Reality Steve

Reader Emails

Your Biggest “Reader Emails” of the Season

Photo Credit: ABC

Since the discussion of whether Ben or Lauren will move has been a popular topic lately, I recall you said that the guy in the relationship has never moved where the girl is. But, if I remember correctly, didn’t Jef move to Charlotte briefly?

Comment: Did he? I thought he just visited a while? Did he actually purchase/rent a place out there? Considering they lasted a hot minute, I’m not even sure if that counts. I think I’m talking about all of the more successful couples. Not necessarily just the ones that are married, but even the ones that dated for a year or so. Roberto moved, but so did Ali. They moved to San Diego together. I’m talking where the guy up and up left where he was living to move into where the girl he chose was living, or, in her area. I don’t think it’s happened.

Hey Steve!

Read your spoilers/recaps every season and so thankful that you do what you do! So keep it up!

I was wondering if you know why the show doesn’t highlight Chris Lambton (Ali’s season) and Peyton Wright Lambton (bachelor/bachelor pad). They are both from the franchise and have gotten married. Also Ty Brown (Ali’s season I think) and Elizabeth Kitt Brown (jakes season/bachelor pad). I figure the show would mention them and try to take credit for those relationships as well.

Thanks for any insight!

Comment: Not sure.


I’m noticing something very different in “the media” this year, and that is articles about The Bachelor in other publications that mention “Reality Steve” and your spoilers. I suppose this is due to all the publicity you got in the wake of the New York Times feature, but I wonder if you’re tracking all of the mentions you’re getting and using them to further advance your brand. You may have reached the level where you’re able to pay someone to do this for you, but if not, let me risk making a fool of myself to give you some tips. Technology can do a lot of the heavy lifting in promoting your brand, but some things require effort.

Google News will allow you to search for your brand and email you every time it shows up anywhere.

Tweet all of those mentions or better retweet the messages of those publications.

Twitter, of course, allows the same thing, but it’s limited only to Twitter mentions, and it’s much bigger than that.

With each mention, consider thanking the publication in the comments on those pages. That practice will lift your Google Juice and raise the profile of your website, which currently doesn’t appear on searches for “bachelor” or “the bachelor.” You want to be on the FIRST page of organic search results for those terms.

There’s much more, of course, but I just wanted to pass these along. I honestly care about you and want to see you climb to the place where you can live comfortably, because you make life better for all of your fans. I’ll be 70 this summer, and my advice to a talented young guy such as you is to not take a single moment for granted. I know you work your ass off. It shows, but the danger of success is when it becomes just work without the passion that comes from kicking ass.

Comment: Thanks for looking out. Any major publication that covers me I have in the “Press” section in the navigation bar. But in terms of keeping track of every outlet that mentions my site? That doesn’t really concern me. There are too many. I’m not that vain to Google alert myself and need to be notified every time my name is mentioned. I’ll leave that to contestants of this show, which about 90% of them do.

I really only use social media to notify people when my column is up, or to retweet any major stories that reference the site. For example, WetPaint practically references me every day. While I appreciate it, there’s no need for me to link people to that constantly, because a lot of their stories are just paraphrasing something I spoiled. But if there’s a feature on the show that I was interviewed for, I’ll usually always link to that. Like this one from Monday. A good overall look at the “Bachelor” franchise and kinda what a farce it is.

Question for tomorrow – if Ben knew from early on that he wanted to pick Lauren at the end, why would he say “I love you” to both Lauren and JoJo? I mean, Ben seems more level headed than that. Was this actually producer manipulation? If so, that’s cruel to do to JoJo but I wouldn’t hold it past any of them to do it. Also, so obvious Ben is in love with Lauren. Getting emotional while talking to her sister last night….I don’t think you can script that type of emotion. Unless I’m drinking the Kool Aid this season, Ben seems like a genuinely good guy.

