Reality Steve

The Bachelor 26 - Clayton

The “Bachelor” Clayton – Finale Thoughts, & Our First Two “Bachelorettes” Season

Photo Credit: ABC

Whew. So ridiculous, so crazy, so unheard of, my head is still spinning. Some things I saw coming, some I definitely didn’t. To start, no “Reader Emails” today. This weeks podcast is up as I posted it yesterday afternoon. It’s a good one with Annie Jorgensen and Carolyn Moore from “Joe Millionaire.” Just gonna give my thoughts on what happened last night. A lot to unpack there. And by the time you read this, I’ll already on a plane to Vegas and it’s possible the potential men for next season of the “Bachelorette” will already be up on the Bachelorette Facebook page. If they are released today, follow my Twitter account as I will post as many as I can that I can find the last name and IG accounts of. It may take a little longer than usual since I won’t be settled in at the hotel til probably around 11am PT or so, but I’ll do my best. Any help would be appreciated if you’re out there. Just DM me on Twitter or IG, or email me at if the guys are released and you have any info. It’d really save me a lot of time. Basically just need where they live and what their IG account is. I’ll worry about backstories, any potential problematic ones (I may already have one), or anything like that next week once I’ve returned. With that said, lets get to last night.

Where do I begin? Geez. Well lets talk spoilers briefly. Couple weeks ago was when I gave the first spoiler about the ending of the season, which was that Clayton left Iceland single after Susie rejected his proposal. A couple days ago after being relayed to me indirectly from someone who saw the finale, it wasn’t a rejected proposal, but just that Susie wasn’t in love with him and left him in Iceland single. So that part was right along with I knew he wasn’t with Gabby or Rachel, nor was there any talk or any rekindling going to happen. Not sure why people were so hell bent on Rachel, but they were. Oh yeah, it’s because she posted an IG story on Valentine’s Day of her and Clayton kissing. And because they wanted it to be Rachel so they could claim they spoiled something. Womp wooooomp. When you base your spoilers off social media, more often than not you are going to be wrong, and that’s what happened this season. And how’s that “Susie just bolted because she wanted to be the Bachelorette” take working out? As for post show, I said I didn’t know. I had heard he was single, I said I’d absolutely be surprised if he just came out and said he and Susie were dating, but crazier things have happened. So yeah as I’m watching last night, not until Jesse teased it I knew Susie was coming out, up until that point for sure just thought that’s how it ended and Clayton was single. Definitely was wrong on that and didn’t see it coming.

Now, HOW we got to that point is the only time I thought Jesse Palmer kinda dropped the ball. He said he had all these questions, but he didn’t ask the two questions I think most of the audience had:

1) How soon after Iceland did Susie reach out to Clayton and how often have they seen each other the last 4 months?

2) What happened to Susie’s dealbreaker?

And I guess a 3rd one:

3) After watching what he did and said to Rachel and Gabby and toyed with their emotions, what her thoughts on that?

Look, I’m not saying Susie acted or exaggerated. But she made a whole thing about if Clayton told either of the other two he was in love with them, or slept with them, that is not something she can move forward with. She literally left the show because of it. By the looks of things, Susie contacted Clayton pretty shortly after leaving Iceland, so, can we at least get some sort of explanation as to how her mind changed so quick? We know how much producers play a role in nudging/manipulating/sometimes even forcing people to do things on this show. And anyone that knows how these shows work behind the scenes (i.e. “UnReal”), knows that production has certain storylines/storyboards well before the season starts filming. If you think they just start filming day 1 and whatever happens, happens, you’re sorely mistken. So while I have no idea what went down in Iceland, is it really far fetched to believe that production could’ve told Susie, “Look, you don’t need to leave Iceland with him. But we’ll let you contact him after the show if you want.” No, it’s not. No idea if it happened that way, but it’s certainly not hard to think it didn’t.

