By Maureen Lee Lenker
March 12, 2020 at 04:53 PM EDT
  • TV Show
  • ABC

Chris Harrison is the voice of reason on The Bachelor — the one contestants turn to when they need reassurance, the all-seeing host who chimes in to remind us that "This is the final rose tonight."

But even he has some thoughts about what went down on Tuesday night's season 24 finale, when Bachelor Peter Weber was verbally eviscerated by his mother, Barbara, on live television, to the discomfort (and/or entertainment) of the world.

Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Sitting down with Sirius XM's The Jess Cagle Show, Harrison got honest about his experiences that night. "It was unfortunate. It really was, in all seriousness. I hated to watch it, I hated to be there," he told Cagle and cohost Julia Cunningham. "It was kind of sad, I was disappointed by the whole thing. And I tried to fix it, I just couldn't fix it. I kept waiting for [Barbara] to go, 'Okay, but you know what, I'm going to give this a shot,' or 'Bygones, and we're just going to make the best of this,' but it just kept getting worse and worse."

In Monday's Bachelor episode, the first half of the two-part finale, Barbara was dismayed at how contestant Madison Prewett treated Peter and the family, and concerned that her religious values were at odds with Peter's life. Barbara was also a big fan of Peter's initial choice/fiancee, Hannah Ann Sluss, whom she called "an angel on earth" and was visibly supportive of earlier in the finale taping.

Harrison, who is typically more reserved in his thoughts about finales, referenced his own experiences as a father when discussing how the events of Tuesday night made him feel. "My initial instinct and gut was more like I was sick to my stomach, watching Peter go through this," he reflected. "It just got worse and worse. I guess my point is this: I'm a dad too. I understand that passion of wanting the best for your kids and loving them and not wanting them to make mistakes, but even when you see your kids running toward that proverbial cliff, you've got to let them go. That's life."

He also doubled down on his belief that Barb made the wrong choice by digging in her heels on air. "The thing is, odds are she's right, because odds are relationships don't work. But do you need to say 'I told you so' to your son?" he said. "There are times in life when you're right, but you're still wrong. And this is one of those cases."

Reflecting on what it was like being in the room that night, he added, "Peter's defenses got up, his walls got up, and it was really uncomfortable."

Harrison also revealed that at the end of the broadcast, Barb and her husband had left through one exit, while Peter and Madison were still reeling in the aftermath backstage. "I walked backstage and Peter and Madison were back there, and he was visibly upset," he said. "Peter was visibly upset and mad and hurt. He felt betrayed, I'm sure."

Watch the videos above for more from Harrison.

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The Bachelor

Chris Harrison hosts the romance reality competition series in which a gaggle of women vie for the Bachelor’s heart — and a wedding proposal. Will you accept this rose?

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