Unbothered! Clayton Echard and girlfriend Susie Evans weren’t too happy with the hate spewed at the former Bachelor during The Bachelorette season 19 premiere on Monday, July 11, but they’re making the best of it. Clayton, for one, joked that he was going to “chase down” the parents of the choir that sang “Clayton Sucks” to Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia during the episode.

“As I saw the episode, I was very happy to just feel that I’m like, you know, ‘It’s not personal, it’s business,’” the former ABC star, 29, shared while appearing on the Tuesday, July 12, episode of Kaitlyn Bristowe‘s “Off the Vine” podcast. “So as I saw the show, the episode and all of the attacks and the song, the choir. … I honestly didn’t really get a reaction other than I just kind of laughed.”

Susie, 28, for her part, “was annoyed” with the constant references to her boyfriend during the show.

“Clayton has given, you know, he can laugh at himself and I can laugh at Clayton,” she admitted. “And I can laugh at myself. But also, my fear is, like, ‘Does this open the floodgates back up of all the hate and stuff?’ So that’s where I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, really?’ But Clayton, definitely was, like, going with the flow. … He was able to laugh.”

Amid his time as the Bachelor, Clayton told Gabby, Rachel and Susie that he loved all three of them. After his confession, the reality show star broke up with Gabby and Rachel in favor of Susie, who decided that she didn’t want to be with him. However, during the live Bachelor finale, it was revealed that Clayton and Susie had reconciled and are still together.

During the episode, Susie also responded to a Twitter post from a fan who suggested she and Clayton make a TikTok video set to “Clayton Sucks.” She replied, “On it.”

Other than the season 19 contestants — some of whom introduced themselves to Gabby, 31, and Rachel, 26, referring to Clayton as a “piece of s—t” or “clown” — the two leads also referenced their time on his season.

“I want to be with someone who can make a decision. It was clear Clayton didn’t know what the f—k he wanted,” Gabby told Rachel during the premiere about what she’s looking for in a potential partner. “He was bouncing, bouncing, bouncing and I know what I want and you know what you deserve too.”

She added, “I don’t trust men, not all of them anyway. … After everything with Clayton, men have rightfully earned not being able to be trusted.”

Gabby, Rachel Bachelorette Bracket for Season 19: Printable
ABC/Gizelle Hernandez

While it seems the start of The Bachelorette season 19 came with more than one reference to Gabby and Rachel’s ex, Clayton is hopeful that the hate will die down as the season progresses.

“I get it, there’s a connection to my story with these two women,” he shared on the “Off the Vine” podcast. “But I imagine as the weeks roll on my name will no longer be said and the story will truly become about these two women.”

Can’t wait until the finale for more Bachelorette spoilers? No worries, we’ve got you covered. See if Gabby Windey gets engaged, who her final two guys are and who her top four guys are. Plus, check out if Rachel Recchia gets engaged, who her final two guys are and who she picks for her final four. You can also check out Life & Style’s Bachelorette page for more updates on the drama throughout the season!


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Tyler Cowan