Comment: I don’t know. We’ll see how it all plays out, but knowing the way this show works, I don’t think it’s as big of deal as they’re making it out to be. Ben probably said something in the heat of the moment when he was feeling very close to JoJo that he shouldn’t have said, he realizes he made a mistake in saying it, it will affect him for 17 minutes, they’re both over it now, and it’s done with. But to create drama around the ending of their season, they chose to focus on this the last month of the season. Kinda like how the Kaitlyn/Nick sex storyline took over her season, when producers knew she had chosen Shawn int he end.

Dear Steve,

I noticed your web page picture is not the most flattering one. When I saw you on the spree cast Thursday night, I thought you looked much better now. Not sure how old that picture is but it does not reflect your best features.

I’m not insulting you or hitting on you, just putting my two cents in.

Comment: Thanks. Yeah, I’ve been meaning to replace that picture, but honestly I don’t have many pictures of myself alone. In fact, I don’t think I have any. Those pics on the site were done at a photo shoot specifically taken for the site about 3 or 4 years ago taken by a third party company. I don’t have access to them anymore really. I’ll figure something out in the next 5 years or so. Thanks for the compliment though.

Before the season started, you told a story about a girl being next to Calia (I think!) in the interview process and she was totally putting on a show before she made to the interview. I was trying to find that to show to a friend and couldnt find where it was on your site. Could you link to it? Thanks!

Comment: Oh geez, that was a few months ago. I have no idea what column I put that in. Obviously it was after I confirmed Caila as a contestant but for the life of me, I wouldn’t know where to begin. It was after I confirmed Caila, but pretty sure before the first episode aired. So I’d have to go back and read essentially every post from around mid October through Jan. 4th to find it. Be my guest if you wanna search. That’s the best I can narrow it down since I really don’t remember at what point I mentioned that.

Thanks for the link to that article interviewing 10 former black contestants. Really interesting read! I did think it was funny that nobody really counted Juan Pablo as a diversion from non-white.
From my perspective (a black female), I don’t think the current format of this show will see a black lead unless they go outside the norm and cast someone eliminated early on like Jubliee. Black people simply don’t make it far enough on this show to be cast as the lead. Which is perfectly fine in my opinion. I’m not looking for this show to be an image of diversity in everyday life. It’s a silly, stupid “reality” show that I still keep watching.

Last night reminded me of why I still watch this show: riveting eliminations. Thanks to your spoilers, we all know Amanda is going home while we watch Ben interact with her kids. Just brutal to watch.

Comment: Yeah, I thought the best part of that article was how differently some of the former black contestants viewed the show. Some you could tell were completely bothered by it, and some enjoyed their time. I think Kupah’s interview was most interesting in that he didn’t make excuses for what he did. Not in the least bit. And admitted he hasn’t drank since. Good for him.

Hey Steve,

In addition to the lack of lift and spin, I noticed a few other things last night that seemed different from normal hometown dates.

1) You commented on this on Twitter, but Ben didn’t ask any of the dads for their daughter’s hand, which is good because that whole thing is dumb on this show because no good father would say yes, but still, the producers usually get them to do it. First time I can remember that the Bachelor didn’t ask anybody’s permission. Thoughts? Yeah, I forgot to mention that in my column after tweeting about it. Thank God they didn’t do that. It’s probably the most insincere thing they do on this show and completely pointless. Every dad every season says yes, even though they’re meeting the guy for the first time and maybe have spent a few hours with him. It’s so irrelevant and unnecessary that I’m glad they took it out.

2) This also seems like the first time that nobody has told the lead they love them by this point (not counting Olivia). I would have to go back and watch every season to make sure, but it seems like the first time the show has made it to hometowns with nobody telling the lead they love them. Lauren and Caila have said they do, but they haven’t told Ben, and Jojo and Amanda said they could see themselves falling in love with them. Does it seem like they’re further behind than normal, or is that just me? I can’t remember off the top of my head all past seasons and who said their “I love you’s” and when, but considering all of them pretty much say it to him next week, seems kinda irrelevant.

