Entertainment TV Michelle Young Says She's 'Excited' to See Clayton Echard as the New 'Bachelor' : 'Just So Kind' Season 26 of The Bachelor starring Michelle Young's former Bachelorette contestant Clayton Echard premieres Jan. 3, 2022, on ABC By Daniela Avila Daniela Avila Instagram Twitter Editorial Assistant, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines and Abigail Adams Abigail Adams Instagram Twitter Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 4, 2021 03:23 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Michelle Young is looking forward to Clayton Echard's season of The Bachelor. In an interview with PEOPLE at KIIS FM's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball in Inglewood, California, the 28-year-old Bachelorette star said she is "excited" to watch her former suitor find love on season 26 of The Bachelor, which premieres Jan. 3, 2022. "I mean, he was always just so kind," Young said Friday of her interactions with the 28-year-old former NFL player on the current season of The Bachelorette. The elementary school teacher added that she felt Echard was "always" focused on "self-growth and working on himself" on the ABC reality show. Clayton Echard Found Love on The Bachelor: 'Things Worked Out Much Different Than I Thought' "He was in this, like, constant state of reflection," she told PEOPLE. "And in our conversations, it was just really cool to see him kind of reflect and open up and then move forward and just, you know, and so the fact that he gets this opportunity to find his person." Echard was announced as the upcoming Bachelor at the end of November, one week after Young sent him home on The Bachelorette. The next day, the reality star confessed to finding love on his season in an interview with Good Morning America. Amy Sussman/Getty "I did find love," Echard shared. "I was a little skeptical going into the whole journey, but I'm so pleasantly surprised that things worked out much different than I thought. Again, I'm just so excited to watch it back and have everyone else watch it as well." The medical sales rep said he began his journey with "a checklist of sorts" that the women quickly exceeded. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. "I was looking for somebody that was funny, intelligent, driven, put forth effort, and so I figured, 'Okay, that's a good list and hopefully I'll find that,'" he said. "Well, what I found was very quickly the women blew my expectations out of the water." Michelle Young and Clayton Echard. Steve Granitz/FilmMagic He added, "They brought all of that and so much more, so the expectations continued to rise, and I realized that, ultimately, I was going to find everything that I wanted and so much more." On the American Music Awards red carpet in November, Young told PeopleTV's Jeremy Parsons and Janine Rubenstein that she also found love at the end of her season, which is currently airing. Michelle Young Says She Made the 'Right Decision' on The Bachelorette: I'm 'Very Happy' "I feel like I make the right decision in the end — it takes me a minute," the reality star said at the time, adding that she is "very happy with the experience." The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.