Reality Steve

Bachelor Pad 3

“Reader Emails,” “Dr. Reality Steve,” & Sean Lowe is the Next Bachelor

Returning tonight with a live video blog at 9PM EST/6PM PST. Probably going to be the last video blog for a while now that the shows are all done. I’ll do one here and there from now until the end of the year, but don’t expect many. There’s just not a lot to talk about. Even when they start filming the “Bachelor” in a week and a half, you’ll just see me post columns about it. Once the season starts back up in January, I’ll be back doing them weekly every Thursday night. But from now until the end of the year, it’s impossible to say how often columns will come. I might write once a week, it might be three times, or I might not write for a whole week if nothing is happening. All depends on how much info I get on the season during filming and when it comes in. I’ve given you two of the contestants already, and I have four more that I’m gonna hold out on until after filming begins. But it’s impossible to predict how often I’ll write during the offseason because I just don’t know.

The biggest news of yesterday was I was made aware that Sean was at his parents house filming his intro videos, so safe to say he’s going to be the next “Bachelor.” I have no idea when the network is going to announce it officially, but all this BS Fleiss and Chris Harrison run to the media and on Twitter was just to keep people talking. Sean was filming in the front yard in his swim trunks, playing in the sprinklers with his niece and nephew while cameras rolled. I expect this to be part of his video package in the beginning where we hear voiceovers of him talking about how he know the process can work, he’s excited about finding a wife, and saying the exact same things the 24 previous leads before him have said, all while walking the streets of Dallas aimlessly looking into the sky and pondering deep thoughts in his head.

As I said Tuesday, I think Sean will be one of the more different Bachelors we’ve ever had. Not necessarily the best (only time will determine that), but definitely different. He does come across as someone who’s a bit more genuine than Bachelors past, doesn’t seem to be much of a player, and has a very strong religious background that is a big part of his life. Will it translate to good TV? Who knows? Doesn’t matter really since the show is made by the 25 women they cast, and not the lead. I mean, look at last season. Ben was not the most excitable guy in the world, wasn’t some chiseled beefcake that was eye candy for women, and certainly wasn’t Mr. Personality either. But people still watched in droves, just like they do every season. Some people love Sean, some people think he’s boring. Yet, they’ll still be watching because they want to see the cattiness, the dates, and the travel. I did say on Tuesday that I had a story about Sean I would share once it’s officially confirmed he’s the Bachelor, and I will do that once filming gets underway, since there’s apparently a Part 2 to this story that I was just made aware of. I now need to find out if that part is actually true. As I mentioned, nothing scandalous at all, but I’d say that people who are fans of this franchise would definitely be interested in hearing about it. I’ll definitely share once filming begins.

Both Nick and Rachel have done their conference calls with the media talking about how the ending of the show played out. If you haven’t seen them, click on these links (at the end of each is a link to the other part of their interview):

Nick’s conference call

Rachel’s conference call

Obviously, both of them are on opposite sides now. Rachel’s saying Nick is lying about things, he’s saying she’s lying about things. Whatever. It’s he said/she said at this point. That’s not the part that interests me. Ever since Monday night, I’ve become more and more fascinated with Nick’s decision. Not only because it gave us quite the dramatic ending for Monday’s episode (because lets face it, if Nick doesn’t do that, how boring would that finale have been? 13-3 landslide vote, then they split the money. Great. We’ve already seen that the first two seasons), but for what ramifications Nick’s decision now has on future seasons. I mean, now ANY contestant who reaches the finals now has the, “What if my partner is lying to me” question in the back of their head. It was never really an issue in the first two seasons since we knew Natalie and Dave and Holly and Michael were both going to pick “share.” So yesterday I emailed two of my friends who are lawyers and presented them with this question:

If after the show, Nick and Rachel decided to write something down on paper that said something to the effect of “When we go back to tape the finale, both of us will choose to SHARE, so that we can split the 250k,” and they both signed it, could Rachel win a lawsuit against Nick for going back on an “agreement”? Would it have to be a more formal contract? What if it was written on a napkin? Could even a verbal agreement be grounds for her winning a case against him?

Basically I think what Nick did will have every future couple petrified it will happen to them, so, unless NZK adds it to the contract that no deals can be made outside the show, wouldn’t every final couple now try to get something in writing so their partner doesn’t blindside them?

Response #1:

“Technically, a verbal contract or even a written contract on a cocktail napkin can be enforceable. But the problem is that this is a prize being awarded on a reality tv/game show. They probably have written agreements with the production company basically waiving any right to take legal action based on what happens on the show (god only knows how many rights these people explicitly waive away by agreeing to participate). In addition, putting aside the issue of what they have signed away already, when you know that a game show prize is structured in a way to reward deviousness and dishonesty, I think it hurts any argument that you had an expectation that someone would be honest with you in the context of playing the game as it is structured.