Also, if Caila is “diverse” because she’s half-Filipino, then so is Jojo because as we learned last night and as she confirmed on Twitter, she is half-Iranian. Personally I think using the term diverse to describe either of them is a stretch, but thought that was worth pointing out.

Comment: This is being brought up a lot. I think it’s kinda like the Juan Pablo situation. Juan Pablo was Latin, but had white features. When I look at JoJo, even knowing she’s half Persian, her features are she comes across as a white girl. When I see Caila, her features don’t come across as a white girl. She definitely looks more Filipino. As I mentioned last week, if they choose JoJo and try to use her being ½ Persian as their “diverse” lead, that’ll be laughable. I’d rather if they do decide to choose her, just not to label her as anything.

How about Lauren’s sister Mollie as Bachelorette or at least a suitor on next year’s Bachelor? Damn, the girl is HOT and likely another Mile High member.

Comment: I’ve gotten this from a couple people. Hot? I don’t know if I’d say that. Cute girl, but I never looked at her as hot. Different strokes for different folks I guess.


Chris Soules the next Brad Womack, aka double bachelor

Chris Soules the next Jake Pavelka, aka lead to appear on the spin-off

Chris Soules the next Chris Boukowski, aka must show up at everything despite not being relevant.



Comment: Chris is not going to be the “Bachelor” again. That I can assure you. However, I wouldn’t put it past him to show up on “Paradise.”

Hi Steve,

Longtime reader, first time emailing. I know you’re an OC native, as am I, and I was wondering if you knew if Amanda lived with her parents. The cost of living is ridiculously high and I can’t imagine being a single mom and owning a home like they showed on her hometown date. When they showed Amanda’s daughter going down for a nap, it looked like there was a crib and bed in the same room.

Comment: Not sure about who she lives with, if anyone.

Hi Steve!

I’ve been reading since Jason’s season and I’ve always enjoyed your take on the show. It definitely makes me watch it from a whole other (and real) perspective.

Couple of comments/questions regarding Monday’s episode:

I have three brothers (no sisters), all whom I am very close to and who have been protective in their own ways my whole life. So I completely understand the whole protective brother/sister relationship. That being said, I found Joelle’s relationship with her brothers on the weird, borderline creepy side. From the way they greeted her, to how they emphasized how attached they were, the whole thing was bizarre and not normal. Thoughts? Do you think the way the public responds to these weird relationships would have a negative impact if Joelle were to be chosen as the next Bachelorette? (Rooting for her, can’t stand Caila – too much phony Disney stuff going on with that chick). Seems to be a growing sentiment that her brothers were a liiiiiiitle too overprotective. I can see that. I definitely thought the family dynamic was a bit odd, but maybe it’s a culture thing.

I believe you may have touched on this, but after Monday’s episode, I am convinced these producers scout the family’s homes before filming and selecting the contestants. The only “average” hometown that didn’t take place in an extravagant home from what I recall was Gia on Jake’s season when they met the family in a restaurant. Maybe you can shed some light as to why all of these families always seem to have over the top/cookie cutter homes.


Comment: There have definitely been homes in the past that weren’t the actual parents homes of the contestants. But to go back over every season and break down all four hometowns and figure out who’s home wasn’t the parents isn’t something I’m interested in. A lot of people seem to be fascinated by the houses on the hometowns. I guess I’ve never really cared enough to look or notice. Outside of Chantal’s dad from Brad 2.0, but we knew they were loaded. That house was a castle. Keep in mind, JoJo’s dad is a doctor, so they’re probably pretty well off. Caila’s dad is the CEO of a toy company and she went to a private high school that had a tuition of $35k a year. So they’re well off too. Was Lauren’s parents house all that impressive? Or Amanda’s? I honestly wasn’t paying attention. Oh wait, I remember when they pulled up to Amanda’s home. Very cookie cutter in that neighborhood. That’s roughly the area where my webmaster lives. And my mom, so I’ve seen Rancho Santa Margarita numerous times. South OC. Definitely money down there.