It would give them an ending their audience has ever seen in 20 years and 46 seasons. It allows Susie a little more time to think. And it gives them the opportunity to sell, “You have no idea how it ends,” which in hindsight, Jesse had an idea, right? He wasn’t just told right before that segment that Clayton had been talking to Susie for however long. So now we know why Jesse has said what he’s said in interviews and why Fleiss tweeted what he did a couple weeks ago. So going forward, any finale spoiler is just that – a finale spoiler of what happened at the end of filming. But things have changed post filming so many times in recent seasons, some I’ve been able to spoil as well, and some not (like this season). It’s a hell of a lot tougher to know what happens post show because it’s not pre-recorded. If it’s pre-recorded, stuff’s gonna get out. But post show is definitely tougher to find out. I try my best every season and relay to you what I’m hearing. So we march on to the next season.

I joined Dave Neal’s YouTube live last night after the show if you wanna check that out here (starts around the 43:10 mark):

If you don’t wanna watch, I’ll summarize a couple points I made. One thing about last night is I didn’t enjoy Clayton getting pummeled like that. As a guy, I guess I just felt bad for him. HOWEVER (before the aggregators go crazy), that doesn’t mean it wasn’t justified. Because it was. Every single word out of Rachel and Gabby’s mouth up on stage to him was 100% truth. They had every right to tell him off for how they felt he treated him. In the same breath, I can also say I felt bad for the guy because this was on national television and I’m guessing it must’ve felt real lonely up there with all of America behind these women, all of the audience behind these women clapping for every correct point they made, and him basically just having to sit there and take it. It was deserved, but that doesn’t mean I enjoyed watching it happen. I would’ve felt bad for ANY person in that position. Who the hell wants to have essentially the whole world coming down on them at one time? I’m guessing no one. I know what Clayton did to Gabby and Rachel was shitty. Handled the situation about as poorly as one could possibly imagine. But I didn’t take any pleasure in watching him suffer the consequences for it. Both of those can be true.

I know the easy thing to do is shit all over Clayton, call Susie a moron for taking him back, and say they’re going to fail as a couple. A lot of people already are on social media. I’m just not going to. Do I think they are long term for each other? No. But I’m not going to openly root against them. I don’t root against any couple. I don’t understand what Susie did, and I certainly have questions, but it’s not my place to understand her. It’s her life, her decision, and ultimately that’s who she wants to be with. Me shitting all over them is already happening enough from all walks of social media in hours since the finale ended, no point for me to add to it. What do people get out of that? Like it makes you feel better that you made your thoughts known publicly how much you hate the guy? Ummmm, great? Might wanna re-prioritize things in your life. “Bachelorette” starts filming this weekend. I will spend zero time thinking about Susie and Clayton’s relationship unless they reveal some stuff in upcoming interviews. Other than that, just like every season before it, I move on and I begin working on the next one. So if you feel the need to call them names or hope for their demise, just check yourself. That doesn’t do anybody any good. They’re already having it rough. You piling on makes will do absolutely nothing in the long run.

Clayton made a shit ton of mistakes this season, he was naïve to the process, he was clueless how to handle being the lead of this show, coupled with what was most certainly a lot of producer prodding and manipulation, and well, what we saw over these last two nights is how it turned out for him. Susie forgave him enough to the point where she’s calling him her freakin’ boyfriend now. I don’t feel the need to continue to call him names, continue to let him know how awful he handled Rachel and Gabby, and rail on the guy like everyone else is doing. Lets all just stop. He knows he screwed up royally. He doesn’t need to hear it in every comment. So all you can ask going forward is that he never does that to anyone else. He apologized, he owned what he did, I don’t think it was on purpose, and he said he’s gonna learn. Telling him “no you’re not” seems pointless now, but I get that everyone on social media is an expert. I just know that it’s over and done with, and I’m moving on. Others should as well.

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  1. jlal

    March 16, 2022 at 8:00 AM

    “She literally left the show because of it.” No RS she didn’t leave the show, Clayton pretty much kicked her out. However, he was pissed as he was told that Susie had signed a contract to be bachelorette. He thought it was a done deal and she had totally used him. Susie had been manipulated and told he was closer/picking/in-love whatever with one of the other women. She also was hounded all season to be the Bachelorette. Production wanted her for bachelorette and tried to break them up to that end. Susie didn’t say yes on the final, because she knew she couldn’t tell the truth about what had happened. She didn’t want young girls to see her say yes, after he treated her so bad. I think they have been together since it ended. They still had to deal with his idiocy with the other two. But, once they talked and figured out how much they had been interfered with, it answered a lot of questions. Clayton said he quit his job, sold his condo, and is moving. You don’t do all of that if you have only been back together a few weeks. They have been together since it ended. They are under contract so will never say any of this. I have heard/seen where some people guessed that Clayton was led to think she wanted to be Bachelorette, but they took it further than that. She told them all along she was really into Clayton, so they tried to interfere. It created a ton of drama and ratings, but Clayton and Susie won in the end because the truth won out. I guess the show won too. They didn’t get Susie for Bachelorette, but got the ratings anyway and probably better ones.

