Long time listener first time caller. The looming drama of Arie’s season coupled with Luke’s douchebaggery and the subsequent fallout have kept me from losing my mind during maternity leave. I have more of an observation (not even my own because I generally fall asleep watching this show, particularly this season—blame it on Arie or new baby, either is a legitimate source of the narcolepsy) rather than a question per se.
I hate to play the role of bachelor conspiracy theorist, it’s not a good look, but my sister made the following observation after overnight dates: “I think he always knew he was going to pull the switches based on two comments during the overnight suite. He told Lauren something to the effect of ‘things will get harder before they get easier’ whereas he told Becca ‘I’m so afraid of making the wrong choice.’”
I thought it was an interesting observation and thought it merited my first email. I guess we’ll never know what he knew, when he knew it, and what was going through his head (big and little—well, hisnlittle head is less of a mystery), but I thought I would throw it out there and see if you (or those who regularly comment on your posts) have any thoughts. If he knew he was going to do this for publicity/sponsorships he is a psychopath.
Thanks for the column space and the podcasts.
Comment: Yeah, we won’t. But the biggest conspiracy theory going around is this was all planned, everyone was in on it, and they all faked it. It’s just not true. But just like the Arie Sheep, if that’s what someone believes, nothing you say will convince them otherwise. I know that’s not what happened so that’s good enough for me.
Long time reader, first time emailer. You make this show bearable to watch, you’re very funny and insightful, I wish you’d post a column every day, yadda yadda yadda…
So. This whole season Lauren has shown zero personality. She’s a basic white girl with supposed “walls” up around her heart. Do you think it’s possible that she’s actually been playing Arie? Played it right so she was a little mysterious, a little more of a challenge, so that stuck with him, and she knew she’d make it far? Then if he picked her in the end (which she seemed to be really expecting) and inevitably showed his shady true colors by cheating on her/breaking her heart after the show, that she would be in a position of gaining an enormous following on social media not to mention lots of sympathy?
I’ve just found it incredibly hard to believe that she really loves Arie and is really into him and their “love story.” If she is, she’s the most gullible, impressionable person, and deserves whatever she gets.
If, on the other hand, she’s a good actress, and is manipulating Arie, that would be much more impressive, and actually pretty smart, because she only stands to gain from Arie’s inevitable future douchebaggery. She can become another victim and it will be “even more heartbreaking” because of the trials they’ll have gone through post-show.
Thoughts? I just feel like people are taking it for granted that Lauren really loves Arie, and sort of feeling bad for her or questioning her judgement. If your plan was to milk your heartbreak on this show all along, Lauren couldn’t have had a better target in Arie, or a better storyline to play out for her.
I guess time will tell…
Thanks for all you do!
Comment: There is nothing about Lauren that I really understand since the day she took him back, so I’m not even gonna begin to try. Her problem to deal with now.
Long time reader here, but first time emailing. Pretty amazed at the audacity of Arie/producers to embarrass and blindside Becca like we saw last night. Even though you laid it all out for us months ago, it was still tough to watch (which seemed to be the case for the majority of viewers).
My questions are about the Happy Couple visits. You explained how multiple (if not all) of Arie and Becca’s visits had been filmed which explained her not seeing the breakup coming. Makes sense. But to your knowledge, have they ever filmed ANY of the other couple’s visits? I think it was Vanessa Grimaldi that tweeted it is only you, your fiancé, and the house—no producers, no filming.
SO, my more important question—if the producers do not normally film Happy Couple visits at all, how did they know to film them all this time? Or how did they get the footage from the visits to show us last night?
I think Fleiss replied to Jojo’s comment about the extra footage at their visits and he tried to imply that it was all from their own personal iPhone videos. Clearly, someone else was taking the videos (seemingly a producer) since both Arie and Becca were in most of them and obviously not filming one another. Just seems fishy to me.
Thanks for all the spoils and keeping it interesting. Wouldn’t be able to watch without them!
