Bachelor Nation’s jaw is on the floor — and so is Clayton Echard’s! The season 26 Bachelor got flirty with ex Gabby Windey after she dropped steamy snaps in the gown she intended to wear for the finale.
“Cl*yton was supposed to propose to me in this dress,” the 32-year-old Dancing With the Stars alum captioned three pics in a black high-neck dress with an open back.
Echard, 29, was quick to respond in the comments section, writing: “Bring the dress to Scottsdale this weekend.”
Alongside Rachel Recchia and Susie Evans, Windey was one of the former football player’s final three on the 2022 season of The Bachelor. Echard made waves at the time when he slept with Windey and Recchia, 27, during the overnight dates before Evans, 29, informed him that was a dealbreaker for her. He subsequently informed the contestants he was in love with all three of them.
After initially convincing Windey and Recchia to stay in the competition, Echard admitted he had the strongest feelings for Evans. At the final rose ceremony, the wedding videographer returned but opted not to continue a romance with Echard. They later reconnected off screen and dated for several months, calling it quits in September 2022.
“Looking back at it all — in those moments, I believed it. I really did believe I was in love with them when I was there, on the show,” Echard said on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast after the March 2022 finale. “But as I’ve now taken the time to reflect and look back, I believe that I got to the point where I was falling in love with everybody, but then it got to the point where I was only in love with Susie. [Now] I only think you can be in love with one person. You can fall for many, but you can only be in love with one. And that’s where I made a mistake. I was confused on the show, and I believed that I was in love with multiple women, but I’ve since realized that I don’t think I was.”
Windey and Recchia went on to co-lead season 19 of The Bachelorette, getting engaged to Erich Schwer and Tino Franco, respectively, but both relationships were done before the end of the year. The ICU nurse has since been linked to Alan Bersten following their time on DWTS live tour, but they have yet to publicly comment on their status. (She also had a fun social media flirtation with Vinny Guadagnino.)
While Echard was quick to get flirty with Windey, some fans thought there was a chance he could reunite with Recchia after they hung out in a group with other Bachelor and Bachelorette alums in February.
“Her and I both talked about it,” he told Us later that month. “We said, you know, we have very high thoughts of each other. But, of course, after what all happened, it’s like, ‘How would you ever go about dating again after all of what occurred?’ She doesn’t have any interest in doing so,” he said. “And I got that. I also was on my end, like, ‘You know what, after everything we went through, being friends sounds very pleasant.’”
He added that “there was so much healing” during their “powerful” conversation.
“I walked away from that experience and I just remember thinking like, ‘Man, this just felt so rewarding.’ And I’m just so happy to know that even someone like her — after everything that happened — everyone that was mad at me, [but] nobody could be more mad at me than her or Gabby,” Echard continued. “And so for her to forgive me and tell me that, ‘Hey, I understand, and I don’t hold this against you any longer,’ that was probably one of the best things I could have heard. … They don’t have any reason to [forgive me], but if she can, then everything that I’ve done is forgivable. And I can grow from this, and I can allow myself to forgive myself. If they forgive me specifically, I should be able to forgive myself. And so I did.”