Bachelor Clayton Says 1 Woman 'Could Be My Future Wife' and Calls Another 'Damn Near Perfect'

"I don't think it gets much better than this," the former football player said on Monday's episode of The Bachelor

This post contains spoilers from Monday's episode of The Bachelor.

The Shanae Show continues.

But before Clayton Echard could make a rose ceremony decision about Shanae, who has become the house's least-favorite contestant, he embarked on a one-on-one date with Serene in Houston.

The former NFL player, 28, and the elementary school teacher, 26, spent the day on the pier playing fair games and riding a rollercoaster, the teacups and the swings. Clayton also served Serene some ice cream.

Serene, The Bachelor
Ricky Middlesworth/ABC via Getty

"I feel like we have a lot of fun together and we have a really good connection," she told Clayton.

Back at The Astorian hotel, Serene opened up to Clayton about stifling her emotions as a kid.

"I don't open up a lot to people," she said. "In my family, we don't really like talk about things and that was my experience as a child. We didn't open up about how we were feeling a lot. It's kind of like, I'm the parent, you're the child. That's the end of the story."

Clayton said he had a similar experience with his dad and younger brothers. "I'm glad that you are willing to share because I think it's so important," he said.

Serene also shared that she'd been coping with the recent loss of her cousin who used drugs. "It was pretty recent, so I still think about it," she said. "I've accepted it for what it is. Like the loss of it all is really hard. We have really good memories."

Serene told Clayton she felt comfortable talking to him about these difficult topics "because you just have these really kind eyes."

"I'll take anything that I can get," he replied.

Clayton proceeded to offer Serene the date rose. "I was absolutely blown away by everything that you did today from the fun times that we had to you opening up and allowing me to get to know more about you," he said, later telling her: "I could not be happier what I'm seeing out of you and where this could go."

In an on-camera interview, Serene said she thought the date "was just perfect," adding, "I definitely feel like I'm falling in love with Clayton."

ROSE CEREMONY

"Being Bachelor has not been easy," Clayton said to the women at the start of the cocktail party. "It has brought a lot of challenges. There have been things that have come up with this week. With that, I would like to talk to the winning team from the group date."

Once he had the winners of the Bachelor Bowl date alone, Clayton asked what happened at the afterparty with Shanae. Sierra recounted that Shanae, 29, shouted at her and Genevieve to "keep my name out of your f---ing mouth!" and threw their trophy in the pond.

Then, Clayton confronted Shanae about the situation. "Your actions, throwing the trophy in the pond, are very hard to defend," he said to her.

Shanae claimed to be sorry for what she did. "I want to apologize," the recruiter told Clayton. "I was heated in the moment and after going home and thinking about it, I should've never done that. That's not my character."

Shanae also apologized to the other women. "I'm really sorry," she said. "It wasn't my intention to hurt any of you guys and I know I took a lot of time away from you guys with Clayton. And I know this has been going on way too far but I know I've said something things I didn't mean but I am really sorry and I hope we can get past this."

The Bachelor
ABC/Ricky Middlesworth

Marlena and Susie accepted Shanae's apology, so she reported back to Clayton that it went well. They shared a kiss and both parties satisfied.

But Shanae confessed in an on-camera interview, "That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my entire life, apologize to people that I wasn't sorry for."

Shanae even thought she outperformed Meryl Streep. "I need an Oscar for that performance," she continued to the cameras. "Fake it 'til you make it."

The act fooled Clayton, and he gave Shanae a rose at the rose ceremony. He also extended roses to Sarah, Marlena, Genevieve, Mara, Gabby, Susie, Eliza and Hunter.

Jill, Lyndsey and Sierra were sent home.

ONE-ON-ONE DATE

Clayton and his remaining suitors headed up north to Toronto, where he started out his visit to Canada with a one-on-one date with Gabby, 30. They did some traditionally Canadian activities, like playing hockey and eating BeaverTails pastries. Clayton and Gabby also enjoyed the universally beloved pastime of playing with dogs.

"The more I just see of you being goofy, I love it," he told Gabby.

