THE Bachelor’s hunky new leading man Clayton Echard was spotted leaving his hotel in Los Angeles ahead of his first night of filming at the show’s iconic mansion.
Exclusive photographs obtained by The Sun show the 28-year-old ex footballer beaming from ear-to-ear with crew members heading to the set on Tuesday morning.
The Missouri native will meet the women on the show for the first time this week[/caption]
He towered above a mystery brunette clutching her phone, believed to be a publicist, and a male team member, as they strolled together and appeared in great spirits.
Missouri native Clayton opted for a casual look before putting on a tux for the ladies, choosing a pale blue patterned shirt, dark shorts, and white sneakers.
His outfit showed off his ripped body as he’s no doubt been pumping iron before the cameras start rolling.
According to sources, filming starts at the $4.4million mansion in Agoura Hills on Tuesday evening, although the new main host of the ABC dating show is still a mystery.
Clayton, who is from the tiny town of Eureka, was chosen as a “last minute” decision, a source close to production previously told The Sun.
An insider said: “It’s a big gamble with Clayton because viewers don’t even know him yet but he’s a midwestern gentleman that the audience will love.
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They continued: “He’s very naive and pure to the whole TV thing, he’s not an aspiring influencer like a lot of these people.
“He will charm the audience at a time the show desperately needs a more wholesome lead.”
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The source went onto explain that the unconventional choice of picking a Bachelor before their Bachelorette season even airs was due to scheduling.
“It’s not an ideal situation with the pandemic postponing things and Michelle’s season airing so late in the year which is not typical, there’s no way around the scheduling conflict,” the insider explained.
Variety reported on September 15, 2021, that Clayton had been tapped as the next Bachelor.
Fans of the dating franchise will be introduced to him as a contestant on Michelle Young‘s upcoming season of The Bachelorette.
ALL ABOUT CLAYTON
Sources told the outlet that producers quickly fell in love with him and he rose to the top of the network’s shortlist.
Clayton played for the Missouri Tigers in 2012 prior to being drafted for the National Football League four years later.
In 2016 he was signed to the Seattle Seahawks.
It is unclear when he left the NFL but according to his Instagram bio, he is in orthopedic sales.
Exclusive photographs shared by The Sun earlier this month showed the Bachelor teams preparing the iconic mansion for filming once again.
BACK AT THE MANSION
While the most recent seasons of The Bachelorette were not filmed at the luxury home due to coronavirus restrictions, many memorable contestants from past seasons have resided in the property while filming.
The home is called Villa de la Vina, known to fans simply as “The Mansion.”
Photographs show white tents set up on the property, crew members getting to work, and even cranes as they transform the home for the upcoming season of the ABC dating show.
A source told The Sun the production team still have to follow strict Covid guidelines and the network has a backup resort lined up if anyone falls sick on set.
PLENTY OF OBSTACLES
The insider revealed: “They’re beginning production at Bachelor mansion and the intention is to have as much of the season filmed there as possible.
“But there are a lot of hoops they have to jump through with Covid protocols being in LA county.
“They have another resort as a backup they might end up using, they’re literally running into new obstacles everyday. But yes the current setup at the mansion is for Bachelor production.”
A luxurious pool sits outside of the 200 year-old Mediterranean-style revival house, while romantic archways create a luxurious feeling as cast members can enjoy picturesque views of the canyon, mountains and a vineyard.
The latest seasons of The Bachelorette were filmed at the La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California and starred Clare Crawley, 39, and Tayshia Adams, 30.
It was the first time the ABC show had not been filmed at ‘The Mansion” since 2012.
The ex-footballer opted for a casual look in a blue top and dark shorts[/caption]
He will be joined on set tonight by the mystery new host of the ABC show[/caption]
Filming will take place at the iconic $4.4million mansion in Agoura Hills, California[/caption]
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