Clayton Is the Next Bachelor—Here’s What Happens Between With Michelle on ‘The Bachelorette’

Clayton, "The Bachelorette" 2021
Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin.

SPOILER: As the next Bachelor for 2022, fans first want to know what happened to Clayton on The Bachelorette 2021 and why Michelle didn’t choose him as her winner.

Clayton is one of 30 contestants on The Bachelorette season 18 with Michelle Young. Michelle, a 27-year-old teacher from Edina, Minnesota, was a contestant on The Bachelor season 25 with Matt James, where she was the runner-up. Michelle was confirmed as the season 18 Bachelorette during the season 25 “After the Final Rose” special, where guest host Emmanuel Acho announced Michelle and Katie Thurston, who was eliminated in 10th place on Matt’s Bachelor season, as the next Bachelorettes. Katie, who was the season 17 Bachelorette, aired her season from June to August 2021. Michelle’s season will air from October to December 2021.

According to Reality Steve, Michelle was the first choice to be the season 17 Bachelorette but because of her job as a fifth grade teacher, she didn’t want to leave her students during the school year like she did on Matt’s Bachelor season, so ABC postponed filming for her until the summer when school is out. While Michelle was still in school, Katie filmed her Bachelorette season, which is why there were two Bachelorettes in 2021.

In an interview Entertainment Tonight in October 2021, Michelle explained that she wanted to find a love like her parents’ on The Bachelorette. “Growing up just with my parents, seeing how they treated each other through stressful times, I mean life is not always easy but the fact that they have been married for so long and they still laugh so hard? I am not going to settle for anything less,” she said. “That is what I am going to look for.” She continued. “Finding a relationship where it is not going to fade out. You can’t predict everything that is going to happen to you in your relationship but knowing that I have a person that is going to stick it out and has that same mindset is incredibly important.”

Tayshia Adams, who hosted Michelle’s Bachelorette season with Kaitlyn Bristowe, also teased to Entertainment Tonight in October 2021 that Michelle’s finale is unlike any recent Bachelorette finale. “How it ends? I don’t think we’ve seen an ending like what happens in a couple of seasons now,” Tayshia said. “We’ve seen a lot. So there’s a lot of highs and lows. It’s all good things. I would just say she definitely leans into her heart and puts it all out on the line.”

So…what happens to Clayton on The Bachelorette 2021? Read on for why ABC chose him as the season 26 Bachelor and who Michelle picked as her winner instead of him in her Bachelorette finale.

Who is Clayton from The Bachelorette 2021?

Clayton, "The Bachelorette" 2021

Image: Courtesy of ABC.

So…who is Clayton Echard from The Bachelorette season 18? Clayton is a 28-year-old from Columbia, Missouri. His Instagram handle is @claytonechard.

In an interview with Extra in October 2021, Michelle confirmed that Clayton wa there for the “right reasons” on her Bachelorette season. “[Clayton] was a person who was there for the right reasons through my journey, and I got to learn a lot about him,” she said. “I’m excited for you and everyone else to learn about him as well as the other amazing men who are on the show.” She also told Entertainment Tonight in October 2021 that Clayton came to her Bachelorette season to “find his person.” “What the viewers are gonna see is that Clayton’s just genuine. He’s really sweet,” she said. “He came there to find his person. … He deserves to find his person.”

In his Bachelorette bio, Clayton, who was born in raised in Missouri, revealed his treats for his “dream woman”: funny, independent, intelligent and athletic. “Clayton is a Missouri thoroughbred who has it all – good looks, a great job and a wonderful family,” his bio reads. “The only thing missing is the perfect woman with whom to share his life. His dream woman is funny, independent, intelligent and athletic enough to join him at the gym for a workout. He wants to find something truly special and is willing to put in the hard work to find love that will last forever. Clayton is so excited to meet Michelle and loves that she has a passion for her career. His mom is a teacher just like Michelle, and he finds it impressive that she’s made this journey work without having to take time away from her students. Clayton truly believes that Michelle could be the perfect match for him. Will they hit it off?”

For his fun facts, Clayton listed the following:

– Clayton had a mohawk in college.

– Clayton’s rapping alter ego is named Clay-Doh.

– Clayton would love to own multiple gyms.

What is Clayton’s job?

What is Clayton’s job? Clayton lists his job on The Bachelorette as a “medical sales rep.” His Instagram bio also describes his career as a “former freestyle rapper and washed-up athlete now trying his luck in orthopaedic sales.”

Clayton graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia, in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in health professions and related clinical sciences, according to his Linkedin. He’s also set to earn a Master of Business Administration in health and healthcare from Southeast Missouri State University in 2023. Clayton has worked a sales representative at Stryker, a medical devices company, since January 2018. He was hired in 2016 as a sales associate.

