Spoilers ahead for the January 27 episode of The Bachelor on ABC.
While the drama on Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor is going strong, the same can’t necessarily be said for Peter himself. The Bachelor’s latest leading man is more than willing for the ladies to “steal him for a sec” and make out whenever the opportunity presents itself, but the latest Alayah drama (and how he handled it) leads me to ask: did the show make a mistake with Peter as the Bachelor?
First, I want to make something clear: I didn’t have anything against Peter before the season started. I was underwhelmed when he was announced as the next Bachelor star, but he was one of the less offensive suitors from Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette. “At least he’s not Luke P.!” and “He’s better than Jed!” aren’t the greatest compliments, but Peter seemed… adequate. As soon as his season of The Bachelor started, however, I felt like he shouldn’t be on this show, and the subsequent weeks just made me more certain.
Peter Weber seems like an emotional wreck. To me, the cracks started to show as soon as Hannah Brown showed up in the premiere and he would have walked off to be with her if he’d had the option. He comes across as very much not over Hannah, or at least not over what he went through on The Bachelorette.
And he’s not helped by the obstacles The Bachelor keeps throwing his way. Champagne-Gate wasn’t really on anybody in particular, and seemed like an honest mistake that was blown way out of proportion due to some miscommunication, and the Alayah Benavidez drama probably wouldn’t have started if Sydney Hightower hadn’t decided to speak her mind.
But setting up Peter to go through a wonderful date with Victoria Fuller at a Chase Rice concert, only for her to tearfully have to confess by the end of the night that she used to date the country music star when Peter's biggest issues are with trust and honesty? And then setting it up so that Alayah could crash the group date party when most of the women hadn’t had any one-on-one time with him?
I spent most of this episode feeling bad for him. Not so much by the end, but for most of it! It’s a mark of the seriousness of the situation that I actually feel worse for Peter now than I did for Derek Peth on Bachelor in Paradise when Demi Burnett dumped him and then was allowed to bring her girlfriend, a.k.a. a Bachelor franchise newcomer, to Paradise in front of poor Derek.
Of course, I also felt bad for the women, who were rightfully angry that Alayah was allowed to come back to snag the rose and then Peter bounced out for the night without speaking to most of them, and his apology struck me as pretty inadequate. In his slight defense, Peter seems like he did it because he’s confused and overwhelmed to a point beyond even Colton Underwood when he literally jumped a fence to flee producers.
At this point, Peter feels like he’s there for the wrong reasons, because he doesn’t come across as a guy ready for love, marriage, and baby in a baby carriage when that’s what these women are looking for.
Whatever Peter needs at this point in his season -- whether it’s to get over Hannah Brown, emotionally recover from what went down during Hannah’s season of The Bachelorette, or something else -- I don’t think it’s to go on dates and deal with drama. He’s had to walk away from the women for a breather, he second-guessed himself about Alayah enough to bring her back after she showed up for a talk, and he emotionally cancelled more than one date. He literally had to loosen his collar in the latest episode!
Will Peter wind up being totally fine one of these episodes and I’ll change my mind about him being too much of an emotional wreck to lead The Bachelor without devastating himself week in and week out? I hope so. I seriously feel bad for the guy and for the women along for the ride who are struggling. That said, the finale is already poised to be very dramatic, so I’m not counting on Peter gaining lasting clarity any time soon.
See what happens next for Peter Weber on The Bachelor with new episodes on ABC Mondays starting at 8 p.m. ET.