The Bachelor kicked off its 26th season on Monday with Clayton Echard, a 28-year-old medical sales rep from Columbia, Missouri meeting the 31 women who are vying to be his future wife.
However, in a shocking franchise first, Salley, a 26-year-old Charlottesville, Virginia native, would head home before the first limo arrived.
Salley, we learned, was previously engaged and set to marry on the same weekend as The Bachelor began taping. She revealed that going into the show, she was excited about meeting Clayton and entering a new chapter of her life with him, but upon arriving at the mansion, she realized she wasn’t ready to move on just yet.
Salley then showed up at Clayton’s hotel room to personally deliver the news that she was backing out of the competition, but was surprised when he asked to leave for a moment and returned with a rose in his hand, explaining, “There’s definitely chemistry and really makes me feel like there could be something special,” he insisted.
“I really want you here, so much so that I want to prove that,” he continued, before offering her the rose.
Even so, after thinking it over, Salley turned down Clayton’s offer, explaining, “I want to accept that rose, but my heart is just not in the place where I can.”
“That was tough,” Clayton said later in a confessional. “The first rose that I have given out as The Bachelor was rejected.”
Another shocking moment came after 28-year-old spray tanner Claire‘s time alone with Clayton didn’t go well. She expressed her disappointment to the other women, declaring, “He was a hundred percent too nice for me.”
Upon learning that Claire had no intention of saying that to Clayton’s face, Serene, an Ohio school teacher, decided to tell him instead. After a confronting Claire about her remarks, Clayton sent her packing.
Also sent home on Monday were Daria, Hailey, Ivana, Jane, Lindsay D., Rianna and Samantha.
The first impression rose went to Teddi.
Here are the other women remaining after the rose ceremony:
Cassidy, 26, an executive recruiter from Los Angeles, Calif.
Eliza, 25, a marketing manager from Berlin, Germany
Elizabeth, 32, a real estate advisor from Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Ency, 28, a sales manager from Burbank, Calif.
Gabby, 30, an ICU nurse from Denver, Colo.
Genevive, 26, a bartender from Los Angeles, Calif.
Hunter, 28, a human resources specialist from Charlotte, N.C.
Jill, 26, an architectural historian from Scituate, R.I.
Kate, 32, a real estate agent from Lake Hollywood, Calif.
Kira, 32, a physician from Philadelphia, Pa.
Lyndsey W., 28 an industrial sales representative from Houston, Texas
Mara, 32, an entrepreneur from Collingswood, N.J.
Marlena, 30, a former Olympian from Gainesville, Fla.
Melina, 27, a personal trainer from West Hollywood, Calif.
Rachel, 25, a flight instructor from Clermont, Fla.
Sarah, 23, a wealth management advisor from New York City, N.Y.
Serene, 26, an elementary school teacher from Oklahoma City, Ohio
Shanae, 29, a recruiter from Sycamore, Ohio
Sierra, 26, a yoga instructor from Dallas, Texas
Susie, 28, a wedding videographer from Virginia Beach, Va.
Teddi, 24, a surgical unit nurse from Highland, Calif.
Tessa, 26, a human resources specialist from Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Bachelor returns Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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