Thanks to all of you who took the time out to email in yesterday with your thoughts on how you thought Eric’s departure was handled. I pretty much put every single one of your emails in today’s column. Close to 100 responses. I did not comment on every one of them since it wasn’t necessary. Some of your responses said it all and didn’t need my input. Any comments I did make I tried to keep brief since this list of responses is longer than pretty much an “Reader Email” column we’ve ever had. I mean lets face it, most of my columns you read are you reading what I have to say. I turned this one over to you. Monday’s episode was a huge topic on talk shows, blogs, and websites yesterday, so I’m glad all of you sounded off on what you thought. Some I agree with completely, some I partially agree with, and some I don’t agree with at all. But that’s what makes all these opinions interesting to me at least. We all watched the same exact 2 hr show on Monday night, yet it can generate responses from such different ends of the spectrum.
“Reader Emails,” and “Dr. Reality Steve” returns tomorrow, so if you have any of those you want to send in, get those in today. Already a pretty big bag of “Reader Emails,” but the Dr. would like your input too.
One of Eric’s brother’s appeared on “Entertainment Tonight” yesterday. In case you missed it, here’s the clip:
Lets get to it. Here are your thoughts on Monday night’s episode. Enjoy…
I think Andi is a dirty fighter. Her defensiveness is nasty and she puts words in people’s mouths. Her fight with Eric reminded me of her fight with JP, though most people seemed to praise her the first time for “standing up for herself. ” She even busted out the same phrase “if you say (blank) one more time, I’m going to lose it.” You would think an trained attorney would have more tact and restraint, even with her emotions involved.
I recognize the fight with Eric is separate from his death. It obviously clouds our perception of the entire event. Yet I think I would still find her behavior very obnoxious even if he was still with us. Like JP, he wasn’t exactly effective in getting his point across and could’ve worded things better, though telling someone they have a “poker face” isn’t super insulting in my book. But I don’t see why Andi couldn’t have just been like “alright, peace out.” She did seem kinda drunk though.
I’m anxious to read the buzz following this episode. I never put Andi on a pedestal like everyone else seems to have done, but I was starting to warm to her after last season. This just confirmed my suspicions she is two-faced and kind of a brat…
There are suspicions that they didn’t air the rose ceremony because there were aspects that were disrespectful towards Eric. Do you think that’s true? I really don’t see how the interview honored him in any way, it was just awkward.
Comment: Not sure what suspicions people are talking about. I’m sure there were ITM’s of guys not happy with what Eric said and how it made Andi feel, but I don’t think that would’ve been disrespectful at the time.
I know that you will likely receive several emails on this topic but I am hoping that since the producers at ABC read your website that they might read this/listen/fix the problem —-
The Chris Harrison/Andi interview at the end of this week’s episode was horrible. No one cares how Andi felt after knowing Eric for four weeks. Hell, if you are going to interview people, put some of the guys up there and let them talk about him.
If they want to truly honor Eric, they should put together a slide show of his travels and life and air it during the Men Tell All or After the Final Rose. There are plenty of photos on his blog and instagram (btw HEARTBREAKING) to fill a 3 minute slide show.
Sorry to be on a my soapbox, the interview really irritated me.
Comment: I’m sure the guys will get their chance to talk about Eric on the “Men Tell All.”
Don’t you find it interesting that Andy went off on Juan Pablo and then Eric basically in the same way? Perhaps that’s her issue. As an attorney, I would think she would be able to be an adult about the entire conversation and “back it up” as a misunderstanding of words or delivery.
She has a bit of a temper in my eyes and if she doesn’t hear what she wants she’ll be throwing more people off the show. I was a big fan of hers but after last night, it was interesting at how quickly she threw Eric off the show. Perhaps hearing out the other side is not her thing. Finding the meek and quiet guy will be the way she goes, someone who wants to be controlled. She seems like she keeps pulling in the quiet guy who did the solo strip act, he’s quiet and she keeps making all those gestures to him.
