The conflict between Shanae and Genevieve explodes after a soccer game

‘The Bachelor’ star Clayton Echard took one step forward and two steps back last week in becoming the first Bachelor to take back a rose from up-and-coming villain Cassidy, but then seemingly bought into the outrageous sob story the new guy gave him Villain Shanae told about his competitor Elizabeth.

Clayton was able to see through Cassidy’s tearful facade and send her home, but one can only imagine how he must have felt looking back on last week’s episode and seeing Shanae’s gruesome victory dance after she beat him convinced that Elizabeth, not her, created a toxic environment. I feel like I’m reliving every bad experience I ever had in middle and high school just by watching this show.

What happened last week?: Clayton Echard reclaims Rose, Shanae creates drama in ‘Shrimp Incident’

Add that to the fact that last week’s episode featured a group date where participants discussed racism, body dysmorphia and partner abuse, with two other dates where Clayton and his partner had to romp around Los Angeles in their underwear, and another Face-to-face group dates where they cavorted, participants wore skimpy Baywatch swimsuits, and you have to ask: do these producers want us to respect Clayton?

More: 5 Things To Know About Clayton Echard, Former Mizzou Soccer Player

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Will Clayton develop character skills? Will Cassidy keep the rose she worked so hard for? Will Shanae face consequences for her willful ignorance?

Let’s dive in!

What happened on The Bachelor this week?

The episode begins with some of the remaining 18 girls discussing their concerns about the impact Shanae has had on their experience. Elizabeth, in particular, is nervous about what will happen if Shanae stays.

Clayton takes Shanae and Elizabeth outside, and Shanae immediately insists that Elizabeth make her sick by rehashing her own version of the “shrimp incident.” Clayton just stares at the floor looking the same way I feel listening to Shanae finally has to take a step back.

“We don’t resolve conflicts, we talk about shrimp,” he snaps into a talking head. What an interesting guy. He talks a lot about conflict resolution, but actively steps back when it comes to conflict resolution. I certainly don’t think he should manage these women’s relationships with one another, but his seeming detachment from this important situation is puzzling.

Shanae returns a plate of shrimp to the group and blesses the others, they (Genevieve in particular) stand in for Elizabeth. As the girls all yell at each other, Clayton looks absolutely miserable and then cancels the cocktail party.

We’re going straight to the cocktail party. Elizabeth, Kira, and Melina are being sent home, and I’m now seriously asking Clayton’s the judgment of producers. I think the others too.

Kiss counter: 0

Solo Date: Rachel and Clayton’s BBQ Adventures

Rachel immediately greets Clayton with a big ole hickey and they go on a romantic horseback ride through the woods together. Clayton seems to be in his element, especially when she is totally random stumble across a barbecue pit operated by one totally random Texas family. It’s hilarious to hear them play this off as a chance encounter.

Rachel tells this family she just met how surprised she was with Clayton and how she can see a future with him. The pair have a blast sharing some good southern food and beer totally random Family.

The two retreat to a small dock and together they discover how good it feels to be together on this date. That night at dinner, Rachel opens up that being a female pilot means she has to work harder to prove herself. She adds that her previous relationship neither trusted nor supported her. Clayton, in a moment of genuine thoughtfulness, reassures her that he doesn’t want to hold her back, and they slowly dance to a performance of “Restless Road.”

Kiss counter: 5

Group session: Soccer, a healthy way to resolve conflicts

Sarah, Eliza, Teddi, Marlena, Jill, Susie, Mara, Sierra, Hunter, Lyndsey, Genevieve, Gabby, and Shanae are called to the group appointment. Shanae listens as the other girls discuss telling him as a group that Shanae is toxic.

The girls all find Clayton at NRG Stadium, home of the very evil Houston Texans. The group remains in the parking lot until Texans Jonathan Greenard and Kamu Grugier-Hill arrive to tell the women that they will be playing tackle football for a chance to attend the after party with Clayton.

It’s Shrimp Stampede (Shanae is in it, in case you haven’t guessed) versus the Purple Punishers (featuring Marlena, Sierra, and Genevieve). Personally, I would love to be on the team with the literal Olympian.

It’s a pleasure to watch the girls frolicking through the football. Marlena is in a league of her own, scoring a touchdown and a pick-six. Shanae and Sierra take the opportunity to push each other into oblivion.

At the after party, Teddi opens up about her insecurities about being in a love competition show after growing up thinking she had to earn her father’s love. Sierra brings Shanae to Clayton and Genevieve. Clayton is frustrated by all of the conflict. So it’s very fortunate that Shanae chooses this moment to crash the party.

“Uh…hey,” Clayton says, sounding petrified. After a very manipulative conversation, in which Clayton just goes along with what Shanae says, the two steal (a lot not staged) kiss at the bar before marching to the women, stealing their trophy and throwing it in the bushes.

If Shanae is what I think she is – the chosen villain who needs to stick around long enough to upset people the way I do – then she’s doing her job well. I still can’t imagine a real person actually acting like that. On the other hand, I’ve seen people online… and they can connect with her. What I wouldn’t give to live in the minds of the men and women chosen to be the bad guys.

Kiss counter: 9

Who hasn’t gotten a rose from Clayton Echard?

What’s next for Clayton?

Niagara Falls, helicopter dates, lots of kisses, and yes, more Shanae drama: you and Genevieve will be dating Clayton, and only one of them will walk away with a rose.

When will season 26 episode 5 of The Bachelor air?

The next episode of “The Bachelor” airs Monday, February 7th at 7pm CT on ABC.

How do I stream The Bachelor online?

You can watch it on fuboTV with a 7-day free trial, on Hulu + Live, or via YouTube TV. If you have cable, you can also stream the show on abc.com/watch-live/abc or on the ABC app, available on iPad, iPhone, Android, Roku, Chromecast, Samsung SmartTV, or Kindle Fire.

Who is Clayton Echard?

Clayton Echard, our sweet vanilla boy, is a single man who has a large fortune and is looking for a wife. Bonus points if you get my reference.

The former Missouri football player has lived quite a life. After going undrafted in 2016, he signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks. He played in all four of Seattle’s 2016 preseason games and made it past the first round of the cut. When NFL teams reduced rosters to 53 active players, Echard was cut.

According to Echard’s LinkedIn page, he has worked in sales for medical device company Stryker since July 2016. He spent his first 18 months with the company in St. Louis, but has been based in the Columbia area since January 2018.

But that’s the boring stuff. Here are the things that really matter:

  • Clayton likes to hold women’s thighs. Watch him on any particular episode – he’s a leg man.
  • Because of all the kisses he does on the show, he had to switch brands of lip balms. The star confirmed on Twitter that chapped lips are becoming a problem.
  • He really appreciates that people are open, honest and vulnerable.

Thank you for participating. I will be back next week with my hopes and dreams based on this one man rejecting this one woman. See you Bachelor Nation!

Gabriela Velasquez is the Planning Editor for Springfield News-Leader and the Columbia Daily Tribune based in Columbia, Mo. Follow her on Twitter at @not_gabriela.

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