Comment: Yeah it did look like some of the footage was done by the handler’s phone and/or Arie/Becca’s phone. I don’t think that every time they were together, there was a camera crew. That looked like cell phone footage to me, and there’s always a handler that’s attending to their needs. To me it seemed like that’s where the footage came from. On the day of the break up, yes, that was a film crew, but they convinced Becca she was there.
I have a question for your reader emails.
I’m a big Ashley I and Ben Higgins fan. I’m really disappointed however that he’s hiding the Lindsay Duke thing. I wanted to see if you’ve been hearing anything with Ashley and Jared? I did notice that Kevin and Jared don’t follow each other on social media? You would think that with them being such a good friends, and Jared saying how he really doesn’t have any feelings for her that he would be happy for her.
Comment: I haven’t heard much about Ashley and Jared or what’s going on, but as is the case when most people get a new boyfriend, my guess is she and Jared don’t spend nearly as much time together and/or talking as they used to. For him, that’s gotta be a relief considering he was never into her as much as she was into him.
Hey Steve! Great post today! I love your rant on the Arie sheep. 100% on the money. Just a few thoughts/questions. Answer them or not. I’m a big girl—I can take it.
—Once Arie dumped #1 and started dating #2, did Lauren just replace Becca on the happy couple visits? Did production arrange for them to spend time together, or is that only allowed for the OG fiancé? That would be creepy for me if I were Lauren. Yes. Arie & Lauren have been having Happy Couple visits since January.
—Do you know what the contract says about filming expectations after the engagement? I agree filming the breakup was morally a sh***y thing to do. He’s an ass, and so are the producers. Couples have broken up off camera before, so this was entirely unnecessary. But if you think about it, every breakup is filmed. It’s not the same, but I’m just wondering what the contract says about post-proposal obligations, or if it says something like, “You agree to be dumped on camera for all the world to see anytime, anywhere. So don’t get engaged to Arie.” You get the idea. I think what Becca said last night holds water. You know you agree to have your dating life filmed when you signed on the dotted line. I think most people just assume it’s during the 8 weeks of filming the show and a lot don’t expect anything to happen afterwards, but if it does, it comes with the territory. Is it mandatory? No. Robert Mills said as much on his radio show that’s on page 1. Arie was not contractually obligated to break up with Becca on camera. Was it suggested and encouraged? Absolutely. But he wouldn’t be in violation of his contract if he didn’t. And the show will ALWAYS stand behind, “Well, if we don’t show you their break up, then you’ll complain about why we didn’t show it.” So that’s how they justify it in their mind.
—WHY DIDN’T ARIE LEAVE ALREADY??? Becca had to ask him like 85 times before he finally up and left. That did not make for good TV either. It was the most boring thing ever watching Not Peter Not Leave.
You’re awesome Steve! Thanks for all you do. You make this show so much better—especially this season!
Comment: Yeah, that carried on way too long unfortunately.
Your spoilers have made this painful season of The Bachelor worth watching! I’m sure I’m not the only watching stalking your site each day hoping for more news.
Question for you: I thought contestants had a pretty iron clad NDA for 1 year. How are all of Arie’s girls giving interviews on TV and on podcasts and revealing insider details? Is ABC letting them speak out so Arie gets the blame?
Comment: They’ve eased up on the social media aspect of the show in recent years. That’s quite obvious. Some people they’re more strict with than others. That’s just the way it goes.
First, thanks for all you do, making my guilty pleasure so much more fun, though last nights ATFR was painful to watch. While waiting for the rest of the finale, I have one question/observation about last night’s episode and Becca’s meeting with Arie’s family. I don’t recall in the past seasons the family ever mentioning or asking so much about the “other” girl as they did Lauren. Maybe they have and it wasn’t shown. Just seemed like it was a lot and uncomfortable for Becca… and all part of the foreshadowing of what was to come. Thoughts? Do you think they included it as part of the “story”? It’s possible, since producers prep the family beforehand about what to say.
Also, with everything happening, I was wondering if you caught the start of Unreal Season 3?