Anyway, getting tired of the show making all the bachelors/bachelorettes do dumb things like stripping. The primary person, Andi, should be up on stage doing it with them and show some humility along with them. Are they put to a higher standard and what does stripping have to do with finding “the one”?
Comment: Well, they’re not gonna make a female strip unless your name is Lucy. And Andi did have to sing with the guys on Sunday’s episode. This is nothing new to put people out of their comfort zone. Happens every season.
I wish they had decided not to show Eric’s conversation with Andi. At Andi’s sit down with Chris Harrison she could have explained what happened, and his departure that night. Showing it has really had a negative effect of her, and makes her look bad to many people, it seems. Honestly I feel very sorry for her now, and the tremendous backlash she is receiving on social media right now as a consequence. People are so f’ing judgmental it floors me. None of us were there, plus they only show a portion of that conversation, yet now Andi is “an attention fame-seeking whore who is responsible for Eric’s death” -that and variations of it are EVERYWHERE and it sickens me to read this crap. Kacie B was escorted out early on Sean’s season. If she had died a week after would people be crucifying him for his “insensitivity”? I know ABC is mainly concerned with people having strong reactions, I get it, but I just wish this once, for Andi’s sake, they hadn’t aired it.
Take care and happy belated b-day.
First – I want to say that I think the way you’ve handled writing about Eric’s exit from the show as well as his passing has been nothing less than classy. You’ve put into perspective what a lot of the crazies cannot.
Watching Eric on the show these past few weeks have been difficult – even for someone who, as you’ve said, knew nothing about him before your release of Andi’s Guys back in March. The simple knowledge of his death has left a cloud over every scene in which Eric appeared. It’s been so hard to watch and listen to him talk about his yearning for love and a family, his zest for life, and all of the things he enjoys, with the knowledge that he’ll never get to experience those things.
After reading Eric’s sister’s People.com article, as well as her email to you, I can smile knowing that watching her brother on the show provided comfort and joy to the Hill family. Watching Eric’s last scene on the show was tough – but it was real, and it gave us an idea of the strong-minded individual that Eric was. Andi’s reaction to Eric, at the time, was exactly how she felt, as well. As you said – we can fault neither of them for that moment.
The way that ABC decided to handle the remainder of the show, in my eyes, was classy and respectful, and it showed us that at the end of the day, these are real people and they have both regrets and moments of clarity in the wake of such tragedy. I found both Chris and Andi to be genuine in their words about Eric and the exit and overall, I think ABC has handled this with the utmost care. I look forward to seeing what the guys and Andi will say at the Men Tell All.
Hey Reality Steve, I was fine with ABC’S decision to air Eric’s departure, what I believe to be in it’s entirety. And pleasantly surprised they didn’t show the after drama cocktail party in his memory. My brother also died in a freak sporting accident , not paragliding, but golf. Being that my brother was a very direct person, i would have wanted him shown like that. What I saw in Eric leaving was his honesty and directness. very refreshing from the cliches normally associated with this show. If they didn’t show it they wouldn’t be true to who Eric was. I hope his family was ok with it. To me it showed he was a class act all the way around . thanks for all you do
It seems crazy to compliment this show, but I have to give them props for how they handled Eric’s situation. I’m glad they showed (seemingly) everything. I think what really offended Andi was the phrase “tv actress”. I guess Eric didn’t realize that you kind of have to “act” otherwise this show would be over in a couple of weeks.
The only thing I might have changed was all the talk of Andi not getting to finish their conversation at the MTA. Not getting a resolution to an insignificant argument pales in comparison to his family never getting to see him again. That’s the only thing that seemed insensitive to me.
This seems to be one of the very few “real” things this show has done, and it’s a shame that it had to come from a death.
My thoughts on Eric and Andi are that he may be the only personality in the house stronger than hers and he wasn’t gonna be led around by the nose like the rest are happy to be. Any opinion expressed by a man other than that she’s amazing, perfect, smart, beautiful or the total package is simply not welcome.
Eric was right. She seems to be auditioning for her own talk show. She loves nothing more than the sound of her own opinions.