Hey there,

I know you don’t care for suggestions and you like the way you do things but I figured I’d make my suggestion and you can respond how you want to. Would you ever consider not spoiling the final one until the last week?

I only watch the show because I know who “wins” at the end. That’s the only way it’s tolerable.

But sometimes I wish I would just know the final 2, instead of the winner so it leaves a little mystery.

Anyone else ever suggest anything like that?

Thanks for your spoilers! Keep it up!

Comment: Nope. I’ll always spoil it once I know the ending.

Hi RS,

1) I was surprised by your reaction to Jojo’s brothers. I would have thought you would love them (I mean, they were spot-on, even if their delivery was wrong). Maybe because there were two of them it came across like ganging up on her? They seemed less aggressive to me than Des’s brother. Then again, Des’s brother seemed like such a misanthrope that it read like “I hate everything and also the Bachelor” so somehow seemed less like a personal attack, whereas Jojo’s brothers were more singling out what they saw in Ben’s relationship with Jojo. I did agree with a lot of what they said. My issue was definitely more with how they said it. And it also seemed like they were kinda acting and/or told to play it up. I guess I just felt they were expressing fake concern for her. Like, they were concerned, but not nearly as much as they were portraying.

2) Lauren’s brothers for episode MVPs. I don’t even care that the producers almost certainly goaded them into asking about the fantasy suite. The worst part being we never really got a good answer out of Ben, although the brother did take to Twitter and say they were happy with his answer but ABC didn’t show it.

3) If I remember correctly, back in the day you thought the Bachelorette gig was Lindsay’s to lose after Sean’s season and you were surprised when it ended up being Des. How do you think they were going to get around the problems of the filming timeline? Similar to what you proposed last week, that they drag multiple women on the stage at ATFR and “make up their mind” (yeah right) right then?


Comment: Back then when I made that comment about Lindsay, it hadn’t sunk in to me yet that the schedule really doesn’t allow for it. It wasn’t until after that season that I started realizing it.

Hi Steve,

Not sure if I’m too late for this week’s reader emails, but a couple of questions/comments:

1) Are JoJo’s brothers her half-brothers? If so, from which side, Mom or Dad? I’m having trouble seeing how she looks like them. Yes, half brothers. I’m pretty sure I initially reported they were step brothers. That was wrong. They’re half. But I can’t remember who’s from who’s side.

2) Who was the other woman at JoJo’s hometown date? She had dark hair. Was this a sister? She said sister Rachel. But again, I forgot the family dynamic and which side the sister is from, and if she’s half, step, or whole.

3) JoJo’s Dad looks like the love-child of Dr. Phil and the former Mayor of Vancouver, B.C. Canada:



I kinda think he’s more the fake, skinnier version of Andy Reid, but that’s just me.

4) Finally, is Amanda adopted? She looks nothing like either of her parents.

My vote (not that it matters) for the next Bachelorette is JoJo or Amanda. Not sure I could handle Ms Disney Princess for a full season.

Comment: I haven’t heard either way if Amanda was adopted, but I’m guessing if she was, that would’ve been part of her storyline. So I’ll go with no.

Hey Steve,

Reddit has a bachelor subreddit that is generally not too interesting. But there was a post by someone who lives in Warsaw.

I want to to copy it to you since it was pretty funny…it’s a little late to the party. But still interesting to see how Warsaw was portrayed compared to reality:


Comment: Someone had forwarded that to me last week, hence the reason I made a Warsaw “meth” joke in yesterday’s column. Sounds lovely.

Hi Steve,

I don’t watch Game of Thrones but know of the general storyline, and this one tweet just about sums up Jojo’s brothers being all over her (even my bf was weirded out by them!) plus her mom’s wine chugging:

Also it’s annoying that the filming schedule never allows for the runner-up girl to become Bachelorette, but Ben F. could be Bachelor. There is nothing compelling/real about Caila whatsoever, but as you often say the show ends up being more about the contestants.

