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The 26th season of The Bachelor premiered on January 3, 2022. It features 28-year-old Clayton Echard, a medical sales representative.

Clayton previously appeared on Michelle Young's season of The Bachelorette.

He ultimately chose to pursue a relationship with Susie Evans.

Filming and development

Production

Men from The Bachelorette who had been considered for the lead role were Tyler Cameron and Mike Johnson from Hannah Brown's season; Ben Smith from Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams's season; Greg Grippo, Andrew Spencer and Michael Allio from Katie Thurston's season. However, Tyler had turned down the role because of his contract with Fox's The Real Dirty Dancing.[2][3]

It was reported on September 7, 2021, the casting director preferred the next lead would be someone from Michelle Young's season of The Bachelorette, although Young's season had yet to air. Media outlets reported on September 15 that Clayton Echard was named the Bachelor. The next day, the production crew was also reported in his hometown of Eureka, Missouri to film intro segments, with crowds cheering in the street and the downtown area.[4][5]

Clayton was officially announced as The Bachelor on November 30, 2021.[6]

Filming began on September 29, 2021 on its traditional production schedule including a start at the famous Villa de La Vina mansion in Agoura Hills, California for the first time since Peter Weber's season with COVID-19 protocols have remained in place. In addition the return of full-time travel of this season, including international dates would assure a safety with mass vaccination in target travel locations, and the return of normal hometown dates. As the last four Bachelor Nation seasons were filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic.[7]

The new season was announced on September 28, 2021. The premiere date of January 3, 2022, was announced on November 3, 2021.

Casting and contestants

33 potential women were announced on September 25, 2021 on the official Bachelor Facebook page. The final 31 women were revealed on December 15, 2021.

Jesse Palmer was announced as the new host on September 28, 2021.

Contestants

The season began with 31 contestants.

Future appearances

Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia were selected as the Bachelorettes for season 19 at the After the Final Rose special.

Call-Out Order

Order Bachelorettes Episode / Week
1 2/3 3/4 4/5 5/6 6/7 7 8 9 10
1 Sarah Teddi Susie Eliza Rachel Gabby Teddi Susie Susie Rachel Susie
2 Lyndsey W. Serene Sarah Sarah Teddi Rachel Rachel Serene Gabby Gabby Gabby
Rachel
3 Genevieve Susie Eliza Gabby Serene Genevieve Sarah Rachel Rachel Susie
4 Ency Eliza Rachel Marlena Sarah Sarah Susie Gabby Serene
5 Susie Rachel Serene Teddi Marlena Serene Serene Teddi
6 Claire Ency Sierra Rachel Genevieve Susie Gabby Sarah
7 Serene Sarah Teddi Mara Mara Teddi Genevieve Genevieve
8 Teddi Kate Lyndsey W. Sierra Gabby Eliza Eliza
Mara
9 Tessa Cassidy Jill Susie Susie Mara
10 Lindsay D. Elizabeth Gabby Jill Eliza Hunter
Marlena
11 Daria Kira Kira Serene Hunter
12 Kate Shanae Mara Genevieve Shanae Shanae
13 Sierra Sierra Marlena Hunter Jill
Lyndsey W.
Sierra
14 Melina Mara Genevieve Lyndsey W.
15 Hailey Marlena Hunter Shanae
16 Jill Genevieve Melina Elizabeth
Kira
Melina
17 Marlena Melina Elizabeth
18 Jane Gabby Shanae
19 Rachel Jill Ency
Kate
Tessa
20 Ivana Lyndsey W.
21 Kira Hunter
22 Mara Tessa Cassidy
23 Rianna Daria
Hailey
Ivana
Jane
Lindsay D.
Rianna
Samantha
24 Eliza
25 Gabby
26 Elizabeth
27 Hunter
28 Samantha
29 Cassidy
30 Shanae Claire


Note: Salley Carson was not included in the call-out as she chose to drop out of the show a couple of hours before limo arrivals.

