Reality Steve

Reader Emails

Your Biggest “Reader Emails” of the Season

Photo Credit: ABC

Hi Steve, I am not sure why the producers of the bachelor have to create drama when none exists. Last nights show was a bit of a dud for me because all the talks with the parents and siblings seemed staged to a point. I know you mention that the producers sometimes will influence the contestants to say and do things they normally would not. I was so turned off by Jojo’s brothers that I figure that there was supreme manipulations from the producers. From the super over the top happiness and hugging of Jojo from the brothers to the part where they were slamming her as they said they loved her. It was a bit creepy if you know what I mean. Do you think the producers said to the brothers, I know you miss your sister but can you show america how much she means to you or something? I can not imagine both brothers being such assholes in real life. Just before Jojo’s mom took a swig of the bottle, she and the husband looked very uncomfortable with what the brothers were saying. And I felt the same discomfort as well. As mentioned, yeah, I felt the family dynamic was a bit over the top. Maybe producer driven, maybe it was culture related, I don’t know. But it was a bit much.

Who picks what places the girls shows Ben on the hometown? It seemed that everything about Caila was so phony with the school she showed him to the toy factory. The toy factory was cool to see how they molded the toys but that is it. There must be something more interesting wouldn’t there be? I dislike Caila each week as she seems phonier and phonier, is that even a word? They’ll ask the girls to name a few things they’d like to do if they got a hometown, but I don’t think it’s always followed.

I do like Lauren with Ben because you can see the connection, chemistry. I hope they pick Jojo as the bachelorette as she would be so good for the role. And she has many fans so the ratings will be good. So lets hope they change how they do filming so Jojo is the next bachelorette.

Comment: We’ll find out soon enough.

So I googled toy companies in Ohio to see which one Caila’s dad is CEO of and I found this amazing article on Yes, there is a website devoted to news about plastic. So this guy was so excited that “rotational molding” was going to be shown on national television that he decided to live blog it. The best part is 14 minutes into the show when the guy realized The Bachelor is 2 hours long and he was going to have to suffer through another half hour before they got to the good part. You know, when they “pour the resin, lock the mold and rotomold their own pieces to a toy house.”

Here’s another great quote: “Then comes the awkward making out along with several safety violations. Senior reporter Bill Bregar told me it was “one of the greatest things he’s ever seen.” I’m pretty certain he was talking about the rotational molding on national TV, not the other stuff.”

I just noticed the author quoted one of your tweets about the show in the article.

Comment: Fascinating. The next time I get excited enough about plastic to read website about it will be the first time. If I’m going on something called, it’s because I want to find out more about implants, not how toys are made. But I’m guessing that’s not covered on that site, so I guess I won’t be going there.

Hey Steve,

You mentioned Ben Patton being on “Ready for Love” and I’m not sure if you know this, but Ben was the only bachelor of the three to propose. His engagement lasted a matter of months. (Although Tim Lopez from the band Plain White T’s, had since gotten engaged and actually married the girl he chose on the show). Anyways, I didn’t understand why Ben Patton was so douchey sincehe himself actually proposed to a girl he clearly didn’t see a future with.

Comment: Hence the reason the brothers actions just seemed bizarre to me.

Hey Steve!

Long time reader, but first time I’ve written in for the past couple seasons. I just have a couple/a lot of notes/questions

1. Something I thought people might be interested in reading is this Reddit user and Warsaw native’s post ( about how the town is in person vs. on the show, the fair, the bar, the club, how the girls were in person…etc. That’s two this week that made it in.

2. Caila’s been rubbing me the wrong way all season- to me she comes off as super fake, with every sentence being carefully constructed. I was surprised to hear Ben refer to their relationship as the “deepest” and also with her “favorite bench” bit- if you have a favorite bench, trust me, you have deep roots in a place!! Yes, benches are very important for establishing deep roots. Speaking of deep roots, I think Lauren needs some work on hers.

3. This could be influenced though, by the stuff I read preseason: the email you posted preseason from that girl who was sitting next to Caila at the Bachelor casting call and this post with “insider info” on Caila. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

4. I cringed when I saw the workers at the toy factory clapping and smiling when Ben carried Caila out. Did her dad tell them to do that or something? I can’t imagine someone doing that for fun. Believe it was taken from a scene from “Officer and a Gentleman.” There’s an email about it coming up.

5. JoJo’s mom…that wine chugging…”You won’t get hurt because you’re beautiful.” “I know, but still!” Yikes. Always a good reason why someone won’t get hurt. Their looks.

