While we squirmed in our seats for two hours watching Madison, Victoria F. and Hannah Ann's uncomfortable silences, anxious glares and curious compliments ("You look so skinny!"), the three women spent days together in Australia. As host Chris Harrison told ET's Lauren Zima on Roses & Rose, it was a Bachelor first -- but one that production thought needed to happen on Peter Weber's season.
"We've never done it before. There are things we do as producers that force situations that need to be forced. This Madison relationship needed to come to a head," he explained. "Clearly, there were things that need to be spoken of, and [she and Peter] are not good at speaking!"
"This is the season of not articulating thoughts and feelings," he added. "Yes, it was awkward, but it was something that needed to be forced."
Madison had told Peter before the cast jetted off to Australia that she wouldn't be OK moving forward in their relationship if he slept with the other women in the fantasy suites. It was essentially an ultimatum -- though she insisted to Peter it wasn't. Once the cast arrived in the Gold Coast, Peter had his first two fantasy suite dates with Hannah Ann and Victoria F., with Madison wondering each day what was going on "behind closed doors." When her date finally arrived, Peter confessed that he had been intimate. On the same date, Madison revealed to Peter that she is saving herself for marriage.
"They needed to really bring this to a resolution before we could move on. So, this whole thing came out of, Madison and Peter have to get to a point where they're going to have a serious discussion and figure this out, because we have a couple weeks left, and if he's truly going to fall in love with somebody and figure out who that one person is, he needs all the information," Harrison shared. "So, we do things often as a producer, whether it's a two-on-one date, a lot of things, that will force a resolution, and that's what this was all about."
"Will we do it again? Who knows. But this situation dictated that happening," he reasoned.
"It’s an ultimatum," Harrison said. "When you say, 'If you don’t do this, this will happen,' that literally is the definition of an ultimatum. Whether you say it's an ultimatum or not, it is She put an ultimatum on the table, which by the way, is fine! If that’s your faith, if that’s your way of life, that’s fine."
Peter told ET at the Women Tell All taping last Friday that he still doesn't feel it was an ultimatum, but said that it made his week "incredibly difficult" amid easier dates, like the ones he had with Hannah Ann and even Victoria F.
"I think a lot of people actually will relate to this relationship of extreme chemistry, extreme connection but obviously not great at communicating, topsy turvy," Harrison said of Peter's relationship with Victoria F., which seemed to get to a better place on Monday night's episode after weeks of drama. "I think Peter is on that level with her. … It’s easy to throw stuff at your TV and be mad at that relationship."
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'The Bachelor': Chris Harrison On Madison's Ultimatum, Peter's Love, Bachelorette Rumors (Exclusive)
As for fans' criticism that Peter's cast of women was too immature and dramatic as a whole, Harrison sees where it's coming from.
"I do think it was a young group and it’s something we’ve recognized and we’re going to rectify and pay attention to in casting in the next season and further seasons in the future. It wasn’t a conscious decision," he said. "And by the way, there were older women. Peter got rid of them."
The women will again take center stage on next week's Women Tell All special.
"Obviously, Kelsey, the fourth person to go home is a big part of it. It’s going to be an interesting Tell All because this group doesn’t quite have that sisterhood that a lot of them have. There’s always the villain, or the one that’s outspoken the most, but it seems to have been fractured so much. There are so many individuals as opposed to groups," teased the host.
"It’s going to be a very different Tell All. I’m honestly not sure what we’re going to get out of it, we’re going to kind of lead the direction of it and go where the girls take it," he added. "It’ll be interesting to see if they rally around each other after watching."