When Is ‘The Bachelor’ Season 26 Premiering on ABC?

As The Bachelorette Season 18 comes to a close, many fans are eagerly waiting for the new season of The Bachelor to premiere on ABC. During the eighteenth season, one of Michelle Young’s suitors, Clayton Echard, was revealed to be the next Bachelor. Although some fans are still scratching their heads and wondering why the network chose Clayton to be the next contender, they want to know whether or not he’ll find the one. Will Clayton finally find love in his season? Here’s everything we know about the next season of The Bachelor.

Clayton Echard is confirmed to be the next Bachelor

Headshot of Clayton Echard, the next bachelor for season 26 in 2022
Clayton Echard from ‘The Bachelor’ 2022 | Pamela Littky/ABC via Getty Images

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During Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette, former football player and Michigan native Clayton Echard was one of the suitors that wanted to win over her heart. After his elimination, the network revealed that Clayton would become the next Bachelor. 

He will lead the 26th season of the reality dating show. In the middle of their one-on-one date, Michelle realized that she wasn’t ready to meet his family during the “hometown dates” week. As a result, she sent Clayton home. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ABC and Warner Bros. already selected Clayton as the next bachelor before Young’s season debut. Before the suitor made his official debut on Bachelor Nation, the show’s producers made the decision. The network revealed Clayton’s story “resonated most” with the producers and wanted to give him a “second chance” to find love.

When is ‘The Bachelor’ Season 26 premiering on ABC?

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Per TVLine, The Bachelor Season 26 will debut on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. The official description for the season reads, “This Midwestern man proves he is so much more than just a good-looking guy with a rock-hard bod. He’s a throwback romantic who’s not afraid to put himself out there for love.” But, Clayton won’t be the only star on the show. Jesse Palmer, a former Bachelor himself, will take on the hosting job previously done by Chris Harrison. The host left the franchise after calling out “cancel culture” and defending Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. The former Bachelor lead was criticized for posting pictures from an Antebellum party.

What should fans expect from the new season?

Clayton is ready to find love in his season of The Bachelor. However, the journey was not easy. While the teaser is filled with heartfelt moments, there is some steamy drama ahead. For instance, some clips showed the contestants throwing around insults like “fake” and “two-faced.” The preview ends with Clayton in tears, saying, “I’m just so broken.” 

So, will he find love in this season? Bachelor Nation fans will be happy to hear that Clayton does, in fact, find love on The Bachelor! In an interview with Good Morning America, The Bachelor lead confirmed that he did find the one. 

“I did find love,” he explained. “I was a little skeptical going into the whole journey, but I’m so pleasantly surprised that things worked out much different than I thought. Again, I’m just so excited to watch it back and have everyone else watch it as well.”

For Clayton, he felt “incredibly honored” and “humbled” from the entire experience. He said, “There were so many things that I learned. I think the biggest one would be becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable and stepping out of that comfort zone. [That] really challenged me to grow as an individual. There was just so much that I learned about myself in the period of time that I was there.”

The Bachelor airs on ABC.