Why The Bachelor’s Clayton Echard Has Reportedly Contacted Former Stars For Support Ahead Of Final Eps

Clayton Echard on The Bachelor
(Image credit: ABC)

Clayton Echard hasn’t had an easy journey to find love on The Bachelor. He started out behind the 8 ball when fans didn’t understand why he was cast as the Season 26 lead over others from Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette. The mean tweets kept coming once his season started, too, as Echard faced criticism for allowing Shanae Ankney to stay for so long, among other things. As the season draws closer to the end, the Missouri native is apparently trying to get ahead of more potential backlash by asking for help from those who came before him.

The drama on The Bachelor always ramps up as real relationships form and families get involved. Oh yeah, and Fantasy Suites. Promos for Clayton Echard’s season have teased The Bachelor falling in love with his final three, with him admitting that he was intimate with at least two of them. It’s a touchy situation, and Echard is probably right that Bachelor Nation will have some strong opinions about how the rest of the season plays out. E! News reported that the Season 26 lead has contacted some of the show’s former stars for advice on handling the impending fallout. According to a source:

Clayton is really struggling with the criticism he has taken for the decisions he has made on the show. He knows things could get worse for him over the next few weeks as fantasy suites come into play. Clayton does indeed fall in love with multiple women, and many hearts are broken in ways we have really never seen before. Clayton is so concerned with how things will play out that he even reached out to former Bachelors Matt James and Nick Viall for their advice and support.

Clayton Echard has said that he was not prepared for the amount of hate he would receive, telling Season 21 Bachelor Nick Viall on the podcast The Viall Files that he had regrets about joining the show. So it only makes sense that he would hit Viall up for some guidance. 

Nick Viall appeared on Seasons 10 and 11 of The Bachelorette (he was the runner-up both times) before leading his own season of The Bachelor. Season 25 Bachelor Matt James called his experience “devastating,” as Rachael Kirkconnell’s race controversy came to light while his season aired — after he’d given her his final rose. Those men are probably good choices to help Clayton Echard weather whatever storms are coming as Echard either finds love or ends up alone. Maybe it won’t be as bad as he thinks, as fans appeared to be coming around following his surprise elimination of Sarah Hamrick in the February 21 episode.

Either way, I’m glad Clayton Echard is doing what he can to prepare for what’s to come by asking for help. Hopefully guys who have been in a similar situation will be able to give him advice on surviving the madness. 

The Bachelor continues on ABC at 8 p.m. ET Monday, February 28, with Hometown dates, which means Fantasy Suites and the “Women Tell All” are just around the corner. In the meantime, check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what new and returning shows are premiering 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.