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 the possibility of being the next The Bachelor star and why he would or would not be interested in the role. Below is what he had to say.
I don't know if you were aware, but "Team Peter" was trending on Twitter during the finale, and there has been a huge social-media push for you to be the next The Bachelor star. Is that something that you would consider?
Peter Kraus: Consider, sure. As of right now, am I thinking about it? No. Last night was really, really tough; this entire process has been really tough on me.
And I would just try to stay home with my friends and family, focus on my business. I know as soon as I get back home, I'm going to just jump right back into it to process all of this and take some time and not get there just yet with that next potential step.
Do you think that The Bachelor could work for you? I know the breakup is so fresh, but what did you make of it when Rachel said that maybe this process isn't for someone like you, who needs a little more time to develop a relationship than filming allows. Do you think that's fair to say?
Peter Kraus: So, I went into this entire process really open-minded and ready for whatever was thrown at me, and I don't think even with that I was prepared for what was going to happen. And it was an extremely tough, you know, journey, as everybody keeps saying for me.
And, yes, I don't know if I can get to that level with someone that fast, but I certainly know I tried and I developed feelings of love for Rachel. Maybe with a couple little differences throughout, I could've gotten to that next step in that amount of time allotted, but I just know in this one specific instance, I couldn't.
So, I can't speak on my own future; I never know what that really holds for me and how different situations will change my feelings and my thoughts. But in this one time, it just wasn't what I was able to do at that point.
What scares you most about the idea of taking on the role of The Bachelor star? And why would you maybe want to lean away from that journey to find love at this time?
Peter Kraus: Being the head of all this, being in Rachel's position -- what I saw her go through the entire time -- was a lot of pressure. You are the face of a franchise, you're the face of, you know, an entire population of people who love the show and love people on it. And that's hard.
I can't imagine what she had to go through and the decisions that she had to make. And that's why her decisions in the end, like, I do not blame her for anything, I do not hold anything against her for it. I wish her nothing but health and happiness, and it's got to be a really hard position to be in, but that's all I can really say to it.
If the Bachelor isn't going to be you, are you rooting for anyone else to be the next star?
Peter Kraus: Everybody knows I love [Dean Unglert]. I know he said he doesn't want to do it, but if not this year, at some point. I know Dean was meant to do this kind of thing. He's a really good guy, he's got a good soul. He loves people. I think he'd be fantastic. And that smile will make anybody else smile, so it'd be hard not to have a happy season with him.
You were a fan-favorite all season long. What do you think it is about you that really connected with viewers?
Peter Kraus: Oh, jeez. Good question. I've always just been myself and tried my best not to let the situation change who I was, tried not to clam up in the moment. I really just invested myself in Rachel, and she and I had an instant connection, so I think that helped.
I was able to be very comfortable because she made me comfortable, and she and I had such a great relationship right away that I never really had to feel out of place or afraid or anything like that.
And so, I think people were just able to see me for who I am. And if people are able to connect to that, I'm very appreciative of that and, you know, I'm thankful that people could see a little bit of themselves in me and maybe that's why they appreciated me.
You said this experience has been pretty hard on you. What do you think has been the hardest part to deal with out of all of it?
Peter Kraus: It's been kind of a grouping of things -- not being able to speak up for myself in times of difficulty throughout. So, when there were multiple cliffhangers throughout the episodes and I seemed to be the one that they always kind of hung on, that was hard.
I had to ride out the wave for upwards of two weeks at times until there was an explanation to the things I said or did. Social media is a bear. It is relentless and people do not hold back.
And as much as I tried not to read into things that people were saying, I'm a small-town humble guy, and I definitely take to heart what people say about me. And there's a lot of really, really awful things said about this process at times.
As much as I know there's a lot of beautiful and amazing things said about me, it's hard not to dwell on the bad at that point. So, that was the hardest, reading all that and not really being able to truly defend myself, but knowing that in the end of it, I was still just going to be me and I hope it came across that way.
Was there any specific comment that really got to you?
Peter Kraus: Oh, yes. I left it up on my social media. Someone said some really, really awful things about my mom and myself, relating to why I was on the show and how she raised me and the person she is for the son that she raised.
I just wonder how could someone shield those things in their heart enough to say them, especially about someone that they don't know? And it hurts me to see there's people out there in the world like that, that have so much hate and anger inside them.
And, yes, I had to leave that up for people to see because that was just ugly. So, what I actually learned about this process is not to say much back. Hate fuels hate, and giving people with that type of hate in their heart the time and effort just lets them feel validated and that's not what it needs.
They need to just be ignored and know that the overwhelming response is positivity. And I've really learned throughout this entire process that there's a lot of people to love and there's a lot of people with kind things to say and people who understand my kind of situation, [promoting my] beliefs throughout. And yes, I've really tried to focus more on them, as of late especially.
To read what Peter told Reality TV World about his reunion with Rachel and what hurt him about their last conversation, click here and here.
To begin reading what Rachel and Bryan had to say in their happy-couple interview post-The Bachelorette, click here.