‘Bachelor’ Fans Believe Clayton Echard Low-Key Admitted That Production Made Him Keep Shanae Ankney

Sending signs? Clayton Echard’s social media activity has fans jumping to conclusions about his relationship with controversial season 26 contestant Shanae Ankney.

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In the comments section of the 28-year-old Bachelor’s recent Instagram photo, a fan wrote, “Wear blue in your next photo if you were forced to keep Shanae against your will.”

While Clayton didn’t respond to the comment — which has received hundreds of “likes” — he posted on the app again one day later.

Wait Did Bachelor Clayton Just Admit That Production Made Him Keep Shanae
Clayton Echard and Shanae Ankney. ABC (2)

“YOUR SHORTS ARE BLUE,” the same social media user wrote on his Wednesday, February 9, post.

Clayton subsequently replied, “That is a correct observation!”

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Shanae, 29, has faced backlash from Bachelor Nation in recent weeks after she feuded with costar Elizabeth Corrigan. While Shanae claimed she was being bullied by the real estate agent, fans believe she crossed a line when she mocked Elizabeth’s ADHD.

Clayton ultimately kept Shanae and sent Elizabeth home during the January 31 episode, but the Missouri native later claimed that he would have made a different decision if he knew the full story.

“I would have sent Shanae home immediately for making fun of you for being neurodivergent, had I known,” the former football player wrote via social media 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.”

After the Monday, February 7, episode, however, castoff Lyndsey Windham poked holes in Clayton’s statement.

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“As you can see, he said that if he would have known what was going on, he would have sent Shanae home immediately. However, lemme take you back to this night,” Lyndsey said. “After the Baywatch date, Clayton chose to spend our time asking me about the drama in the house and why Shanae felt so bullied in the mansion. And I explained to him, word for word, that I would never want anyone to feel bullied. However, when someone is mocking and making fun of someone’s mental disabilities, that’s crossing the line, and I don’t want to surround myself with people like that, so I’m not gonna go out of my way to be their best friend. At the end of the day, everything happens for a reason and no hard feelings, however, you knew and you kept her.”

While Clayton didn’t directly address Lyndsey’s post, he did joke via Twitter on Monday that Shanae “killed all my credibility” as the lead.

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

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