I thought the way ABC handled things was fine. I think Andi and Eric both realized there was no connection. Some of Eric’s wording probably wasn’t the best choice of words. And Andi probably over reacted a tad in my mind. But when Andi told Eric she was going to lose it if he said actress one more time, I wish he would’ve started saying ‘it’s ok.’ Ha. She really has issues with certain phrases. Hopefully Josh doesn’t have a coined phrase she doesn’t like.
First of all, just wanna say I enjoyed your recaps of episodes 3-4, cracks me up.
I agree with you in what you said regarding the footage of his exit and how it was handled. Honest to the point, its Eric through and through. Yeah many wanted a montage of him at the end but i didnt think it was necessary. I did think it was sad watching it, last moments and all. I saw on twitter some guys comment on him as a person, which should be separate from the show. We don’t know why it happened and we won’t know lots of what its, but that backlash on Andi online/twitter was crazy. Blaming her for the death and all, saying unnecessary things that don’t help anything. Definitely she didn’t react in the best way, but really what else can you do give up the whole thing? Thats how she felt no wrong or right about it, sure she might feel bad now and would’ve wanted it to end better, the show is about acting a bit and doing saying stuff as lead even former contestants commented on the acting bit. I wonder if the guys knew why he left as opposed to watching it unfold. Anyway pretty share your sentiments on this and just pretty much repeating your thoughts. And would’ve liked to know what the guys thought of Andi’s reaction. Excited for Thursdays column.
Comment: I think we might get a montage of Eric on the “Men Tell All.”
I’m with you. I thought they handled it well. They told the story about how & why he left as it played out. Obviously there was some editing done for time purposes, but they cut it down and we got the idea.
Not showing the rose ceremony was also the right thing. Get Chris and Andi’s thoughts out right away. I kind of hope they DO show the remaining 4 being told about it as well. I think they will show it because it will put a little more “real” in reality TV.
Huge credits to his sister for sending you an email too.
Lastly, I can see ABC leaving an empty chair at the MTA for dramatic effect. Maybe leave a yellow rose on it?
Comment: It’s possible. I could maybe see that.
I don’t think they could have done anything different than editing it the way they did. To be honest, Andi came across horribly and Eric seemed like a great guy! I liked him! I wish they had showed his exit ITM. I think the Harrison and Andi fireside chat at the end was needed in order for the audience to not hate her. I wish she would have admitted her mistake and validated his opinion, but I suppose that’s water under the bridge. I liked him so much more after seeing his reasonable calm demeanor during the conflict as opposed to her blowing up and not listening to him at all.
Comment: Most people seem to be accepting of the footage airing, but think the Chris/Andi talk could’ve had better content to it. I have no problem with Andi and Chris talking. Was she great? No. But I didn’t feel like she insulted him either, which is why I was fine with it. Nothing is perfect. Hell, even though it was taped well after the fact, I’m sure she was still fighting for things to say. Gotta be tough in that situation.
My thoughts on his exit, which you requested in your column:
First, I have to say that I’m definitely Team Eric here. I think it would have been one thing for her to disagree with his assessment of her, but her hysterics and the drama was just… way over the top. I understand that she has to put on an act as part of the job, but she has to know that, too. Some guys are going to pick up on that, like Eric did. She seems to have this idea that she is impervious to criticism. And then to turn it into this giant drama with all the rest of the guys? It was really off-putting.
As for the way that the show portrayed it, his actual exit, I can’t see how they could have changed anything. I didn’t find it disrespectful to him. I was annoyed that the ending tribute to Eric was pretty much all about Andi though. I definitely get asking her about it and how his death affected her, but good grief, it was like the freaking Andi show when the person who actually died was Eric — hey, show, remember him? I feel like it would have been better if they had cut her interview shorter and ended with some kind of montage or tribute to his life. I’m sure his family would have obliged, and if they didn’t, maybe clips of his time from the show — him smiling, joking around with the guys, snowboarding, etc.
