Bachelor Nation
Claire Heilig's 'Bachelor' elimination was potentially —dare I say it?— the most dramatic night one ...

We Need To Unpack Clayton's Wild Pre-Rose Ceremony Elimination

The contestant literally said she "hated" him.

ABC/John Fleenor

It’s no secret things can get messy on The Bachelor. It’s bound to happen when you put dozens of women in a house together, all fighting for attention and love from the same guy. Usually, it takes a little bit of time for the messiness to build up, but Clayton Echard’s season got really messy, really fast. Case in point: Claire Heilig’s elimination on Night 1 of The Bachelor.

According to her bio on the ABC website, “Claire is a charming, outgoing and unapologetic woman with a big personality.” And based on her encounters with Clayton, that description seems pretty accurate — although “charming” might be up for debate. (Sorry, Claire! Not everyone can get a flattering edit.)

Although the Bachelor is bound to hit it off with some women more than others, some contestants aren’t always prepared for this fact. During Night 1, Clayton immediately felt sparks fly with Teddi Wright, so much so that they shared a big kiss pretty early on in the night. The other women were not too happy to see the man of each of their (very recent) dreams hit it off with someone else, especially Claire, who announced “Game on, b*tches.” From then on out, Claire started showcasing her “fiery” personality.

Claire and Clayton started out on an OK, if awkward, foot — they had small disagreements about chicken wings and football, but nothing major. The drama only really started once Clayton left Claire and her tailgate mini-date to speak with another contestant, Mara Agrait. Despite Claire’s attempts to keep Mara’s interruption at bay, Clayton left with the other woman anyway. And it seems like Claire didn’t take that too well.

When fellow contestants asked how her conversation with Clayton went, Claire didn’t hold back her criticism. “Not the vibe,” Claire said, before adding, “I have a very specific palette. He’s 100% too nice for me. She went on to say things like, “I would eat him and spit him out” about Clayton. She even proclaimed “I hate him” about Clayton, which threw off a lot of the other women.

ABC/John Fleenor

When all this was brought to Clayton’s attention and he confronted Claire, she had a different story to tell. “No, I don’t hate you,” she said. “I just feel like we haven’t clicked. I think you’re a great guy. I don’t hate anybody.” The rest of their convo was cut, right up until Claire told Clayton, “I would love nothing more.” Presumably, she was responding to Clayton’s “Can I walk you out?” question, because moments later, he was leading her out of the house.

Afterward, Clayton addressed the remaining women, explaining, “I was made aware that there was someone in the house that was just kinda tearing the whole mood down. And after speaking with her, I decided to send her home.” He went on to say didn’t think it was fair to give her time when so many other women really wanted to be there.

The situation seemed to throw Clayton’s confidence off slightly, since he nervously asked the rest of his other contestants if there was anyone else who wanted to self-eliminate before moving forward. Thankfully, no one took him up on the offer.

Season 26 of The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.