At one point during her current reign of terror, Shanae Ankney suggested that The Bachelor be re-titled "the Shanae Show."
And as much as we hate to admit it, she may have been onto something.
There’s been a good deal of debate as to whether or not Shanae is the worst villain in Bachelor history, but there’s no denying that she’s dominated her season as perhaps no others before her have.
Ankney’s fellow contestants have been annoyed by her antics since day one, and now, it seems that Clayton Echard is finally joining them in their frustration.
Shanae’s manipulative tactics seem to have worked on Clayton during filming.
But now that he’s watching the episodes and seeing the things that she said when he wasn’t around, he realizes that she played him like a fiddle.
Better late than never, we suppose!
Echard is trying to make up for it after the fact by apologizing to those who were hurt by Shanae and joking about how misguided he was.
But the former NFL player might never receive the universal forgiveness that he’s so obviously seeking.
“It’s honestly scary how manipulative Shanae is like is she secretly a serial killer,” a viewer tweeted during this week’s episode, in which Shanae threw a tantrum (and a trophy) and then issued a ridiculously phony apology to the other contestants.
Clayton retweeted the post and added some commentary of his own:
“Lock her up! She’s killed all my credibility already," Echard wrote.
He’s obviously joking — to a certain extent — but this isn’t the first time that Clayton has taken to social media to express his regret with the way his mishandled the Shanae situation.
After the episode in which Elizabeth Corrigan got sent home and Shanae received a rose (despite brutally bullying Elizabeth at every opportunity), Clayton tweeted out a lengthy apology to Corrigan.
“I’m sorry, Elizabeth, for what you’re going through. I wish I could have seen what was happening when I wasn’t there,” he wrote.
“I would have sent Shanae home immediately for making fun of you for being neurodivergent, had I known.”
Echard added that watching the show back “hasn’t been fun” for him because he’s “seeing all the damage” his decisions caused.
“I really meant well, but my actions weren’t always the best as I now can see the repercussions from my decisions,” he added.
“I can promise you I’m learning from the mistakes though and am doing everything in my power to come out the other side a better man.”
It’s nice that Clayton recognizes how badly he messed up, but his awareness came after filming wrapped, and as a result, his season is shaping up to be a disaster.
You can’t teach someone to be a better judge of character or how to see through the machinations of a bad actor, which is just one reason that fans have been calling for older, more experienced contestants on both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
The long-rumored senior season of The Bachelor seems to be the franchise’s way of responding to these demands.
We look forward to that season — if it ever happens — but it’s worth noting viewers aren’t necessarily demanding a cast made up entirely of sixty-something grandparents.
It seems they just want someone with enough life experience to recognize when they’re being manipulated by someone like Shanae.
Clayton might reach that point someday, but he clearly wasn’t there yet when his season was being filmed.