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ABC’s “The Bachelor” - Season 24

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for... a Blueshirt Banter roundtable on this season of the Bachelor, featuring contestants Adam Herman, Brianna Pontone, and Steph Driver.

Let’s quickly get you up to speed: Peter Weber, also known as Pilot Pete, was the Bachelor, and it was a very bad season. When he was down to the final two women, Madison, the one he seemed to want to give his coveted final rose to/who his family didn’t approve of, left him. So, he proposed to Hannah Ann and they unsurprisingly broke up. At ‘After the Final Rose’ Peter and Madison announced they were in love and his family threw a fit. Days later they announced that they wouldn’t be pursuing a relationship.

Where did this season go wrong the most?

Adam: When they made Peter the lead. As bad as his group of contestants was, there was not a single 30-women group the producers could have found that would have inspired a happy ending. Even beyond the inherently cynical premise of The Bachelor, Peter had absolutely no idea what he wanted in any given moment, let alone in a marriage. As boring as Colton was, he at least knew what he wanted, immediately got rid of anyone who was wasting his time in one form or another, and gave the finger to the producers when they tried to get in his way.

Brianna: When they picked Peter as Bachelor over Mike... Peter let the drama distract him from making the right choices by getting too caught up in it. I feel like he spent more of his time trying to straighten out drama and believing what other women were saying instead of focusing on finding his partner. He was not aggressive and did not go after what he wanted, probably because, like Adam said, it did not seem like he knew what he wanted.

Shayna: I thought Peter would give us Ben Higgins vibes, but nope. Like Adam said, at least Colton knew what he wanted and was driven to get it. Had Peter taken a page out of his book, he would have went after Madi when she left, and it could have ended there, sparing everyone — especially Hannah Ann — the headache. A big issue with the season was the emphasis on the drama. There’s drama every damn year, that’s the nature of the show and how you get eyeballs on it, but there was far too much focus on it this year — to the point where it felt like you knew so little about the contestants until the final four were left. Maybe it was thought this group lacked depth? (which puts a spotlight on how the recruiting process could be better), but still...

Steph: Peter sucks.

What are your thoughts on Madison and her ‘ultimatum?’

Adam: Let’s first put aside the cliché Bachelor(ette) commentary which implies there is something immoral about promiscuity and let’s focus solely on Madison and Peter. As long as it’s not overtly harmful or manipulative, Madison is entitled to her own dealbreakers within a relationship and it’s similarly Peter’s prerogative to accept them or move on. Nonetheless, they both handled this horribly. Madison clearly waited until the last possible moment to impress upon him the seriousness with which she held these virtues, and she’s incredibly naive to have signed up for a show in which she and 29 other women are dating the same guy concurrently. But naive and last minute or not, Peter heard her loud and clear. If he truly wanted to marry her, he would have, AT MINIMUM, not gone into the fantasy suites with the other women (Colton took it 10 steps further by blowing up the whole facade, but I digress). But again, Peter had absolutely no idea what he wanted. They both reaped what they sowed.

Brianna: Madison was a hundred percent right in what she said about Peter having sex with two women just a week before he could possibly propose to her, it is weird and uncomfortable. However, she knew what show she signed up for. She knew there were fantasy suites. There was a better time to tell him that she was saving herself for marriage, like before hometowns. It is because she waited to tell him that it really did come off like an ultimatum. I also think if she spoke to him about it sooner, they could of had a better conversation about it and Peter could of had more time to digest that as well.

Shayna: I don’t have a problem with someone saying ‘if you want to get engaged to me in a week, don’t have sex with two other women days before.’ That, to me, is completely logical and reasonable. Where Madison went wrong, I think, was not being completely upfront on why she felt that way and that she was saving herself — especially knowing the process and what happens in ~the fantasy suites~. Not knowing that detail after being with two other women seemed to have upset Peter, because of course the one he wants the most was third on the list for these dates. So maybe had he known he would have proceeded differently (and if he didn’t respect that/did what he wanted anyway, it could have given Madison her answers sooner).

Steph: Darling, you know what show you signed up for.

Who were you rooting for: Hannah Ann or Madison?

Adam: I was rooting for neither because ending up with nobody was the ending Peter deserved. That being said, if it had to be an either/or, he should have ended up with Madi. Hannah Ann is unbelievably bland and uninteresting with extremely simple interests, but she at least knew exactly what she wanted in her boring life. Let Peter and Madi be miserable and unfulfilled together.

Brianna: I was not rooting for either of them. But then again, I was not rooting for Peter either.

Shayna: I was rooting.... for this season to end. But of the two, Madison just in that she was more realistic. If he wasn’t going to go after Madison after she left, which he didn’t do, I was rooting for him to do the right thing and pick nobody.

Steph: Ugh neither.

What did you think about Hannah Ann accepting Peter’s proposal?

Adam: It was clearly the wrong decision, but it’s easy for me to say with the benefit of hindsight, emotional distance from the situation, and footage of what Peter acted like with everyone else. Peter essentially, even if subconsciously, told her that Madi leaving made Hannah Ann the winner by default, but he made sure to quickly bury that in-between long soliloquies about how much he was pretending to love her. I don’t blame her.