I bet there is something in the contract that prevents her from taking any legal action against anyone associated with the show (including fellow cast members) for actions that occur within the context of the show. Otherwise, everyone on Survivor would be suing each other for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Also, I just don’t think you can expect to have a valid agreement with another contestant when the show purposefully designs the prize to reward you for being dishonest. It’s completely something they should expect to occur that the other party might lie to them to try to get it all. So, you can’t act like you are surprised that someone finally took the bait and did what the prize incentivizes someone to do. It’s not a hidden trick. It’s in the plain rules of the game.”

Response #2:

“There are so many situations and circumstances that could make that valid or invalid even just being on a napkin.

First, I think those contracts state that you aren’t even supposed to make any contact with any contestants from your season or any other season until after the last episode of your season aired. Dumb yes, but this alone could act as a defense of some sorts for trying to enforce the “napkin contract”. Basically saying the agreement was illegal because they were barred under another contract from talking. But again that relates to NZK, not the parties to the napkin, so it’s arguable, and by enforcing the napkin they could be admitting to breaching the NZK contract thereby opening a can of worms.

But yes, as long as the napkin has enough terms on it will most likely hold up in court. The only crappy part about the napkin, is Rachel could end up spending a sh*t load of money (not recoverable) for trying to get half because there is no attorney fee provision. And again, if Nick can argue “I was drunk when we signed it,” or “I was not in my right mind,” or “There was no meeting of the minds,” or “That’s not what that meant,” because there aren’t enough specifics, then he has a pretty good defense. He also has the defense of a “game” that they are in play and under contract for and that anything goes…this is me getting lawyerly creative which we have to do sometimes for our clients. They honestly both have a shot at winning but it depends who wants to spend what to get what, and who has the better lawyer.

And yes a verbal agreement could work too (there is a law called the statute of frauds in certain states where certain contracts have to be in writing) but this isn’t one of them. As long as there is offer, acceptance, and consideration (meaning promise for promise/ detriment for promise/money changing hands etc) you have a valid contract.”

So basically here’s how I see it. Based on their conference calls with the media, I don’t think Nick plans on giving Rachel any money whatsoever. So technically Rachel could say to Nick, “Ok, I’m gonna sue you because you broke a verbal agreement we had.” Remember, anybody can sue anyone for anything in this world. Rachel may not have a strong case at all, but technically she could do it, which would then force Nick to spend money on attorneys fees, thus “penalizing” him for what he did. Sounds like Rachel would never win a case against him just because of what was stated in the two responses above, but what if she says, “Nick, I’m going to sue you and force you to spend money on attorneys fees UNLESS you give me ‘x’ amount.” Then at that point, it’d be up to Nick to call her bluff. Maybe she would go through with it, maybe she wouldn’t, but it certainly could be an interesting scenario.

And looking forward to next season, if you’re in the final four couples, is anyone stupid enough now to not get something in writing from their partner stating they’ll both choose “share.” Granted, like the two responses above said, even if both parties sign something that states they’ll share, and one reneges on it, doesn’t necessarily mean the other will win in court, but I would think if the two people do agree to sign something, you’ll at least feel a bit more secure when you go back to tape the finale that your partner won’t flip on you. I don’t know what the “Bachelor Pad” contract stipulates, but since we know the final four last year all split the money, I wonder if now after what Nick did, they will specifically put something in the contract they sign that says something to the effect of, “If you reach the finals, you are not allowed to make any deals outside the show with any other cast members.” Nick really opened up a can of worms with his decision Monday night. I love it. The legal ramifications this could have on future seasons very much intrigues me, and I wonder how every future couple who makes the finals will play it out. Even if you trust your partner with all your life, now that Nick pulled this on Rachel, there absolutely will be at least a small percentage in the back of your mind doubting whether or not your partner is being honest with you. All thanks to Nick Peterson – King of the Pad.

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  1. colonlc10

    September 13, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Hmmmmmmm Sean. Not sure how I feel about him being the Bach but it might be ok. He seems like a nice guy and will probably have a “hard time” saying bye to the women he doesn’t choose. I wonder if there will be any crazies like Courtney this time around. Didn’t care for her but she did bring the drama which is what the network wants!!!! I would have like Jef to be the Bach but instead he has to deal with the Princess now. ;o) Please don’t bring Erica back for the next BP if there is one………….her gavel banging is enough already. Go away! ;o)

  2. karynr

    September 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    I’m bummed about Sean. I sure hope they bring on some interesting women, becasue IMO he is as bland as they come!

