Reality Steve

Reader Emails

“Reader Emails” & US Weekly Doing What They Do Best

Photo Credit: ABC

We’re at that point in the season where, because of relationships they have with the franchise, tabloids will start posting their “inside” knowledge of the season. This happens every season, you all know I point it out every time it happens, and US Weekly did it again. I can’t reiterate enough this has nothing to do with sour grapes. My traffic this season because of Arie’s shenanigans rivals any other season, if not bigger. I’m not losing readers whatsoever. This comes down to common courtesy and credibility. For example, I had no idea that Jordan Rodgers was gonna be on JoJo’s season until US Weekly reported it. And when they did, I gave them full credit. Linked to the story, said he wasn’t someone I’d heard about yet, and gave them their proper due. This past season when had exclusive pictures from the Demolition Derby date and the Dog Show date, I linked to their site. Why? Because I didn’t have the pictures first. The thing with tabloids though is, I’m fully aware that they know stuff before they post it. That’s how they work. I’m not sure everyone is aware of that, but it’s true. They’re not gonna give Arie’s ending away in January because then their readers wouldn’t have a storyline to follow. I get it. However, that’s not my fault that you’re not allowed to print stories before a certain time.

So when they run this cover story for their magazine this week, all stuff you heard me report back on Jan. 23rd and in the weeks after that, and can’t take one sentence out of the story to say, “this was first reported/broken by” it’s embarrassing on a couple levels. 1) Because they HAVE used my name in the past to credit me. It’s rare but they have and 2) Because this isn’t a sidebar story. This isn’t some throwaway “Oh, look what Arie did on a date” story. It’s their feature cover story and the main spoiler of the season. One they’ve probably known about for a while, but couldn’t post because they’re not a “spoiler” tabloid per se. I understand how they work. But it doesn’t mean that once you do finally write the story, you can’t credit who originally broke it.

There’s no reason for me to contact Jamie Blynn, the writer on the story, privately because I already know what her answer is, “Well, we have our own sources on this. You weren’t our source.” Great. I never said I was. But the story that you wrote as your major headline and cover for this week’s issue has all been out there for a month already. They’re very well aware of what I write and spoil. They can easily say it was first reported somewhere else, and they choose not to every single season. Says more about their organization than it does what I do. I know I’m out in front of them on pretty much every major spoiler, because I can tweet and post spoilers all day every day whenever I feel like it, and they’re a once-a-week publication that has to sell a storyline as the season goes along. But that doesn’t mean it’s right. I point it out every season and I will continue to point it out until they have the decency to throw one sentence in there. I’m not asking to be quoted. I’m not asking to become an editor there. I’m just asking that when you post a story/spoiler that you know I’ve already put out there, especially one that’s been out there over a month now, a “as first reported by,” literally five words, is all I ask. I do it every time a major publication posts something that I’m not aware of, yet they choose to never do the same in return. This industry can be really shady at times, and this is definitely one of them. They’ve been doing it for years, I call them out on it every time, and yet they don’t change. Keep not doing it, and I’ll keep calling you out.

Lets get to “Reader Emails…”

How much were contestants getting paid for Winter Games? For Paradise, it was a rate per episode they lasted based on their popularity. With only four episodes, did they work it the same way or was it a flat rate? Some were a flat rate, some were by pier diem.

Why was Michael G on Winter Games? He’s not a big name or even a recent face in the franchise. He must have good friends in production. You could also ask why was Lauren G. on there, too? She lasted 2 episodes on Arie’s season and did nothing. Michael has been on previous seasons at least.

Did Winter Games production have specific ideas on who was going on for who like they ask in Paradise? Any idea if those early pairings worked out? No idea. But they basically lied to the whole cast, as you’ve seen in interviews, most of them have said they were told the “games” weren’t going to be like the real life Olympic events. They were sold on more of a sporty show, when in reality, anyone with half a brain knew it’d come down to dating and relationships.

Seeing that you’ve had both Clare and Lesley on your podcast, you need to get them back on to talk about Winter Games! I’d especially love an update on Clare and Benoit, since we know Lesley and Dean aren’t going the distance. My guess is that’s not gonna happen.

