The 26th season of “The Bachelor” brought new elements to the reality show.
For starters, the show’s leading man, Clayton Echard, was a fairly popular one, having only appeared on the previous season of “The Bachelorette” for eight minutes. He is a 28-year-old rapper, former NFL player, and sales rep from Missouri.
Echard was also joined in by a new host: Jesse Palmer, a former Bachelor and a one-time NFL player.
While Echard’s season was full of novel experiences, he recently opened up about his run on the reality show. He also had some thoughts about his portrayal on the show. Read on for more information about the disclosure.
‘It Was A Trainwreck’
In his interview with The Virginian-Pilot, Echard stated that he was portrayed poorly on “The Bachelor” season 26.
‘Watching [my season] back, I was embarrassed and disgusted by my actions and the way I was portrayed or seen on TV.”
He continued, “Ultimately, I had to live with the fact that my narrative is what was shown. And that was hard because that’s not really who I am.” “I do not feel that what I was on the show is who I truly am, but I did those things. I became that person.”
The reality TV star called his season a “trainwreck” and was shocked to see that “drama was prioritized over the love story.”
Clayton Echard Sparked Major Controversy On The Show
The former NFL player sparked controversy on the show after he revealed to his three finalists– Rachel Recchia, Gabby Windey, and Susie Evans – that he was in love with each of them.
However, he revealed to Evans that he had slept with the other two finalists, which led to her premature exit from the show.
Distraught by her departure, Echard then broke up with Recchia and Windey.
This fiasco led to an onslaught of fan hate via social media, something Echard had difficulty dealing with.
“The hatred by way of numbers was hard for me to overcome,” he shared. “Had it just been a few messages, I would’ve passed it off. Had it been hundreds of messages, I might have questioned it. But for me, it was thousands of messages in a very short time, so it became very overwhelming.”
He Eventually Reconciled With Susie Evans
Despite her early departure, Echard later disclosed during the “After The Final Rose” reunion that he had reconciled with Evans and rekindled their romance.
“I spent the last four months with her,” Echard said to host Jesse Palmer. “She impresses me more and more every day. And she continues to give me reason after reason why following my heart was the best decision I could have ever made, and I could not be more in love with this woman.”
Later that month, the former athlete exclusively shared with Us Weekly that since he got back with the Virginia native, his belief concerning being in love with multiple people at a time had changed.
“Now, I only think you can be in love with one person. You can fall for many, but you can only be in love with one.”
Clayton Echard Suffered From Body Dysmorphia
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Echard has taken all that he encountered on the show and decided to use them as fodder for inspiration. According to US Weekly, He is working on a book that helps deal with body issues, adding that “going on the show was a catalyst for me feeling as though I can do this.”
“It’s something that I’m passionate about, and I want to be able to impact others,” he said, noting the peace he felt when he was able to put a name to the obsessive thoughts he was having about his body as a teenager. “I want to be a light for them, to say, ‘Hey, listen, I was there as well. I was able to overcome this.'”
He also shared that while it might be difficult to battle mental health issues in the public eye, he explained that he’s had to block out the noise to focus on bettering himself.
“I’m just being my authentic self. I’m not trying to be The Bachelor at this point,” he said. “I just know that being a good bachelor or being a bad bachelor doesn’t equate to being a good or bad person.”
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