  3. iheartvino

    September 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    I’m fine with Sean being the Bachelor. I agree with Steve in that the contestants are the ones that make it an entertaining season, regardless of who the lead is. I just hope that Sean doesn’t allow Fleiss and Co. to manipulate and control every single decision he makes. Sean seems like a decent guy and I’m looing forward to watching his season.

  4. jessica1

    September 13, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    I was thinking about how future votes might go — and I think the only leverage any final couple will have to “force” each other to Share might be this:

    You might trust them but you should constantly assert to them, that if they don’t intend to Share and if you even get a whiff that they will vote to Keep, you will purposely vote Keep as well, to force the money to go to panel of contestants.

    They either Share or get nothing.

    Of course, the other contestants will try to put doubt into the finalists heads that they are lying to each other, to get them to vote Keep and give the money “away”.

    So it’s all a mess-with-your-mind game anyway.

  5. jessica1

    September 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    And by the way folks….did I see that ABC is doing a REVENGE MARATHON THIS SUNDAY?!?!?

    And I’m out of town….why why why?!


  6. bigfatwoman

    September 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    As long as he doesn’t open his mouth and they don’t show his lanugo covered face — I’m good with this choice.

  7. JovisMom

    September 13, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    I’m excited that Sean is the Bachelor. I didn’t care of Emily being the Bachelorette cause she alreaty “won” same with Reberto he “won” Ali’s season. Oh well…. I’ll have to do some looking around for Sean in Dallas. I wonder where he hangs out?

  8. laney2012

    September 13, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    I must be behind the times, because I don’t recall hearing about the final 4 splitting the money last year. Did that come up during the finale or afterwards? Anyone have any details?

  9. nicolerh1975

    September 13, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    I’m excited Sean is the next bachelor. He is a nice guy and HOT!

  10. iheartvino

    September 13, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    @jessica1- I was excited about the Revenge marathon too, but I looked at the listings and they’re only showing four episodes for the marathon. (Pilot, Daniel’s proposal to Emily episode, the engagement party episode, and the finale) It’s the same episodes ABC has available to watch online now.

    Regardless, we’re getting much closer to Sept. 30! 🙂

  11. iheartvino

    September 13, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    @jessica1, my bad, they’re only showing three episodes on Sun. I think it’s the ones I listed above except for the one where Daniel proposes.

  12. nora j

    September 13, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    I think Sean will make a good bachelor…or at least he deserves to be the bachelor….he seems serious about finding someone and settling down. I preferred to see Arie but I’m at least glad it’s Sean over Roberto.

  13. nora j

    September 13, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    wtf I doubt Rachel could/should/would sue Nick. That would be ridiculous. It’s a game show. If someone can sue someone for that…the options for the ending would be pointless.

  14. nora j

    September 13, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Oh yeah…Rachel didn’t “deserve” the money any more than Nick. She maybe had more friends than he did but that’s about it. She didn’t really do much the whole show. Of course i don’t blame her for being mad..i would be too but I mean Nick wasn’t anymore wrong than Rachel not picking Jaclyn to go into the finals…she took away the chance for $125k-$250k for her own good friend…because of money.

  15. nora j

    September 13, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    sorry but I’m laughing that RS even brought up Rachel suing Nick…that is SO dumb cuz it’s a game show…that option is out there. Otherwise Rachel should have just raised her hand and said “well we don’t need to do the ending cuz Nick and I have a verbal contract that we’re both gonna pick Share” lol.

  16. azak

    September 13, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Law student here. FYI, verbal agreements over $500 are not enforceable…anything over $500 has to be in writing. A lot of factors depend on whether or not this would be an enforceable contract, but if he just promised to give her half, it’s not valid. A contract consists of an offer, acceptance, and consideration. Nick would have nothing to gain by giving her half, so there would be no consideration as well. No contract.

  17. azak

    September 13, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    I just realized that I was thinking about the sale of goods for the over $500 situation, so that doesn’t apply. I still don’t think there would be consideration here, though.

  18. oyoung1117

    September 13, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    So excited Sean is the next bachelor! This is the first bachelor since Jason I am actually excited about and on board with. I like handsome, nice, all-American boys! He is going to be great. And since I actually like him I’ll actually be more invested in who he picks. While with Ben, I thought he deserved Courtney and they made a perfect narcissistic pair, Brad has always got on my nerves and I just didn’t care. And Jake, what can one say about Jake? He was awful and he chose Vienna for heaven’s sake! I am so glad it isn’tRoberto!

