Why Bachelor Host Chris Harrison Wasn't Surprised by Peter Weber and Madison Prewett's Split
"With what happened with the family, that was just way too much for anybody to handle," Chris Harrison said
The host went live on Instagram Tuesday with his girlfriend, Entertainment Tonight‘s Lauren Zima, to answer questions from fans. One thing everyone wanted to know? Their reaction to Weber and Prewett announcing they had “mutually decided” not to pursue their relationship any further last week, just two days after the live season finale.
“So many people have been asking me if I was surprised by Madison and Peter’s breakup — no!” Zima said. “On the finale she said, ‘We are on different pages in every way.’ Were you? I mean, were you surprised that they broke up less than two days after the finale?”
“No. I mean, I think there were so many obstacles,” Harrison replied. “They had a lot of obstacles to overcome. After his family dynamic melted down on live TV for everybody —”
“Which we did not want,” interrupted Zima, who’s currently going live with her boyfriend every night for “fireside chats” from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
“No, it was horrible,” Harrison said. “I felt terrible about that, I really did. I felt guilty, because I felt like I was a part of that, and it was a terrible feeling. But no, they just had so many obstacles to overcome. In the best of circumstances, with what happened with the family, that was just way too much for anybody to handle. So understandably, and probably the best thing to just go their separate ways, to be honest.”
“We are doing ‘fireside chats’ from home every night to encourage people to stay home and help halt the spread of coronavirus. We know this isn’t easy for anyone so want to encourage a sense of community, especially with the already robust fandom of Bachelor Nation who we love so much. Please SIP: shelter in place and sip some wine with us!” Harrison — who is donating 100 percent of all proceeds from any messages booked through his website to those affected by the virus — and Zima tell PEOPLE in a statement.
As viewers saw on the two-part season finale, Weber, 28, proposed to Hannah Ann Sluss, 23, during the final rose ceremony, only to end the engagement a month later over his unresolved feelings for Prewett, 23. When Weber and Prewett reunited during the live portion of the finale, they said still loved each other and would take their relationship “one step at a time” — in spite of Weber’s mom Barbara’s vocal protests.
On the show, she pushed for him to choose Sluss, openly disapproving of Prewett and predicting their relationship would fail. She was even seen tearing up and clapping during Sluss’ segment, whereas she rolled her eyes during Prewett’s. When Harrison asked Barbara for her thoughts on-camera, she spoke candidly — and urged her husband, in Spanish, to back her up.
“Chris, he’s going to have to fail to succeed,” she said. “All his friends, all his family, everyone that knows him knows that it’s not going to work.”
Barbara has since said she will “absolutely not” apologize for her actions, and Weber has denied reports that their relationship has been “strained” since the confrontation on live TV.
A source recently told PEOPLE that Weber is “single” and “taking some time to figure out what he wants to do next.” According to the source, the pilot and Prewett “were never really back together” and ultimately “realized they couldn’t make it work.”
Another source said Prewett “has been having a tough time.”
“She really cares for Peter and wanted to work through their challenges to see if they could have a future together, but it just got too difficult and seemed like everything was against them,” said the source, noting that the Alabama native “is very saddened by everything that’s transpired and feels badly if she ever unintentionally hurt the Weber family.”
“She’s trying to stay positive and leaning on her friends and family right now,” said the source.