6. Ben posted on his People blog today that next week, “I had to say a goodbye in a way I never thought I would, to a girl I wasn’t sure I ever would say goodbye to…and she did not take it very well at all. I don’t think neither she nor I anticipated that kind of emotion overflowing when goodbye happened so unexpectedly.” Do you know what’s up with that? I’m reading that whole last paragraph different than you. Here’s what it says:

“But with that, I knew I had three women left that I felt absolutely amazing about. But Fantasy Suites presented even more pressure than before, and I can tell you now I never expected this week to unfold the way that it did. I had to say a goodbye in a way I never thought I would, to a girl I wasn’t sure I ever would say goodbye to … and she did not take it very well at all. I don’t think neither she nor I anticipated that kind of emotion overflowing when goodbye happened so unexpectedly. They say what happens in the Fantasy Suites stays in the Fantasy Suites, but next week’s episode definitely puts that to the test.”

I thought he was still talking about Amanda’s exit because he said “this week.” Why would he be saying “this week” in a column written the day after hometown dates aired if he’s talking about next week? Then again, it could just be a grammatical thing that wasn’t proofread. I could be reading this completely wrong, but I thought he teased how hard next week was gonna be, by relating it to the experience he just had with Amanda, where he didn’t expect to unfold the way it did and the girl not taking it well at all. But you definitely could be right. The wording that’s used screws everything up. Makes no sense to say “this week” if he’s describing next week’s overnight dates.

Dear Reality Steve,

Your Bachelor recap makes my Tuesday conference calls bearable. Thanks for giving me something to do while I’ll “listen”.

After watching the hometown dates I’m wondering if the producers jazz up the families homes? All (but a few) of the homes from the hometown dates have been really well decorated. Do they do any type of staging beforehand?

Comment: Again with the families homes. This seems to be asked every year at this time. I don’t google search these people’s address and double check what homes they’re using, so I have no idea. But apparently I’m not paying attention as much as other people are, nor do I care as much as seemingly other people do about how big people’s houses are.

Look’s like Fleiss is a secret Richard Gere fan! 100% staged action for action at their end of Caila’s hometown date with very similar music.

Comment: And considering a past “Bachelor” season (Andy’s) was titled “An Officer and a Gentleman,” I’m sure that’s why they had Ben do that.

Hello RS and enjoy your column as it is spot on. I was thinking about why the #2 girl will never be the Bachelorette and I came up with this: (lets use year as a example) The Bachelorette will start taping about Friday March 18th and it should finish around May 12th. I hope that I am close with those dates and think I am. Then 3 weeks later (around June 2nd or 3rd) BIP3 would start taping, so I am thinking that they need over 2 weeks of prep time for BIP and if they waited a extra week before starting the taping of the Bachelorette, would they have enough time to start BIP or would they have start the BIP taping later. This show does not like change and why should they as it is very successful in what they do. Do you think I am off base or spot on? Again enjoy your work

Comment: You’re pretty close on the start and end of “Bachelorette.” It’ll start that Thursday or Friday, the 17th or 18th, but usually ends a tad earlier. Like around the 8th or 9th.

I don’t think that would be the reason they couldn’t give it to the final 2 girl though. There’s still a good amount of time between end of “Bachelorette” filming and beginning of Paradise filming, even if “Bachelorette” ran an extra week long. Not to mention, I’m guessing they already know where they’re going for Paradise. It’s not like they won’t start looking til “Bachelorette” is over. Scouting begins months in advance.

Hey Steve!

So I just watched the episode and I wanted to email you like 10 different things during the episode but I didn’t bother… and then I saw the McDonalds commercial. Oh Des and Chris. Why did you guys sell yourselves out that way? Sean and Katherine, sure, they sell themselves out all the time. Obviously Chris Soules does too. But Des and Chris… come on guys. I thought you guys had more class than that. Money talks. But do you blame them? Fly down to LA for a day of shooting where you have one line and get paid? Seems pretty harmless to me.

Also, okay, I will make one last comment I was thinking during the episode… Ben didn’t ask any fathers for blessings, as Bachelors have done in the past. I feel like that was a huge plot point of the hometowns that totally got disregarded this season. I gotta say, I miss it. I would have loved to see what JoJo’s brothers would have said if Ben asked for blessings for JoJo’s hand in marriage.

Comment: I guess the question at this point would be did it actually happen with all the families and ABC chose not to show it for whatever reason, or, did Ben never ask any of them? I don’t know the answer to that.

Umm, JoJo’s brother Ben just seemed to “love my sister, very, very, very, very…” too much (?) for normal brother behavior?!! Just saying, that guy’s (her brother, Ben’s!!) gaze, all night was stalker, creepy, hands off my sister, she’s mine, creepy!!! Poor JoJo.

