Bachelor Nation
Clayton Echard and Susie Evans’ body language at ‘After The Final Rose’ was full of tension — not ex...

Clayton And Susie's Body Language At “After The Final Rose” Was V Tense

Everyone, take a deep breath.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Clayton Echard’s season of The Bachelor was tumultuous, but he eventually got his happy ending (even if it didn’t involve a proposal). During the live finale on March 15, Echard revealed that he and Susie Evans reunited post-show and that they’re in a happy relationship now. Still, Echard and Evans’ body language at “After The Final Rose” was full of tension, according to a body language expert — not exactly the comfortable ease you’d expect from two people deeply in love.

Of course, some awkwardness is to be expected. The last time audiences saw this duo together, Evans was leaving Echard brokenhearted in Iceland. Not to mention, before that, he unkindly asked her to leave, and Evans said that he made her feel like a “stray dog.” And lest we forget! This same night, Evans had to watch Echard devastate his two other exes, Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, in Iceland and hear them confront him in real time.

With that kind of history, it only makes sense that taking their romance public could be a source of stress for Echard and Evans — and it’s palpable. Patti Wood, body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, says, “They’re not good with each other under stress. They haven’t figured that out yet.” Here’s how she breaks down their “ATFR” interview.

Susie Was On The Defense

During the couple’s sit-down with Jesse Palmer, Evans’ vocal cues and body language were all about regaining control. “She didn’t stop talking, she didn’t let [Echard] talk, she repeated herself — those are power language cues,” Wood says. “They indicate that she wanted to take power over the situation.” Considering Evans’ wasn’t been able to share her side of the story for the four months since filming ended, that determination to be heard makes total sense.

Evans’ body language sent a similar message. See how she sat down next to Echard? “You’ll notice that her body [her knees, pelvis, stomach, and face] is oriented toward [Palmer]. She felt challenged and had to defend herself, so she looked to who she felt was her criticizer or opponent.”

Wood also points out Evans’ posture. “Her shoulder was hunched forward and down to prepare for the battle.” Fortunately, Palmer came out of their ~brawl~ unscathed.

Echard Took A Reluctant Backseat

Youtube/Bachelor Nation on ABC

Deserved or not, Echard did not have an easy night — and the toll of it was apparent in his body language. In this interview, he seemed to know Evans needed control, but ceding it wasn’t necessarily easy. After sitting down, Wood notes that he “moved forward in front of her, [it’s] sort of a grab for attention.”

Still, he didn’t interrupt Evans’ spiel. While Evans spoke to Palmer, Wood notes how Echard “tilted his head in submission to keep eye contact with her as much as possible.” But that doesn’t mean that he felt at ease.

Youtube/Bachelor Nation on ABC

Wood points out the way Echard reached for Evans’ leg — “the fingertips are on and the thumb, but the hand is arched up, it’s almost fearful.” (Apparently, if it was a more comfortable stance, Echard’s palm would have been down and soft around her leg.) Though his hand eventually relaxed, Wood says that “the first touch is critical” in body language analysis.

Susie And Clayton Look Uncomfortable

Youtube/Bachelor Nation on ABC

Echard and Evans might have the best of intentions — and they certainly sound like they’re happy together — but they seemed to be way out of their comfort zone in this clip. And it only got more apparent as the interview went on.

While Echard was “trying to bring her in close and trying to stay open to her,” Evans’ posture remained tense and her upper body stayed tight. Even her breathing sounded rushed. Wood says, “It might be the bizarre setup [of the finale], but Evans’ shoulder was so hunched forward, and her voice was so fast, and her breathing was so tough. Echard was trying [to give her support], but she was not gaining full comfort from him.”

Evans, too, seemed to be trying to show that they were in it together. For part of the interview, she kept touching Echard’s knee, but she notably didn’t linger there. “Her hand went up and back down, up and back down,” Wood points out. It’s a gesture that hints at feeling “hyper-stressed” rather than “comfortable.”

Youtube/Bachelor Nation on ABC

Echard didn’t seem to know how to make her feel better. He kept his arm around her, but let his hand rest at her upper thigh, not realizing that she was holding tension in her upper body. “Comfort would be around the waist, shoulder, or back,” Wood explains.

But, hey, they’ve only been together for four months, and they’ve only been on-stage together once. Considering everything that went down this season (and the stresses of a live taping), Echard and Evans’ tension is completely understandable — and no, it certainly doesn’t predict anything worrying for their relationship. In fact, if they were too comfortable, that might have been even worse — especially considering Grandpa Joe and Big Tony were in the audience.