Instead of Peter, a 31-year-old personal trainer and business owner from Madison, WI, Rachel selected Bryan Abasolo, a 37-year-old chiropractor from Miami, FL, at the end of her journey to find love. Eric Bigger placed third.
While Rachel and Bryan got engaged and claim to be living happily ever after, Peter left the show completely brokenhearted. He just wasn't ready to propose to Rachel -- although he desperately wanted to continue their relationship in the real world -- and she had made it very clear she wasn't going to conclude The Bachelorette process with just a boyfriend.
During a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Peter talked about his reunion with Rachel and how he's been coping from their breakup. Below is a portion of his interview. Check back with Reality TV World soon for more.
During the live portion of the finale, did you have any hope that maybe Rachel wasn't still dating Bryan, or were you pretty assured that was the case?
Peter Kraus: Based on all the things that I've been seeing on social media from her and how excited she sounded about her ring that she had, I was pretty certain that she was still going with Bryan. So, that was not really a thought in my mind at that point.
Would you ever consider dating Rachel again if things didn't work out with Bryan, or is your relationship with her too far gone at this point?
Peter Kraus: I'd say it's pretty gone at this point. That was a pretty rough breakup, and things last night did not exactly go as I'd hoped either. And so, I'm pretty sure that's been put to bed at this point.
Rachel has mentioned there were other "deep-rooted issues" in your relationship spanning back to Geneva. Did you feel that, as well?
Peter Kraus: I didn't. When she said that, I was confused. And that hurt because that felt like she was -- I don't know, reaching for certain things. It was something I couldn't respond to; I didn't know how to respond to. I couldn't think of what she was talking about and it was hurtful.
I don't think we had any deep-rooted issues. I think we literally were just on two different points of a path at that point, both heading in the same direction but at different rates. And, yes, that hurt.
How are you coping and dealing with this breakup from, like, a goal perspective? How are you moving forward from all of this?
Peter Kraus: I mean, it has not been easy, that's for sure. And last night was putting me all right back into the heat of it, I guess. I've got a very, very supportive and loving family and friend base. I live in a small town where everybody knows my name, it seems like, at this point. And they're all out there supporting me with nothing but kind things to say.
I get messages on a daily basis from people who are in my hometown saying, you know, "Thank you for representing Wisconsin well, thank you for representing our city well. Thank you for being true to you and your Midwestern spirit," and that helps. [The impact from the split] was hard, really hard, so that helped.
Before going to a commercial break during the live finale, there was an exchange between Rachel and yourself. You were seemingly having a moment. Are you able to share with us what you two said?
Peter Kraus: I cannot, no... That was something that I needed to say to her and that will remain between the two of us.
There was a deleted scene that came out at some point during the season of you and Dean Unglert sort of talking about Bryan, and you shared that you felt he was not necessarily there, as they say, for the right reasons. Do you have any of those feelings about Bryan still?
Peter Kraus: As far as me thinking he wasn't there for the right reasons, no, I don't think that was the case. You know, I watched the season unfold with everybody else and saw his relationship with her grow, and it seemed like a very genuine relationship and they seem very happy when they're together.
They definitely have a connection. I feel bad for the things I said about Bryan throughout. You know, I'm not friends with Bryan; I'll never be friends with Bryan. But it wasn't fair of me to say things about him the way that I did, and I do regret saying, at times, things about him.
What was it like to see Bryan on the live finale? Did you have a chance to talk to him backstage or anything? If so, what was that experience like?
Peter Kraus: I never saw him last night. I didn't see anything but my own part in the episode before I walked out, and then I just kind of disappeared after that. So, I didn't get to see him or talk to him at all.
What was going through your head as Rachel kind of processed your breakup during the live finale? What was going through your mind in that moment?
Peter Kraus: First of all, I didn't even want to go on stage. Watching our breakup on the screen in the back before I walked out was incredibly difficult and not something that I was enjoying at all. I about walked off.
It was hard to watch, and knowing that I was about to walk out on stage in front of all these people and in front of her for the first time and have this extremely heightened state of emotion was terrifying. And then I sit down and what seemed like it was going to go one way quickly went another, and I didn't know how to respond to Rachel.
She obviously had some things she wanted to say to me and it threw me off, and I just had to sit there kind of in silence a little bit and process it. There were a million things going through my head at that moment.
Do I get up and leave? Do I say something back? Do I break out and cry right here on national television? Like, I did -- I was really emotionally all over the place. It was a very, very hard moment to be in, sitting on that couch. I felt pretty isolated.