Switching to Bachelor:

Who was harder on the bachelor hometown visit: Tia’s brother or Desiree’s brother on Sean’s season? Desiree’s brother by far.

Which dad/uncle would you be most fearful of meeting between those showed on Monday? Tia’s dad.

How do you rank the top four girls on looks alone?

Comment: Beauty is subjective. For me, I’d go Lauren, Becca/Tia, Kendall. And I think Kendall is attractive.

Hey Steve,

Couldn’t help but notice how Rachel has come off as such a hater towards her exes. The way she has treated Peter and Dean on ATFR/Winter Games has been brutal. If someone is truly happy is it necessary to shade your exes on national television? Personally I didn’t love Dean and Lesley’s dance-kiss routine but it seems that it was true to their personalities and they were having fun with it…. as they should since they’ve been dating for like two days lol

Comment: I completely disagree with this. Without knowing, my guess is you already disliked Rachel going in. I don’t think her saying Dean and Lesley’s routine was the worst showed bitterness. Why would she care? She’s been engaged for 7 months. Dean is on his 4th girl in less than a year and had known Lesley about 10 days at that point. I don’t think Rachel cares in the least bit about Dean and Lesley. Any why Lesley chirped in on Twitter at Rachel is beyond me. Not sure what that was all about.

I know this will be in the Reader Emails after the Winter Games finale airs, but I am so sick of this franchise kissing Ashley I’s a$$. Her and Kevin winning the kissing competition, getting more air time for getting a date card by Dean and Lesley, and ultimately winning Winter Games with Kevin. My question is why do they love her so much? Why did they allow her and Ben on their podcast to spoil that Arie breaks up with the winner? I haven’t heard the podcast so this is based off of what I read.

Comment: Your guess is as good as mine. The only thing I can think of is that she’s very easy to produce because she knows what she has to do, she plays a role, and she does what they say. So they like that.

Hi Steve,

Apologies if you’ve answered this question before, but I’m wondering what the process is like when contestants are eliminated on the show. I’m assuming they aren’t immediately taken to the airport (if they’re leaving at night, like they did on Bachelor Winter Games).

Thanks for all you do! You make watching the Bachelor(ette) so much fun.

Comment: All the way up til the final three, you leave when you’re eliminated and go home. Usually the next day.

Hey Steve,

After you broke the news about Becca being broken up with, I’ve been checking her social media for clues. It seems like all she does is post lovey pictures of them from whatever episode was on last (at least on Instagram). It seems sad to me that she still does/has to do that that after he’s broken up with her. Do producers “strongly suggest” what the contestants should post to social media for publicity? Or is that just her trying to stay relevant in the season and not give off any hints that they are no longer together?

Comment: If she posted what she really wanted to post, it’d be obvious and give away the season. So basically she has to play along. Something I’m sure is eating away at her.

Hi Steve,

Found your page a few years ago and I love reading your spoilers every season. I enjoy watching the relationship of the winner super close from the beginning. I still watch the show all the time.

I was wondering, all the years you have been spoiling, has there ever been a couple that you hoped would work, or that surprised you when they did or didn’t make it?

Comment: I thought Andi & Josh had a chance because neither had to make a life altering move. They lived 10 minutes from each other. But now knowing way more than I did back then, they were never gonna make it regardless of where they lived.

I think Ashley & JP I was hoping would make it because there was nothing about her that struck me as someone wanting fame and what not.

Have you noticed Chris Harrison has become a little lazy with the pronunciation of the days of the week? He’s been saying, for example, “Mon-dee night”. He hasn’t always done that I don’t think. I know people say it different ways (I’m from Mississippi so I’ve heard it all), but his whole job is to talk for maybe 10 minutes an episode. For all that money he should enunciate!

Comment: 10 minutes an episode? I’d say if you add up all the things he says in an episode and string it together, it’s less than 2 minutes. I haven’t noticed the “Mon-dee” thing, but now I’ll listen for it.