Comment: A tad creepy.

Hi Steve! Hope you are doing well.

So about last night…

I have to say it was one of the more fun episodes to watch. Especially with the huge elephant in the room being Ben Patton calling out Ben Higgins for what he was completely guilty of doing during his broke-ass version of The Bachelor. I know you didn’t watch Ready For Love but not only did Brother Ben lead multiple women on, he proposed to “The Virgin” of his season. Here’s an interview from his 10-minute fiance that I found.. talk about pot meeting kettle:

I found the BroJos to be completely over the top – producer driven or not. As someone with 2 brothers who I am close with I can easily say that they have never given a sh** about who I choose to date. They’d just hope that the dude likes sports and they’re all good, dog lover preferred.

And I was pretty surprised to see the poll results (from what I just saw) showing viewers thought that Ben shouldn’t have went to Amanda’s hometown. While I personally wouldn’t have gone to a hometown with children because I prefer not to be around children, I see no reason why that should have stopped him from going to Amanda’s hometown and choosing to get to know her better. She could have potentially taken the hometown date and left her kids out of it if she didn’t want him to meet them… knowing there was a 75% chance she’d get dumped by the end (see I’m good at math too). And I don’t blame her for going on the show as a single mom & leaving her kids behind, but at the same time she can’t use it against Ben when he doesn’t choose her. I do have to say tho that I was very happy we didn’t have to see round 2 of Becca’s family. If only he would have kept Olivia around.. THAT hometown would’ve made good TV. Well, we know there will be at least one single parent every season, so that’s not gonna change. And anyone with kids has to know when they sign up, there’s a chance their kids will meet a random stranger to fly kites with. So I don’t have a problem with it if the parent doesn’t.

After watching this episode and thinking it was one of the more entertaining ones of the season, it got me thinking why they would leave this out of Kaitlin’s. Do you think families were uncooperative, or maybe scheduling got in the way? From the last few seasons that I’ve watched this is always my favorite to Tweet about, and with The Bachelor/ette franchise being all about their social media presence I’m surprised they had cut it. But it could be just me – I am a viewer who get’s bored of dates about feelings. I’d much rather watch someone’s mom chug a champagne bottle

Comment: Kaitlyn’s schedule got screwed up because their overnights and final rose ceremony location, Patagonia, fell through late in the game. That’s why everything happened the way it did with staying in Ireland for 3 episodes.

Hi Steve,

Do the hometown families get paid for participating in the show? I can’t imagine all of the families that come on the show willingly participate without compensation…

Comment: No.

Hey Reality Steve! Thanks for providing great entertainment for your readers each week! I have a few questions/comments for you:

It seems like the producers do what they can to put “The Bachelor” contestant’s kids on the show (not as much the men on “The Bachelorette”) even if it’s bringing in the kid for a date midway through the season like Stephanie on Jason’s season or Ella on Jake’s season. No one should be surprised when a contestant’s kid becomes a plot line on the show. They should expect it. I agree. If someone has kids, we’re probably gonna see them. Whether it’s in an intro package, on a Skype call, on a hometown date, or all three, we see it all the time. This shouldn’t surprise people.

Why do so many contestants live in the same town? Like LA, Chicago, Denver, etc? Is that where they do castings? Yeah. Not to mention, those are big cities where a lot of the people live, so it makes sense for casting to try and find people from those cities.

I know you have made comments here or there, but do you know what leads have had plastic surgery? And is it producer encouraged/payed for before they are the Bachelorette or after their season as a result of increased vanity/public criticism from being the star? It would take a while to go through all of them and pick out which ones did and didn’t. Not to mention doing some digging, and it’s not allt hat important to me.

Can contestants smoke when they are on the show? No.

And last, but not least…

I’ve always wondered how you organize all of your Bachelor data. Do you have a ton of spreadsheets?

Comment: Nope. Just have one Microsoft Word page that fill in with info every time I get some. Well, two actually. One is a spoiler page that follows along with filming, and one is a separate page for just contestants that I find out about.

Hi steve,

Coupla questions for ya, I appreciate whatever u can answer… & I’m sorry if they’d been asked b4.

Do produces really pause in the middle of a rose ceramony for itm’s or they do it before Or after the rose ceramony & tell the girls to act as if they dunno if they’re getting a rose..? ITM’s are done before and after rose ceremonies (at least for those receiving roses), not during.

In the hometown dates, do the girls really get to see their family for the first time when the lead arrives or they put up an act..? They’re seeing their families for the first time.

