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Clayton Echard to star in Season 26 of 'The Bachelor'

Clayton Echard to star in Season 26 of 'The Bachelor'
Clayton Echard is the new star of Season 26 of "The Bachelor." Photo by Pamela Littky, courtesy of ABC

Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Clayton Echard, a former Bachelorette suitor and medical salesman from Missouri, has signed on to star in the next edition of the ABC reality show, The Bachelor.

The season is scheduled to debut on Jan. 6.

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"Clayton was first introduced to audiences on the current season of The Bachelorette, where he showed off his rugged good looks and Viking-level athleticism while managing to charm even the harshest of critics -- a group of fifth-grade students," the network said in a press release Tuesday night.

"He is a puppy-loving goofball with a heart of gold (and surprisingly good dance moves) who is ready to find the love of his life."

Bachelorette star Michelle Young, who teaches elementary school in Minneapolis, sent Echard home earlier in Season 18. Her remaining suitors on the show are Brandon Jones, Joe Coleman and Nayte Olukoya.

The finale, in which Young is expected to choose one of the men with whom to start an off-screen romance, is set for Dec. 14.

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