Hey Steve! Just a few questions for today.. or slightly more than a few, we’ll see where this goes. I can promise it won’t be short questions though, sorry 🙂

1) what is your take on Jordan’s sincerity after watching him on winter games? Obviously you and almost all of us didn’t see him on NZ’s bachelor, but I remember another reader email said that all of NZ thought he was a huge douche and he was hated after his season / coin flipping. Obviously that’s gross, but I kinda felt like watching it, he was the most sincere one there? He seemed to really want to make it work with Bibi and his actions, such as standing at the top of the stairs listening to her cry and not wanting to give her space when she was upset.
I normally am all for “let’s see where it goes and take it slow”, but if you live across the world from someone, I can understand wanting to know a yes or no answer of where she saw it going or wanted to be together afterwards. That’s a lot of long distance phone fees to waste if they’re just not into it! Yeah, it’s tough to know since that was the first time I’d ever seen the guy. I know nothing about him.

2) I normally am not one to ever attack someone for their looks or say hurtful things about appearances.. So I’ve refrained from saying anything cause she does seem like a great person. But I want to know from a guy’s perspective how you view Stassi’s appearance/attractiveness. When I look at her, I see a lot of plastic surgery and not like a natural looking person… like the people I see on those E! plastic surgery shows. Luke has said 100 times how gorgeous he finds her and I have a hard time picturing a playboy like him to go for someone he doesn’t find physically attractive. My fiancé agrees that she looks a bit botched but he’s very into natural appearances. So what are your thoughts? I apologize if this seems super bitchy, I don’t feel great about it but I am very curious. Stassi’s Instagram has pictures of her before she went a little wild on the lip fillers, and she’s stunning. For me, it’s too much lip filler. Naturally beautiful so I don’t know the reason she added that.

3) I loved Rachel and she was my first choice for bachelorette, and I also loved her in the role. But since her ATFR, she has kind of come off as a bit entitled and demeaning towards other guys on her season. Obviously I understand why she would want to be rude to peter on the ATFR, and I’m honestly not a huge fan of him, but I thought it was weird how she made a point to low-key sabotage his bachelor potential by reiterating that the process wasn’t for him and all that when she knew he was the #1 prospect at the time. I bring this up now because I got that same vibe when she said multiple times how juvenile Dean and Lesley’s kiss was and how she wanted to rank them last / have them eliminated. Maybe that truly was her view, but you’d think as someone who knows Dean and how not serious of a person he is, she would want him to continue on the show with a good girl like Lesley.

I do love Dean despite everything I know about him being a player and not ready to settle down, but I did find it weird that the judges thought their kissing skit showed that about him.

If my fiancé and I were ever put in some sort of kissing competition to show if we are serious and had chemistry, either now or when we first started dating, we would absolutely do some quirky/light hearted routine like they did. I thought it said more that two people were on the same page of not taking it too seriously and obviously have the same view and sense of humor than just being willing to make out in front of a panel, which seems much more awkward to me than a silly routine.

Again, I’m not saying this cause I think dean and Lesley are meant to be or will even last more than a few months post show, but I thought the whole competition was weird. What are your thoughts on how Rachel acts towards her guys 4 and also the kissing contest concept? I disagree. “Multiple times how juvenile” their kiss was? I don’t remember that at all. She just didn’t like it. But since Dean was on her season, people jumped down her throat for it. Again, I highly doubt she cares.

4) I was reading the comments on the bachelor’s FB page for a video they posted of Tia talking to Arie about Bekah’s age/readiness and there were hundreds of people saying “I used to like tia before this” and hating on her for trying to up her chances by bringing Bekah down. What I’m wondering is if you think producers would have aired that, knowing it didn’t paint her in the best light, if she were still the #1 bachelorette prospect?

I know they keep their options open and wouldn’t want to sabotage the image of everyone besides their top choice, but I also would think they would want to maybe slightly lessen the viewer support for Tia if they know they want Becca and currently, the fans wanted Tia. Is that way far off? Impossible to know. Tia is not gonna be the “Bachelorette,” so to me, it’s kind of irrelevant.

With Tia, I fully expected her to be a prime candidate like Jojo where I could see them in the lead role based on their personality. I felt that way with Raven who is very similar and not super outspoken, but I just don’t get that vibe from Tia. She seems very self conscious to me and not like she has the confidence or “leader” qualities that I think make someone fit for the role. I know everyone has a different opinion and plenty would disagree, and also that they can essentially make anyone the bachelorette despite these things, but what do YOU think as for how she would be in the role?

