She’s already a frontrunner! Bachelor star Clayton Echard had an instant connection with contestant Rachel Recchia, and many fans have been wondering: Do they get engaged or end up together?
Keep reading for season 26 finale spoilers about Clayton, Rachel and who he chooses!
Although Clayton’s final rose winner is still unknown, Rachel, 25, does make it to the end of the season. She scores one of the coveted hometown dates, along with Susie Evans, Serene Russell and Gabby Windey, according to Reality Steve.
Serene gets eliminated after hometowns, and Rachel, Susie, 28, and Gabby, 30, travel to Iceland with the former football player for overnight dates.
Time will tell what shakes out between Clayton, 28, and his final ladies, but it’s clear he and Rachel have a strong bond. The Missouri native was so smitten by the Florida beauty that he asked her how she could still be single during their one-on-one date in Houston, Texas.
Rachel, who works as a commercial pilot, explained that her ex-boyfriend was not supportive of her career. He thought the amount of time she spent traveling strained their relationship and was paranoid that she would cheat on him while on the road. When their relationship ultimately ended, she set her sights on being with only supportive partners. In addition to her booming career, she also sees herself getting married and becoming a mom.
That being said, Clayton revealed he fell for multiple women during his journey to find love.
“I promised myself I wouldn’t fall in love in love with multiple women, but I fell in love with three,” the Bachelor Nation star told People in January. “At that point, I accepted it, but I realized I was going to have to stop using absolutes. I handled it to the best of my ability. It wasn’t perfect! I learned a lot of lessons. And that’s life.”
All in all, the former Bachelorette contestant tried to “follow [his] heart.”
Although he divulged that he “did find love” on season 26 during an interview with E! News in December 2021, Clayton acknowledged that dating multiple women was a lot more difficult than he thought it was going to be.
“You just don’t know what to expect when you step into a role like this,” he explained. “You think, ‘Well, OK, I’m mentally mature enough to handle this.’ Then, you get into it and you’re like, ‘How did I think I was going to be able to handle this? Dating this many women at one time.’”
Clayton added that he experienced “plenty of those moments” throughout his journey but stayed confident in the fact that he “could make it through” it all.