The contestant received a first impression rose.
The contestant received a rose during the date.
The contestant received a rose outside of a rose ceremony or date.
The contestant was eliminated.
The contestant eliminated outside the rose ceremony.
The contestant was eliminated during the date.
The contestant had their rose taken away.
The contestant initially did not accept a rose but later accepted it.
The contestant was originally eliminated but later won the competition.

Episodes

No. in season Title Original air date
1 "Week 1: Limo Arrivals" January 3, 2022
Clayton Echard’s journey to find love kicks off! For the first time in two years, 31 women arrive at Bachelor Mansion ready to make their grand entrances and first impressions for the man they hope could be their future husband. New host, Jesse Palmer, returns to the franchise to welcome Clayton and guide him through his first evening full of dramatic ups, downs and everything in between. But before the first limo even arrives, a shocking franchise first will have Clayton clutching a rose and questioning everything.
2 "Week 2" January 10, 2022
Clayton moves forward in his journey to find love with the 22 incredible women who remain. After moving into the Bachelor Mansion for the first time since the pandemic began, these eligible singles are ready to kick off a week of dates! On the season’s first group date, celebrity guest Hilary Duff enlists the help of the ladies to throw a dream Beverly Hills birthday party, but when one woman is more interested in spending time with Clayton than the kids, the others have strong feelings to share. Later, one lucky lady flies high with Clayton on the first one-on-one date featuring a surprise musical performance by Amanda Jordan; and Ziwe stops by the second group date to help Clayton spot potential red flags among his bachelorettes. After the dates have all ended, a major storm brews heading into the cocktail party when a shocking secret about a woman who already has a rose is revealed. Will Clayton be forced to do something that no other Bachelor has ever done before?
3 "Week 3" January 24, 2022
Following last week’s cliffhanger, Clayton confronts one of the women about a shocking rumor involving her, but will her explanation check out, or will Clayton break tradition and take back a rose? Later, Kaitlyn Bristowe pays a surprise visit, leading an emotional date where Clayton and the women bravely open up about their insecurities. Becca Kufrin stops by to plan an extreme scavenger hunt for the one-on-one date in downtown Los Angeles; and back at the mansion, one of the ladies unknowingly sets off a new set of drama dominoes when she cooks the house a shrimp snack. Then, it’s time to kick up some sand when former “Baywatch” star Nicole Eggert takes the second group-date ladies through some romantic lifeguard training; but when the date doesn’t end as expected, one disappointed woman is ready to make waves yet again. Will Clayton reward her efforts to protect him by giving her the group date rose or be pushed to his limits?
4 "Week 4" January 31, 2022
Shrimp-gate boils over into another week! Clayton takes it upon himself to pull Shanae and Elizabeth aside in an attempt to settle their dispute, but when the two become heated, frustration mounts and he cancels the cocktail party. Will the two bitter rivals survive the rose ceremony, or will both be sent packing? Then, for the first time in two years, “The Bachelor” jet sets around the globe on the journey to find love! At their first destination – Houston, Texas, Clayton gets a surprise visit from his best friend before his one-on-one date, where it’s time for a downhome Texas-style family barbecue followed by a surprise musical performance from country band Restless Road. Later, one woman overhears the others plotting to get her sent home, so stakes are especially high when the ladies are split into two teams for the Bachelor Bowl football classic on their group date. Special guests Jonathan Greenard and Kamu Grugier-Hill of the NFL’s Houston Texans coach the ladies, while legendary sports anchor Hannah Storm joins Jesse Palmer in the broadcast booth to provide some sidesplitting commentary. The intensity on the field is no joke as the winners will go to the after-party with Clayton while the losers go home. Nobody is laughing when a controversial woman on the losing team does some party crashing, leading to the most explosive confrontation of the season!
5 "Week 5" February 7, 2022
