Clayton Echard is facing the wrath of Bachelor nation fans ever since the latest episode saw some major drama between him and one of the contestants, Susie.
After meeting and spending time with a large group of women on The Bachelor, Clayton narrowed down his feelings to the final three contestants.
As the two-episode finale nears, Clayton finally got to spend some alone time with his finale three picks – Rachel Recchia, Gabby Windey, and Susie Evans – on the fantasy suite dates.
The fantasy suite segment sees the Bachelor or Bachelorette spending a night with their final three without the cameras.
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What happened with Susie on The Bachelor?
Clayton ended up telling Gabby and Rachel that he was ‘falling in love’ with them. However, he then told Susie that he was already in love with her.
However, on a one-on-one date with Susie, the Bachelor also admitted to sleeping with both Gabby and Rachel.
Here’s what exactly happened…
After the Bachelor’s proclamation of love to Susie, the contestant asked him if he felt that same way for somebody else and also asked “have you slept with another woman?”
To this, the Sales Executive replied, “Yes, I have slept with someone else here.” He further said: “Yes, I have expressed feelings towards someone else.”
A heartbroken Susie exclaimed how it was a big deal for her. She also said: ‘I don’t think I can get past this.’
However, at this, Clayton almost snapped at the contestant demanding why she hadn’t expressed how she felt about this early on. ‘Why did you let us get all the way to this point?’
Susie walks away from the date saying, ‘I can’t,’ implying how stressful this was all getting for her.
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Fans react to Clayton and Susie’s drama
Bachelor Nation fans were quick to pick sides and most of them rallied behind Susie by calling out Clayton for ‘gaslighting.’
“When Clayton begs both girls to stay and meet his family but still is “the most in love” with Susie #TheBachelor#Bachelor” one fan wrote.
“He brought those two women to meet his parents just for him to realize he wanted Susie all along. #TheBachelor,” said another fan.
“I KNOW DAMN WELL CLAYTON IS NOT ABOUT TO MANIPULATE AND GASLIGHT SUSIE FOR “NOT SHOWING HER FEELINGS SOONER” AS A WAY TO DEFLECT THE BLAME ON TO HER FOR THEIR CRUMBLING RELATIONSHIP WHEN HE IS THE ONE AT FAULT LIKE #TheBachelor#Bachelor,” wrote a third aggrieved fan.
“I’m sorry but there’s not much funnier than Clayton’s mom being like “if you loved Susie so much why did you sleep with the other two women”. Like even his mom is telling him that makes no sense haha. #TheBachelor” said a fourth Bachelor Nation fan.
Host Jesse Palmer comments on the situation
In an exclusive interview with Variety, The Bachelor season 26’s host, Jesse Palmer, commented on what had recently transpired on the show.
“There have been multiple Bachelors and Bachelorettes who have slept with three people on their seasons. It’s part of it,” the host said.
“In general, sexual compatibility in any relationship is extremely important. And in a situation like this, when the stakes are so high and there’s an expectation that someone is going to be getting down on one knee and you’re going to be living with one person the rest of your life, you do have to explore and discover that,” he elaborated.
Commenting on how viewers have accused Clayton of gaslighting, the host said: “I think people are also upset about the tone of that conversation.”
Explaining Clayton’s side of the story, the host said: “He was so excited to tell Susie he was in love with her, and I know he had such strong feelings for her. He was really excited for that night to happen, and he had no idea that Susie was struggling so much emotionally with seeing the other women coming home (from their overnight dates).”