Thank you! You da best.

Comment: I think she would’ve been fine. Probably would’ve been her if Arie didn’t dump Becca.

What are the odds that, “The Bachelor” cast Luke Pell in Winter Games knowing he’d do something to destroy his character? Which…surprise (not really…)! Of course he did. So funny how Bachelor Nation loves to protect their own while conveniently pretending you don’t exist. Pretending you don’t report FACTS. Ugh, I digress…It is what it is.

Seems like production already had him pegged as a bad dude via Harrison’s tweets from awhile back…which I assume was at least partly because of your reporting? I’m not exactly sure what the timelines were for all of that.

Anyway, that’s why I was absolutely shocked when I saw that they brought him back. But it makes much more sense if that was basically their plan from the beginning—to expose his true nature. His true nature of being a two-timing, lying, serial womanizer. All so they could wash their hands free of him by showing a large, targeted audience first hand why they never hired him on as the Bachelor in the first place.

Am I grasping?

Thanks for all of the great reporting!

Comment: I think Luke is a moron for blaming editing. I’m not sure if he’s done it publicly, but privately he absolutely is. Which just makes him look worse, since he was the guy who was pissed that production pulled his “Bachelor” gig from him the day before he was set to leave to film. Then he was all butt hurt when Chris Harrison confirmed in his tweets what I’d reported about Luke, and Luke wasn’t happy with Chris. YET, he gets back in bed with them for Winter Games? It’s all on you, dude. You did it to get paid and keep your name out there since less and less people were talking about you, and you got burned. Your own fault. They did you once already, and you STILL went back. Can’t feel sorry for you.

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  1. rob22

    February 28, 2018 at 8:12 AM

    I thought it was funny that RS thought Tia’s Dad was the most scary. The guy was basically a teddy bear trying to act tough for a minute, probably at the producers behest. I honestly thought the hype about the Dads was a little overblown. They each asked a couple of tough questions, then totally caved to Arie’s BS. The guy is an amazing BS artist. I kinda understand how women are fooled by his act. But when you see him saying essentially the same things to every single parent, you know it’s just a series of lines he’s put together for the occasion. I don’t think I remember a Bachelor doing that in previous seasons. It felt more organic in years past, instead of scripted. And, by scripted, I mean Arie scripted his responses to the various challenges and repeated them three times. He also told every single parent that he was falling for their daughter. That was his way of softening up their parents. If parents feel that someone truly cares about their daughter, they’re immediately going to start feeling better about the guy. Kinda gross when you think about it. Arie is fast becoming the worst Bachelor ever. He’s really challenging JPablo if you ask me.

  2. anita29

    February 28, 2018 at 9:06 AM

    I just read the Us Weekly article and the part that makes me crazy is when Arie says
    “…it’s going to be fun for me to watch back”…WTH!! If the spoilers are correct and
    he really ambushed Becca, he should a least acknowledge that it was painful to watch
    what happened at the end. I really don’t understand this stupid guy.

  3. tinyred500

    February 28, 2018 at 10:26 AM

    The stock lines and phrases are one of the most annoying things about the franchise! IMHO. Even I could rattle them off, I’ve heard them that many times! Argh!! All the leads use them and so do the contestants…that’s why so many peeps think it’s ‘scripted’. The stupid contrived ‘lines’ are just more noticeable this season. It just makes the season sound and look even more ‘produced’. At least neither Becca or Lauren will ask…’when did you know’? That has to be the phoniness question ever, when it’s answered, ‘the night before’! Lol lol SMH! 😀

  4. rob22

    February 28, 2018 at 10:52 AM

    @tinyred: There are stock lines like “I’m falling for you”, “You’re amazing”, etc. There are also Arie lines like when he responds to everything a woman tells him with “I love that”. Arie has added his stock lines into the mix.

  5. rob22

    February 28, 2018 at 10:57 AM

    I’m wondering how this whole thing is going to go down. Obviously the ambush aspect is really horrible. But you know Arie will have his own spin on it. That’s what I was trying to assess during overnights. What is going to cause him to pass over Lauren the first time around that’s going to change. When we had the first switcheroo with Meznick, the spin was that he chose Melissa because she was the safe choice because she better expressed her love for him. But he really wanted Molly the whole time, but was unsure of her love. We’re going to hear some rationalization. Perhaps it will be another version of what Meznick threw out there. I haven’t figured it out yet. But we’ll see.

