History repeating itself? Peter Weber and Dustin Kendrick joined Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast to recap the Monday, February 14, episode of The Bachelor — and the season 24 lead can’t deny the similarities between him and Clayton Echard.
“My heart goes out to Clayton so much because I relate to Clayton in so many ways. And I look at his season — it’s almost a little bit of PTSD for me, like, being pulled back into it,” the 30-year-old pilot began. “I’ve been in that exact situation. I’ve been told something so similar to [him], I’ve had to make a decision very similar under that kind of pressure.”
Bachelor Nation has been harsh on Clayton, 28, since before season 26 even premiered, questioning why ABC named him the lead after his brief stint on Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette. As “villain” Shanae Ankney formed multiple enemies in the house, the Missouri native was under fire for giving her a rose every week.
“Matt’s season, the drama didn’t necessarily involve him as much. He wasn’t sucked into it as much. There was still drama, but it was maybe more around the women,” Peter continued, referring to season 25 star Matt James. “Clayton and my season — we kept getting dragged into it. It’s a very uncomfortable situation. And it’s not easy to make the right decision all the time and when you’re not privy to all this information.”
The Adventures of Pilot Pete author added that he’s “trying to defend Clayton as much as I can with certain situations” because he’s “been in his shoes” before.
“There is so much that goes on that you’re not seeing, unfortunately. I don’t know any of the backstory with Clayton behind-the-scenes with his season. I haven’t talked to any people from his season on what’s going on, [but] you can see it too. You can see, like, the manipulation that’s going on and you can see how certain people are being pushed forward on the show and it’s kind of making Clayton look bad. It just is. And it’s that part that sucks to see because I feel like that happened on mine too. And that’s not necessarily Clayton’s fault,” Peter told Us. “If there’s someone in there that’s getting a lot of time that everyone’s looking at, like, ‘How is he not seeing this? And why is he making this decision? Why is he keeping it around?’ Well, if she’s there for, you know, 20 minutes and doing it? in a whole montage, a makeout scene, like producers are making that happen and are allowing that to happen. It sucks to see kind of in hindsight how that all plays out and turns out and then people make these judgments on you.”
When it comes to Shanae, specifically, Peter is torn. “My heart almost goes out to Shanae for having to watch that,” he said, referring to the women celebrating her exit on Monday’s episode. “Granted, she probably did this to herself.”
Dustin then interjected, “She did do this to herself!”
While Peter reiterated that “we don’t know the full story,” his “Bachelors in the City” cohost wasn’t convinced.
“She was just saying, ‘Tears! I’m trying to get these tears out!’ Like, come on. I don’t buy that at all,” Dustin said. “She knows what she was buying into. I don’t feel sorry for her. She’s gonna be A-OK. She bought into the ‘villain’  and she’s the ‘villain.’ … [But] she’s made for TV. She needs to go on all the other shows she’s entertaining. I’m not gonna lie. She was very entertaining. I actually love watching her.”
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
For Peter and Dustin’s complete thoughts on season 26 of The Bachelor, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.