The Bachelor
John Medland/ABC

Gabby wanted to show Clayton she has a serious side, too.

"In the past, I have been pretty insecure in relationships, like I am much more reserved in the beginning," she told Clayton during the evening portion of their time together. "It takes me like a while to open up. I did have a little more trouble receiving love. I can give love no problem, receiving is much different."

Gabby explained that this stemmed from a complicated relationship with her mom growing up, in which the nurse's mother would act hot and cold towards her and withhold her attention. "If my mom could stop loving me, why can't anyone else?" Gabby wondered, adding that she didn't currently have much of a relationship with her mother.

"It means a lot that you're able to open up to me," Clayton responded. "Like you are very deserving of love. I hope you know that."

Clayton felt that Gabby being so vulnerable with him deserved a rose. "To be able to open up and tell me the things that you did, it means so much to me because that's what I strive to be able to get to is that point where there is nothing that we're holding back," he told Gabby.

They ended the night with a dip in the pool. "I feel like I'm falling deep for him," Gabby told the cameras.

Clayton felt similarly. "After today, love could be on the horizon for the two of us," he said in an on-camera interview. "She's just completely blindsided me, but in the best possible way. I don't think it gets much better than this. She could be my future wife."

RELATED VIDEO: Jesse Palmer Doesn't Think He's Met Someone That Wants to Be in Love More Than Clayton Echard

GROUP DATE

Rachel, Sarah, Serene, Marlena, Susie, Hunter, Eliza, Teddi and Mara went on this week's group date — leaving Shanae and Genevieve on a two-on-one. Host Jesse Palmer welcomed the ladies to the date and then brought out Canadian comedian Russell Peters, who immediately started roasting everyone.

Russell, 51, informed the women that they'd be roasting each other — and Clayton — for this week's date. "A roast is dangerous," Teddi, 24, worried in an on-camera interview. "Like, we're literally just kind of resolving all the drama and now you're going to do a roast date?"

THE BACHELOR
John Medland/ABC

Marlena, 30, started by asking Missouri native Clayton if he kissed his mother with his mouth open or closed, and took some digs at Shanae too, even though she was not on the date. Some of the other ladies did the same, with Serene joking that she feels "so honored to be chosen to be on Shanae's season" of the show, and Hunter, 28, saying, "It's like Jeffrey Dahmer calling himself a victim in his own crimes."

Sarah, 23, made a lot of jokes at 32-year-old Mara's expense, mocking her age and her tooth gap. Mara responded by telling Clayton that if he picked Sarah in the end, to call her if he needs a babysitter.

The entrepreneur closed out by telling Sarah: "Just go home you desperate bitch."

THE BACHELOR
John Medland/ABC

Despite the blows, Clayton said he appreciated everyone's sense of humor and enjoyed the date.

He popped champagne with Marlena at the afterparty and complimented her roasting skills. "You have a future in standup comedy," Clayton said to the Olympian.

Marlena told Clayton that she gives "100 percent at everything I do," adding, "I am all gas, no breaks."

Susie, 28, felt like she needed to make up dissing Clayton, whom she called a "benchwarmer" during the roast, by telling him what she liked about him at the afterparty. Those traits included his smile, his dimple and "that you're a very compassionate person," the wedding videographer said.

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Rachel, 25, used her time with Clayton to tell him that she felt like their relationship "is going so well."

"I really don't stop thinking about you," Clayton responded.

To the cameras, he added, "She's almost on my mind at most times of the day. She is truly a wonderful woman and I really feel like our entire journey together has been damn near perfect."

Sarah raved to Clayton about her "comfortability" with him during their one-on-one conversation. "You're going the extra mile," he said. "I see that."

But only one woman could receive the date rose. "This rose goes to someone who continues to make me feel safe with every interaction that we have," Clayton said to the group before giving it to Rachel.

Genevieve and Shanae's two-on-one date would have to wait until next week, but the latter already said she planned to approach it as a one-on-one date. "This the last time I'm taking the trash out," Shanae said in an on-camera interview.

Meanwhile, Genevieve, 26, said she found the situation "strange and uncomfortable."

The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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