  19. linds

    September 13, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    I wonder if the story about Sean has to do with Emily Obrien. They seem to flirt it up a bit on twitter. Just a guess. I saw that the other day she told some girl she dodged a bullet by not waving at Sean at the park. I assumed it was sarcasm. Anyway…

  20. linds

    September 13, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    I just happened to look at Sean’s twitter because of the rumor he was the next bachelor (which is obviously true).

  21. DawsMA

    September 14, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Linds, good point. I was wondering if there was a romance brewing between Sean and Emily O’Brien, and perhaps he wouldn’t take the gig over it. Seems she is taking the grade school tactic of teasing the boy she likes. Guess it didn’t pan out this time since he’s about to meet/date 25 other ladies!

  22. Meghan

    September 14, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Wow Steve, you couldn’t have included even ONE email from someone who disagreed with you??

    Not excited at all about Sean. He seems like a good guy, but kind of bland, and I don’t find him that attractive. Such a shame they didn’t go with Arie!

  23. pdxfan

    September 14, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    I’ve been thinking about how all of this will change as a result of Nick’s decision, too. If I were on the show, and felt like sharing the money at the end, I would tell my partner that I was definitely choosing “Keep” no matter what, in order to not get scooped. I would make it extremely clear that there was no way I was varying from that plan, BUT that I was committed to sharing the money with my partner if I won it. It is possible that they could be so angry by my aggressiveness that they could choose “keep” just to keep me from having any, but I’d be willing to bet that wouldn’t happen given the backdrop of the previous decision and the sum of money involved.

  24. swills13

    September 14, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    @azak, no offense meant, but you might want to hit the books a bit harder before you graduate/ take the bar, as your analysis comes up a bit short. You are correct as to the required elements of a valid contract, but there is absolutely consideration here if there was an agreement. The consideration would be the promise of each to “share,” thus giving up the potential to receive $250k (meeting the requirement of a legal detriment needed for consideration). Similarly, there is detrimental reliance by Rachel if she voted “share” because of the agreement. If there was an agreement, the terms of the BP contract (and inclusion of waiver of rights to sue) would probably be the determining factor. RS apparently doesn’t understand how legal fees work, either, when he said that Nick would have to pay legal fees if Rachel sues. Generally, the winning side in such a case can get the court to order the losing side to reimburse their legal fees. Either way, I love Nick’s decision.

  25. lcs85

    September 15, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    I think I would choose keep if I was too be in such a position. Yes, there is the risk that your partner chooses keep as well and you get nothing, but if you choose share, then you run the risk of your partner choosing keep and loosing half of it. Choosing keep would just ensure that if I did get the money I would get it all 🙂

  26. jessica1

    September 15, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    pdxfan – airport fan? hmmm

    You say they should vote Keep but then share, I think they should vote Share but if suspect double-cross, they should force a double-keep vote and be forced to give all away.

    If this show comes back, there won’t be a single sane contestant at the end; so much “what will he/she do”, especially after Nicks vote.

    But I bet the producers will NEVER EVER let a lovey dovey couple win again. They’ll manipulate to get a high controversy, deceitful couple to the finals.

  27. rollingeyes

    September 17, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    @jessica1….your ignorance is showing. pdxfan doesn’t mean they are a fan of the airport. I moved to Porland, OR a few months ago, and I came to realize the people in Portland refer to the city itself as “PDX”…..not just the airport. It is just a nickname. My assumption (and you know what they say about assuming things – but I’m sure my assumption is closer than yours) is that pdxfan is just a “fan from Portland”.

    That said……hello to pdxfan from another Portlander. I am loving it here!

  28. rollingeyes

    September 17, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Crap…..yes you spelling nazis, I missed the “t” in my first “Portland”…..wouldn’t be my first mis-spelling, won’t be my last. Love to you all.

  29. jessica1

    September 17, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    rollingeyes – ah yes, the usual inclusive, friendly banter we’ve all come to know and love. it was A JOKE. I know exactly what it is and i was saying hi to A FELLOW NW’r. Just pointing out the *name* has a double meaning….

    you are well named and your attempt at snark was wasted. go back to the pearl and pretend to be a hipster.

    to pdx, if you took offense, none meant.

  30. Dianne

    September 18, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    girls, girls..claws in please, claws in!

  31. JovisMom

    September 18, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    I’m from Dallas and we refer to our city as DFW for Dallas Fort Worth…

  32. serpephone

    September 19, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    I too am from Dallas… DFW… had no idea PDX is Portland..

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