From the very beginning of Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette, all eyes have been on Clayton Echard. Before the season even started, it was widely reported Clayton would be the Season 26 Bachelor. With that info in the back of their minds, audiences had a pretty big hunch Clayton and Michelle weren’t going to end up together. So, it came as no surprise when Michelle eliminated Clayton during the Nov. 23 episode of The Bachelorette. And uh, these tweets about Clayton’s Bachelorette elimination shows fans have *a lot* to say about the possible new Bachelor and his time on Michelle’s season.
During the episode, some of Michelle’s students planned a one-on-one date for Clayton and Michelle so she could get to know him a little better. Granted, this probably means the producers planned the date and Michelle’s students simply announced it, but whatever! The couple spent the evening driving around in a limo and eating pizza before heading to a museum and chatting about what they both wanted out of life and their relationship.
Even though it seemed like things were going well enough for the couple, when they sat down for dinner and Michelle started her pre-rose speech, it was clear she felt a little off, a vibe viewers definitely picked up on.
After telling Clayton he was worthy of love but just wasn’t her person, Michelle sent him home, but not before Clayton got a final surprise. Since he was the favorite contestant of Michelle’s students, he was given letters ~from the kids~ before peacing out.
The letters from Michelle’s students said things like “you'll probably meet someone else and fall in love and have lots of kids and be a great dad” and “please don't be too sad.” And considering how emotional Clayton got and how much time was spent on him reading the letters, viewers are feeling pretty confident Clayton will be the Season 26 lead. While some fans aren’t too pleased, others have officially warmed up to the idea of a season full of Clayton and his impressive fort-building skills.
Only time will tell whether Clayton finds his person onscreen as the series’ next lead, but until then, season 18 of The Bachelorette continues Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.