Peter told Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti on their The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast last month that he turned down The Bachelor role three times before having a “formal” discussion with producers in Los Angeles that eventually led to ABC selecting a surprising choice, Arie Luyendyk Jr. from Season 8 of The Bachelorette, to be the leading man.
In saying he rejected producers’ offer to star on The Bachelor several times, Peter is essentially suggesting they begged him to accept the position.
“It is normal for us to have multiple candidates coming in. First of all, we have to find who is available and who is really sincere, and we bring them in for interviews,” Chris, 48, told Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday.
“There is a vetting process that goes all the way up to the top of the network, so there is a lot that goes into it, instead of ‘Hey, Peter, you want to be the Bachelor? Great, come on!'”
Peter, 35, finished as the runner-up on Rachel Lindsay‘s season of The Bachelorette in 2017, but many viewers would argue he won her heart on Season 13 over Bryan Abasolo and just got eliminated prior to the Final Rose Ceremony because he was not ready to commit and propose marriage.
Peter was reportedly a frontrunner to then star on The Bachelor‘s 22nd season; however, rumors swirled at the time he didn’t accept the gig for a variety of reasons — including money, the scrutiny of fans, pressure to get engaged at the end, and not being over his failed relationship with Rachel yet.
Peter confirmed some of those reasons in his Almost Famous podcast appearance last month in saying money was a factor and he “couldn’t promise” that he would end his season engaged and “didn’t want to be forced to” pop the question if he agreed to do the show, according to Us Weekly.
Chris, however, doesn’t believe Peter had even reached that level of contract negotiations yet with the higher-ups.
“Not to put a big pin in this big balloon, but that would have been the start of where we would have gone. That would not have been the final step,” Chris told ET.
“I have heard a lot of people say they turned it down or they did this. Great, good on you. I am all behind you — whatever floats your boat.”
Peter also reportedly told Ben and Ashley that The Bachelor didn’t work out because he had requested “relationship counseling for myself and the top four or five girls during the process so we could work things out on a deep level.”
The personal trainer and business owner from Madison, WI, reportedly added that he wanted therapy to continue once filming concluded.
But Chris assured ET that cast members “do get that” and “everybody has access” to counseling sessions when participating in the franchise.
Peter also reportedly recalled of his “formal” conversation with producers, “I told them I had started to talk to someone and they said, ‘Are you guys in a relationship?’ I said, ‘No,’ and they said, ‘Would you be willing to leave that or exit that?’ I wasn’t sure. It was really hard for me.”
As for Rachel, she married her season’s winner, Bryan, in August 2019.