I don’t know if we saw the entire conversation that transpired between Andi and Eric but from what I saw, I really felt bad for Eric! I completely understood what he was saying, and I think Eric probably didn’t watch the show before and realized that Andi just wasn’t staying true to herself in front of the cameras but instead was becoming a puppet. (I feel like that gets brought up a lot in reality television, especially on this show. I’ve heard a lot of contestants telling other contestants that they act differently around the cameras.) I think Andi got overly defensive and focused more on what words Eric was using instead of the message he was trying to convey. Eric seemed kind of blindsided by Andi’s reaction and was just simply seeking a little affirmation because he felt like he might be getting lost in the crowd.
Comment: Agree. His message wasn’t as bad as she made his words seem. All she seemed to focus on was “poker face” and “actress” and not the meaning behind it. However in her defense, you can also say it’s after a long day, she probably is exhausted, ask any lead and they’ll tell you that you don’t sleep a lot, and to be confronted by a guy and told things like that, I can see why she responded the way she did. It’s all subjective.
Hi Steve. Love this idea of posting all the comments about last night’s show. Like you, I am fine with the way they handled it. With the nature of his departure, what else were they supposed to do? They couldn’t not address it in some way, and to only show a small part of it would have just left people confused and speculating about what really happened. I do believe Andi overreacted a little, but she certainly doesn’t deserve the heat she was getting after the show aired. It made me wonder if the producers had been worried that this episode would show Andi in an unfavorable light, but I suppose they didn’t know how else they would handle Eric’s departure. Anyway, I think overall they are doing the best they can in this situation. Love the email that you received from his sister.
Comment: Them not addressing his exit I think would’ve been more of a disservice. They did the right thing.
If you pay attention to Andi’s expressions when she’s with the different guys, you can see what Eric was talking about. He and Andi had a nice connection on their one-on-one date, he opened up, she seemed natural with him. But if you watch her facial expressions with the other guys as the episodes (and even this episode) progress, she’s relaxed and open, and when she’s with Eric (even during the conversation when she said she felt they were back on track) her face is stiff and her expressions seem formal, and there is physical distance between them. Body language speaks volumes.
Do I think she’s trying to do her best in this type of situation? Yes.
But Eric can easily read this. I’m thinking you don’t survive in a lot of countries if you don’t get good at reading people fast. Thinking of Syria, of course, but really, just about anywhere. So it would have been obvious to him that the Andi of their first date was not the Andi he’d been spending time with afterwards and was trying to get her to open up. I don’t think he thought she was fake or acting, even though he used that reality actress analogy. I think he was just trying to prod her to get back to the first Andi he met, and unfortunately used a poor choice of words.
Andi has to be exhausted, trying to balance the emotional and physical demands of multiple dates—and she snapped. Completely understandable. If there hadn’t been a bunch of other guys at the party and they were only dating each other, they would have worked it out, for good or bad. I believe they would have worked it out at the MTA and stayed friends. It’s unfortunate they didn’t have the chance.
I think the producers handled it as well as they could, given the circumstances. Even in Eric’s ITA he was sorry he’d upset her. It’s not as if he’d gotten a waitress’s phone number or had a girlfriend back home. I thought canceling the rose ceremony for the viewers and taking a moment was the appropriate touch for now, since the conflict in the episode was only between Eric and Andi.
Very sad for everyone. Even people who produce a reality TV show, or participate on it, are people with feelings. This type of death, when everything is current and still in progress, would be particularly difficult. I think they’re all doing the best they can.
I live about ten minutes from the Point of the Mountain in Draper, Utah, where Eric was injured. Drive by it frequently. Will probably never drive by it again without thinking about him. Rest in peace, bright light.
Comment: Great insight. Thanks.
You said to share our thoughts about the Eric situation and I thought I might give it a try.
