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Viewer’s Tell All: “The Bachelor” Season 26…Thus Far

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

Season 26 of “The Bachelor” has been full of excitement, drama and love. Our bachelor, Clayton Echard, is a good ole Missouri boy and a former NFL football player. He is on a determined quest to find his future wife through this once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Beginning on episode one, Clayton has 30 women come to the bachelor mansion in Los Angeles, CA to start their journey with him. However, the season kicks off with a plot twist, concerning Salley. Salley is one of the 30 women but has a secret that she needs to get off her chest to Clayton before even arriving at the mansion. Salley has just broken off her engagement with her ex-fiance and is feeling very overwhelmed with the thought of participating in “The Bachelor.” So, she goes to Clayton’s hotel room to let him know how she feels. He is surprised and pleased to see her. He understands her situation, makes her feel comfortable and even offers her a rose! But, she has to turn him down because her heart isn’t in it.

Now, Clayton is down to 29 women joining him at the mansion before the night even begins. The limo pulls up to the mansion and all of the women come out with their opening lines to “woah” Clayton. My personal favorite is Gabby who made a pillow with Clayton’s face on it to joke about sitting on his face … good one Gabby! The drama already begins with a woman named Claire stating that she “hates” Clayton after their one-on-one time. This results in her being kicked off of the show immediately. Then, Teddi gets the first impression rose and the women who didn’t have that instant click with Clayton are sent home. 

In episode two, there are 22 women left in the mansion. There are two group dates and one one-on-one date. The first group date features celebrity Hillary Duff. She helps Clayton and the women through a child’s birthday party! The date was lovely aside from the part where Cassidy stole Clayton away from the other women and made out with him the whole time … awkward! This results in Clayton giving her the group date rose at the end of the night.

Susie gets the one-on-one date and a rose to go with it, while the second group date discovers what their red flags are and Sarah receives the rose. This is where the drama between catty Shanae and Elizabeth begins. Both women run to Clayton to spew nonsense drama at him during the evening portion of the date. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that Cassidy has a friends with benefits situation at home that has not been kicked to the curb. She tells the women and Clayton that this is an untrue rumor.

At the top of episode three, Clayton confronts Cassidy once again about her friends with benefits situation. This time, she is honest and admits that it is true, resulting in Clayton taking away her rose and sending her home immediately. The first group date allows the ladies to open up with Clayton and share their true emotions, leading Eliza to get the rose. Clayton has his next one-on-one with Sarah where they go on an insane, half-naked scavenger hunt! The date goes lovely, ending with Sarah getting the rose.

The second group date has the ladies reenacting “Bay Watch,” leading Gabby to prevail with a rose. This episode kicks off the villain story behind Shanae with the infamous “Shrimp Gate.” Shanae claims that she is being bullied by Elizabeth and the other women because they don’t talk to her and she feels that she is not included. After this is brought to Clayton’s attention, Elizabeth tries to make a conscious effort to include Shanae, by cooking both her and the other women shrimp. Elizabeth offers shrimp to Shanae, but Shanae claims that she was isolated once again and was not offered any. Shrimp, shrimp, shrimp! This is hurting my brain even thinking about it, lets move on to the next episode. 

Episode four begins and we are still talking about shrimp! Shanae, Clayton and Elizabeth have a group conversation about the madness that has occurred, which somehow leads to Elizabeth being sent home and an end to “Shrimp Gate 2022.” The women and Clayton are now sent to Texas to continue their journey! Rachel gets her first one-on-one with Clayton and they have a lovely time riding horses together, leading her to receive a rose. There is only one group date this week where the women will go head to head in a tackle football game. Tensions are high with Shanae because of her awful behavior, so the women are out for blood. The Purple Punishers, not Shanae’s team, win the game and receive an after-party with Clayton! The women are thrilled and have a lovely time until their party is crashed by Shanae. Shanae believes that she deserves to be there, even though she did not win … leaving this episode on a cliffhanger. 

Episode five starts with Shanae making a scene at the after-party. She gets her time to talk to Clayton, but then crushes at two of the women and throws their trophy on the ground. Unacceptable! All of the women are dying for Shanae to be sent home. Serene gets the next one-on-one date where the two go to the carnival and Serene receives a rose. Clayton chats with some of the women about Shanae’s behavior, yet still does not send her home. Now it is announced that the 12 remaining women will be going to Toronto, Canada! The group date occurs in Toronto with some hilarious stand-up comedy done by the women, with Rache receiving the group date rose. The episode ends with another cliff-hanger with Genevieve and Shanae going on a two-on-one date … with a promise of one being sent home.

Starting episode six, Shanae, Genevieve and Clayton go on a two-on-one date. Finally, Clayton has his witts about him and sends Shanae home! The women are thrilled and then are sent to Hvar, Croatia! Teddi receives the one-on-one date and reveals to Clayton that she is a virgin, Clayton is very loving and understanding, giving Teddi the rose. The group date involves some fun role-playing where Rachel receives the rose. Susie secretly invites Clayton to hang out with her and they have some quality time together. Sarah is gifted her second one-on-one date and receives a rose. However, the date does not go perfectly because Mara has been spreading rumors that Sarah isn’t ready for marriage due to her age. Mara is the oldest in the house, while Sarah is the youngest … I believe that there is a touch of jealousy there that makes Mara act out against Sarah. 

In episode seven, the women move on to Vienna, Austria! Susie receives her second glamorous one-on-one with Clayton that goes extremely well, ending with her receiving a rose. The group date involves the women going to a therapy session with Clayton to reveal parts of their true selves. Genevive is unable to open up with Clayton, resulting in her immediately being sent home. The rest of the women stay and feel their connections getting stronger with Clayton. The second one-on-one goes to Serene once again and the two have a lovely time, resulting in her receiving a rose. Teddi gets sent home at the rose ceremony, leaving only four women left for hometowns. 

The most recent episode is episode eight, AKA home town visits! The women all bring Clayton home this week to meet their families. Each visit goes extremely well and all four of the women tell Clayton that they are falling in love with him, but he is yet to say it back. Rachel, Susie and Gabby all receive a rose at the rose ceremony, which leaves Serene being sent home in tears. On Monday night the next episode will air, get excited Bachelor Nation! Who do you think will be engaged at the end of this? Personally, I feel like it will be Rachel.

Irelyn Rogan is studying Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Irelyn is a third-year student, and this is her fifth semester as a HerCampus journalist! She is very interested in lifestyle, pop culture, and entertainment in general.