Bachelor Clayton Takes a Rose Back from 1 Contestant, Confronts 2 Women About Claims of Bullying

·7 min read

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

Clayton Echard is faced with a lot of tough obstacles in Monday's episode. Kicking things off, the season 26 Bachelor is forced to confront a contestant about her alleged friends with benefits situation back at home.

Clayton first learned about the "unsettling" news regarding Cassidy's secret pre-show romance from fellow contender Sierra.

"What I'm hearing is that Cassidy essentially has a friend with benefits that she apparently was FaceTiming right before the limo entrance," he told host Jesse Palmer.

But Clayton had already given Cassidy, 26, a rose ahead of the elimination round that evening.

CLAYTON CONFRONTS CASSIDY

Clayton pulled Cassidy aside to have a "straightforward" conversation with her about the allegation. Upon asking her whether she was seeing someone right before filming began, Cassidy promptly denied the claim by saying: "No, I haven't. Absolutely not."

Cassidy said she hadn't spoken to a man she's wanted to date "in a very long time," but Clayton said he "was given information" about the alleged pre-show relationship. Because of that, Cassidy attempted to make a clarification.

"There's a friend of mine that does not want a relationship," she said. "He thinks it's cool that I'm taking this risk and he supports me. He was like, 'Look, if it doesn't work out, I still want to be friends and whatever.' But I had no interest in resuming that relationship because I knew it wasn't going anywhere."

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the bachelor

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Clayton then walked away from the conservation, leading Cassidy to attempt to follow behind him before heading elsewhere in the mansion to cry privately.

After Clayton went to find her to resume their chat, Cassidy said she hoped the rumors didn't "mess up" what they've formed thus far. Clayton then acknowledged "the connection" they've built, but he admitted his "biggest fear" is that he falls for someone who isn't "here for the right reasons."

"At this point, I just feel like there's too many concerns," he said.

Clayton then rescinded Cassidy's rose and sent her home. Before proceeding with the rose ceremony portion of the night, he apologized to the women for taking a great deal of time to deal with the allegation concerning Cassidy.

Then, during the rose ceremony, Ency, Kate and Tessa were eliminated.

FIRST GROUP DATE

Serene, Susie, Eliza, Mara, Marlena, Hunter, Genevive and Jill were all chosen for the first group date.

For the outing led by former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe, Clayton and the women were asked to answer a series of vulnerable statements. What resulted was a very candid conversation amongst the group.

Clayton opened up about his past struggles with body image. As for the women, Hunter spoke about an ex who wanted her to change every aspect of who she is while Serene broke down in tears while discussing her weight and food issues.

The night portion of the outing resulted in more vulnerable conversations between Clayton and the women. At the end of the date, he gave Eliza the rose.

"This rose goes to someone who makes it a point of emphasis to go above and beyond with every interaction," he said before handing Eliza the item.

ONE-ON-ONE DATE

Sarah, 23, was given this week's one-on-one date. Upon arriving for the day-long affair, Sarah and Clayton were greeted by former Bachelorette Becca Kufrin — who instructed the pair to strip down to their underwear to partake in an "extreme" scavenger hunt across downtown Los Angeles.

During the fun-filled task, Sarah and Clayton had to answer a series of questions to get to know each other better. They even had to make up a song about each other on the spot.

"I don't think I could have done this with anybody else today," he later told Sarah. "It's your personality. It's who you are."

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the bachelor

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As they met up again for the dinner portion of the date, Sarah opened up about being adopted and growing up in a predominantly white family.

"My family is white and I'm 30 percent Vietnamese, French and Irish. So obviously, I look different from my family," she said. "My biological parents had me when they were 20 and they were not in a place or age to have a child. I grew up not resenting it but I was just really ashamed. Being adopted, I just felt kind of like [I'm a] second choice. My adopted parents have loved me and accepted me and given me the world, but it took me a while to feel that love and recognize that."

Clayton thanked Sarah for sharing her story, noting that it helped him "understand" her better. He eventually ended the date by handing Sarah the one-on-one date rose.

SECOND GROUP DATE

Gabby, Rachel, Kira, Melina, Lyndsey W., Sierra, Teddi, Elizabeth and Shenae were invited to go on the second group date. This time around, the women headed to the beach with Clayton for a Baywatch-themed date featuring series alum Nicole Eggert.

The women were put through a lifeguard training session. Not only did they have to dress the part, but they had to practice important lifeguard skills including CPR. When the group was asked to show off their best Baywatch beach run, Shenae took things to the next level by walking up and passionately kissing him — a moment that caused quite the stir amongst the group.

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the bachelor

John Fleenor/ABC

"Having Shenae follow up her slow-mo run with a kiss was very awkward," said Elizabeth, 32. "I think she's endeared herself to him through showing him her strong, aggressive personality."

But Gabby, 30, ultimately won the challenge, earning herself some extra one-on-one time with Clayton. "I didn't know you had that side [to you]. You actually crushed it today," he told Gabi privately.

CLAYTON'S CONVERSATIONS WITH SHENAE AND ELIZABETH

During the second half of their group date, Shenae broke down in tears while speaking to Clayton and accused Elizabeth of bullying her.

"Today, I still had Elizabeth on my back. I thought we squashed it last week and it's not squashed. I'm feeling bullied in the house," she said, claiming that other contestants will only speak to her when Elizabeth is not around.

"It's sad because I don't want to leave, because I feel something with you. I just can't move on," she said. "I thought we were moved past that last week and it's a week later, and it's still happening."

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the bachelor

John Fleenor/ABC

Shenae then bragged to the cameras that Clayton "believed" her. From there, Clayton chose to pull aside Elizabeth to get her side of the story, but she was shocked by the accusation.

"I don't want any more time to be spent on this, but you can speak with anyone in the house and you will hear that that is not something that I am doing," Elizabeth said. "There's nothing that I have against her. There's nothing I have against anybody. I have been super kind to her in the house. I made her lunch the other day. I am kind and I am an adult."

Elizabeth, who started to tear up, said it's "f----- up" that she's been forced to defend herself against Shenae this entire time. "I don't feel like I can really talk to you because I'll just be questioned," she added through tears.

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the bachelor

John Fleenor/ABC

Later on, Lyndsey W. also was in tears following her conversation with Clayton. Offscreen, he asked her whether she's taken part in bullying Shenae.

The women then chose to confront Sheane over her accusations, leading her to stand by her claims that she's being bullied. Elizabeth and Shenae continued to go back and forth in front of ladies before Clayton rejoined the group.

At the end of the group date, Clayton handed the rose to Gabby for her ability to "step out of their comfort zone."

The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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