It might have to do with the way he was edited, but I was a fan of Eric’s from the very start. He appeared smart, well-composed, confident, adventurous, just all around awesome. Loved him on his first date. And I can’t name many contestants ever whom have appealed as well as he did, which made thinking about his passing much sadder for me
As for his exit, I like how ABC showed us the whole conversation and it wasn’t as choppy as some of their other editing work. I don’t think Eric’s exit showed something negative about him at all. I thought he was more genuine and brave than any contestant on this show. All the bachelorettes are so agreeing, Andi is no exception. Whatever someone says anything, she goes to her “staaaahp” or her uh huh, and just nodding along or whatever. And not revealing her true emotions sometimes come with the gig of bachelorette so of course she was acting to some extent. She speaks in the cliches the show is known for, it’s not completely her fault, but she is still guilty of it, which Eric tried to point out.
All the other guys seem to be all saying how she has no faults, and are just worshiping at her feet. Come on, she’s a real person, of course she’s got faults. Eric didn’t say anything too rude or offensive at all. He basically just said he saw glimpses of a girl he likes but during conversations he sometimes felt like she is withdrawn, which is completely valid. The relationship is a two-way street, if Andi can ask the guys to be open everyday, Eric can certainly ask Andi to be open in return. Andi took it negatively, which I thought says more about Andi’s inability to take criticism and disagreements than Eric being mean or anything along that line. I could see that Eric didn’t intend to make her cry and felt bad about it. But even until his exit, he remained very composed and well-articulated and didn’t deviate from how a gentleman should have acted. If anything, that whole Eric thing reflected more negative things about Andi than it did Eric.
I liked how ABC showed us the conversation, so we saw where Eric was coming from when the conversation started. I like how they ended the show there and talked about Eric being a fantastic person. And I remain a fan of Eric and all his life’s work. The whole thing is completely tragic. RIP.
My thoughts on how the situation with Eric was handled:
I think it was a shame that the “tribute” to Eric involved Andi and Chris Harrison, two people who obviously barely knew him. Andi made a creepy “oh yeah” comment about how hot Eric was, and didn’t really say anything substantive. I wish a photo montage or his family’s comments – people who truly knew him – had been shared instead.
I’m glad they shared Eric and Andi’s argument. It was clearly one-sided. Eric seemed just genuinely caring and Andi seemed incredibly defensive. She seems overly sensitive to anything she might perceive as criticism. I thought Eric was a gentleman, and I agree that Andi acts like a politician with the guys. She treated JP far, far worse than Eric would have dreamed of treating her.
I wish Andi had insisted the show do a proper tribute – not a silly interview with her. She’s assertive in every other aspect of the show, so it really disappoints me that she didn’t care enough to fight for a proper tribute for Eric. It shocks me to hear they filmed the contestants’ reaction to Eric’s death. In my opinion, that’s cheap and profiting off a horrible tragedy.
I pray for Eric’s family. I’ve read interviews from both his mom and sister, and they seem like a wonderful family. I hope they know they have an outpouring of support and prayers. Eric truly seems to be a wonderful guy!
Comment: Andi has no control over how they were gonna handle this. The show was gonna do what the show was gonna do. She sat there in a taped interview and talked as best as she could about how she remembered Eric. It was a 5 minute interview. I’m sure they could’ve done 15 or 30 minutes, but in that short of time, I’m sure everything she wanted to say couldn’t get out.
Hi Steve–I really enjoyed reading your recap of episode 4, especially regarding Eric. I thought it was very touching that his sister contacted you, and I agree that you were especially considerate of the situation.
I’m pretty much on the same page as you regarding how ABC handled the episode, BUT I really did not like the segment where Andi talked. Not because I don’t like Andi, but because I thought there were so many better ways to honor Eric than let her talk more (and in a way, get the final word).
For example, they could have created video segments of family, friends & the guys in the house on how they remembered Eric. Or asking Bachelor Nation to donate to the charity fund set up by his family. Heck, they could have even just replayed the video montage of his travels again and I would have felt okay.
To me there was just something off about that segment, kind of like a PR statement by an actress. I feel like the reality of Eric’s death deserved better than that.
Comment: I just don’t think we’ve seen the end of tributes to Eric. Time will tell.