Current host and former star of The Bachelor Jesse Palmer knows how challenging reality stardom can be. After all of the backlash Clayton Echard received at the end of Season 26, Palmer says having a psychologist on-set is crucial.
Clayton Echard received harsh comments from some fans of ‘The Bachelor’
Echard’s season of The Bachelor ended with him telling all three women he took to the Fantasy Suite — Susie Evans, Gabby Windey, and Rachel Recchia — that he was in love with them. He also revealed that he slept with all three contestants. Upon hearing this, Evans dropped out of the competition, which resulted in some fans tearing down Echard on social media.
“I get if you’re upset with me, but for you to sit here and say, ‘You’re a POS’ — ‘F-you, go die,’ like, all of these comments coming in every minute,” Echard said on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Off the Vine podcast.
The reality star also revealed that he’s been getting hundreds of direct messages from angry fans. The 28-year-old noted that some of them are quite disturbing.
“I’m getting 100 a minute in my DMs,” Echard shared. “98% of it is just people telling me that I’m a terrible human being, I don’t deserve to be on this earth, I don’t deserve to be around these women, I just don’t deserve anything. And they hope they wish that the worst falls upon me.”
Jesse Palmer says ‘The Bachelor’ franchise needs psychologists now more than ever
Palmer revealed how emotional Echard was when his drama as Evans unfolded, reports Variety. The former Good Morning America reporter noted that it was one of the reasons he took The Bachelor star outside to talk.
“[Echard] was confused, he was angry, he was desperate, he felt betrayed, in disbelief, he was in love, there were so many different emotions,” Palmer recalled. “I just felt like someone had to talk to him because he was ramping up — he needed to speak to someone besides Susie to just get things off his chest and try to calm him down a little bit.”
Palmer also acknowledged the disturbing messages and threats Echard received. The 43-year-old suggested it’s why the show keeps psychologists on hand.
“On set, we have psychologists always there in the moment talking to the Bachelor and Bachelorette and contestants to keep everyone as mentally healthy as possible,” the former NFL quarterback explained. “That’s a massive priority for the show. I don’t think they had that when I was on the show almost 20 years ago.”
‘The Bachelor’ psychologists help with ’emotional’ emergencies
Dr. Steven Stein helps contestants navigate “emotional” emergencies behind-the-scenes of The Bachelor. In a 2019 interview with Fashion Magazine, the former intelligence expert revealed that he and other show psychologists meet with the bachelors and bachelorettes “work through the stress” and help them decide “what’s best for their health in the long term.”
Dr. Stein acknowledged that some contestants may be viewed as villains. So he helps them brace for the backlash they might receive when the show goes on air.
“I have to prepare them for what’s going to happen once they get out in the world,” Stein suggested. “The fact that there are already people who can’t stand them, who hate them.”