After Fans React To Latest The Bachelor Snafu, Clayton Echard And Elizabeth Corrigan Both Speak Out

Spoiler alert! This story discusses the January 31 episode of The Bachelor, so proceed with caution if you’re not caught up!

Clayton Echard truly shocked viewers on the most recent episode of The Bachelor when he put an end to the feud between Elizabeth Corrigan and Shanae Ankney by sending Corrigan home. While fans were privy to Ankney’s manipulations, the leading man was seemingly unaware of the situation until watching it on ABC with the rest of us. He faced immediate backlash on social media from livid fans, which has prompted both Echard and then Corrigan to speak out. Let’s break down what happened. 

Why Was Bachelor Nation So Mad About Elizabeth Corrigan’s Elimination? 

Shanae Ankney was manipulating Clayton Echard in an effort to get Elizabeth Corrigan sent home, and she wasn’t even trying to hide it. Ankney lied and fake-cried to Echard about being bullied by Corrigan, and then laughed about it to producers afterward. She also repeatedly mocked Corrigan’s mental health after the latter said her ADHD made it hard for her to focus on more than one conversation at a time.

Clayton Echard asked the women to work it out between themselves, but when Shanae Ankney’s bullying accusations continued, Echard chose to believe Ankney and send Elizabeth Corrigan home, causing some pretty mean-spirited reactions from the fans. Not everyone seems keen on caring whether or not he knew about the duplicitousness beforehand, since her gaslighting wasn't Ankney's only recognizable flaw. 

Clayton Echard Apologized To Elizabeth Corrigan 

After initially saying the situation would only be addressed on the “Women Tell All” episode, Clayton Echard spoke out by issuing an apology to Elizabeth Corrigan via Twitter, saying if he’d known what was really happening in the house, he would have sent Shanae Ankney home immediately, as he did when he took back Cassidy Timbrooks' rose after she lied about her friend with benefits. According to Echard:

I’m sorry, Elizabeth, for what you’re going through. I wish I could have seen what was happening when I wasn’t there. I obviously knew y’all weren’t in a good place with each other, but I thought at the time that it was, solely, petty drama. I would have sent Shanae home immediately for making fun of you for being neurodivergent, had I known. Overall, the experience for me watching hasn’t been fun, simply because I’m seeing all the damage that I caused. I really meant well, but my actions weren’t always the best as I now can see the repercussions from my decisions. I can promise you I’m learning from the mistakes though and am doing everything in my power to come out the other side a better man.

It’s important to remember that we’re still early in Season 26 of The Bachelor, and Clayton Echard had only known Shanae Ankney and Elizabeth Corrigan for a matter of days. He didn’t know very much about their respective characters and surely he didn’t expect someone to straight-up lie about being bullied. 

Elizabeth Corrigan Asks Fans To Stop Bullying Clayton Echard

Bachelor Nation wasn’t content to let Clayton Echard off after claiming ignorance, however. The former football player has faced criticism from the fanbase since Day 1 — and even before, as evidenced by the mean tweets he read on The Bachelorette finale for Michelle Young’s season. So reactions to Echard's decision were quite heated, and such criticisms prompted a response from Corrigan in her Instagram Stories.

It’s come to my attention that some of you are sending @claytonechard hate messages. I realize you want to support me and I appreciate that. But please-we are here to rise above not stoop to. Redirect that anger as love and support for the other girls. Everyone, EVERYONE’S mental health matters. Yes, even Shanae’s.

While The Bachelor franchise’s fans have always been passionate, Elizabeth Corrigan makes a good point about fighting hate with love rather than with more hate, which isn't a mantra this brand leans on very much. As well,  keeping everyone's mental health in mind is always a good move, even when it comes to one's supposed rival. Even so, though, I'm sure all involved will have a lot to say at the next "Women Tell All" special.

Until then, tune in to see how Clayton Echard's journey progresses when The Bachelor airs at 8 p.m. ET Mondays on ABC. See our 2022 TV Schedule to see what other premieres are coming soon. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.