The pilot says he was "very lucky" that the women on his show were "understanding" of Hannah Brown's return

By Christina Dugan and Claudia Harmata
January 09, 2020 07:28 PM

Peter Weber’s first few nights as the newest Bachelor already saw some turbulence as the pilot came face-to-face with a bit of emotional baggage in the form of his ex and former Bachelorette star Hannah Brown‘s return.

While Monday night’s episode concluded with fans wondering how the former couple’s conversation would end, the 28-year-old admitted to reporters at ABC’s TCA presentation on Wednesday that it was a key step in his journey.

“Even though that convo wasn’t planned, it needed to happen and the hardest part for me was just struggling with the fact that I knew I had amazing women that just showed up,” Weber told reporters. “I still didn’t have any feelings yet for anyone. It was too soon to really have any legit connection. So it was awkward, it was uncomfortable, but it needed to happen. And I was very lucky that the women were understanding. So, had to happen.”

The new Bachelor insisted that he “didn’t want to disrespect” any of the women who left their homes and families to come compete on his season, and that fans will soon see why that conversation was necessary.

“Again, the hardest part was just knowing that I had the other women there and I was putting them through that,” he added. “I didn’t want to disrespect them in any way, but that conversation had happened. And you’ll see what it means.”

Peter Weber
| Credit: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty

During the premiere episode, Brown, 25, made a surprise appearance on the show, stepping out of the limo on night one to return the pilot wings that Weber had gifted her on her season. However, the pageant star’s time on the show didn’t end there, and Weber let her return to host the first group date.

“I had no idea [Hannah] was showing up and it caught me off guard,” Weber explained on Wednesday. “The whole wings thing, her giving that back to me, I really loved and appreciate it.”

The Delta pilot admitted that he wondered if Brown would want to come back into the house and compete on his season when she stepped out of the limo.

“But that was not the case,” he said. “And then I knew she wanted to kind of host a group date later on so I was really stoked to have her do that and everything you guys saw was not expected, that conversation.”

“That was just really real raw convo that had to happen with us and really emotional. It brought back feelings and I couldn’t hide those,” Weber added. “So you guys will see what happens next. But it obviously wasn’t over yet.”

Peter Weber and Hannah Brown
| Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

During the group date, Brown confided in a producer, admitting she still cared for Weber but knew it wouldn’t “work.” Soon enough, she was crying alone backstage when Weber popped in to check on her.

From there, they divulged into a tear-ridden conversation about Brown’s decisions on her season. (She accepted a marriage proposal from her final pick Jed Wyatt, but ended up calling off the engagement after learning that he allegedly had a girlfriend when he went on the show. Tyler Cameron came in second, and Weber third.)

Weber also brought up Brown’s decision to ask out Cameron on the live After the Final Rose conclusion to her season in July after dumping Wyatt, wondering why she hadn’t asked him out instead.

“I don’t know what to do right now,” Weber said to a producer during the episode. “I’m so confused and this is the first week that this whole thing is starting. And I’m obviously not 100 percent where I thought I was.”

“I can’t help how my heart feels,” he continued. “I look at her, and I just don’t want to stop looking at her, and I want to just kiss her and just … have had all this work out. And it didn’t, and I know it didn’t. 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.”

The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.