It’s November and the season 26 of The Bachelor Nation only spices up, with more drama, romance and tearful goodbyes. This year, The Bachelorette had none other than Michelle Young as the star, out to look for prospective suitors through the reality show. Hailing from Edina, Minnesota, this 28-year-old teacher went through a series of heartbreaks and passionate bonding sessions that ended with emotional adieus. And this time the victim of such emotional rollercoaster was none other than Clayton. On November 23, in a special episode aired on ABC network, she realised during the rose ceremony that something was off in her chemistry with Clayton and sent him home without a rose. She now has the final four suitors to choose from and whose initials she might want to take up.
The Bachelorette which airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET basically has some socialite or young woman looking for a prospective suitor who’d take her hand in marriage through the reality show. Throughout the show, the woman gets to go out on dates, fun hangouts and wonderful experiences with each of the shortlisted eligible men and then make her decision on whom to keep and whom to let go.
This season there’s Michelle Young who was previously the runner up in Matt James’ season of The Bachelor. Though she joined late to the season, she had caught Matt’s attention through a one-on-one basketball game and throughout the season shared a sizzling chemistry with him. However James chose Rachael as his suitable partner and Michelle had to “walk away without any closure and left to fill up the holes of their relationship”. So after much deliberation, she is back once again in the same set, this time as the bride-to-be and not a contestant.
“I was a little nervous, but once I found out that it was two different seasons, I was here for it,” Michelle said during an interview. “I’m excited that I get to have somebody to bond over with this and share notes as we go. I really do think that this process works. When you can set down all these outside distractions and really dive in, I think you can learn a lot about somebody. I’m just excited. I’m ready to get started.”
A posse of 35 eligible bachelors were selected to contest for Michelle’s hand in marriage and one of them was Clayton whom Us Weekly confirmed in September would lead season 26 of The Bachelor. He did make a blink-and-miss cameo that went like, “I’m Clay, I used to be a student”.
In their subsequent interactions with each other throughout the show, the Minnesota native felt a strong attraction towards him and his personality and chose for him to stick around for a longer period. She tasked some of her students with planning her dates for the week in one of the episodes and Clayton took the front seat in the challenge. He bowled them over with his fort building skills and got a chance to go on a one-on-one date with the bachelorette. There he got a chance to confess his feelings for her but as events proceeded and Michelle had to make hard decisions on who to retain and who to send home, Clayton came under the axe.
According to her she wanted to be sure that the top four men who she’d choose for hometown week, where she would bring them home and introduce to her parents and get to know theirs as well, were genuine of their feelings for her and the chemistry. Unfortunately she didn’t feel the same way for Clayton, despite liking his overall vibe and persona.
Her rejection left Clayton heartbroken and retreating back into his cocoon. Clayton confessed that Michelle did help him open up a lot and shared that he wanted to begin the next chapter of his life by falling in love and starting a family. Two of her students even penned him a beautiful heart-warming letter assuring him that he would find his person eventually. One even went on to predict that he might end up in the next Bachelor season.