One former star of “The Bachelor” is speaking out about the heavy impact editing had on his season, and he is not happy. Clayton Echard headlined season 26, which premiered in January, and things got incredibly messy toward the end. As fans will recall, Susie Evans walked out when she learned he had been intimate with both Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia during the Fantasy Suite dates. Echard pleaded with Windey and Recchia to stay, telling them both he loved them, and then he sent them both home after realizing his heart was with Evans. Now, Windey and Recchia are headlining their own season of “The Bachelorette,” and there were multiple swipes at Echard during the July 11 premiere as the bachelors met the ladies. What does Echard say now about how the events of his season as “The Bachelor” were displayed?
Here’s what you need to know:
Echard Was Unprepared for His Season Would Look
Echard explained to The Virginian-Pilot he was not always confident about the decisions he made during filming, in part because of his lack of familiarity with the show environment. What went down with his final three ladies was a prime example of that, he detailed. “Watching it back, I was embarrassed and disgusted by my actions and the way I was portrayed or seen on TV.” “The Bachelor” detailed that what viewers saw on screen was “not really who I am.”
Despite feeling the episodes and events did not portray who he truly was, “Ultimately, I had to live with the fact that my narrative is what was shown.” Echard added, “but I did those things, I became that person,” so he had no choice but to accept that and move forward. He has worked hard to forge ahead in a positive way, despite falling into a deep depression after filming. He also noted he wished he had connected with other “Bachelor” stars prior to filming his season in order to better understand how production tended to work. “I was just shocked that I think sometimes the drama was prioritized over the love story,” he shared.
The Negativity Overwhelmed Echard
Echard is happily reunited and living with Evans now. However, he admits his season of “The Bachelor” “was a train wreck, honestly, of a season.” Given all he went through, which included thousands of negative messages from viewers slamming him as it all played out on television screens, many fans might expect Echard to regret having done the show. He explained he doesn’t regret it, but only because he found Evans. “At the same time, I would never, ever do it again,” he detailed.
These days, Echard said, “I’m just being my authentic self,” and he’s “not trying to be ‘The Bachelor’ at this point.” Despite the depression he navigated after filming, he shared, “I believe that I was supposed to go through that exact situation for some reason.” He also pointed out, “I just know that being a good bachelor or being a bad bachelor doesn’t equate to being a good or bad person.”