Months after calling it quits, Susie Evans still has questions about her relationship with season 26 Bachelor Clayton Echard.
“I remember struggling for a long time thinking — and to this day, I still kind of think — like, ‘Why did you pick me? We aren’t compatible,’” the 29-year-old wedding videographer explained on the Tuesday, March 21, episode of the “Viall Files” podcast.
Susie was joined by Andrew Spencer on Nick Viall’s show to recap Zach Shallcross’ fantasy suite dates, which aired on Monday, March 20. As Bachelor Nation may recall, things took a turn for Susie and Clayton, also 29, in the 2022 season when she expressed concerns that he slept with Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey during their respective overnight dates. Their conversation got heated and resulted in Susie temporarily leaving the show.
“I think it’s more of a testament to the process of the show. You don’t get enough quality time with that person,” Susie continued on Tuesday. “I mean, that privacy behind fantasy suites, in my mind, I was like, ‘I would have to ask every question over the moon. I would want to really know that person on such a deeper level. I want to know so much about them as a person because that’s the only time you get to truly be real and raw and not have to worry about the world judging you.’ But the show doesn’t give you enough time to have those kinds of conversations. It feels very surfacy, I think, for a lot of it.”
After convincing Rachel, 27, and Gabby, 32, to stay upon revealing he was “in love” with all three of his finalists, Clayton admitted he had the strongest feelings for Susie. While they split again during the final rose ceremony, Clayton and Susie went on to date for several months post-show. They broke up in September 2022.
“And I think that is a harder thing to get through when you’re starting a relationship with somebody. You really don’t know if you’re compatible until you get out of there,” Susie told Nick and Andrew. “So I remember looking back and being like, ‘You are way more compatible with Rachel.’ I remember thinking — I was like, ‘Why did you pick me? You have somebody that you probably would have been really compatible with.’ And other girls too, that didn’t make it quite as far.”
After the season 21 Bachelor asked for clarification that Susie thinks Clayton is “more compatible with Rachel” than her, she added: “I mean, I don’t know now. But more compatible than me.”
Speaking about what it’s like to be together after filming wraps, the Virginia native confessed that she learned producers influenced how she felt about Clayton.
“I don’t even know if I’m really supposed to say it, but there were things that were said or done throughout the process, where I was like, ‘That was so thoughtful. That was such a thoughtful thing to have happen.’ And then after the process is over, you find out that that was somebody else’s idea,” she explained. “That was somebody who’s been listening to me [in interviews] for months that was like, ‘You should make this toast and talk about her character, and how you admire her as a human being.’ … These things that you’re like, ‘How does he know me so well?’ It’s like, no, these are people in his ear. And so it takes away from things where when we come out of there, I’m like, ‘Wait, you don’t know anything about my character. You don’t know anything about who I am.’”
Rachel, for her part, served as season 19’s co-Bachelorette with Gabby. Following brief engagements, both women ended up single before the end of the year. While the former cheerleader has been linked to Dancing With the Stars pro Alan Bersten, Clayton and Rachel sparked reunion rumors in February when they collaborated on a series of TikToks.
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“There was so much healing there. That conversation was so powerful,” he exclusively said on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast last month. “[Rachel] and I both talked about [the idea of reconciling]. We said, you know, we have very high thoughts of each other. But, of course, after what all happened, it’s like, ‘How would you ever go about dating again after all of what occurred?’ She doesn’t have any interest in doing so. And I got that. I also was on my end, like, ‘You know what, after everything we went through, being friends sounds very pleasant.’”
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