For the last few weeks of The Bachelor 2020, something has felt off. The Alayah Benavidez fiasco may have tossed the reality show into discord, but the problems are deeper than that. After all, Alayah officially exited The Bachelor season 24 at the start of Monday night’s “Week 5” — and the resulting episode was the biggest catastrophe we has seen up until that point. Then, Wednesday night’s “Week 6” was even worse, revealing the abrupt exit of women like Victoria Paul and Sydney Hightower.
It is difficult to pick the most infuriating behaviour Peter displays over “Week 6’s” two hours. So let’s start at the beginning. The chapter opens, as usual, with a one-on-one date. Hannah Ann Sluss is the contestant Peter chooses to join him on a jaunt around Santiago, Chile. During the daytime portion of the date, Peter prods 23-year-old Hannah Ann about her age. He attempts to make a big deal about Hannah’s youth, as if he wasn’t prepared to propose to Hannah Brown a few months earlier when she was still 24.
It’s the night date that really drives home how manipulative Peter can be. During dinner, the Bachelor grills Hannah on why she believes she is prepared to be his wife. After demanding to hear Hannah’s “goals” — already a microscope-level examination Peter hasn’t subject anyone else to, according to footage — and quizzing her on past relationships he asks a series of questions that sound like traps. “Why do you feel like… Do you 100% feel like this is what you want?” he says. “You are 100% ready? You do? How are you so confident that this is what you want?” Hannah is left surprised by the intensity of Peter’s questions, but tries to field them as best she can. Peter responds by leaving her alone at the table.
It is only when Hannah Ann follows Peter outside, crying, red-faced, and begging for him to understand her, that he is pleased. “This is what I want,” he says, unaware of how chilling that sentiment is. “After our conversation, it’s like I just broke down,” Hannah adds. This is when Peter gives Hannah Ann a rose.
Peter displays similarly malevolent behaviour towards Victoria Fuller, who is now in the centre of a White Lives Matter modelling controversy. At the time, however, Peter had no idea Victoria had taken part in a campaign so disturbing that she would lose her Cosmopolitan digital cover. From the jump, Peter’s decision to ask Victoria on a one-on-one date a mere two weeks after her last one — while a number of his other contestants have not received a morsel of personal attention — is irritatingly oblivious at best and purposefully pot-stirring at worse.
The date itself is even more upsetting. During the day portion of the excursion, Victoria admits she is “in her head” about the other women her boyfriend is dating. It seems likely Victoria opened up because Peter has repeatedly told his contestants to be as real as possible, even when it might be painful. Victoria is following that directive with her melancholy honesty.
However, during dinner, Peter uses Victoria’s truth against her, asking in a hostile manner, “Why can’t you just let this be? Like, almost sabotage it?” He sounds like an angry little boy who isn’t allowed to play with his toys. “I want to be able to feel that you feel just as confident about us [as me],” Peter adds. It's a request that suggests Peter will send Victoria home if she does not feel the exact same way he does, with no room for difference. Victoria is visibly shaken over the irrational pressure. Rather than realizing Peter is trying to push her into a specific box of emotions, Victoria believes she is failing him.
Colton Underwood may have been a frustrating Bachelor, but at least he promised winner Cassie Randolph space to understand her feelings for him. Peter, on the other hand, refuses to even try to see why Victoria may be feeling skittish in the world’s most stressful dating scenario. That means fence-jumping Colton is handling his Bachelor duties better than Peter.
Outside of being a terrible boyfriend, Peter also proves over ‘Week 6” that he is more than game for facilitating the kind of drama necessary to help a reality show run. He makes the exit of Victoria Paul about himself after blindsiding his frontrunner with a breakup. Peter goes so far as to demand an extended hug from Victoria P. that clearly makes her uncomfortable. He passionately kisses multiple girls during the group date, easily inciting jealousy in contestants. Peter allows the melodramatic “Enough is enough” two-on-one date card to summon Tammy Ly and Mykenna Dorn to a pre-rose ceremony inquisition (as Bachelor he definitely had the power to refuse such TV theatre). On the date, Peter pumps both women for damning information on the other, and then presents it to their rival. He sends Tammy home during the two-on-one… and then eliminates Mykenna during the rose ceremony. Mykenna’s immediate exit after vanquishing Tammy — her first tangible piece of proof that her relationship with Peter could flourish — makes the split so much more painful.
Then there is Peter’s shocking rose ceremony rejection of Sydney Hightower, a woman Peter told just the week prior she was “the best kisser.”
But Peter is someone who spent a pool party fishing for dirt on Alayah, sent Deandra Kanu home seconds after calling her “wifey material,” and gave Kelsey Weir a rose during an illicit meeting, knowing such an action would create mayhem in the Bachelor house. Peter might be looking for love. He is definitely looking for chaos.