Comment: I’ve seen the first episode, but not the second yet. These last two days have been some of the busiest I’ve had in a while. I haven’t watched anything other than this show. And oh, the Challenge last night I watched at 1am because, unfortunately, (SPOILER) the only spoiler I knew this season was that Devin eliminated Bananas, so I wanted to see that.
Love what you do! I’ve been reading your site since very early on and have always appreciated your insights. I’m probably one of the few readers who has watched the Bachelor since the very first season. I loved listening to your podcast with Sarah Brice because I remember watching her season. I even remember Travis Stork as the Bachelor and not the guy from The Doctors 🙂
Onto my question. Do you think if he had picked Lauren he would have dumped her two months later and tried with Becca? It seems like the girl herself doesn’t matter, it’s more about the fact that he can’t make a decision and is so insecure that whoever he chose would have been the wrong choice and he would have gone back to his second choice. I know it’s a hypothetical question and doesn’t really matter now, but I’m still curious as to your thoughts because it speaks to Arie’s character, or lack thereof. For what it’s worth, I think he would have taken this same course of action regardless of who he chose. He was always destined for this outcome because of who he is.
Comment: Yes, I do.
Hi Reality Steve,
I don’t know if this will make it in to tomorrow’s batch. But here it goes.
Does Christen Whitney have a job other than trying to suck up to the other Bachelorette girls? She seems desperate to get into the cool girl club? I have no idea what she does.
Also every keeps saying don’t blame Lauren. I don’t but I also think it’s sketchy that she communicated to Arie knowing he was engaged to Becca. I get taking the first phone call but it sounds like they had several phone conversations which I consider to be similar to emotionally cheating on Becca. I don’t care if Becca knew they were having those conversations, I think it’s gross. I was also disgusted about how quickly Lauren took Arie back and not only that but said she was ready to get engaged to him right away. Girl, have some fucking dignity. He was engaged to someone else a minute ago. It’s definitely sketchy, but since we don’t know and will never know how much they spoke and what they spoke about from Jan. 1st til he broke up with Becca around Jan. 12th, it’s tough to kill her for it. All I know is Arie undoubtedly got assurances from her that she was willing to work on things with him once he did get a hold of her, or else the Becca break up doesn’t happen. He was hedging and won. Plain and simple.
It’s also kind of funny how Peter who didn’t want to propose got a lot of flack because it’s what expected (I get why in a sense but still) and then Arie proposes to Becca and then dumps her a month and a half later for Becca. I watch the international Bachelor shows (I’m from Montreal) and I really think the expectation to propose needs to be ceased and deceased lol. If there’s an engagement at the end, great but it shouldn’t be expected.
Lastly, I’m kind of disappointed with the reaction Becca had last night. I think her answers were too poised and polished. I know you can’t say how you would react in any given situation but still. Your man left you for another woman and your out here saying that you understand? Is the Bachelorette position worth that much to her? And then there’s the question of how she can do the Bachelorette after Chris Harrison and production knew what was going to happen and didn’t say anything to her. I’m grossed out completely.
Okay, I’m done. Thanks for what you do. I watched the first couple of episodes and then just decided to watch the Women Tell All and these last two episodes. Glad I didn’t waste my time….
Comment: My thoughts on that are on page 1. I don’t think it’s as cut and dry as that.
I have a difficult time comparing Arie to Jason Mesnick when Jason was clearly in a different place in life than Arie was when he pulled this with Molly and Melissa. Jason was a single father looking for not only a wife but also a stepmother to his child. He then dated Molly like a normal person and then they got engaged after a reasonable amount of time. Jason was mature, thoughtful and focused on truly creating a life with the woman he chose.
I don’t see those same qualities in Arie. I know they’re only a year or two apart in age, but Becca seems so much more mature than Lauren does. She seems to have a great handle on what she wants and can articulate it with grace and perspective. It seems like he picked her because she proved that she would be a great partner. So him going back to Lauren – the woman he can’t describe his feelings for, the woman who is a literal doppelganger for every other woman he has dated, the woman his parents did NOT say “she’ll give you a kick in the ass” about – makes him markedly different from Jason Mesnick.
