Reality Steve

Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” Ben & Lauren’s Reality Show, & (SPOILER) Who’s This Season’s Big “Bachelor In Paradise” Couple?

Photo Credit: ABC


Three Bachelor / Bachelorette questions for you:

1. Do producers intentionally cast a person knowing they will be the villain of the season? If not, do villains sort of come about naturally through the shooting then the producers take it and run OR if there are no “real” villains in a given season, can they just randomly pick someone who has questionable ITMs and produce them to be the villains post-shooting? I’m sure they have an idea who’s gonna give them good material, or at least know who they can try and manipulate into the villain. But I guess you never really know until filming begins.

2. Do the producers really care about “happy endings” or twists? There’s been a pattern in recent seasons where, yes there may be a happy ending, but the journey to get there has included some twist or at least a unique plot where viewers will look back and say “oh yeah.. that was the season where….”. Ben – Courtney was the villain, Sean – virgin, Des – Brooks leaving, Juan Pablo – no words needed, Andi – one word.. Nick, Chris – farmer, Kaitlyn – two words… Nick, again, Ben – fell in love with two girls. I thought of this question when considering whether JoJo will break up with Jordan before or after ATFR. I’m sure the producers already know about all the slime coming out about Jordan and I’m sure they will know JoJo is upset and questioning it (whether or not she’s public about it) so do you think they would ever push her to break up with him at AFTR simply because it’s a twist that hasn’t happened recently (last one being Ben and Courtney). Or is it better for the franchise that they at least remain together for a while. Basically, since there hasn’t really been a significant “plot” or theme throughout this season, could they leverage this drama to make it memorable for viewers as the season where she dumped him at AFTR because of his shady lifestyle? In a word, “no.” They don’t care. It’s just a bonus if they get one.

I don’t think JoJo is dumping him at the ATFR. I’d be shocked.

3. Do you think the producers would ever change the viewing structure of the show to how they have it on UnReal (i.e. film for one week, air the week, get feedback from the viewers on who’s the favorite, villain, etc., film the next week, air the next week, etc.)? Personally as a viewer I think I would be more engaged to the characters and closer to the story knowing that it is all going down in real time.. plus it would help the spoiling situation out from the producers perspective (unless they simply don’t care about spoilers). Perhaps, this franchise just relies way too heavily on production edits throughout the entire season to ever switch to a week at a time, in real time structure.

Comment: Never in a million years. They can’t turn it around that quick.

I have recently read more articles saying that Ben Higgins is still in love with JoJo Fletcher. Wonder why this is coming back up now that she is on her own quest to find love. Is there speculation that Ben and Lauren are not doing well? I thought they would be a couple that would last. Also, I had listened to a podcast that Lauren Himle did a while back. She said all the contestants knew it was Lauren since the Las Vegas episode. I also read an article that said JoJo knew it was Lauren and agreed to go along to the end. She knew one of the producers and they promised her more exposure if she agreed to go along with the plot. I also read that Ben was asked (and pushed) by the producers to say “I love you” to both women. Any truth to any of this? Love reading you articles.

Comment: I think you’re reading too many tabloids.

Ben and Lauren are still together, as evidenced by today’s announcement. Nothing to that story. Lauren said what I said during filming, that it was Lauren about halfway through. One of the producers of the “Bachelor” (Louis Caric) was a producer on “Ready For Love,” her brother Ben’s show. Louis is who got JoJo on Ben’s season, without a doubt. In terms of her purposely going to the end and pushed by producers to say that, that’s all speculation that can never be proven.

We’ve (you’ve) pretty much established that Jojo’s top guys and many of the others are douches. You’ve mentioned her intentions may not have been all that great either so maybe it doesn’t matter. But, in your opinion, were any of the guys good catches and there for good reasons (ones that actually had a chance)?

Comment: Not that I can think of. Doesn’t mean they’re bad guys or anything or have major skeletons in the closet. I just don’t buy any contestant goes on this show with their #1 focus being finding a spouse. They all know why they’re doing it, and it’s not for that.

Hm. Never watched before, but isn’t Celebrity Marriage Boot Camp for couples who are struggling to save their marriage? I wonder why Jade and Tanner are on the season and how they do such a good job of hiding that they have any problems, considering they did just get married in January. Maybe I’m wrong though. Doubt this will illicit much of a response. Just a speculation of mine.

Comment: No, it’s for any couple: dating, engaged, or married. These people are getting paid to be on the show. That’s why they do it. If it was free and they just asked these couples to come on with no compensation, there wouldn’t be a show.

Hi Steve,

I have just finished reading your column about the emails with Grant and Jordan. I am absolutely disgusted!! Regardless of all of this coming out, I still do not see what she sees in Jordan, there are much better looking and nicer guys in the house!!!

I didn’t watch the Bachelor back then, but can you please fill me in on what happened with Jason and Molly? I know that he picked Molly during the After the Final Rose, but when did they actually get together? When did he realize that he picked the wrong one? How did the “media” or you, not find out about it? Jason got engaged to Melissa when they filmed the finale in November. They taped a closed set ATFR at the end of January where he “broke up” with her, and asked Molly if they could start seeing each other. I found out about that secret taping about a week after it happened, and told everyone about it around 2 weeks before the finale aired. So sometime between mid-November and end of January, he realized he’d made a mistake, called producers, and they made him do it on camera.

The reason I ask, is because it would be almost impossible for JoJo to not realize what is happening, so I wonder, if she has maybe already broken up with Jordan, hence the reason he has re-upped his Raya account, but they are just not going public about it yet.

Thank you for your spoilers!!! I could not get through a season without it!!

