Why Catherine Giudici Thinks Clayton Echard Is Similar To Sean Lowe

The latest season of "The Bachelor" is in full swing, with Clayton Echard leading the charge. As People notes, the former NFL player previously took part on Michelle Young's season of "The Bachelorette" but was ultimately eliminated in episode 6. Although the retired athlete seems like a fairly safe choice, Bachelor Nation isn't thrilled about him fronting Season 26 — primarily because Echard didn't make as much of an impact as other contestants, such as Rodney Mathews, while competing for Young's heart. Some also claim that there's an ongoing issue with whitewashing across the "Bachelor" franchise (via Vanity Fair), which Echard's casting might unfortunately feed into.

Regardless of whether fans are fully convinced of his viability as a season lead, Echard is looking for love, sharing in a teaser for the show, "I'm just a Midwest boy from Missouri that just wants to find my person." He added, "I can't wait to get married ... and I believe more than anything that my future wife is here." Echard also acknowledged breaking his own rules over the course of the show, admitting to falling in love with three different women during Season 26 in an interview with People. "I handled it to the best of my ability. It wasn't perfect! I learned a lot of lessons. And that's life," he said. 

However, despite fans' hesitance about seeing the former football player leading the charge, there's at least one person who believes he's got a good shot.

A former Bachelor star anticipates a strong season with Clayton Echard

None other than Catherine Giudici, who previously won Season 17 of "The Bachelor," and Sean Lowe's heart in the process, reckons Clayton Echard is a good fit for the long-running reality show. In a chat with Us Weekly, Giudici opined, "I think that he's going to be a really compelling person to watch." As the Washington native pointed out, "We don't have any real preconceived notions about Clayton. We know he's a nice guy. We know he's funny. He gets along with other guys." Moreover, the reality star reckons the season will be quite similar to Lowe's, "where they cast really nice girls for him."

Although Bachelor Nation is split on Echard, a source previously told Us Weekly that he stood out from the very beginning. They revealed, "Producers ended up going with him because they believed he was the best fit for the role. They wanted to switch things up and go with someone new and someone who hasn't been in the spotlight yet." According to Heavy, the early reactions to Echard's "Bachelor" performance have been lukewarm, with fans criticizing him for sleepwalking through the first episode. However, it's still early days, and if Giudici has faith in him, there's hope for the rest of the season.