“I think that he’s going to be a really compelling person to watch,” the Washington native, 35, exclusively told Us Weekly of the former NFL player, 28, on Thursday, December 2, while promoting her partnership with Wyndham Grand. “We don’t have any real preconceived notions about Clayton. We know he’s a nice guy. We know he’s funny. He gets along with other guys.”
Echard was officially announced as the season 26 Bachelor after the Tuesday, November 30, episode of The Bachelorette, more than two months after Us confirmed that he landed the role. “Clayton stood out right off the bat,” a source exclusively revealed in September of the Missouri native, who was sent packing by Michelle Young before her hometown dates. “Producers ended up going with him because they believed he was the best fit for the role. They wanted to switch things up and go with someone new and someone who hasn’t been in the spotlight yet.”
Giudici, who won Sean Lowe‘s season 17 of The Bachelor in 2013, thinks the new season will be a lot like her husband’s. The Texas native, 38, became a fan favorite after competing on Emily Maynard‘s season of The Bachelorette in 2012.
“It’ll probably be similar, I’m assuming, to Sean’s season, where they cast really nice girls for him,” Giudici explained. “I’m excited to get to know more, and yes, of course I’ll be watching.”
Lowe and the graphic designer tied the knot in January 2014 during a ceremony broadcast on live TV just over one year after he proposed during the season 17 finale. The couple share sons Samuel, 5, Isaiah, 3, and daughter Mia, 23 months.
Though the Washington State University alum stays busy as a mom of three, she’s still found time to watch Young’s season of The Bachelorette, which is currently airing on ABC.
“[I’m] obsessed with her top three,” Giudici told Us, referring to suitors Joe Coleman, Nayte Olukoya and Brandon Jones. “I was obsessed with her top four! … She’s an inspiration, and I’ve just been really enjoying watching her create partnerships and relationships with these guys.”
After the finale airs, however, Giudici hopes to have a somewhat screen-free holiday season, which is why she partnered with Wyndham Grand on the company’s Reconnected initiative. The reality star will be awarding select guests at the hotel chain with a limited-edition “Reconnected” Travel Keepsake Box that includes a Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 camera for taking real photos that don’t need to be viewed on a computer. One lucky winner will also receive a 10-day vacation to the Wyndham Grand hotel or resort of their choice.
“It’s going to be a really exciting year for everybody, because for the most part, we’re all going to be able to reconnect with our families,” she told Us. “That is the most important thing to me, is not only getting together with family, but documenting it and then organizing it later. … When we’re doing holiday stuff, I will have even a tag of an ornament that I bought, and I will know it’s so important to me, which sounds so silly, but really the whole picture of the holidays is little things.”
As for her own Christmas plans this year, she and Lowe will be staying at home with the kids. “My favorite tradition is just being together and documenting being together,” she explained. “I love that.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi