‘The Bachelor’ 2022 Spoilers: This New ‘Bachelorette’ Cast Member Is Reportedly the Next Bachelor

Many Bachelor Nation viewers have been wondering who will be the next star of The Bachelor Season 26 in 2022. Recent fan-favorites have been brought up multiple times, including Tyler Cameron, Andrew Spencer, Greg Grippo, and Michael Allio. Now, it seems ABC has found its new lead — and it’s probably not who you think. So who is the next bachelor? Here’s everything you need to know about the new Bachelorette cast member.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains potential spoilers from The Bachelorette Season 18 and The Bachelor Season 26.]

Who is the next star of ‘The Bachelor’ Season 26 in 2022?

Michelle Young from ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 18 smiling during ‘After the Final Rose’ on ‘The Bachelor’ Season 25 in 2021
Michelle Young from ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 18 | Craig Sjodin via Getty Images

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In early September, multiple reports claimed the new lead of The Bachelor 2022 will be from The Bachelorette Season 18. Then on Sept. 15, E! News speculated the next bachelor will be Clayton Echard, who is expected to join Michelle Young’s season when it premieres on Oct. 19.

The publication obtained new photos of The Bachelor team filming a potential “promo shoot” for season 26 in Missouri. Their source also claimed the new Bachelor star’s initials are C.E., and Clayton — who is from Eureka, Missouri —  fit the bill.

Meanwhile, Variety confirmed Clayton as the next leading man for The Bachelor 2022. The publication claimed production for the new season will start in September 2021.

Who is Clayton Echard and what is the new bachelor’s Instagram?

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While Clayton hasn’t appeared on The Bachelorette Season 18 with Michelle, we know a few things about the potential new bachelor. As mentioned, Clayton is from Eureka, Missouri. The 28-year-old is 6 feet 5 inches tall, and he played football for the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou). Clayton currently works as a sales representative for Stryker Orthopedics, per LinkedIn

Meanwhile, Bachelor Nation fans can find Clayton on Instagram under the handle @claytonechard. His social media feed is filled with photos of himself with his friends and family. Clayton’s Instagram bio also highlights a bit of the future cast member’s personality.

“Former freestyle rapper and washed-up athlete now trying his luck in orthopaedic sales,” Clayton’s IG bio says.

Why did producers pick Clayton Echard as the next ‘Bachelor’ star and when will he be officially announced?

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According to Variety, multiple Bachelor Nation stars were considered for The Bachelor Season 26 role. ABC allegedly met with other potential leads from The Bachelorette Season 17 with Katie Thurston and Bachelor in Paradise Season 7. But insiders claimed that producers “fell in love” with Clayton, and he quickly became one of the network’s top picks. 

It also looks like fans will have to wait a while for an official announcement from the franchise. Variety reported that Clayton won’t be announced as the next Bachelor lead “anytime soon.” Remember, viewers haven’t even met Clayton on Michelle’s season of The Bachelorette yet.

For now, Bachelor Nation fans will just have to wait and see what ABC has to say about the next bachelor. But whether Clayton is the new lead in 2022, many viewers are hoping for an announcement in the near future. 

ABC did not return a request for comment by the time of publication.

The Bachelorette Season 18 with Michelle Young premieres Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021.