Peter Weber's gotta be honest...no one but Kelley really even had a chance on that first group date.
Of course that's not what most people are talking about after last night's premiere of The Bachelor, which started out fairly normally and ended in a place no one was quite expecting: reigning Bachelorette Hannah Brown, who had returned to host a group date about sex, broke down in tears after her appearance, leading to her and Peter admitting they still had feelings for each other.
You can tell it was a real convo that likely wasn't staged just based on the fact that Hannah's face was covered in smeared mascara, and no one quite knew what to say. She, after all, had just started filming Dancing With the Stars, and Peter had 22 new and eager women waiting to date him on TV. Neither of them could say yes to dating each other, but they also couldn't seem to say no.
The three-hour episode ended on a To Be Continued, after Peter had asked if Hannah could join the show, and she could only say maybe (she literally couldn't say yes, due to DWTS).
Peter then said this in a solo interview.
"I look at her, and I just don't want to stop looking at her. And I want to just kiss her and just...just like have had all this work out. And it didn't, and I know it didn't. And I just, I feel like such a jerk because I have such an awesome group of girls here expecting to meet someone that was truly ready to have this work for them as well, and I don't know."
That's a bold admission from someone who's had to claim he's so ready to move on from his ex, and an interesting way to head into the rest of his season.
Peter visited E! News on Tuesday and opened up about what it was like to have a moment like that on TV.
"It was very difficult. I was reading stuff. I heard people thought it was just us using it [for promo]. It wasn't. That was so real between the two of us, and that also...that wasn't expected. We didn't plan on having that conversation," he told us. "We were supposed to have an actual date. That was actually the plan, and then, that's real life. We went in and we talked and obviously emotions resurfaced that I thought I had put away. And I mean I don't think anyone doubts that."
So where can the show go from here? We asked, and we got some interesting (if unspecific) answers.
E! News: The reality of the situation is that you were the Bachelor and you had all these other women to date, and she was about to do Dancing With the Stars. It was like there was no real happy ending to this conversation. So what were you thinking in that moment, and how does the show go on normally from here?
Definitely not normal. I was, as you can see, very confused in that moment with her. And then also, I felt horrible, because I knew I had an amazing group that had just shown up a couple of nights prior. And I'm putting them through this, but I also have to be true to myself, and I can't fake it if that's how I'm feeling. It's not normal, and you guys are going to see what transpires with the rest of that conversation and where we go from there. But I'm happy everyone at least has seen that that we had a beautiful relationship on her season, and you guys will see what happens with that relationship moving forward.
You and Chris Harrison have said things are a little different this season, and you even said in a THR interview that you don't think it's possible for your season to be spoiled. Spoilers kind of create a whole side fandom with this show, so did you go into it not wanting it to be spoiled, or did it just happen that way?
It's funny, 'cause I didn't. To answer your question, no, I didn't go into it thinking this has to go unspoiled. But just kind of what happens, everyone will see is why I just feel that way. For me, I understand that there's the group that wants to get all that stuff, but I kind of relate it to football. If you know who wins the Super Bowl at the end, you kind of look at the season a little differently, or you don't look at it the same at all. So just because of the circumstances, for me it's cool to know that people can possibly follow me on this journey not knowing how it ends. It's kind of unique, and that's the reason I brought it up. But I didn't intend for it to go that way, it just did.
The premiere started with a little flash forward with Chris saying something ominous. ("Before you do what you're about to do, there is something you should know. There's something I just found out, all of us just found out. I'm not sure how all this ends, so I just wanted to give you a heads up.") That's not typically a storytelling device used in reality TV, so what should we take from that?
You guys have no idea what's coming. You guys have no idea. I mean, they did a good job. It was kind of cool. I don't think I've seen the start of a season start like that. Just enjoy it, enjoy the ride. Obviously it'll all play out and you'll see what it means, but that moment was very tough, a very difficult moment for me. That week, hardest week of my life, and you guys will see why.
We just came off of two seasons where things went very differently for the franchise, with Colton and Hannah. This season, especially with how it started, it sort of feels like anything could happen. Were you still hoping for the ideal ending when you started this? What were you thinking, looking back at their seasons and ahead at yours?
