clayton was cast. Well, if anyone would know why an undeserving guy was given the Bachelor lead, it would be Nick.
Nick felt Clayton was a “nice enough” guy but he thought Michelle Young’s final four had “better storylines,” and “more charisma.” He claimed, “they have outshined Clayton in every possible way. So I don’t really get the choice.”
Many have felt that Clayton was a very vanilla choice, and Nick’s opinion was no different. He continued, “It’ll all sound nice, but none of it will sound real.”
Ben Higgins wondered why producers didn’t give Clayton a better edit
Ben Higgins, another past Bachelor lead, gave his opinion on the casting choice and said what most fans of the show are thinking. If producers already knew Clayton was cast as the next Bachelor, why wouldn’t they show him more while editing?
During the Here for the Right Reasons podcast, Ben said, “I’m confused too because you’d think they would be setting it up.”
Kaitlyn Bristowe thinks we don’t know enough about Clayton
In an interview with Us Weekly, co-host of The Bachelorette franchise, Kaitlyn Bristowe, thought Clayton would have a “difficult” journey as the Bachelor, simply due to the fact that he didn’t get a good edit on Michelle Young’s season. She explained that while audiences fell in love with guys like Rodney Matthews, Clayton didn’t appear very much.
She said, “With Clayton, we’re kinda like, ‘What? Oh, OK.’ And now we’re rooting for him, but we don’t know much about him.”
Clayton was forced to read mean tweets about himself
Despite Bachelor Nation criticizing the choice of Clayton Echard as The Bachelor lead, many are on his side, and not trying to criticize him as a person.
ABC received heavy complaints from viewers when, during The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose, Clayton was forced to read out mean tweets about himself.
The Bachelor premieres January 3 at 8/7c on ABC.