  6. ctrealitygirl

    February 28, 2018 at 11:51 AM

    I, too, was appalled when I read that Arie had commented that it was going to “fun to watch” the finale. Really?? Then I was even more appalled when I read another online article (from someone who had apparently previewed the footage of the breakup with Becca), that said Arie acted very cold toward Becca when he told her and that he would not even look at her. How the hell is he going to spin that? Steve’s spoiler about the “switcheroo” itself did not bother me, as I truly believed that when Jason did it, he had good intentions, and watching that season I thought Molly was “the one” from the gitgo and was happy that he ultimately ended up with her. And look how well it worked out for them. But Arie going to a safe house to meet Becca, knowing he was going to blindside her with the break-up AND knowing that camera crews were following him to get it all on film, is just plain despicable. Me thinks he’ll be digging a hole/grave right next to Luke!
    With that said, the person I feel sorry for is not Becca but Lauren. Becca is going to be WAY better off as the Bachelorette than ending up with Arie. And Lauren has no idea what’s in store for her. Arie broke her heart once already and as Steve predicts, I’m betting he’ll break up with her again.

  7. tinyred500

    February 28, 2018 at 12:08 PM

    I do agree. It’s just cringe worthy, he’s just made it worse, maybe he’s just got bored with lying they have to do ..!

  8. rob22

    February 28, 2018 at 12:24 PM

    @ctrealitygirl: I agree about Jason & Molly…. however, that’s not how things went down at the time. Jason was called “the most hated man in America”. And they both took a lot of abuse for weeks. Melissa took her sympathy tour to Dancing with the Stars and to a few other media opportunities. That extended the cycle. As bad as it was, social media wasn’t what it is today. It’s going to be WAY worse for Arie and Lauren.

  9. tinyred500

    February 28, 2018 at 12:37 PM

    The whole filming of the break up with Becca is the thing that I find despicable too. No warning it was going to happen, and there she has the cameras in her face. This isn’t great television, this is sad, bad and reprehensible television. A new all time low for the bachelor franchise.

  10. rob22

    February 28, 2018 at 1:36 PM

    My understanding with Jason and Melissa is that they had essentially already broken up by the time ATFR aired. Or, at least Melissa knew the relationship was in bad shape & not going anywhere. So, the two of them were put on set and forced to deal with it. That’s way different, IMO, than having a film crew show up to a safe house visit to film their date & have it (surprise) turn into a dumping. Yeah, this is going to be a s*** show. I’m sure the show is really proud that they’re saving this ratings train wreck. But honestly, if you look at the ratings numbers RS poste, the trend has been down for the last several seasons. I don’t think you can blame it on Arie, I really don’t. Shows get old. People stop watching. And this show is generally pretty predictable & exists on solely on manufactured drama these days. I think it’s more that than who the leads have been.

  11. jlal

    February 28, 2018 at 4:27 PM

    I totally agree about the manufactured drama getting old. Like it way more in the old days before social media took over and they really upped the manufactured drama.

  12. ladyjane747

    February 28, 2018 at 10:13 PM

    Wow! Stassi is gorgeous without the overdone lip filler.

  13. ctrealitygirl

    March 1, 2018 at 9:14 AM

    AND, rob22…when Jason did it, he had not already started dating Molly – rather he asked her out on date on the show. In Arie’s case, not only did he immediately start dating Lauren (even though they had not even gotten to the AFTR yet)…but if Steve is right, he freaking proposed to Lauren already! That, to me, is the lowest of low.

  14. gagrlinpitt

    March 1, 2018 at 9:15 AM

    Any business that has been around for years has had to change with the times.. unfortunately the bachelor has become predictible and boring as of late. Unlesd they change the way they do things they will continue to lose viewers.