Brianna: I was actually surprised she did after being hurt by Peter saying his heart was being pulled in two directions. I think she accepted it because he said Madison left and she was the only one left.

Shayna: With Hannah, she was so unsure the night before/day of about where they stood too, that I don’t know how you accept it? But I guess she was ‘swept up in the moment’ (despite the lackluster proposal) and said yes to the person she had already said she was in love with (aka, bad on Peter for proposing at all). Did we mention he was not good at this already?

Steph: It was the most meh proposal and the most ‘sure I guess acceptance’ I have ever seen in my life.

ABC’s “The Bachelor” - Season 24

Hannah Ann and Peter’s breakup?

Adam: The problem is that we were only offered vague information about what led up to Hannah Ann breaking up with Peter. That being said, she absolutely roasted Peter mercilessly but fairly and ripped the band-aid off rather than giving him more chances he didn’t deserve.

Brianna: I am still not entirely sure what caused the break up. I was waiting for something big to be said but it just seemed that Peter’s indecisiveness is what hurt their relationship. Hannah Ann’s ‘After the Final Rose’ roast of Peter was awesome. I am glad she did not hold back and revealed a few things the audience did not know, like that he needed closure from Hannah Brown still.

Shayna: Hannah Ann rightfully let him have it during the ‘After the Final Rose’ show, and he deserved all of it. Good for her, she deserves better than that.

Steph: I’m honestly glad, she deserved better.

Thoughts on Madi and Peter ‘being together’ and then breaking up two days later?

Adam: An obviously contrived segment of the show that the producers pushed for because they didn’t want two-straight seasons in which the lead left with nobody. Also, they knew that Pete’s mom versus Pete/Madison would manufacture drama.

Brianna: A large part of me does not believe they were actually together for two days, just more drama for headlines. Nevertheless, Madison and Peter were too different to be together. They had completely different ideals and visions of what they wanted in their partners. I think Peter cared about Madison more than she cared about him, but because she could not get there as fast as Peter did. Peter would of had to change himself and his lifestyle for her a lot. While I believe there should be compromise between two people in a relationship, it seemed like one of them would have to compromise more of themself for the other.

Shayna: If they were already broken up at the time of AFR, then it should have just been left at that instead of the mess that unfolded for #thedrama. If not, it makes sense why it wouldn’t have worked because of everything that happened/how different they were.

Steph: Honestly, good for her. They are both fundamentally different people and want different things, they would never have worked long term.

The worst part of how Peter’s family handled everything?

Adam: Look, I don’t want to psychoanalyze an entire family based on a few clips that reality TV producers hand-picked for maximum drama, but it’s quite evident that Peter’s family is not The Cleavers like they desperately wished to present as. They all argue a lot in overly dramatic ways, and it’s easy to connect the dots to how this affected Peter’s choices this season. He wants to a build a family like his own, and his family has melodramatic scuffles. Thus, he equates tears and arguments with love. That’s exactly why he was enamored with Victoria F. Her inability to have a single conversation with Peter without manipulatively running away with crocodile tears made him fall for her more and more. His parents have painted a portrait for him where constant struggles are actually romantic because love is something to “fight” for. When his relationship with Kelley maturing at a normal, healthy pace, it freaked him out because, in his mind, the fact that she wasn’t throwing herself at him and creating drama amongst the other girls meant that she must not care. Essentially, the entire Weber family needs to do some soul searching and figure out why they have such an unhealthy view of what “love” is supposed to look like.

Brianna: The producers clearly made it more overdramatic than it was, like they did with this whole season. Obviously his family is going to be concerned about who his future wife will be and their opinions weighed heavily on Peter, which led him to also propose to Hannah Ann. However, the worst part was when Barb was so rude to Madison during the ‘After the Final Rose’. She was overly praising Hannah Ann and making such immature faces when Madison spoke. If you want your son to value your opinion, stop with the petty stuff and act like an adult.

Shayna: What Adam said. All of it.

There really isn’t anything wrong with a family having some concerns over what’s best for Peter. That’s actually pretty normal. But supporting his decisions should be the priority and not dragging it into whatever that mess was. As Alison said on the Too Many Men podcast, this show isn’t about finding someone to service your son, Barb!

Steph: Barb is way too extra. It is one thing to support your son, another to make his love life about you.

What do you think of Clare as the next Bachelorette?

Adam: I didn’t watch her season but it will be refreshing to hate-watch grown adults who are there for the right reasons as they make horrible decisions rather than the recent trend of immature wannabe #influencers who see finishing in 6th place as a means to an end for getting marketing deals from pyramid schemes.

Brianna: I only started watching The Bachelor for Colton’s season, so the only Bachelorette I know is Hannah Brown. That being said, I am looking forward to Clare’s season because she is a new face for me.

Shayna: I watched Clare during Juan Pablo’s season (the actual worst Bachelor, with a solid group of women) I wasn’t her biggest fan throughout the season, but her breakup with him was excellent, and she was fine in Paradise/Winter Games. So, hopefully it’s a better season. The Bachelorette is often better than The Bachelor because women as the decision makers > men, and Clare seems to actually know what she wants (what a concept, right?).

Steph: I don’t know who she is, I am brand new to this chaos.