'The Bachelor' Episode 7 Recap: Clayton Cuts More Than Half His Women Ahead of Hometowns

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Clayton Echard is narrowing down his potential life partners. On Monday night's episode of The Bachelor, Clayton said goodbye to more than half of his women ahead of the Hometown dates, all of which ET is breaking down in the recap below.

Mara and Sarah faced off at the start of the episode, before Clayton made his pick. A princess-themed date was granted one woman, and the following group date saw two hopefuls go home.

The second one-on-one of the week secured one woman a hometown date, while an early frontrunner was shocked to be heading home alone.

Keep reading for a full recap of episode 7 of The Bachelor.

Mara Speaks Her Mind

When Sarah, rose in hand, made her triumphant return to the women, she addressed them and demanded to know who spoke ill of her.

Eventually Mara fessed up, saying, "He wants an engagement at the end of this, I’ve been here since day one ready for an engagement. I don’t know what you’re here for, but it’s the reality of the fact that he needs to see the big picture."

To that, Sarah said, "Clayton identified this as a last-ditch effort of someone who feels like they’re going home, so whatever is being brought to him is not being received the way you’re hoping it to." 

The drama continued into the cocktail party. While Clayton had lovely moments with Serene and Susie, Mara and Sarah geared up for round two. 

After pulling Sarah aside, Mara told her that her "last-ditch effort" comment "kind of rubbed me the wrong way," calling it "insensitive and a little ignorant."

"You’re acting as if Clayton’s a trophy to be won it seems like," Mara said. "... You’re getting a little sloppy and it’s showing. It’s only a matter of time before he sees it."

Clayton didn't see it as quickly as Mara would've liked, and opted to keep Sarah around and say goodbye to Mara and Eliza. 

Susie Is Princess for a Day

After the women arrived in Vienna, Austria, Susie was whisked away on a shopping date with Clayton. The Bachelor patiently held Susie's clothes and watched as she modeled them, and the kindness left Susie in tears with gratitude.

"I do believe with every conversation we have I do get a little closer to falling in love," Clayton said in a confessional, with Susie adding in hers, "I feel giddy when I’m around Clayton. I feel like I’m a little kid again. I’m shy, and I’m nervous. It’s a fun way to feel, to be honest, because I haven’t felt that in so long. It felt so incredible. I felt like I was on top of the world."

The magic continued into the nighttime portion of her date, when Susie opened up about coming from a "humble home" as she and Clayton ate dinner in a palace.

"Today was more than I could ask for," Clayton told Susie as he gave her a rose. "I am so very ready to meet your family, and get to know the people that you care about and love so much." 

The night ended with a private concert from Chris de Burgh.

"She really does make me feel like I’m in a fairy tale. It’s a way I’ve never felt before in my life," Clayton said in a confessional. "I am ready to have it progress to the next level. There’s no holding back. It just feels natural."

Therapy Sends Two Women Home

On the group date, the women were told that they'd each be having a couple's therapy session with Clayton. During Gabby's session, she emotionally discussed her struggles with her mom, and Teddi revealed her strong feelings for Clayton during hers.

When it was Genevieve's turn, the bartender struggled to open up about her feelings, and told both Clayton and the therapist that she dislikes crying and getting emotional in front of people. Eventually, Clayton pulled Genevieve out of the session, telling her, "With Hometowns around the corner and having to meet families, it’s really hard to see meeting your family when I’m not able to see what is inside the walls." 

Genevieve agreed that they were "not there yet," and Clayton walked her out. "I’m not going to get anywhere if I don’t let my walls down," Genevieve said as she was driven away. "... Nothing against Clayton. Anyone would be lucky to end up with him. I have some stuff to work on, that’s for sure." 

After revealing to the remaining women that he'd sent Genevieve home, Rachel had her turn in therapy, and admitted that she'd gone through "a lot of insecurity" in the house and feared losing Clayton.

Then Sarah was up, and much to the women's dismay she announced that she was "weirdly excited" about the session because she "really loves therapy."

Clayton thought it went well, but things soured when the therapist announced that one of the women had been "performative" during a session.

He quickly discovered who that was on the group date, as Rachel, Teddi and Gabby all individually recounted how they had considered leaving the show based on what Sarah said about her connection with Clayton.

When he pulled Sarah to discuss it, she broke down in tears and denied everything, saying, "Anything I say or do is wrong and it’s only happened in the last week... I just wanted to leave at one point because it’s so heartbreaking." 

Clayton didn't buy it, though, telling her, "I’m just going to be real with you, I really felt like you were trying to fake cry to me. It didn’t feel genuine at all." 

Sarah tried to say no tears fell because she has "no tears left," but Clayton stayed strong, telling her, "I felt like you were trying to force the tears out."

"What scares me, is it sounds like you were trying to manipulate these women into thinking that there was more there to the point where they felt that they should just give up. Everybody at one point almost walked out. That’s what’s frustrating me," he said. "I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe you. I think we’re done." 

Clayton walked Sarah out and she was left feeling "annoyed."

"If someone says they’re feeling insecure because of where my relationship’s at, then how does that become me being manipulative, or it being something that I need to fix?" she questioned as she was driven away. "People want to go cry to him about it, and the fact that he believes that, I don’t even want to be engaged to someone like that."

Serene Secures a Rose

Serene had her one-on-one date the next day and quickly put Clayton and ease when she asked how he was doing. The pair was able to put the night before out of their minds, enjoying a horse-drawn carriage, walking around, and dancing in the street.

The "natural and normal" date left Serene feeling as if she's "falling in love with him." She told Clayton as much on the nighttime portion of their date, and he was left giddy by the news.

"I cannot tell you how happy that makes me," he said, with Serene noting, "It’s scary, but at the same time it’s oddly comfortable. You honestly make it so easy." 

After receiving the rose, Serene said in a confessional, "I do think that he could be the one for me." 

During the rose ceremony, Clayton handed out the two remaining roses to Rachel and Gabby, thus sending Teddi home.

"I was not expecting that tonight. I don’t know what changed within a week, because it sounded like it was me from our last conversation," Teddi said in a confessional. "... I do feel worthy of love, but I am coming up short and I don’t understand... I thought it could be him and it’s not."

Trouble in the Hometowns

Next week, Hometown dates will air. In the preview, all of the women express excitement about introducing Clayton to their families, but their loved ones question who will pick up the pieces if it doesn't go their way.

"You better be good to her. I don’t give a damn about anything else," Gabby's family member tells Clayton, before Rachel's dad asks, "What are you going to do to not hurt her?" 

Flash forward a week later, and Clayton is in love with his final three women. After telling two women that he was intimate with both of them, Clayton complains to his parents, "No one wants to be here anymore."

"They have a right to be upset," his dad tells him. "You’ve put yourself in this situation. You screwed the pooch, in my opinion."

In response, Clayton tells his parents, "I wish I never would’ve fallen in love."

Clayton Echard's season of The Bachelor airs Mondays on ABC. ET has got you covered throughout the entirety of his season with all of our Bachelor content

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