Weighing in. After Shanae Ankney and Elizabeth Corrigan’s feud made headlines throughout season 26 of The Bachelor, several franchise alums and fans have been vocal about watching the ongoing drama unfold.
“I didn’t see last night’s episode yet. And last Monday, we were in the hospital watching it [amid son Dawson’s birth], so I was kind of in and out,” Ashley Iaconetti exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, February 9, during a joint interview with husband Jared Haibon while promoting their partnership with Virgin Atlantic’s “Tickets to Love” giveaway. “I don’t know if [Shanae’s] the biggest villain of all-time, but the fact that she kept calling out Elizabeth on the ADHD thing was something that, like, we haven’t really seen, like, somebody belittling somebody for their brain [and for] a syndrome that they have [is] crazy.”
Throughout season 26 — which is currently airing on ABC — Elizabeth, 32, butted heads with Shanae, 30, after the Ohio native called her fellow competitor “two-faced” to Clayton Echard, alleging that Elizabeth had ignored her earlier that day.
The real estate advisor, for her part, later revealed to Ankney that she had ADHD, which could have explained why she did not hear her name being called.
“It’s really hard for me to have multiple auditory inputs because I can’t process the information,” Elizabeth explained in the January 31 episode. “I have ADHD. I’ve had it really bad since I was a kid. Like, I was probably just really trying to concentrate on what Ency [Abedin] was trying to say to me, and maybe you had said something in the middle of her saying something and I just, I can’t, like, hear it.”
Shanae later claimed that she did not buy the excuse: “Fake, fake, fake … ADHD, my ass.”
The Missouri native, 28, issued a statement following Corrigan’s elimination during the episode.
“I’m sorry, Elizabeth, for what you’re going through. I wish I could have seen what was happening when I wasn’t there. I obviously knew y’all weren’t in a good place, but at the time I thought it was, solely, petty drama,” Clayton wrote via a social media statement earlier this month. “I would have sent Shanae home immediately for making fun of you for being neurodivergent, had I known.”
He added at the time: “Overall, the experience for me watching hasn’t been fun, simply because I’m seeing all the damage that I caused. I really meant well, but my actions weren’t always the best as I now can see the repercussions from my decisions. I can promise you I’m learning from the mistakes though and am doing everything in my power to come out the other side a better man.”
The “Almost Famous” podcast host, 33, previously appeared on season 19 of The Bachelor where she notably faced off with Kelsey Poe during a heated 2-on-1 date.
“I feel like my advice is probably to, like, not bring up the other person at all,” she told Us on Wednesday. “Pretend you are only [one] on the date and that nobody else exists because the second you start talking about the other person you’re already, like, losing points.”
Jared, also 33, whom Ashley met on Bachelor in Paradise season 2, echoed his wife’s sentiments.
“You’re done, you are done,” the Audrey’s Coffee Shop owner explained. “If you are talking to him about the other person, no matter whether you survive the 2-on-1 or not, it is over.”
While the new parents haven’t been watching much of Clayton’s season, they have been busy taking care of their newborn son Dawson and helping a group of singles find their own love story in partnership with Virgin Atlantic’s “Tickets to Love.” Eight lucky winners will be flown to London for a luxurious getaway sponsored by the airline in time for Valentine’s Day.
“So Bachelor helped us find love and now we’re gonna help other people find love through Virgin Atlantic. First of all, we love Virgin Atlantic. It’s an incredible airline,” Jared told Us. “It’s an incredible experience. Plus, you’re gonna have a chance to hopefully find love overseas, which is really cool because, you know, with The Bachelor, we travel a lot. We go on these lavish dates. A lot of people don’t get to experience those dates and this is an opportunity to do that.”
With reporting by Mandie DeCamp
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.