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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Season 26 of The Bachelor Wraps as Clayton Echard Concludes His Journey for Love


Each Monday night millions of viewers tune in, season after season, to watch the stereotypical jacked, retired pro-football star find love. Their journey for love starts like most: signing up for a reality TV show to be greeted by 25-30 young, hot, future Instagram influencers that arrive in a limo to live together in a mansion.

After a series of group dates, one-on-one dates, and the occasional two-on-one date, the contestants are slowly eliminated with the hope of continuing to build their Instagram following by returning to the beaches of Mexico in the summer for the spin-off, Bachelor in Paradise. Most seasons follow the same formula as the lead eliminates his contestants week by week, carefully choosing “the one”. However, this was not the case for the most recent bachelor, Clayton Echard.

Clayton Echard, a medical sales representative from Eureka, Missouri, finished his quest for love with a finale like no other, which included falling in love with three women, conducting a group break-up, and being rejected at his proposal—all while America watched.

As a small-town boy, it is safe to say that Echard was in an unfamiliar situation this season as he took on the impossible task of dating 30 women at the same time. He began his journey for love with confidence in the process, but this confidence only decreased as he continued through his dramatic season.

After prolonged drama between girls in the house, Echard narrowed down his final three contestants and took them to their awaited fantasy suite dates. The fantasy suite date is the one date of the entire season where the lead gets to spend the night with a contestant with the cameras turned off.

Echard told each woman that he fell in love with them and proceeded to spend the night with them. When one of his contestants, Susie Evans, questioned the process of telling multiple women that he loved them, Echard got irrationally angry and sent her home.

He then told both of his remaining contestants that he was in love and intimate with them both at what host Jesse Palmer called the rose ceremony from Hell. Echard then pleaded with his contestant Gabby Windey to stay as she tried to send herself home, and stood up Windey and Rachel Recchia, the other final contestant, on their next date, as he decided to find Evans and confess his love for her.

He proposed to Evans and she rejected him, saying she was not ready for the commitment so quickly after his angry outburst at her only a week before.

Echard broke up with his remaining two contestants in the first-ever group breakup that The Bachelor franchise has witnessed. Fans were horrified, and the women received endless support from “Bachelor Nation”, the show’s long standing fan base.

These contestants, Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey, will be the co-bachelorettes in the next season. They will take on their journey for love together as they conquer the ups and downs of finding their future fiancés together.

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Season 26 of The Bachelor Wraps as Clayton Echard Concludes His Journey for Love