Comment: I don’t watch “Game of Thrones” either, but sounds accurate.

Hey Steve! I’ve been reading your site for a while and I love it. I saw before the season aired that you announced Lauren B as his final choice. Just wanted to point out something I noticed today when I was reading Ben’s blog on,

talking about JoJo: “Watching the show now, I hope they can see how incredibly serious I was about JoJo” Past Tense

talking about Lauren: “And I was really happy that Lauren’s family was able to see how seriously I am taking this and how much Lauren means to me as well.” Present Tense

I definitely feel like at this point its pretty obvious he’s more into Lauren than anyone else like you said. I think he’s probably still entertained by the others and going through the motions for the show. And obviously JoJo is stunning so I’m sure that doesn’t hurt! Okay that’s all!

Comment: I guess you could look at that as a giveaway, but I’m sure there are other examples where he’s talked about others in the present tense as well. I wouldn’t read that much into it. He’s with Lauren because that’s who he got engaged to on Nov. 18th, not because of what he wrote in the “People” blog.

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  1. kimmyfromdablock

    February 24, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    Can’t risk reading much further than middle of page 1 since the site keeps sending me to an ‘update your flash player’ phony site. Not fun.

  2. rob22

    February 24, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    Kimmy: consider yourself lucky. There are a million emails that are very repetitive and very boring. Many are illiterate & ridiculous. I made it about a page and a half. I think a “best of” format would be better. Just cut and pasting your in box with some snarky comments added and posting it all in blog format is not terribly interesting. Definitely the Reader Emails are not my thing.

  3. locondcoco

    February 24, 2016 at 12:39 PM

    I’m sorry, if we’re going to assume what the producers said about the next Bachelorette being “non-white” to be true, then both Caila and JoJo don’t qualify. Non-white. NON-WHITE. Both are half white, which to me, still makes them white. If they had said, “ethnic”, “minority”, then fine.

    Or maybe I’m just being real nit picky.

  4. vessel

    February 24, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    Why does Steve dismiss the possibility of Amanda’s ex being on a future season? Ryan McDill was Nikki’s ex and they cast him. Hmmm, maybe I’ll ask tomorrow night @ the video chat.

  5. cjscjs711

    February 24, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    Speed read, people!

    Contrary to one email, I don’t see that this show has any semblance to a Stockholm Syndrome.

    The Stockholm Syndrome is where hostages begin to empathize and side with their captors. You probably mean the Stanford Prison Experiment in which students, as part of a study, were randomly assigned roles as either prisoner or guard. After being treated as such, they each became their roles, exactly as expected.

    Kelsey from Chris’s season agreed. As a writer herself, Kelsey probably got close to the producers and they led her on and on, and rewarded her, the further she walked down the ‘crazy’ path. -As these producers are accustomed to doing! On Sunday, giving her the Most Hated title I thought was wrong. Maybe most hated among contestants, or most hated by the franchise after Kelsey talked about suing them – but did viewers really HATE Kelsey? Personally, I loved the Badlands scene. Unforgetable!

  6. angelfish

    February 25, 2016 at 5:38 AM

    Seriously, cjscjs711. I actually skip down to Steve’s response and read it first. His answer determines whether I even read the letter. Too many people just want to state their opinion and get it validated by Steve. Boring!

    And always remember that Google is your friend.

    The only person Paul Lee, formerly from ABC, called “Non-white” was Juan Pablo. He never used the term “Non-white” about any potential Bachelorette. Dozens of articles that all have the same info. He said they were “tweaking” and used the word “diverse”. People need to actually READ what it says, not what they want it to say.

    Putting Amanda’s ex on this next run of the Bachelorette would have him going for either Caila or JoJo. I can’t see either one letting him stay, out of loyalty to Amanda. He’s her EX for a reason.

