‘The Bachelor’ Season 26: Producers Are Pulling Strings to Make Fans Care About Clayton Echard, According to Nick Viall

Fans and former Bachelor Nick Viall have been outspoken about Clayton Echard’s season of The Bachelor. Initially, there was some confusion about why ABC chose Clayton to be the Bachelor in season 26. Now, Nick believes producers are pulling some strings to get viewers to care about Clayton’s season. Find out what he means.

'The Bachelor' Clayton Echard poses holding a rose
Clayton Echard | Pamela Littky/ABC via Getty Images

Bachelor Nation wanted a different lead in season 26 

Fans first met Clayton in Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette. The 28-year-old Columbia, Missouri native only landed eight minutes of screen time in The Bachelorette Season 18. But now, he’s the star of The Bachelor Season 26.

Since the reality series didn’t dive into Clayton’s backstory, there was some confusion about why the network didn’t choose any of the other men from Michelle’s season who made it further than he did. Much of Bachelor Nation thought Rodney Mathews, Olu Olumide, Nayte Olukoya, Joe Coleman, or Brandon Jones were more compelling picks for The Bachelor Season 26. 

Nick Viall thinks Clayton Echard got dumped twice in ‘The Bachelor’ premiere on purpose 

The host of The Viall Files was a guest on The Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous podcast on Jan. 4. Nick theorized producers planned to have Clayton get dumped before the first rose ceremony so fans would care about his season. 

“I’ve been hard on the choice of Clayton,” Nick admitted to Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti. Despite his previous stance, Nick is hopeful he’ll get to interview Clayton sometime in the future. “I think he’s going to deserve a lot of hugs after this.”

“I think the way producers are going to get us to care about his love story is to get a bunch of women to break up with him,” Nick continued. “He was [zero] for two before his first rose ceremony. Guy got dumped twice. That wasn’t an accident.” 

The former Bachelor elaborated: “You do that so you care, because before we didn’t care. Now we’re starting to care because everyone deserves love. I suspect we’re going to see a handful more of Clayton being broke up with so that by the end of the season, we’re like, ‘Can this guy just fall in love with somebody?'”

Ben Higgins and Nick Viall want more from Clayton Echard’s season of ‘The Bachelor’ 

Both Ben and Nick want more from Clayton during his season of The Bachelor. They hope he asks “good questions” so fans can get to know the women of his season and ultimately form favorites for future seasons of Bachelor in Paradise

Mostly, they don’t want to see more of Clayton saying: “Hey, you’re a great person, let’s kiss.” Whatever happens, Nick doesn’t want to see another season of the dating series as “toxic” as Katie Thurston’s. 

“Katie’s season was toxic,” Nick said. “It was also good TV, but by the time Katie’s season was over, I was exhausted recapping it.” 

Judging by the teasers from Clayton’s season, some toxicity is possible. Tune in to The Bachelor Monday nights at 8 PM ET on ABC to see how it all plays out. 

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