Jason was a father (and remember, this was also a decade ago when people went on this show not angling for a career change) and because of that, he was forced to be a lot more measured in his choices. Arie has spent his entire life being a rich playboy racecar driver that is trying to improve his image by going on a reality show. Comparing him to Jason is, quite frankly, a bit of an insult to Jason.
Great job this season, Steve. This was a total sh*tshow and you deserve an award. Arie threw you a curveball and you still nailed it. Thanks again for all that you do!
Comment: Agree with all of that. The only similarity between Jason and Arie is the premise that both dumped the original girl they chose and got engaged to the girl who finished second. The comparisons end there.
I’m not sure if you are doing reader emails this week, but I wanted to send you a question and some thoughts.
1. Did you notice at the beginning of tonight’s episode when Chris Harrison said there was going to be an engagement? Was that a mistake? Or just to hype things up? I can’t believe that Lauren really didn’t know it was coming. We all saw her tell Arie that she didn’t want to wait long for a proposal. She did. I think Chris was definitely just playing hype man again. It’s his job essentially.
2. I don’t have any ill will towards Lauren, but my mouth dropped open when she said that Arie couldn’t have handled this any better. Umm, what?! I get standing by your man, but anyone can see he handled this the wrong way. Like I said earlier, I can’t for the life of me understand any decision she’s made since she agreed to get engaged. Words coming out of her mouth I feel are robotic at this point and unfortunately she’ll learn the hard way.
3. Congratulations on a completely perfect spoiler! I loved that every little detail you had spoiled turned out to be correct, down to the dates of the events! That has to be so fun and gratifying! Enjoy March Madness, and I’m confident you will spoil Becca’s season as well. Looking forward to it!
Comment: Already 6 guys into spoiling. Nothing changes around here. Been spoiling for 9 years and as long as this show is still on the air, I will spoil it. It’s what I do. Thanks for the continued support.
Congrats on other amazing season. You’re brilliant and made this whole debacle must-see TV. Even all this manufactured (and real drama) wouldn’t have been worth watching without your spoilers, commentary and insights. Bravo!
Do you think everyone would have taken Arie’s switcheroo better if we actually liked Lauren? If the tables were turned and he went back to Becca, wouldn’t we be thrilled? That’s what many wanted Rachel to do or Jake or Ben — other’s who chose the less popular winner. I know a lot of people are standing up for Lauren and saying it’s not her fault but man, she seems so one-dimensional, vapid and clueless. She makes it really hard to root for her. Perhaps if she was more relatable people may have been more forgiving or accepting?
Comment: Certainly possible, but I can’t answer for everyone. Becca has no doubt come across on TV as more likable than Lauren. That’s not saying Lauren is a horrible person or anything, but it’s clear as day who gives off a better vibe on TV.
Dallas native here. I really enjoy your blog, tweets, and podcast. I’m looking forward to the podcast with Courtney this week! (And I always love to hear from Sharleen!)
Judging by the many tweets I’ve seen (and what I read on your blog Tuesday morning), it seems I’m not alone in thinking this show has gotten a bit too exploitative. Even Catherine Lowe said she thinks the show was “distasteful” for it (probably most surprising reaction from all the former contestants, as the Lowes are like The Bachelor’s model family and they seem to have a lot of loyalty to the show – would you agree?). It absolutely was. And next season will start airing May 28th, and most people will be back watching again. They don’t care. This is a finely tuned machine that has zero care in the world for the people they cover. Their job is to produce a television show every year that people watch and they do.
Did you notice the line “Producers are grateful for #BachelorNation” right before the credits Monday night? As far as I know, that’s never been done. Maybe I’m wrong. To me, that was an indication that they knew they’d get backlash for filming the breakup and airing it the way they did. What do you think?
Comment: Yes, I’m sure there was a backhanded message behind that, no doubt. How many times did Chris Harrison address the fact last night that he’s received hate on social media? Like 5? The fact he kept bringing it to the audience’s attention
Could his new engagement be any more shallow and ick than anything? So immature. Disgusting. Blech. If they want anyone to ever watch this show after that waste of time….they better get a SINCERE bachelor….not looking for a trophy…but a mature woman who would have a sense of caution with this insincere moron.
