“It’s hard to comment on it because people commented on our season, but if you’re not there and not in the situation, it’s really hard to place blame or to cast judgment, I would say,” the season 22 Bachelor, 38, told Us Weekly exclusively while promoting his upcoming clothing line with Burnham, 28.
During Luyendyk Jr.’s season of The Bachelor, he was criticized for choosing Becca Kufrin but then changing his mind and going back to his runner-up, Burnham — the same way Weber did, first getting engaged to Hannah Ann Sluss then ending it and trying a relationship with runner-up Madison Prewett.
However, unlike Prewett, 24, and Weber, 28, who split shortly after they began dating, Burnham and Luyendyk Jr. have made their romance work. After getting engaged in 2018, they married in Hawaii in January 2019. They welcomed their first daughter, Alessi, in May 2019.
“There’s so much that you don’t see that goes into it. So even if [Peter] looks like the worst Bachelor, he probably wasn’t as bad as he seems,” Burnham noted during our interview. “There’s probably things that happened that caused him to do those things.”
The Bachelorette alum, for his part, understands what it’s like being a lead — and knows that it’s not an easy task, no matter what.
“And I’ve got to say as a Bachelor, I feel like you’re almost set up to fail,” Luyendyk Jr. told Us. “It’s, like, a recipe for disaster. So, if there is a normal happy ending, like a Sean Lowe, Catherine [Giudici] ending, you’re almost surprised.”
Although the Virginia Beach native brought up that those types of happy endings rarely happen anymore, Luyendyk Jr. explained that that’s because of the “difficult situation” leads are put in. “It’s really hard to pass judgment, especially us,” he said. “Especially for me.”
Former Bachelor Colton Underwood recently spoke to Us exclusively about the pressure placed on the lead of the reality series, noting that he wasn’t allowed to speak publicly about Weber’s season because he “knew too much” and producers didn’t love his approach to breaking the rules.
“I realize, like, this is an entertainment business, it’s a business and you don’t take things personally, but I’m still gonna maintain a professional relationship with you,” The First Time author, 28, said. “I just asked for that in return. I think when the line started getting crossed, and I got told to be a ‘good little boy’ and ‘keep my mouth shut.’ Like that’s when I was like, ‘You don’t get to say that.'”
For more from Arie and Lauren, watch the video interview above.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi
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