Week five starts off with a splash when Clayton and one lucky woman head to Galveston, Texas, for a high-stakes date all about pleasure. Later, at the cocktail party, Clayton learns the cause of the palpable tension in the house is really one woman; but when confronted, she gives an award-worthy apology performance that might just be enough to keep her around. Then, it’s time to go international! In Toronto, Canada, one lucky lady takes her relationship with Clayton to new heights and those on the group date take some heat from comedy legend Russell Peters – and each other – during The Bachelor Ultimate Roast! But who will get the last laugh when Shanae and Genevieve are given the infamous two-on-one date?
6 "Week 6" February 14, 2022
It’s the epic return of the two-on-one date! Continuing from last week’s cliffhanger, Clayton must decide between Genevieve and Shanae. Will he finally be able to see the truth or fall for another performance? Then, the journey to find love heads overseas to Hvar, Croatia, a stunning and romantic destination, where one woman reveals a shocking secret. The rest of the ladies channel their inner gladiators during the group date as they battle each other in knightly challenges for a chance at a rose. Later, after losing the one-on-one date to someone who has already had one, one woman has Clayton doubting if all of the women are ready for marriage.
7 "Week 7" February 21, 2022
It’s the season’s juiciest, most jam-packed episode of “The Bachelor” yet. Fresh from her second one-on-one date, Sarah is intent on finding out which of the ladies tried to take her down and the drama from her bitter confrontation threatens to ruin yet another cocktail party. Things seem to cool down when the group makes their way to Vienna, Austria, where the stakes couldn’t be higher for Clayton as the realization hits that hometowns are right around the corner. Later, he and the women let their walls down with an intimate couples’ therapy session, but an observation from the psychotherapist rocks Clayton, leading him to make another decision that has the women questioning everything, all leading up to one of the most heartbreaking rose ceremonies of the season.
8 "Week 8: Hometowns" February 28, 2022
It’s time for hometowns! For the first time in two years, the Bachelor will visit the hometowns of his final four women to meet their families and immerse himself in each of the ladies’ lives. On dates led by the women, Clayton will learn jiu-jitsu, go kayaking, hike in the Rockies and free-fall 80 feet, but the real adventure still lies ahead. Will these experiences bring clarity, or will Clayton have to send home someone he’s falling in love with?
9 "The Women Tell All" March 7, 2022
Get ready for a night of drama, laughter and maybe even a few tears when Clayton’s former flames reunite for the first time. Seventeen women will come together to hash out their differences, clear up any misunderstandings and apologize (or not) for bad behavior; but will it all be taken in stride, or will some ladies be hung out to dry? Later, the pressure is on when the Bachelor himself, Clayton, steps into the hot seat—these women aren’t holding back! Plus, a few special surprises and everyone’s favorite—bloopers!
10 "Week 9: Fantasy Suites" March 8, 2022
It’s fantasy suite week! Clayton and the three remaining ladies travel to beautiful Reykjavik, Iceland, where they each enjoy passionate dates filled with all the awe-inspiring landscapes, all the romance the country has to offer, and the opportunity to spend a relationship-changing night together. Despite the alluring atmosphere, it’s here that Clayton faces the possibility that he may have gone too far in opening himself up to love, a possibility made all too real when one woman’s questions send him reeling. Will Clayton’s heart survive the journey?
11 "Week 10 Part 1: Season Finale" March 14, 2022
It all comes down to this. After a heartbreaking and unexpected breakup with Susie, Clayton finds himself questioning everything as he heads into the rose ceremony we’ve all awaited. When Clayton drops devastating news on the final two women, they’ll have to ponder their futures with our leading man. Host Jesse Palmer will be joined by a panel of Bachelor Nation fan favorites for a LIVE discussion as the story unfolds.
12 "Week 10 Part 2: After the Final Rose" March 15, 2022
After a rollercoaster season like none other, “The Bachelor” himself, Clayton Echard, returns to face the three women he fell in love with. Jesse Palmer will guide emotional conversations throughout the evening as the bombshell conclusion to Clayton’s season plays out. What happens next is anyone’s guess, but it all goes down LIVE. Plus, an exciting surprise announcement that no one will see coming on the finale.

Where are they now?

Susie Evans reached out to Clayton Echard right after filming ended and they officially became a couple in December 2021. They are still together.

The Ring

Promotional gallery

Clayton

The Women

References

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