THE BACHELOR chose Clayton Echard as the latest lead because he’s a “wholesome Midwestern gentleman” following the show’s scandals, The Sun can reveal.
The ABC franchise wants to purify their show after recent controversy over racism and an incident of sexual misconduct on-set.
Missouri native Clayton, 28, who is from the tiny town of Eureka, was chosen as a “last minute” decision, a source close to production told The Sun.
“It’s a big gamble with Clayton because viewers don’t even know him yet but he’s a midwestern gentleman that the audience will love,” The insider exclaimed.
They continued: “He’s very naive and pure to the whole TV thing, he’s not an aspiring influencer like a lot of these people.
“He will charm the audience at a time the show desperately needs a more wholesome lead.”
According to the source, scheduling was the reason for their unusual choice of choosing a Bachelor before their Bachelorette seasons aired.
“It’s not an ideal situation with the pandemic postponing things and Michelle’s season airing so late in the year which is not typical, there’s no way around the scheduling conflict.
“The Bachelor begins production in a few weeks and so they didn’t have a choice. It was either: have someone that wasn’t the producers top pick to be the lead or have an unconventional filming schedule.
“Ultimately what they did is in the best interest of the franchise,” According to the informant,
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The town of Eureka, Missouri is already celebrating their hometown hero becoming the next big reality star.
A large banner that reads “Go Find Love Clayton!” Is now hanging up over one of their main roads.
“Eureka is ecstatic about Clayton being The Bachelor. Eureka is a small town and this is definitely one of the most exciting things to happy from one of our community members,” A source close to the mayor confirmed this to The Sun.
They continued: “Nothing like this has happened around there before. The whole town is excited about it and will support him.
“They got a huge banner up when we found out the show was coming here and hung it up. Clayton was a bit embarrassed by it, but they are proud of him.
“It’s exciting the exposure this town will get too, they’re a great little community that’s proud to be who we are.
“And they look after our own so if any haters try to come for him, Clayton will always have his whole hometown backing him up so don’t talk bad about their boy!”
Fans of the dating franchise have not yet met Clayton, who will appear as a contestant on Michelle’s upcoming season of The Bachelorette.
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After the network had a number of other men from Bachelor Nation – including fan-favorite Tyler Cameron and the controversial Greg Grippo – to fill the leading role, Clayton was named the next Bachelor, The Sun can confirm.
Despite Michelle’s season of The Bachelorette not airing yet, it appears Clayton’s season of The Bachelor has already begun production.
Speculation about the show’s new leading man began when photos leaked of Clayton with a camera crew, which were published by E! News on Wednesday.
The move comes after the show was forced to let go of longtime host, Chris Harrison, for being at the center of the series’ racism scandal.
Additionally, the show had a dark cloud looming over it – especially when it comes to alcohol consumption and sex – since Bachelor In Paradise’s 2017 season.
Due to the amount of alcohol they had consumed that day, contestants Corinne Olympios & DeMario Jackson had a sexual encounter. Neither could consent.
The show has restricted the number of drinks contestants can consume during filming since the incident.
Clayton can be seen on Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette which premieres on Tuesday, October 19 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.