A brand new course. Clayton Echard would be the lead for season 26 of The Bachelor when the truth present returns in 2022.
Speculation ran rampant about who would tackle the position after Katie (*26*)’s season 17 of The Bachelorette aired in the summertime of 2021, ending in her engagement to Blake Moynes. Us Weekly reported in August that her former contestants Greg Grippo and Andrew Spencer have been within the working, whereas season 15 alum Tyler Cameron was additionally being thought-about. According to an insider on the time, the studio needed to choose somebody “who’s going to bring in higher ratings” and “also make for good television.”
ABC threw a curveball in September 2021, with Us confirming that the community chosen a cast member from Michelle Young’s season 18 of The Bachelorette as a substitute. The transfer was unconventional since, on the time that the information broke, the trainer’s journey to seek out love was not scheduled to premiere till one month later. A supply advised Us in September 2021 that Echard was set to be the following Bachelor after he was noticed filming season 26.
“Clayton stood out right off the bat,” an insider defined later that month. “Producers ended up going with him because they believed he was the best fit for the role. They wanted to switch things up and go with someone new and someone who hasn’t been in the spotlight yet.”
The girls on the lookout for love with the previous soccer participant have been simply as shocked by the casting as everybody else. “The mystery makes it more exciting for the prospective contestants,” the supply mentioned. “The crew found out about it last minute. The decision wasn’t even made until about a week prior to filming his intro.”
ABC didn’t instantly verify the information — as Echard had but to make his franchise debut when manufacturing on The Bachelor started — however the Missouri native did so himself in September 2021 whereas filming the truth sequence in his hometown of Eureka.
“I’m excited,” he mentioned in a video shared by St. Louis’ Fox affiliate. “I’m also very, very nervous, and I’m looking to find my person.”
Amid the whirlwind, Echard confirmed gratitude for his family and friends by way of Instagram later that month. “Behind every good person is an even greater group of people,” he wrote. “Feeling thankful.”
Scroll by way of the gallery under to learn every part we all know to this point about season 26 of The Bachelor!