  7. product19

    February 25, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Re: Jojo as “diverse”

    So race is a tricky concept, but let’s seriously consider whether Jojo or someone like her has or could potentially face any negative discrimination in her life. She has, in my opinion, conventional European American features. She is not Muslim. So there are two ways that she is not going to be discriminated against. But she is from Iran. Is she a dual citizen? Because there is reason for concerns about discrimination based on recent legislation (see: I bet there is a small potential for her to get discriminated, but I don’t see it coming from her appearance or her class, and let’s be honest, that is an enormous inescapable part of life and, thus, discrimination.

    Caila is Asian American (which is actually a very diverse “group”) and upper class. [Note that the whole mixed race thing is sort of a privilege that was not part of the US context until recently, and it doesn’t always have bearing on everyday experiences of racism. For African Americans, the “one drop rule” was the norm in this country for many, many years. It still informs how people judge each other because of that history and our focus on appearances as a basis of race (see the whole topic of “passing”). Latinos and Asian Americans might also find this in their lived experiences that being “half” doesn’t prevent people from judging/stereotyping/discriminating]. In my opinion, she does look Asian. So maybe she has faced discrimination. Even the “model minority” stereotype has negative consequences.

    That’s what I think. You have to be nuanced about race and see what is in people’s lived experiences as well as structurally (that’s how we can see things like income gap between men and women). As for this show deviating from its norm by having Caila as bachelorette, well… let’s just say that it’s hard to see this show as doing anything other than banking on reinforcing extremely harmful stereotypes. Their “inclusion” of people of color usually just reinforces the norm.

    By the way, tone down the body shaming there Steve!

  8. jessicat

    February 25, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    For the person who asked about Steve’s post about the girl who sat beside Caila at the auditions:

  9. dreamteamer

    February 25, 2016 at 5:41 PM

    I used to work on Survivor so want to chime in on that email. Producer manipulation is always going to be a part of reality tv to some extent because they know what’s going on with all of the contestants and alliances and their job is to tell a good story. But the most they can really do is ask specific questions in ITMs that will possibly lead the contestants to talk about whatever they want them to talk about, or question whoever they want to cast doubt on. But at the end of the day the contestants themselves vote each other out, so they ultimately still have some control of the storyline. This isn’t the case with pretty much all other reality shows because they’re so much more subjective and therefore producers can easily have a say. Ben may know who he wants in the end, but if they ask him to keep someone around because they’re good drama (ahemOlivia) he’s not going to say no. This is why I still believe Survivor is the best reality show and has the most integrity of all other shows I’ve watched.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that Survivor has 3-10 cameras rolling for like 20 hours a day. Back when I worked on the show the statistic I was given was for every 44 minute episode they have at least 100 hours of footage. That is A LOT of tape for editors to work with. So while on set and filming the producers can somewhat indirectly affect the show and what contestants say and believe based on the questions they ask, most of the magic happens back in LA in the editing room.

    It’s funny because to this day people still ask me if it’s real. Yes, it’s real. I’ve worked on other shows and there’s a really good reason it’s still hanging on 32 seasons later. One show I worked on as a Cast Handler had me loading up the losing contestant’s belongings in the airport van hours before the judging session even began. That just doesn’t happen on Survivor.

    People (including me) hate watch The Bachelor because it’s so fake and dumb that it’s endlessly entertaining. I don’t know anybody who hate watches Survivor. IMO that’s because it maintains its integrity and doesn’t take its viewers for fools.

  10. angelfish

    February 26, 2016 at 6:35 AM

    Thanks Dreamteamer, for the inside info. It’s always great to have input from somebody who’s actually been a part of these productions.
    I would imagine “The Amazing Race” is also a pretty legit show in terms of fair competition between the contestants, because as with “Survivor”, it’s as much a physical competition as an emotional competition. Producers can screw with somebody’s mind or perception of events, but they can’t screw with who wins a foot race or an obstacle course.

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