Why Michelle Young Is Excited To See Clayton Echard As The Bachelor

Clayton Echard was officially revealed as the new star of "The Bachelor" for Season 26 in early December. Fans first saw Echard when he appeared as a contestant on Michelle Young's season of "The Bachelorette" (via Page Six). Although the football player failed to win over Young's heart and was eliminated midway through the process, he won over producers of the series and was quickly named the network's new leading man. Former "Bachelorette" Katie Thurston's exes Andrew Spencer, Michael Allio, and Greg Grippo were also reportedly in consideration for the gig.

"The caliber of men who came on to Michelle's season was incredible," an insider told the outlet. "Each guy was hotter than the next and so many of them treated her like a queen. There was so much excitement about a lot of them. Clayton was no exception." The source went on to reveal that Echard "impressed everyone on set and is definitely a big upgrade from any of Katie's guys."

Young may have eliminated Echard to eventually accept a proposal from finalist Nayte Olukoya (via Us Weekly), but she still had a very sweet and emotional reaction to her former suitor being named as the next star of "The Bachelor."

Michelle wants to see Clayton find his person

According to Us Weekly, Michelle Young found happiness when she and Nayte Olukoya got engaged during the Season 18 finale of "The Bachelorette." Now, it's Young's ex-boyfriend Clayton Echard's turn to find love when he takes over as "The Bachelor." 

Of course, Young had the sweet reaction to Echard being named ABC's new leading man. "I mean, he was always just so kind," Young told People Magazine of her interaction with Echard, revealing that she's "excited" to see the new season of the show. "He was in this, like, constant state of reflection," Young continued. "And in our conversations, it was just really cool to see him kind of reflect and open up and then move forward and just, you know, and so the fact that he gets this opportunity to find his person."

Meanwhile, it seems that fans will see Echard fall in love during the season — he confirmed to "Good Morning America" that he's happily in love following his time on the reality series. "I did find love," Echard said. "I was a little skeptical going into the whole journey, but I'm so pleasantly surprised that things worked out much different than I thought. Again, I'm just so excited to watch it back and have everyone else watch it as well."

Viewers can tune in to see Echard's journey as "The Bachelor" when the new season premieres on January 3, 2022, on ABC.