By the way, I think Friday Night Lights is the best show ever — and that is coming from someone who used to have viewing parties in my dorm room for 90210!!!

Comment: They haven’t broken up. And I doubt they will because of what she’s hearing on this site or in the tabloids. She’ll take too much sh** for it. I’d be stunned if she did. At least now. Eventually these two will break up since they have no chance at all, but for the time being, she’ll stick by him and say they’ve talked about it, she believes him, that was in his past, he’s never done anything to make her feel anything other than the most important person in her life, etc.

Hi Steve,

Just wondering…do you have anything scandalous to report on Luke Pell…girlfriends, past relationship issues, there for the wrong reasons, etc? This past Sunday (June 12) he made a surprise appearance at “ABC’s area” that they had set up at CMA Fest in Nashville. He honestly came across as super likeable and NORMAL! I really haven’t cared for him much so far on the show (a little too monotone/not very expressive), but really think highly of him after the interview he gave. Not to mention, I think he is much more attractive in person than TV. Based off of his interview, I would say that he has a very, VERY strong shot at being the next Bachelor…good looking, sincere, southern gentleman, good back story with being a Veteran, etc. I guess he is an aspiring musician…being The Bachelor could help him advance his brand…ha ha! Not to mention, he finishes perfect in the Number 3 spot!!!

Comment: No. Haven’t heard much. And it’s looking more and more like he’s going to be the “Bachelor.”

Hi Steve,

Thank you for your website; it’s so fun and insightful!

My question is about ‘villains’. It’s oversimplified, I know, but generally I see two camps of villains on The Bachelor/ette: the producer selected and edited villain (Olivia) and the ones who play the role and are in on it for the attention (Chad). Which camp would you ultimately place Chris’ Kelsey in?

Thank you again for making our entertainment your livelihood!

Comment: Kelsey was more in the Chad camp. She just wasn’t liked by many.

I must say, this season is the only interesting one in the past few years, and not even because of Chad. I feel like with the exception of him, the guys seem like good people and get along. I’ve noticed their ages are older than in past seasons, and I wonder if that’s it. Instead of immature 23 year olds, you have guys in their 30s or close to it. So they’ve lived a little more, learned how to actually have conversations to resolve differences, etc. I definitely noticed it with that one guy that Chad was calling out, I just forget his name. (John Krasinski look alike). I didn’t do a chart of all the ages, but someone did that in the past last season, and gave the median age for “Bachelorette” seasons and it’s around 28. Just off the top of my head, this season doesn’t seem to be any different. It’s the “Bachelor” where the crop of the contestants’ age is skewed younger in the 25/26 range.

Second, with Jordan being back on the dating app, doesn’t that make you nervous you got the ending wrong? Another Brooks thing- the guy she was super drawn to, but didn’t end up choosing?


Comment: No.


Do contestants ever contact you after reading a recap and do they complain or try to set the record straight?

Comment: I can count on probably two fingers.

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  1. purplerayne

    June 22, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    “Based on what ive seen”…. I think some folks should keep their day job and never go into the body language/detective business. Lauren is goofy, Ben is a dry (white toast). If what Steve says is true, that he wants a political career, it explains why he’s a bit more restrained on social media.

    Im looking forward to Josh and Nick on BIP. Josh didnt hold back during Kaitlyn’s season, he was tweeting negative comments about Nick. So it should be interesting how they interact.

  2. rob22

    June 22, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    Yeah, launching a political career off of an appearance on The Bachelor. As a Republican. In Colorado. Smilin Pete’s definitely living on Planet Ben right now. The size of people’s egos never ceases to amaze me.

  3. cd12

    June 22, 2016 at 7:48 PM

    Isn’t Freeform the new ABC Family?

  4. cjscjs711

    June 22, 2016 at 8:03 PM

    @rob22 That’s what people said about Donald Trump and dismissed him. Reality Tv, name recognition, photogenic; there things give a candidate a head start on our culture. What office did Ben say he wanted to run for? Celebrity causes people to overlook gun ina lot they wouldn’t in mere mortals.

    I can’t believe anyone believed In Touch randomly appeared. However, I doubt they told the guys, “We’re going to have tabloids out with stories about JoJo meeting up with her ex. Please act as surprised as you can.” Why wouldn’t they surprise them to get natural reactions? That would not make anything easier for anyone.

  5. kmannone723

    June 22, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    @Cd12 yes Freeform is the new name for ABC Family. I am thinking the new wanting to be in the limelight for Ben is partially like a bid for a televised wedding to stay relevant and on peoples radar especially since we don’t know if Kaitlyn and Shawn really did tie the knot in Hawaii or not still. They figure I need to compete against them for the televised especially since Kaitlyn really had the raunchier season compared to him.

  6. rob22

    June 23, 2016 at 6:20 AM

    @cjscjs: I realize Trump is a candidate, but at least there was “some” evidence of competence in the real world. That’s being disputed, but at least there was something. Smilin Pete’s not Trump. Of course, if he’s running for Dog Catcher, I suppose if he has a dog he’d be somewhat qualified. Name recognition is fine, but there has to be some qualifications.

    The closer parallel is Clay Aiken, who parlayed an American Idol 2nd place & singing career into winning the Democratic primary for Congress in South Carolina. But, he lost the general election by almost 20 points. As things stand now, Trump looks like he’s going down in flames too. Maybe I’m just hoping that the American public doesn’t EVER elect a reality show contestant to any kind of office that they aren’t qualified to hold. We all know the type of person that’s attracted to reality shows. They aren’t the cream of the crop.

  7. jecoon

    June 23, 2016 at 4:31 PM

    Clay Aiken is from North Carolina. Not South Carolina.

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