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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