Comment: “Anyone to ever watch this show after that waste of time?” I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that millions of people will still watch every season. Today is Overreaction Tuesday. Yes, what they did was sh***y. But people eat this stuff up and it’s not going anywhere.
The finale–talk about life imitating art. Watching that genuine heartbreak turned into emotional porn, I couldn’t help thinking that this was very much like an episode of Unreal.
I can’t tell what disgusted me more—Arie’s behavior, or the relentlessly inhuman stalking of Becca by the cameras.
First, Arie. All I can say is that the magic of the show’s production on a group of isolated young women must be awfully strong to cause otherwise sensible-enough women to fall so hard for a guy with the vanilla personality and obvious insincerity of Arie. Dude doesn’t give a s—t, never gave a s—t, and frankly has no real desire to ever give a s—t. Exhibit A, and I say this as a guy who has broken up with women before when I knew it would be painful for both of us…Arie’s behavior towards Becca after he told her the truth about Lauren. What in the name of Jason Mesnick was this guy doing following her around, insisting that she talk to him, ignoring her requests to leave, denying her the last vestiges of her dignity? Good Lord I wanted to knock the dude out. Arie—YOU BROKE UP WITH HER, and you did it ON NATIONAL TELEVISION, and you did it by CHOOSING ANOTHER GIRL over her. When you do that, you don’t get to ask her to make you feel better about what you did. Maybe, just maybe, what’s happening in front of you ISN’T ABOUT YOU ANYMORE. Holy s—t dude. Telling her how much you agonized over this or how sorry you are doesn’t absolve you. If you want to say that once, ok, say it once. When you keep repeating it, it becomes obvious that your reaction to this girl’s heartbreak is that her pain makes you look bad, and makes you feel bad.
I’m sure lots of people from this franchise (and frankly, elsewhere in the entertainment milieu) get branded with all sorts of nasty rumors and unfair characterizations of the kind of person they are. Not Arie. I believe every negative thing people say about him.
Second, the cameras on Becca. It was simply profane the way those cameras kept following her, over and over again, as she kept trying to find privacy. She was like a wounded animal trapped in a cage, and we were the onlookers, and dammit, the show must go on. Wow. My God, how outrageous that was. Most hated line of the night: “America needed to see this”. The hell we did. I half expected the Rachel chick from Unreal to be visible in the background, whispering to Arie that he really should try one more time to go talk to Becca, that it would actually help her. And then, as dumbass Arie goes off to make more “great television”, Rachel mentions via headset to Fleiss how much she wishes all the leads were as easy to work with as Arie: “he literally does whatever I say”. Whatever. That probably gives Arie more credit than he deserves, haha.
And finally…the coup de grace…is that they actually persuaded this poor girl to be the Bachelorette, which vindicates the entire franchise and wipes clean its misdeeds in what they just put on TV screens. The show can’t be all bad if even the supposed “victim” is wanting more from it and wants her shot in the catbird seat.
I’m throwing up in my mouth just thinking about it.
Comment: Nothing further to be said.
Long time fan of yours- I’ve been reading your site since Sean Lowe’s season and have been watching the Bachelor since season one (from my college days at Cal State Fullerton- had to throw in an OC shout-out)!
One question- after watching Tuesday night’s ATFR, I noticed as Arie was talking to Becca K., the camera kept panning over to Kendall crying on Bekah M.’s shoulder. Any idea what Kendall was crying about?
I hope The Bachelor/Bachelorette is on for many more years to come, just so I can keep continuing to visit your site. You can add me to the ever growing list of people who only watch the show because of your site!
Thanks for all you do!
Comment: I guess she was just really sad for her friend. Seemed a bit much, but Kendall seems to be a rather emotional person.
Send all links and emails to: firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow me on Twitter, it’s: www.twitter.com/RealitySteve. Instagram name is “RealitySteve,” join my Reality Steve Facebook Fan Page, or listen to all my podcasts at Apple Podcasts. Talk to you tomorrow.