The Traitors is full of reality TV legends — The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Phaedra Parks, Survivor’s Sandra Diaz-Twine, The Challenge’s CT Tamburello — but the breakout star of season 2 is someone no one could have predicted: The Bachelor’s Peter Weber.
After the faithful failed to identify any traitors at four round tables in a row, Peter hatched a plan to catch them in their tracks — and Big Brother’s Dan Gheesling, a self-proclaimed gamer, walked right into it. During the Thursday, February 1, episode, the faithful finally banished their first traitor, Dan, and Peter is very much on Parvati Shallow’s trail. Parvati and her fellow traitor Phaedra are now hoping they can recruit Peter to their cause, but if they can’t, they may both be goners.
Can this strategy mastermind really be the same Peter who bumped his head on a golf cart and then stabbed himself with a shattered drinking glass? The same Peter who dumped his fiancée and dated his runner-up only to break up with her, like, two days later?
Us isn’t the only one shocked by this development, with fans taking to social media to praise Peter’s scheming prowess.
“Two-time Big Brother finalist Dan Gheesling was outmaneuvered by four-time windmill sex participant Peter Weber,” one awed viewer wrote via X on Thursday. “This is why #TheTraitorsUS is reality TV heaven.” Another fan shared a photo of Peter alongside the very correct caption, “His mind should be studied for generations to come.”
Reality TV scholars expect people like Dan and CT — the “gamers” — to excel at The Traitors, which involves tests of physical strength and endurance as well as a fair amount of deception and evasion. And as others have written, contestants and viewers underestimate Housewives at their peril, given the amount of social maneuvering required to mend fences after, say, lying to your friends about your due date to hide the fact that your child was conceived out of wedlock.
But no one expects a Bachelor, especially this Bachelor, to be good at this. The Bachelor is all about wearing your heart on your sleeve, letting your guard down, making yourself vulnerable and embracing your biggest feelings. On The Traitors, leading with emotion gets you killed. (Just ask Peppermint, who tried to be nice to everyone and got rewarded with the first banishment for her troubles.)
Peter has clearly learned some things since his time on The Bachelor. He’s thinking with his brain instead of his heart, and now he’s the leader of a seemingly unstoppable alliance that could potentially take down the remaining traitors. If he says no to their offer of a truce, it’s hard to see where they go from here. Even Phaedra, who’s so far flown under the radar, has Trishelle Cannatella on her scent — and Trishelle was part of the crew that took down Dan.
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Perhaps we should have paid more attention to Arie Luyendyk Jr., who similarly fared much better on season 1 of The Traitors than his costars expected, finishing in fourth place over formidable opponents like Below Deck’s Kate Chastain and Survivor’s Stephenie LaGrossa Kendrick. Bachelors already know what it’s like to live in a mansion full of women desperate to get engaged, so how hard could a castle full of would-be murderers really be?
New episodes of The Traitors stream on Peacock Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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