I was asked that a lot, like, what do you want to be remembered as your season, and I was very clear going into it: Nothing. I just want to be remembered as, hopefully, a great example of a love story that people can live through these next couple months, and follow along with it. But yeah, at the end, obviously every season is unique in its own way, and mine's definitely unique, and I couldn't have expected it to go the way it did, but it's real life.
What was it like for you to watch the premiere?
Um, it's a lot to take in. Obviously reliving now, that was obviously an insane high in the whole journey for me, just ‘cause it was the very beginning and I was so excited for it to all start. That first night was unreal for me, will never forget it, having a great time with the ladies and then just being able to…we kicked into some of the group dates, and that was awesome just being able to start it off sharing my passion. That was a perfect way for me to start off the season with a group date, and seeing all of them just really appreciate it and have fun with me. And I think you saw a lot of the Kelley stuff that was just kind of crazy, how that all worked out, the weird coincidence of it all. That really was a coincidence.
The fact that you were at the same hotel where you met...
Yeah, that was even crazier. We didn't tell anyone yet, and we end up going to the afterparty and it's where we met, and she was on that date, and she had won. It was just a crazy day.
So no one else had a chance.
On that date, no. Yeah, I'll just be honest. Probably not.
And then going into that one-on-one, it was probably the most perfect one-on-one I ever could imagine, just having the whole family theme, being able to kick off...
It was a hell of a first date (being present for Peter's parents' vow renewal).
It was amazing. It was the perfect girl with it. Maddie, she was the perfect choice for it. I kind of took a chance because I get it, that could have been a weird first date for some people, getting to meet the family. But that was great. And then the stuff with Hannah. That was very raw, and just real.
You had two frontrunners in the first episode who did not get along with the other women very well, Hannah Ann and Kelley. What was that like for you to watch and see these women you clearly connected with so clearly not connecting with the other women?
I mentioned that to Kelley when I got to talk to her on that group date, and I swear, that was such a random coincidence. No one can blame her for being at her best friend's wedding like no one can blame me for being at my high school reunion. It just happened. But I totally understood why she kind of had a target on her back. I would probably feel the same way. That's a little unfair, and why is she here, is it already over before it starts? I totally get that. But I really do think Kelley handled it really well, and didn't try to rub it in anyone's face by just being honest and giving the facts.
And then with Hannah Ann, that to me was very attractive, what she was doing that first night, being so insistent and so intentional. I love that. That showed me from the bat why she was there and there was no doubts, and maybe I'm in the minority, but I find that attractive.
That's always the thing. To the other women or men, it's obnoxious, but to you it was attractive to see her keep coming back for more time?
Yeah, and the thing is, you can go about it two ways. She's the sweetest person in the world, so her demeanor about it wasn't mean or the wrong way. She just wanted to spend more time with me, and made that clear. If she was being a bitch about it that would have been a whole different story, and I would have seen that. But because she was so sweet and endearing about it, to me that was very attractive.
What can you say about the dynamics with the other women going forward? You eliminated eight people on night one!
I know! I cut a bunch! Actually, I was happy. I mean, it's never fun cutting people, but I was excited to be able to spend more time. That meant more time, more quality time with everyone. I think with every season, stuff gets heated and there's drama when you date one person along with 21 other people. And then for me it's confusing as well, dating that many people. I've never done that, so the dynamic goes as you kind of assume. There's a lot of great women though, and just completely different personalities, different walks of life, and some butt heads. I know there's the whole "cats and rats" thing—you'll see that kind of transpire. But at the end of the day, I guess that's a good thing that there's stuff going on, because it shows that they really cared about being there and were truly trying to see something with me, and I appreciate that.
We saw how everyone reacted when Hannah was first there, but none of them know yet about what happened on that date. Did you feel you had to win them back or at least apologize? How did you approach them with this fact that your ex was just there and had this big moment with you?
Yeah, it was super uncomfortable for me, and I knew what I was going to have to face, but all I could do was be honest with them and not hide anything, not keep anything back, and that's what they deserved. I felt obviously really bad that I was putting them through that, but again, I had to be true to myself that's what I was doing. You'll see how I take care of it, but just be honest is the best policy."
And yes, for everyone wondering, we will get to see the golf cart incident that resulted in Peter's new head scar, as if we didn't already have enough to look forward to this season. Be sure to also hit play on the video at the top of the post to hear Peter explain more about that convo with Hannah on E's Daily Pop.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.