Season 26 of The Bachelor has only just started, but the heat is already on. This is the first season the contestants have been back in the official Bachelor mansion since the 2020 shutdowns, and the tensions are running high in the house. The early stages are about separating the wheat from the chaff, those here for the "right" reasons versus those doing it for the 'gram. Unfortunately, just as things are about to get spicy, the show is on a short hiatus. But why isn't The Bachelor airing on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022? It’s a busy week for ABC.
Warning: Spoilers for The Bachelor Season 26, Episode 2 follow. Even though Clayton Echard’s Bachelor season is only two episodes in, the tea is already flowing. Despite playing to the cameras instead of playing a game of "who can host a little kid's birthday party the best," Cassidy Timbrooks managed to get Clayton to hand her the season’s first group date rose. It smelled like victory for one of the season’s early “villains,” but perhaps only for a short amount of time. The rose coming early on in the hour meant the other women had time to take her down, including Sierra Jackson, to whom Cassidy previously admitted she had a man at home waiting for her.
The Jan. 10 episode ended with a lot up in the air. Namely: Will Clayton take the rose back from Cassidy? Unfortunately, to find out the answer to this question, fans will now have to wait two weeks, as football will be interrupting everything.
This is the second year in a row that the NFL has expanded its wild card slots for the post-season from two to three, and as the teams get used to the new format, the league is handling things a little differently. Taking advantage of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Monday, the NFL has a “Super Wild Card Weekend” that runs Saturday to Monday. Moreover (and this is the crucial part), it features the first post-season Monday Night Football game in the league’s history.
The NFL’s decision to test out the Monday night waters in the post-season upends The Bachelor’s usual time slot — but thankfully only for a week. By the following weekend, the schedule will have returned to normal; football will be back to Sunday where it belongs, and fans will find out exactly which roses wind up where.
The Bachelor Season 26, Episode 3 will air on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, at 8 p.m. ET.