Peter Weber’s run as The Bachelor has felt like the longest season of the ABC dating show franchise ever, but in reality, we’re only on our seventh episode. This season has been particularly difficult to sit through — have we ever seen a bachelor this wishy-washy or a group of women this eager to fight among themselves on the history of the show? — but for some reason, Bachelor Nation is still tuning in week after week. Are we all okay?
Maybe not. Last night, 6.4 million viewers tuned in to watch Peter’s Peruvian rendezvous with the remaining six women, the season’s highest numbers yet. Week to week, reports Variety, The Bachelor has been experiencing a 25% increase in viewership, and its ratings have also gotten a 37% jump among adults 18-49. As the show seemingly gets worse, it's actually getting better.
These statistics shouldn't come as a huge surprise to anyone. Bachelor Nation lives for drama — that's precisely why we choose to spend two precious hours each week watching a grown man waffling over the women in his orbit despite the bright red flags in front of his face. The Bachelor is a show that, at its core, is meant to inspire a range of emotions (including, but not limited to, exasperation and disappointment) in its audience, relying on our natural appetite for mess and scandal to get us to tune in every week. And, according to the numbers, it's working very well.
Still, this season of the show is testing our limits. Peter has been difficult to root for as of late, a far cry from the sweetheart that we first met on Hannah Brown's journey for love. He's fully stepped into his role as the star of the show, complete with a massive ego that needs to be stroked by way of impassioned confessions of love and endless tears; the women who didn't reflect his telenovela-esque flair for the dramatic (and even those who have matched that energy and then some) have been sent home.
But Peter's actions might be a reflection of the crowd he's been keeping. Season 24's contestants have been a mixed bag of emotional breakdowns, catfights, and what appears to be general disinterest in even becoming Mrs. Weber at the end of the day. Never before have I seen such chaos on this show — and I was there for the great Rachel Lindsay/Peter Kraus debacle of 2017.
This might just be my inner-cynic jumping out, but it seems unlikely that Peter has found the proverbial "one" while traveling this long and winding path; he's been too busy (poorly) refereeing arguments between the women and injuring himself on golf carts to focus on finding love. But Chris Harrison has promised us, multiple times, that this season's ending will be nothing like we've ever seen on The Bachelor before. Harrison is always teasing something huge, but that's because he knows that we're not going to risk missing the drama. I guess I'll see y'all same time next week.