Though Rachel Lindsay has found her happily ever after, second runner-up Eric Bigger believes her decision to send Peter Kraus home and say “yes” to Bryan Abasolo‘s proposal wasn’t made wholeheartedly.
In an exclusive clip of Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family interview with Bigger, he gets candid about his relationship with Lindsay and explains why he thinks she may have settled.
“From what was shown last night I think Bryan was the consolation prize,” Bigger, 29, tells the hosts. “He was second place.”
On Monday night’s finale of The Bachelorette, Kraus expressed his love for Lindsay, but admitted he was not ready to propose. Though he offered to propose to Lindsay in order to maintain the relationship, they both knew his heart wouldn’t have been in the right place.
“It was too little, too late,” the Wisconsin native previously told PEOPLE. “She knew that it wasn’t where my heart was at the time. I think we probably would’ve resented each other for it if she had agreed. I do think she made the right decision in the end.”
FROM PEN: Why Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay Didn’t Choose Peter Kraus: ‘I just knew he wasn’t the one for me’
The emotional goodbye between Lindsay and Kraus had viewers thinking: is she making the right decision?
“I think what Peter should’ve done is asked to go home earlier, weeks prior,” says Bigger. “Because it’s like why move forward [if he wasn’t going to propose]?”
Though Bigger, who admittedly fell in love with Lindsay during his journey on the show, was sent home after his fantasy suite date, the personal trainer believes the outcome would’ve been different if Kraus had chosen to go home earlier in the process.
“There’s a high percent chance that I would’ve been engaged [to Rachel],” he says. “What we had was magic — it was powerful. It was real for me. It was like what’s happened to my life? This is amazing.”
- Watch People Cover Story – Bachelorette Finale: Rachel Lindsay, available now, on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device.
“I think if I were to move forward it would’ve been that much harder for her to pick her top one,” he adds.
But in the end, Lindsay followed her heart and sent Bigger packing.
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“Like I said last night, the goodbye was bigger than the hello,” Bigger said in an interview with Access Hollywood. “I was happy. It was such a beautiful moment. I was shocked I went home, but we were laughing and we were joking. We had a great moment before I left so it was like a ‘see you soon’ type of vibe. I was just confused the next morning, but in that moment I wasn’t sad.”
Bigger’s episode of Home & Family will air Aug. 9 at 10 a.m. ET on Hallmark Channel.