Clayton Echard’s season comes to a dramatic end during the March 15 finale of The Bachelor and After The Final Rose special. Part one of the finale ended with Clayton deciding he wanted to see if he could give things another shot with Susie Evans. Luckily, Susie is still in Iceland. Jesse Palmer arrives at her hotel room and lets her know what’s going on, offering her the opportunity to sit down with Clayton to talk things out.
Susie agrees to meet with Clayton. “I was really shocked by how everything ended,” Susie admits. “The way you treated me, the way you turned, that’s when my mentality on you changed. I couldn’t even defend myself. I felt so vulnerable. I felt like that night you made me question my inner voice, my intuition, everything. I felt like an awful person. It was humiliating, if I’m being honest. You made me feel wrong and bad and that was the heartbreak.”
Clayton apologizes for how he reacted to Susie being upset by him sleeping with two other women and tell them he loved them. He pleads with her to give their love another chance. However, Susie is not ready to make a decision just yet. She thanks Clayton for being genuine and apologizing, but lets him know that she has to think on it. Meanwhile, Clayton knows that he has to end things with Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia so he can invest everything in Susie.
“I realize I’ve caused so much pain,” Clayton tells Gabby and Rachel together. “I wish I could take it all back. I absolutely saw a future with both of you and told you I loved you and I meant all of that. I realize it’s not feasibly possible for me to be in love with three women like I said I was. Everybody deserve to have someone give them 100 percent of their heart. Unfortunately, I can’t be that person for either of you. My heart’s no longer here. It’s with Susie. I’m so very sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you and I hope you can forgive me one day.”
Gabby stormed out on Clayton and said she was done with him. He followed her out, and she was able to say her piece and express her anger. When Clayton asked Gabby to walk her out, she flat out told him, “no.” After Gabby leaves, Clayton goes back to have his one-on-one conversation with Rachel. While Gabby kept her composure, Rachel is sobbing during the conversation.
Following his breakups with Gabby and Rachel, Clayton is putting all his eggs in one basket, hoping that Susie will give him another chance. He’s willing to do “whatever it takes” to win her back over. Clayton even picks out an engagement ring and is ready to let Susie know how he feels and how serious he is. He has a note delivered to Susie, where he professes his love and vows to fight for her every day. He also asks her to meet up with him later that night if she’s able to make a decision.
Susie agrees to meet Clayton at the final rose ceremony. He confesses how much he loves her and even shows her the engagement ring to prove how serious he is. He lets her know that he sees a future with her and wants to see where things go. However, Susie doesn’t have that same “unconditional” feeling of love in return. She doesn’t feel like Clayton is her person, and she gently lets him know. When he asks if there’s a chance things could work out, she says she thinks it’s over between them. For the first time in Bachelor history, the lead is rejected. However, he and Susie leave Iceland on amicable terms.
At After the Final Rose, though, Jesse Palmer reveals that it may not be the end of Clayton’s journey. He and Susie appear to update viewers on where they stand. Clayton reveals that Susie reached out to him after they both got home from Iceland, and she confirms that they’re now dating. Susie says she just needed some time to choose herself and give her relationship with Clayton a chance in the real world.
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