Let me ask you a question. If you had a pizza in front of you cut into, say, 12 slices and you ate 11 of those in one sitting, if someone asks you, “Hey, how much of that pizza did you eat?”, what would your answer be? I think most normal people would say, “I pretty much ate the whole thing”, or, “I ate all but one piece”. What if later on you ended up eating that last piece? When talking about that pizza, you’d probably just tell people “I ate the whole thing”. Did it happen at one sitting? No, but eventually you had eaten all of it so that’s all that matters. Well, apparently “Bachelor” creator Mike Fleiss failed basic math in 5th grade as evidenced by an answer he gave to EW.com in an interview that posted last night, in which he addressed me specifically. Here is the question and answer exchange:
EW.com: Reality Steve spent most of the season predicting that Chantal will be the winner. Once he owned up to being wrong, fans crowed that he had been `Fleiss’d.’ Did you or anyone involved in the show feed him misinformation?
Fleiss: I wish I could take credit but he duped himself. He’s nuts, a goofball. He says these things with 100 percent conviction but he’s right only half of the time. It doesn’t matter that much to us, it’s just that he acts like he knows everything. He’s the Michele Bachmann of reality TV facts. But the leaks are not really coming from production. They’re coming from former cast members. That’s a hard thing to police. The best way to combat him is to let himself shoot himself in the foot.
Geez, where do I start? I guess a giant “thank you” is in order first and foremost that Fleiss and I are almost on a first name basis now. Thanks, bud. But let me address everything he said:
1. “He duped himself.” Hmmm, I guess you could say that for the first three months this season, yeah, I kinda did. I had myself convinced that the information given to me about Chantal was correct. But at least Fleiss admits he wasn’t behind it. Even though I’ve been telling you that for the last couple seasons, I’m glad he actually acknowledged it. There isn’t any “misinformation” campaigns going on behind the scenes being conducted by the powers-that-be at ABC/Warner Horizon/Next Entertainment to try and fool me. They produce a TV show and I try and figure out the spoilers before it gets to air using sources that I have. It’s not some giant conspiracy. It’s almost become a game at this point.
2. “He’s nuts, a goofball.” Absolutely. Actually, a Goof-bot as my nephew likes to say. “We’re walking and we’re talking…just like a robot…like a Goof-bot…Mister Goof-bot.” Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Go look it up.
3. “He’s only right half the time.” Yikes. Apparently Mr. Fleiss flunked out of remedial math in middle school if he considers everything I’ve reported to be only right “half the time”. Really? Do I really need to bring out every instance in the last two years where something I said before it aired ended up happening? Mikey, in case you’ve been under a rock, just in the last three weeks alone, I told everyone:
-Who your next “Bachelorette” was going to be
-The reason Chantal WOULDN’T be the “Bachelorette” was because she was dating Jeff Razore, which she confirmed to “People” yesterday
-Said three weeks ago that filming for Ashley’s season would begin this week (it started last night as you confirmed in the interview)
-Told everyone what they would and wouldn’t see at the final rose ceremony
-Informed people before the ATFR that Brad and Emily have already broken up, that Chantal’s new boyfriend would be addressed, and that the three successful couples would come back to give an “intervention” of sorts to Brad and Emily
-That Brad and Emily would be on the cover of “People” magazine this week
That’s being half right? Not to mention that a month before your season started, every reader to my website knew what was going to happen on every date and rose ceremony, which all turned out to be true. So either this guy is smoking crack or just refusing to give credit where credit is due. I’m guessing it’s the latter. I hate to tell you this buddy, but the simple fact is that for the last THREE seasons this franchise has produced (Brad’s “Bachelor”, “Bachelor Pad”, Ali’s “Bachelorette”), every single one of my readers knew exactly what was going to happen before each episode aired. I’d say that’s a little better than “half right”. Can’t dispute that.
4. “It doesn’t matter that much to us, it’s just that he acts like he knows everything.” Well, apparently it does matter since you’re taking time to address it. I act like I know everything? Hmmmm, well I hate to tell you this, but for the reasons I just gave in the previous answer, it’s safe to say I kinda do know everything.
