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Clayton Echard Addresses Awkward Bachelor Season Premiere Departures In an E! News exclusive interview, Clayton Echard addressed the multiple cringey departures on the season premiere of The Bachelor. See what he had to say here.

Clayton Echard Addresses Awkward Bachelor Season Premiere Departures In an E! News exclusive interview, Clayton Echard addressed the multiple cringey departures on the season premiere of The Bachelor. See what he had to say here. 2
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In an E! News exclusive interview, Clayton Echard addressed the multiple cringey departures on the season premiere of The Bachelor. See what he had to say here.

ByJillian FabianoJan 04, 2022 10:57 PMTags

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This might’ve actually been the most dramatic season premiere of The Bachelor.

From Salley being offered a rose before the limos arrived, to Claire being sent home before the cocktail party, on Jan. 3, Clayton Echard‘s season of the ABC reality series certainly started off with a bang. In an E! News exclusive interview on Jan. 4, Clayton shared his take on everything that went down. 

At the beginning of the season premiere, before Clayton has met any of the contestants, Salley knocks on his door. She opens up to him about how she was previously engaged—and supposed to get married that very day—and now doesn’t think she can go on with the show.

Clayton says he was “initially shocked” when she came to his hotel room. “I realized, ‘Okay, your experience as the Bachelor has begun sooner than you thought and you’re starting right out the gate with a huge bombshell.'” 

Clayton felt an immediate connection to Salley and wanted her to stay, but says the interaction wasn’t as emotional as some viewers perceived. “I was reading stuff online, like, ‘She tells Clayton, I was previously engaged and supposed to get married today,’ and I’m like, I love you. Here’s a rose.'” Clayton said with a laugh. “Like, that’s not how it went down. All right, guys, cut me some slack.”

“We talked for over an hour. Of course, they can’t show all that. So there was more discussion between Salley and I,” he continued. “I really liked what I saw out of her when we talked and my whole thought was, ‘I like this girl. Maybe if she sticks around for a few more days, she’ll be able to kind of quell a lot of those concerns that she has and start building a connection between the two of us.”

But though Salley ultimately went home, he “respects her for making that decision.”

ABC/John Fleenor

After Salley’s departure—with limo arrivals and champagne toasts—it was all smiles from there. Well, that is until Claire came in. 

After her one-on-one time with Clayton was cut short, Claire started telling the other women that she hated him and that they didn’t have a connection. 

“I think as people saw, in the episode, we had a very limited interaction and Mara stole me away. I think that’s where Claire’s frustration lies,” Clayton explained. “The thing is, yes, she got less time than some of the others, but some didn’t get any time that night.”

After hearing what Claire was saying, Clayton decided to send her home. “I get where her frustration is, but still, to be going around saying you ‘hate’ me, you ‘just felt like it’s a terrible connection, there’s nothing there.’ Those are very strong emotions that you’re claiming you have for me,” he explained. “And I was like, I don’t have time for this. I don’t want to deal with this.”

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Clayton’s biggest takeaway after watching the episode? There’s a lot more behind-the-scenes drama in store. 

“It really did show me, there’s this whole side of this show I’m gonna be watching now that I wasn’t around for. I was always kind of clued in on what was happening with the women in the house. Well, now I’m going to see what really happened.”

We can’t wait to continue watching Clayton as his journey to find love on The Bachelor continues every Monday on ABC.

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Clayton Echard Addresses Awkward Bachelor Season Premiere Departures In an E! News exclusive interview, Clayton Echard addressed the multiple cringey departures on the season premiere of The Bachelor. See what he had to say here. 2XEM PHIM

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