    I will say it again, after hearing just how far production is willing to go even flat out lying to the lead to get their story line I’m disgusted. Clayton isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed and certainly made bonehead mistakes, but he and Susie were done wrong by the show.

  2. shenanigans

    March 16, 2022 at 10:14 AM

    If Susie is willing to give Clayton another chance, that’s her business. After all, two of the most successful couples in Bachelor history, Jason & Molly and Arie & Lauren, got married and had kids after the guy rejected them and got engaged to somebody else. If those women could get past that and move forward, Susie can certainly forgive Clayton.

  3. Mia

    March 16, 2022 at 10:14 AM

    Get a life, jlal.

  4. justsaying

    March 16, 2022 at 10:23 AM

    Why was it ok for Gabby to swear up a storm or for Rachel to “haunt” Clayton during the breakup but if it was the other way around.. he’d be in prison for that.

  5. rob22

    March 16, 2022 at 11:55 AM

    Obviously it’s all speculation until Suzie & Clayton address it directly. My theory is that they were able to get together and see how production had manipulated both of them to get to the place where it crashed and burned. That makes it a little easier to forgive the other person when it’s happened to both of you. And the manipulation was really blatant, especially with having Susie go last & putting her into a situation where her head was spinning. And Clayton is a person that is so easily manipulated. Low Emotional intelligence in terms of how he was coming across, and too willing to accept production queues as truth with no pushback at all. Not to mention his own terrible though processes that were on display for all to see. I also wonder if Susie was wanting to see how Clayton reacted to being rejected. Would he again turn into a gas lighting jerk? Or, was that just a bad day. No way to know the truth. Someday maybe they’ll talk about it honestly after their NDAs have expired.

  6. dogmomma

    March 16, 2022 at 12:49 PM

    The first post (jlal) makes a lot of sense as to why things happened the way they did. And of course it would be better to hear it from Clayton and Susie, but we all know they can’t talk about it. It absolutely doesn’t surprise me that they were manipulated for ratings. With Joe Millionaire winning over lots of Bachelor nation, they had to do something crazy to make this show more popular. I really dislike so many things about the show and how they manipulate and use people. I have skipped several seasons and I think lots of other people have as well, but now people are going to be curious about the new format with two girls being in the lead. Brilliant move on their part to help a sinking ship.

  7. wisewords

    March 16, 2022 at 1:12 PM

    @jlal where are you getting your information? Why do you know more than RealitySteve? Or is this your personal theory on what happened? Please clarify.

  8. SherryfromD

    March 16, 2022 at 3:22 PM

    I think this info came from @zacharyreality on IG. It’s in his stories.

  9. adelina

    March 16, 2022 at 4:51 PM

    Sure thing Jan.

  10. jlal

    March 16, 2022 at 5:22 PM

    I have a life Mia. This is a site about the bachelor. So like everyone else on here I commented about the show.

  11. jlal

    March 16, 2022 at 5:32 PM

    I was told by someone. I don’t do social media. However, I did click the podcast link RS had in the post. They said pretty much the same thing, at least about the manipulation. What I was told the show took it much further than just manipulation. Susie said in an interview that she reached out to him that night and they talked for 5 hrs. Everything I have seen and heard gives me no reason to doubt what I was told. Everyone knows and RS warns all the time about production manipulation, I was just shocked at how low they would go.

  12. jlal

    March 16, 2022 at 5:33 PM

    I was told by someone. I don’t do SM. However, I did click the podcast link RS had in the post. They said pretty much the same thing, at least about the manipulation. What I was told the show took it much further than just manipulation. Susie said in an interview that she reached out to him that night and they talked for 5 hrs. Everything I have seen and heard gives me no reason to doubt what I was told. Everyone knows and RS warns all the time about production manipulation, I was just shocked at how low they would go.