Are the questions from the family members producer driven? Cuz they seem to be more or less the same with every fam.. like what makes her stand out to u bla bla.. r they told to ask so & so?

Thanks for taking ur time to answer!

Comment: Yes. Almost everything on this show is producer driven.

Hey Steve,

I’m not sure if you have pointed this out before but JoJo could be a twin/sister of Isla Fischer (not to mention the similar surnames). I only noticed this when I saw photos of Isla with her husband, Sacha Baron Cohen, at his most recent premier.

On another note, you said all the contestants knew it was the Lauren show this season, so do you think JoJo actually thought she had a chance or is the “falling in love” bit all acting? Ben and Lauren are too cookie cutter, I feel like JoJo would be a better ying to his yang. On the upside, I hope this means they some how find a way to make her Bachelorette because she would be perfect! I think once you’re in that bubble, you get a heightened sense of how the lead feels about you. And even if you’re not feeling it, you’re convincing yourself of it because no one wants to think they aren’t desirable enough and will get dumped on TV.

Lastly, that article you linked to on African American contestants was informative but also sad. I hate that they all felt the need to be representative of an entire race while not losing sight of themselves. However, that also explains to a large extent the emotional breakdowns we see them go through – the deterioration of mental health and racism have been linked in multiple studies. I really liked Kupah in particular, he was not only incredibly attractive but his “rant” hinted at something I wish Katelyn had explored further. Personally, I agree with those contestants that said they should cast a bachelor/ette who is interested in people of all races, whether black, white, Asian, hispanic or could you imagine… indigenous. Representation is so important, especially for females who are only presented with one idea of beauty: white, skinny and with European features. I’ve been watching the Bachelor/ette for years and I’d be lying if I said that it hasn’t affected my perception of myself. When I hear girls as young as 5 worrying about their appearance, it concerns me. But then again this is Mike Fleiss and ABC, so not exactly expecting much.

Love reading your thoughts, keep doing what you do.

Comment: I think it’s just more a reflection of the TV landscape. Not to mention the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” theory.

Hi Steve,

A few questions for reader emails.

1) is the going assumption regarding jason’s finale that he told producers he wanted to pick molly, they told him to pick melissa and then dump her and pick molly after the fact? maybe I’m cynical, but that sure seems like what happened. No.

2) how smoking hot was Lauren’s sister? what are the odds she’s on a future season of the show? That’s two votes for Mollie. It’s only happened once on the show where siblings were cast on different seasons, that was Zak and Carly Waddell.

3) do you think this was the most attractive final four of all time? It very well could be. I’d have to go back and dissect 19 previous seasons final four’s, which probably isn’t going to happen.

4) you mentioned Amanda’s ex is lobbying for a spot on the bachelorette. I say let him on! And heres why: I assume that both Caila and Jojo have knowledge of that situation, or at least know thats he’s a scumbag and would probably get in a verbal altercation with him. I think that would make some riveting night one drama, don’t you?

Comment: He’s not gonna be on the show.

Hi Steve,

Did you notice on the home town dates, they didn’t have Ben chasing after a blessing from each of the fathers? Let’s hope that’s been permanently eliminated from the show.

I generally don’t care what people on this show do after they’re gone, so I don’t do any follow-up, I don’t have twitter or facebook accounts to follow them with, don’t read any of their blogs, etc. But after all the questions you had the other week about Marcus & Lacy, I googled and read that TMZ had investigated and found that their wedding was not legally binding, so they were never really married. I’m not sure if you were aware of that, as you didn’t mention it. It doesn’t surprise me that this show would stoop to such a fraud. Yeah, that came out the day after the wedding aired and was discussed on this site. No, they were never legally married. It was done for show, then they were going to have an actual real wedding with family and friends in Orange County later on last year – which never happened. So they never got married.

I mainly decided to write in due to your request concerning whether to eliminate the single parents before involving their kids. The success that the show would claim for Jason Mesnick notwithstanding, I would say keep the single parents off the show, but if you’re going to have them, definitely send them home early. This show does not afford one the time to fully get to know who you’re dating, let alone find out the full situation about someone’s kids, and I don’t think the point needs any elaboration. But, as you’ve related stories about how wonderful a person Fleiss is, I’m not going to hold my breath expecting a change.

Comment: I can see your concern, I just don’t think it’ll happen. We will have another single parent on this show that makes it to hometowns I’m sure.

Send all links and emails to: To follow me on Twitter, it’s: Instagram name is “RealitySteve,” or join my Reality Steve Facebook Fan Page. Talk to you tomorrow.

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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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