Clayton Echard is the ultimate bachelor of America.

The 28 years old lad from Missouri gave his first exclusive interview to “Good Morning America” since becoming the lead of the 26th season of the hit and one of the longest-running franchises on national tv – The Bachelor.

He said, “it doesn’t feel real at times.

“I was so incredibly honored and humbled to have had the experience, learned a lot about myself and it has been quite the journey,” he said of his season, which premieres January 3rd 2022 on ABC.

Clayton Echard stated that at the beginning of his journey he had a list of what he wanted in his life partner but the women on the show surprised him as “they brought all of that and so much more.”

“I did find love, and I was a little skeptical going into the whole journey but I’m so pleasantly surprised that things worked out much different than what I had thought,” he stated. “I’m just so excited to watch it back and have everyone else watch it as well.”

One of the biggest obstacles that Echard faced during his time at “The Bachelor” was getting “comfortable with being uncomfortable and stepping out of that comfort zone”

Echard was a contestant in The Bachelorette in season 18 and he also made it to the top eight suitors of the then bachelorette Michelle Young but got eliminated after that.

The Bachelor was the turning point of life for me – stated the lead of the show in his first interview after filming it.

He said I was “able to just stop worrying about others, stop comparing myself to others and just be me. Tt’s who I bring into my life that’s going to bring that happiness and make me feel like I’m enough.”

Clayton Echard is a graduate in health science with minors in Spanish and business from the University of Missouri. He plans to pursue further education and eventually launch his own business someday.

The Bachelor will go on air on January 3rd, 2022.