    With that being said, I’m with RS on not liking the way he handled things. Unfortunately he’s going to get raked through the coals and I don’t see him gaining any popularity in the racing circuit fromany of this. Him and Lauren will get to deal with the backlash and they can figure things out.. however if they got engaged last week I don’t feel sorry for her at all. I don’t care how in love you might be, he was just engaged to another women six weeks ago. Not to mention I still don’t understand how these women are ok knowing your “man” had sex with the other two ladies on the overnights.. just not ok by me.

  15. ctrealitygirl

    March 1, 2018 at 9:21 AM

    I meant to mention in one of my posts that yesterday I ready an excellent article/recap on Glamour Magazine online about Arie that was as good as any I’ve read by Sharleen Joynt, and that’s saying something because hers are the best. This article was so insightful and described Arie’s behavior to a tee – namely his lack of conversation skills and how he manages to pull the wool over the eyes of so many women and get them to believe he cares about them, when in fact he does not. Google it and read it!

  16. jessie

    March 1, 2018 at 10:46 AM

    Someone mentioned Arie challenging JPablo in jerkiness – but I have to say at least JP wasn’t telling these people he loved them and making them think he wanted to marry them. Anyone with a sense god gave a duck would release JP was just getting his jollies – and I say if you know what’s what going in – don’t be mad when you get what’s what! lol

  17. jessie

    March 1, 2018 at 10:47 AM

    realize not release. Opps.

  18. crushonspivey

    March 1, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    I have zero problem with Arie ending it with Becca, if it wasn’t working and he preferred Lauren. Happens all the time in real life, and this show needs more real life in it. What I would have a problem with is if he did dump her on camera with her having no notice of what was going down. That is garbage, and even though the contract they sign for this poopfest probably allowed it, still really poor form.

    As to Mesnick, that dude deserves praise. Yeah what he did back in the day was crazy for this show. But he made the right choice and is on the VERY shortlist of Bachelors now in a successful relationship with a woman from this series. And let’s be very clear on one thing: Arie is no Mesnick. I give Arie and Lauren til the end of their relationship contract. And yes, I think they signed one and get paid for it. Happens all the time. So 6 months. Then done and Arie is back to trolling for young 20s.

  19. tinyred500

    March 1, 2018 at 3:08 PM

    I said on a previous post that the break up should have been done off camera and in private. The fact it’s on camera and with no prior warning is so totally demeaning for Becca. I really don’t see how it can be a positive thing for the franchise overall, it’s a lousy cheap move and it appears to be a desperate bid to save the season.

    However, I don’t think their contracts state they have to stay together for a certain length of time or have paid relationship contracts (like some real celebrities do). Chris Soules barely made it to June with Whitney (one of the shortest relationship in the franchise), and so if Arie does propose to Lauren, I think they’ll be together for as long as it lasts. :/

  20. ladyjane747

    March 3, 2018 at 8:09 AM

    I’m surprised that Sharleen would say those things about Arie given her posts on ATPP. On her own blog, she often comments about Arie’s maturity and how he seems ready to settle down and that she has a mini crush on him and how similar he is to her husband. So, that’s odd. Maybe she finally found out the ending with everyone else, since the ending is now spoiled and splashed all over everything now.

  21. sumguy

    March 5, 2018 at 2:00 PM

    “This has nothing to do with sour grapes”…continues to write an essay about why he has sour grapes. Don’t get me wrong, IMO you have all the reason in the world to have sour grapes. Just don’t say that you don’t have sour grapes, and then write a 4 page essay of why you’re bugged about not getting credibility. Clearly you have sour grapes, and deservedly so.

  22. bonkers

    March 13, 2018 at 3:46 AM

    Have to say I’m a bit confused on why such sour grapes on the US Weekly thing… I wasn’t aware that it was a rule of reporting to have to mention anyone who has reported something previously? As a reader, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any such thing happen in any type of media, be it newspaper, blog or tabloid.

    If you actually are their original source, sure, that makes sense and they should absolutely mention you. However, it doesn’t seem that crazy to me that US Weekly would have its own sources for this type of thing..? And if their actual source is not you, then why would they add a line crediting you for just for doing your job a bit faster than them?

    You say you always give them mention when due, but in your examples you specify giving them credit for things you *weren’t* already aware of.. i.e. didn’t have a previous source for, making them your source. So you should be crediting them, as your source.

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