  13. missyb

    March 16, 2022 at 6:24 PM

    Only thing Clayton did wrong was verbalize what we’ve all known the show to be since it’s existence. He brought to light everything that is wrong with this show. His lack of holding his tongue made clear the absurdity of it.

  14. Nahu

    March 17, 2022 at 10:15 AM

    I don’t understand why people are hating on Clayton so much. Other leads have done far worse IMO. Like Jake Pavelka, who yelled at Vienna and came off as abusive; or Arie and Peter, who propose to a person and then broke up with them on national TV; or Juan Pablo; or Colton… I could go on. I just don’t think anything Clayton did warrants the amount of vitriol I’ve seen. Bachelor Nation fans really need to touch some grass.

    On Nick’s podcast, Susie said she and Clayton got together after the show was over and compared notes. I’m pretty sure they realized how much they had been manipulated by producers. Clayton didn’t get the idea that she wanted to be the Bachelorette out of nowhere. Susie confirmed that’s the reason he got so upset.

    I don’t know if Clayton and Susie will last. But I think the fact they decided to get back together, knowing full well people wouldn’t root for them and actively wish them to fail, shows how strong their connection is. We’ve seen other couples in a similar situation succeed.

  15. justsaying

    March 17, 2022 at 2:10 PM

    Thank you @Nahu. I agree that Clayton isn’t the worst bachelor.

    He tried really hard to move on after Susie left. I can see he was forcing it and he just couldn’t force it anymore. Gabby and Rachel, honestly, didn’t take much convincing to stay so they need to take responsibility for sticking around. He clearly gave them an option to just end it all that night.

    For Rachel to ask Clayton if he said ILY to sleep with her, seriously. Low blow. It takes two to tango.

  16. janiel

    March 17, 2022 at 8:51 PM

    You’re trying to say they put guys in jail for swearing? Uh… no.

  17. kernst33

    March 18, 2022 at 7:05 AM

    @justsaying Gabby literally tried to leave, and he refused to let her take it. That’s why she was so mad when he did the very same thing several days later when he again dumped hard-to-hear news on her and Rachel at the same time. I also think it’s a bit much to say that it was a low blow for Rachel to ask that, given the context of their relationship and their time in the fantasy suites — he made such a big deal about how he hadn’t said “I love you” in years, and it’s easy to wonder why if it wasn’t to end up together.

  18. rick45

    March 18, 2022 at 3:55 PM

    I bet Gabby and Rachel are glad Clayton didn’t withhold his tongue!

  19. justsaying

    March 18, 2022 at 9:24 PM

    @kernst33 Firstly, we don’t know in what context Clayton told Rachel about how long he hasn’t expressed love to another woman. Maybe he was chewing on some salad when he said that or he was about to fall asleep when he told her that. Who the heck knows!

    Maybe we weren’t watching the same show. I saw Clayton walking Abby out when she stopped, turned around and chatted a bit with Clayton and she stayed. Hardly begging or groveling. Take some self accountability. Gabby and Rachel decided to stay even after hearing the confused and distraught Clayton said he’s fallen in love with all of them. So they have to deal with the fallout too.

  20. justsaying

    March 18, 2022 at 9:26 PM

    @janiel It’s a figure of speech. Oy vey!

  21. amr214

    March 19, 2022 at 10:48 PM

    I know that was just a dumb (really dumb) joke, but it set me off,so here ya go! I’m continually amazed by how clueless some (many?) men are re: how physically unsatisfying sex really is/can often be for most women.

    Sure it can be great for a while if you both actually give a s*** about each other, but even then the physical attraction wanes MUCH sooner for women than it does for men. (FACT. Google it.)

    That’s why the whole “love”/emotional part seems to matter so much more to women. Without that factor, you’d be SHOCKED at know fast we lost interest & moved on! Seriously. If women acted solely on their current level of sexual interest, you’d be crying into your pillows every night.

  22. amr214

    March 19, 2022 at 11:06 PM

    WOW… My comment appeared 5 min ago, but it’s already gone?! *Somebody* must be really sensitive on the subject! ;D

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