Clayton Echard Knows He 'Screwed Up' But Thinks He Found 'The One' in' Bachelor' Finale

The former football player hoped to reconnect with Susie in the second part of the season 26 finale

This post contains spoilers from Tuesday's finale of The Bachelor.

Once Gabby and Rachel met his family in Iceland, Clayton Echard decided he wanted a chance to talk with Susie.

Lucky for the Bachelor, Susie had not left Iceland yet despite taking herself out of the running during Fantasy Suite week.

"Clayton's been a wreck since you left him," host Jesse Palmer told Susie. "I think he really, really regrets how it ended and if you're up for it, Susie, I really think you should go and see Clayton today."

Susie told Jesse, 43, she couldn't believe she received another chance. "I'm shocked that I'm here today," the wedding videographer, 28, said. "I didn't see this coming."

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While in Iceland, Susie briefly met Clayton's parents before she spoke with him.

"I felt bad about what I did and it was humiliating, if I'm being honest," she told the former NFL player. "I felt like a stray dog that had come into your home and you were shooing me out."

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Clayton, 28, said "I did not mean the things that I said when I said that I thought I didn't know who I was looking at," and blamed his reaction on fear.

"To me, you have everything," he told Susie. "The second you walked out, I lost everything."

Susie couldn't forgive and forget just yet. "I don't feel like I'm in a place to make a decision right now," she informed Clayton. "I just don't know where I stand with everything."

Clayton told Susie to take her time, but to the cameras, he confessed his certainty about his feelings.

"Regardless of what happens with Susie, my heart is with her," Clayton said in an on-camera interview. "Because it's with her, it can't be with Gabby or Rachel."


When Rachel, 25, and Gabby, 30, connected, they realized neither of them received a final date with Clayton. So the Missouri native came to tell them why.

"I realize that I've caused so much pain and I wish that I could take it all back," Clayton began. "I absolutely saw a future with you both and told you that I loved you and I meant all of that. I realize that it's not feasibly possible to be in love with three women like I said I was. Everybody deserves to have someone give them 100 percent of their heart, and unfortunately, I can't be that person for either of you because my heart's no longer here. It's with Susie. I'm so very sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you all and I hope you can forgive me one day."

Ricky Middlesworth/ABC via Getty; Pamela Littky/ABC via Getty; Ricky Middlesworth/ABC via Getty

Gabby didn't have more to say. "I know it was hard to come here and tell us but I think you were too late and for both of us, you could've thought about it before, putting yourself in our shoes," she said before walking out. "So that's it, I think, for me."

Clayton proceeded to find Gabby.

"I actually don't know who you are at all," the ICU nurse said. "And I'm pissed because I spent the last two days away from my family and my friends who actually give a s--- about me and you don't."

Clayton insisted he did care about Gabby.

"I can't believe anything you say, not one thing," Gabby responded. "You asked me to stay because you were pissed and your pride was hurt."

Clayton admitted, "I was hurt."

Then he tried to apologize one more time. "I'm sorry and that's all I can say is I'm sorry," he said.

Gabby told Clayton she didn't want him to walk her out and left on her own.

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So Clayton moved on to apologize to Rachel.

"I'm not going to just stop loving you," the flight instructor told Clayton. "And I promise you that when you look back at this you will … this is going to haunt you, the fact that you let me go."

Clayton promised he had felt a real connection with Rachel. "I did see a future with you," he said. "I had those thoughts. I won't take back anything we had."

Still, Clayton said he couldn't "be 100 percent in it" because "my heart wasn't going to allow me to go anywhere else."

With that, Clayton saw Rachel into the car. "I wish I could've found an easier way," he said. "I did see this ending differently. I'm so sorry."

Once Rachel said goodbye to Clayton, she told the cameras, "He didn't even shed a tear, he didn't even cry. He didn't even fight at all. ... I was in love but he was never in love with me. I'm so heartbroken but at least I have an answer."

RELATED VIDEO: Bachelor's Clayton Echard Opens Up About 'Following His Heart' and Having No Regrets


"I screwed up," Clayton acknowledged to the cameras. "But I still have Susie here. I don't where she's at. I want Susie back more than anything."

Clayton said he wanted to "make a lifelong commitment" and picked out an engagement ring for Susie. "I believe that Susie is the one," he said in an on-camera interview. "There's hope here in this ring."

Host Jesse delivered Susie a letter, in which Clayton apologized and asked to meet her in the countryside. She obliged.

"I don't want anything else and I want you to know that I'm so fully committed to showing you how much I love you and how I will never stop fighting for you," Clayton told Susie when they met in the countryside.

"And I know that I can't take back what I've done and I take full accountability for it. I just want you to know if you ever question how serious that I am, this seriously like, I am this serious about it. I told you from the beginning that I was looking to get down on a knee, I want that and with you, I see that," he said.

Clayton continued to ask Susie for another chance to prove his love.

"There's no doubt about our connection, the love that I have for you in my heart, it's so real and I know that you have it too," Susie responded. "But I don't feel like the kind of love I have for you right now is the kind of love you have for me right now. You have an unconditional love of somebody that you want to spend a lifetime with and that's not where I'm at. I have made the decision to leave Iceland alone."

Susie called her decision "devastating," but believed "I don't think that I'm your person and I don't think that you're mine."

Clayton asked, "Do you feel like there is a chance it could ever be something, or do you feel that it's over?"

"I feel like it's over," Susie said.

Then they shared a long hug before parting ways.


Despite Susie declaring their relationship "over," she and Clayton reconnected after leaving Iceland.

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"I left Iceland, went back to what I thought was my normal life, going back into that environment and I was reached out to by someone. It was the last person that I ever expected to reach out," Clayton told Jesse on the After the Final Rose special. "Just was shocked, absolutely shocked that there was maybe something that came from all of it."

Watch the full episode of People Features: Clayton Echard & Susie Evans on or on the PeopleTV app

Susie appeared on the special and declared that the pair is officially back together. "My boyfriend," she called Clayton.

"We were able to reestablish a relationship because I think we took that time apart and I really just had to choose myself in that moment. I didn't have all the answers that I needed. We were no longer in a place that could facilitate the conversations that we needed to have to reestablish trust and everything that we needed to have a strong relationship," she explained.

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