5. “He’s the Michele Bachmann of reality TV facts.” I’ll be honest. I don’t have a clue in the world who that is or what she’s done and it’s not even worth googling, since I’m sure her and I have nothing in common in terms of spoiler accuracy on reality shows.
6. “The leaks are not really coming from production. They’re coming from former cast members.” Whew. Glad we finally got that out in the open. Awesome. Please, please, please keep thinking I get my info from former cast members. Only proves that you’re definitely on the wrong track. I’ve never revealed where I get my info from, and I never will. However, I can tell you where I DON’T get it from, and that’s former cast members. Am I friends with a few of them? Of course. I’ve never hid that fact. Have I been told stories of stuff that happened to them during their seasons? Without a doubt. But to say that they are the ones feeding me info on your current seasons is ridiculous. These people don’t know anything. Really?
You know what’s the most comical about this? The fact that a lot of the ones I do talk to are usually always asking me, “How do you know this stuff?” and they always want me to tell them in private first before posting on my blog. Well, except Holly Durst. She hates reading my site because she doesn’t want to be spoiled. Sorry Holly. It’s inevitable. So Fleiss really thinks people like Tanner or Jeremy are telling me “Hey, Ben Castoriano is gonna be a contestant on Ashley’s season”, or that some random cast member from “x” season is saying, “Hey Steve, here’s the episode-by-episode breakdown of what happens.” So when I release more names and photos of contestants currently filming on Ashley’s season, that info was given to me by former cast members too? Sweet. Keep thinking that. Couldn’t be more wrong.
7. “The best way to combat him is to let himself shoot himself in the foot.” I know your math skills are on par with a 3rd grade Anguillan, but did you just use a form of the word “him” three times in a 15 word sentence? My brain hurts now. If by “shoot himself in the foot” you mean “tell everyone what’s gonna happen on our show before it airs”, then yeah, I must’ve blown all of my toes and feet off by now.
I like Mike Fleiss. I really do. I like when he talks about me. This is fun. The more he spews nonsense like this, the more credibility my site gains. When the creator of the show is addressing the guy who has spoiled every single detail of his last three seasons by saying “he’s only half right”, “he’s a goofball”, and “he’s the Michele Bachmann of reality TV facts”, I must be doing something right.
Some other points about the interview I found interesting:
-Nice little dig he took at Chantal for dating Jeff. Basically just mocked the fact she turned down being the lead on HIS show to take a chance on some local guy. Considering your track record is 3-for-21, I’d say Chantal made the right decision.
-Another nice shot he took at the six previous “Bachelorettes” by saying Ashley is the first “career woman” they’ve had. That’s funny. Dude, she’s still in school. Don’t know if we should be calling her a career woman – yet. However, Trista, Meredith, Jen, DeAnna, Jillian, and Ali all thank you for the back handed slap you just gave them. I’m sure they’re thrilled.
-I’m glad he confirmed that filming started last night which means that more and more info should be coming to me in the following weeks.
-I actually liked his answer confirming the fact that they will never cast a lead that wasn’t on a previous season. I’ve said that for the last three seasons. Why would they change that formula? It makes the most sense. Whoever it is, whether it’s Ashley, or Chantal, or Shawntel, or Michelle, ALL of them would’ve had a built-in fan base heading into this season. It’s a smart business move and they’d be dumb to go outside of their inner circle. Not to mention, the 25/30 people vying for the lead is the “fresh blood” you need every season. It’s not like they’re recycling contestants to try again. THAT would get old. They recycle 1 person, and have 25/30 fresh meat every season. It’s the way it should be.
-Easy about lying on the ratings. You didn’t draw 20 million people on Monday. It was 13.8 million. Apparently his math teacher back in the day not only didn’t explain to him the definition of “half”, but also told him that 13 rounds up to 20.
-He’s got a successful show running. No point in tinkering with what works. Ashley’s season will be the 22nd season in franchise history. I’m sorry, but like he said, shows lasting 22 seasons just don’t happen anymore, if ever. You think after Alex Michel’s season ended back in 2003 you’d be talking about this franchise in 2011 and into 2012? Please. It’s pretty crazy what the franchise has turned into. I jumped on it early and haven’t gotten off. Now I’m just riding the wave as long as I can, and I don’t see me falling off my body board anytime soon.