Fans of ”The Bachelor” feel like they are seeing double.
As Clayton Echard’s season of the ABC dating show plays out, viewers are noticing many similarities between the current leading man and past franchise star, Colton Underwood, who led the show in 2019.
Both men are white, former football players from the Midwest, per Distractify, as is current host Jesse Palmer who served as ”The Bachelor” back in season 5. Underwood was briefly signed to the NFL and Echard was signed as a rookie by the Seattle Seahawks, according to the team’s official website.
In an unusual move, Echard was picked as the new “Bachelor” early on in Michelle Young’s season of “The Bachelorette,” despite the fact that her final four men were all men of color. A show insider told Us Weekly that Echard “stood out” to producers “right off the bat” because “they believed he was the best fit for the role.”
But some fans think he fits the role too well. As the second season 26 episode aired, “Colton Underwood” was trending on Twitter when it should have been Echard’s time to shine.
Fans Think Colton Underwood & Clayton Echard Are Too Similar
Even before Echard’s season began, viewers predicted he would take some “heat” because he’s so similar to past leads on the show.
“It’s not really about him,” one Redditor wrote of Echard. “It’s about ABC continuing to cast the same type of lead as if that’s the prototype of what women find attractive. It’s revolting, they should be ashamed of themselves, and Clayton is gonna get caught up in it.”
One of Underwood’s former dates, Sydney Lotuaco, also noted the similarities between the two men and how they were being promoted for the show. On the “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast, Lotuaco noted that Echard’s emotional first promo reminded her of Underwood’s first promo.
“It just felt very similar,” she said after noting that both leading men posed with puppies in promotional photos. “Colton’s whole thing was puppies! Constant puppies,” she added.
As Echard’s second episode aired, ‘Bachelor”, fans couldn’t help but compare him to Underwood.
“I keep calling Clayton ‘Colton’ and no I’m not sorry. They’re the same person,” one viewer wrote on Twitter.
“Colton, Clayton they’re all the same,“ another wrote.
“Why do I feel like Clayton and Colton were made in the same lab owned by ABC?” a third fan tweeted.
“Is Clayton just straight Colton? I’m stressed,” another wrote.
Of course, there are some major differences between the two men. Underwood helmed the 24th season of “The Bachelor” and came out as gay nearly two years later, according to Variety. He was also known as the “virgin” Bachelor during his season, something that Echard is not, considering his trailer teased that he was intimate with at least two of his contestants.
Other Fans Think the Women on the Show Are Clones From Underwood’s Season
The similarities have also spilled into the contestants. Many fans think that Echard’s first one-on-one date lady, Susie Evans, and Underwood’s contestant, Hannah Brown, are one and the same.
One viewer posted side-by-sides of the two women and wrote, “Kind of crazy that Hannah B got the first one-on-one on both Colton and Clayton’s season.”
“Colton and Hannah Brown in a hot tub on the first one on one….err wait sorry scratch that *checks notes* Clayton and Susie,” another joked.
Others think Echard’s villainous frontrunner, Cassidy Timbrooks, looks a lot like Underwood’s final pick, Cassie Randolph.
“Cassidy knows how to play Colton… I mean Clayton. #TheBachelor,” one viewer wrote.
“Will it be too weird if Cassidy and Clayton end up together? Or just prove the point that The Bachelor is trying to truly recreate the Colton/Cassie season,” another fan chimed in.
“Clayton and Cassidy are way too close to colton and cassie for my liking… r we sure this isn’t a parallel universe?#TheBachelor,” another wrote.
Timbrooks has also joked about the comparisons and even called herself a “Kmart Cassie Randolph,” according to Us Weekly.