While at the University of Missouri, Clayton was a division 1 collegiate athlete for the university’s football team, the Missouri Tigers. After graduation, he was a professional NFL player for the Seattle Seahawks from August to September 2016. “After outperforming 4 other tight ends on a tryout basis with the Seattle Seahawks, I signed on as a free agent. While there, I practiced daily with the team and played in 4 preseason games. I made it past the first round of cuts, however, I was not able to make the final roster. Nonetheless, it was a unique experience that I was blessed to be a part of,” Clayton’s Linkedin reads

Does Clayton win The Bachelorette 2021?

So…does Clayton win The Bachelorette 2021? The answer is no. According to Reality Steve, Nayte Olukoya, a 27-year-old sales executive from Austin, Texas, was the winner of Michelle’s Bachelorette season. Nayte proposed to Michelle during the Final Rose Ceremony in Punta de Mita, Mexico, where Michelle filmed her Fantasy Suites. Michelle accepted Nayte’s proposal and gave him her Final Rose. Brandon Jones, a 26-year-old traveling nurse recruiter from Portland, Oregon, was her runner-up. (For more spoilers about Michelle’s Bachelorette season and her winner, click here.)

While Clayton isn’t Michelle’s Bachelorette winner, he is the next Bachelor for 2022. New broke of Clayton as the next Bachelor in September 2021 when The Hollywood Reporter reported that ABC chose him as the season 26 Bachelor after he was eliminated on Michelle’s Bachelorette season. THR reported that filming started for The Bachelor season 26 at the end of September 2021, and the season will premiere in January 2022.

Though several contestants from The Bachelorette season 17 with Katie Thurston were on the short list to be the next Bachelor (including Greg Grippo and Andrew Spencer), THR reported that the chosen contestant from Michelle’s season has a story that “resonated most with producers, who leaned toward giving the newcomer a second chance.” E! News also confirmed Clayton as the next Bachelor in September 2021 when the site published photos of him with an ABC camera crew filming promos for The Bachelor season 18 at his home in Eureka. A source even confirmed to the site that the initials of next Bachelor are “C.E.” (Click here for the full list of Clayton’s Bachelor contestants.)

Who is The Bachelorette 2021, Michelle Young?

Michelle, "The Bachelorette" 2021

Image: ABC/Sami Drasin.

In case you don’t know by now: Michelle Young is The Bachelorette 2021 for season 18. Michelle, a 27-year-old teacher from Edina, Minnesota, was a contestant on The Bachelor season 25 with Matt James, where she was the runner-up. During the season 25 “After the Final Rose” special, Michelle and Katie Thurston, who was eliminated in 10th place on Matt’s Bachelor season, were announced as the next Bachelorettes. Katie, who was the season 17 Bachelorette, aired her season from June to August 2021. Michelle’s season will air from October to December 2021.

So who is The Bachelorette 2021, Michelle Young? Michelle was a Division 1 college basketball player and played Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, from 2011 to 2015. Michelle’s current job is as a fifth grade teacher at an elementary school in Bloomington, Minnesota. She joined Instagram on April 2020, just a couple months before Matt’s Bachelor season premiered.

 In her Bachelor bio, Michelle describes herself as an “over-worker” and described her “dream man” as confident but not cocky.” “Admittedly, she is an over-worker and says she is here because she is ready to find love and a man with whom to start a family,” Michelle’s Bachelor bio reads. “As a partner, she describes herself as loyal, compassionate and supportive, and shows love through acts of service. Her dream man is confident but not cocky and will look at her as his equal in all things.”

Her bio continues, “When Michelle’s not working, she loves to spend time with friends hiking and wine tasting. She is very adventurous in life and in appetite; she says that all of her favorite restaurants are local food trucks. Michelle has big dreams for the future and says she wants a man by her side that is supportive and driven to make the world a better place. She is looking for the superman to her superwoman and says that, together, she hopes that she and Matt can fall in love and change the world.”

For her fun facts, Michelle lists the following:

– Michelle is a catch-phrase queen.

– Michelle loves to go ice cream taste testing.

– Michelle is not into hot tub dates because they are too cliché.

The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Here’s how to watch it for free.


"Bachelor Nation" by Amy Kaufman

Image: Courtesy of Penguin Books.

Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman

To get more of an inside scoop, check out Los Angeles Times writer Amy Kaufman’s book, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure, for a deep dive into the Bachelor franchise. The book uncovers the secrets of Bachelor Nation, from how much the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are paid to the rules contestants have to follow, that producers don’t want fans to know. It’s a must-read for any Bachelor Nation member.

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