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Melissa Rycroft Suggests Producers ‘Made’ Hannah Brown Return to ‘The Bachelor’ (Exclusive)

Hannah Brown didn’t hold back while chatting with ex Peter Weber during the Monday, January 13, episode of The Bachelor, but did she want to be there in the first place? Bachelor Nation’s Melissa Rycroft isn’t so sure.

Related: Former ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette’ Winners: Where Are They Now?

“I would 100 percent imagine producers made her go back on. And I think that she was in an emotional state,” the Bachelor alum, 36, told Us Weekly exclusively while discussing her partnership with, a new website designed to help people learn more about their allergies and discover treatment options, including allergy immunotherapy. “We all know she was on Dancing With the Stars at the time. But I also think that she found herself now with Peter, who she did have a really great connection with, and now Peter’s the big deal of the moment, everybody’s there for him. And I think she let all of that lead into, ‘Maybe I made a mistake.’”

Melissa Rycroft Suggests Producers Made Hannah Brown Return to The Bachelor
Melissa Rycroft and Hannah Brown. Shutterstock (2)

Brown, 25, returned to the ABC series to tell Weber, 28, who finished third on her season of The Bachelorette, that she felt like she made a mistake. Rycroft told Us that she believes that the former couple’s emotional conversation, which concluded with the former pageant queen leaving during the Monday’s episode, should have happened off-camera.

“I mean, I follow her a little bit, sounds like she’s a little embarrassed about the conversation,” she told Us, noting that she agrees with Weber’s decision not to leave with Brown. “She probably went home and was like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I did that.’ But, at the same time, the audience, I feel like we kind of needed to see that conversation, and see the complete closure of the relationship. So that we’ll be OK to see Peter move on, if that makes any sense. … [The producers] gave her some champagne, they reminded her how great her and Peter were together, and then said, ‘Off you go. There you go.’”

Peter Weber and Hannah Brown The Bachelor
Peter Weber and Hannah Brown during an episode of ‘The Bachelor.’ ABC/Eric McCandless

Rycroft, who competed on two seasons of Dancing With the Stars, added that competing on the ABC dance series is “really stressful.”

Related: Bachelorette Hannah Brown’s Evolution

“You’re worn really thin. And I don’t know what week she was in on Dancing with the Stars, but I had heard somewhere that it was like right after a dance that she didn’t do real well with the judges,” Rycroft said. “And so, especially for somebody like Hannah, people have to remember she came straight from Bachelorette straight into Dancing with the Stars. So she, essentially, had had no time to sit down and process how much her life has completely changed in a year. And it has to be very emotionally draining on her when she actually does get a minute to stop and think, ‘Yeah, Oh my gosh, my life is still great, but holy heck,’ you know what I mean?”

The former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader concluded: “Her life’s never going to be the same again. And it changed in the course of a couple of months. And so I think what we were seeing was maybe a little bit of a breakdown of the realization of that.”

Brown, for her part, referred to herself as a “controversial subject” via Twitter while Monday’s episode was airing, seemingly referring to Weber’s contestants being unhappy that she returned.

Related: ‘The Bachelor’ Contestants Revealed

Rycroft rose to fame during season 13 of The Bachelor. While she accepted a proposal from lead Jason Mesnick during the 2009 finale, he broke off their engagement to pursue a relationship with runner-up Molly Malaney, whom he ended up marrying. Rycroft, meanwhile, celebrated 10 years of marriage with husband Tye Strickland in December 2019.

“We have three little ones — 8, 5 and 3 — and so life is really chaotic. We just bought a new house, and we’re renovating, and enjoying kind of a quieter life, if you will,” Rycroft told Us, noting helps her maintain her allergies. “It’s kind of a one-stop shop where there’s doc finders, there’s a map that shows you what allergies are common in your area, there’s conversation starters. And I think it’s just really important for people that are suffering from allergies to know that they can be really debilitating at times.”

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