The Bachelor's Clayton Echard Reacts to Criticism Over His Casting

During The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose, Kaitlyn Bristowe told Clayton Echard they were "facing your haters" and read critical tweets about him being cast as the next Bachelor.

By Elyse Dupre Dec 22, 2021 3:58 PMTags

Clayton Echard is asking Bachelor Nation to give him a chance.

During The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose, the medical sales rep from Columbia, Missouri, responded to criticism he's received over being cast as the lead for the upcoming season of The Bachelor.

Upon introducing the season 26 star, host Kaitlyn Bristowe said, "Joining us now is a man who really does need an introduction because honestly no one knows who he is." When Clayton, who appeared on Michelle Young's season and was sent home week six, walked out, he seemed happy about the audience's applause and that there were "no boos or anything."

Kaitlyn then told Clayton she wanted to address the "elephant in the room" and how "there's been a lot of mixed reactions" to him being picked as the next Bachelor. She said they were "facing your haters head on" and proceeded to read some of "the more interesting comments" about him.

"I thought it would be fun to, like, take a page out of Jimmy Kimmel's book and read them," Kaitlyn said, referencing the late-night host's "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets" segment. "You're going to read them for us. Are you ready?"

Clayton Echard's Bachelor Contestants

Clayton then proceeded to read several tweets and tried to joke about them. After seeing one that said, "They found 30 women desperate enough to date this guy? Where?! #quarantinegoggles," for instance, Clayton said, "I've got a great personality though." And when he read another that said, "Roses are red, violets are blue, Clayton is the Bachelor and I just puked in my mouth #ICanStillTasteIt," he replied, "I'm just saying it doesn't rhyme. Like, if you're going to come after me, you need to make it rhyme."

ABC/Christopher Willard

But the messages didn't end there. When one social media user said all they wanted for Christmas was to have Rodney Mathews, a fellow contestant from Michelle's season, be the Bachelor, Clayton noted he "kind of wanted this, too." 

"Listen," he said, "there's no saying that he couldn't be down the road though, right? Like, I'm open for it. Rodney is a phenomenal human being."

Another tweet read, "I hope Clayton uses protection in the fantasy suites, otherwise 9 months later there are gonna be a lot of baby Shreks running around."

Afterwards, the audience showed Clayton some support by giving him a round of applause.

"It's fun to be in on the joke," Kaitlyn said. "I think it's great. I know you. So I know you're self-deprecating. I know you can laugh at this, and I know America is going to fall in love with you once they watch you."  

Clayton then said he reads everything and that this was "pretty PG" compared to some of the tweets he's seen.

"Listen, I really hope that just people do give me a shot," he said, "because my journey is authentic and I really did give my best and I think people will see that."

Clayton's season of The Bachelor premieres Jan. 3 at 8:00 p.m. EST on ABC.