I am personally very excited that Rachel is going to be the bachelorette. I don’t have any concerns about her carrying her season. She is fun, well spoken, beautiful, sweet… but I am concerned about what the producers will do to whichever male contestant they dub the villain. It would be so hypocritical of them to tout this upcoming season as historic and exciting and yet whip up a bunch of racist story lines with frankenbyting to make one (or several) of the guys seem like racists. Maybe there will be a guy or two on there who really is a racist and to them, I have no sympathy but I would feel bad for a guy if they cut together words and pieces of sentences to make it seem like he is a racist when it is not the truth at all. It could potentially be life and career ruining for him! Thoughts? Maybe that they shouldn’t sign up for these shows if they don’t want to have to move to Paris a la that girl on Chris’ season?
Comment: That was talked about pretty in depth in yesterday’s podcast. This show has zero standards. They will do whatever they can to get people talking. I can’t predict we absolutely will see it. I’ll just say that if we do get a racist storyline, none of us should be surprised.
I’m thrilled that Rachel has been cast!
Do you think that Rachel has been laying low with the Bachelor Nation people (on social media) due to her being in talks with the producers? Or do the women from Nick’s season just not have a close relationship with her? I think she’s definitely friends with a lot of the girls, since so many of them took to social media last night with love for her after the announcement.
I’m assuming that they announced her early to try and attract potential suitors since the cast typically hasn’t known who the lead is.
Also, I could see Grant coming back to as a dramatic factor from a past season to try win her over. He just seems like the type that would be led on by producers to do so.
Doesn’t matter, I watch the show because you make it more entertaining!
Comment: I don’t think they’d cast Grant.
First email to you. I was goaded into watching a few years ago by some female friends, and after stumbling on and reading your site, I found myself enjoying the show as self-parody A LOT. You got me there. Thanks!
So the real reason I’m writing is regarding Rachel. It IS Black History Month. They revealed it as soon as they possibly could without destroying too many episodes with Rachel spoiled. If they waited any longer, February would be nearly over, so the February tweeting by Fleiss and the mid-month announcement I think HAD to be done the way they were to take advantage of the month designation. Now, clearly, they could have—and arguably should have—done this earlier and handled it without exploiting the situation, well, no, they really couldn’t have. They can’t help there vapidity. Anyhow, that’s my theory.
Thanks again! Go PATS! (lol)
Comment: Kind of a reach. I don’t think that’s the reason. Because if we end up having a black “Bachelor” somewhere down the road, that announcement is made in August/Septemeber, which isn’t Black History Month. So to say that IS the reason why it was done this month seems kinda far fetched.
Throughout your conversation with Courtney, I was amazed at how forthright and absolutely likable she was. She came across as being very open and honest with you, and I was wondering if you had the same impressions? She was great. I knew from her book she’d be open, but you just never know until you start talking to them. As an interviewer, your biggest fear is a non interesting interviewee who gives short, canned answers and doesn’t open up. It happens to all of us. Courtney certainly didn’t check that box. None of the interviews have in my opinion. Lets hope it doesn’t.
Over the weekend, I read Courtney’s book, and found myself appalled at the way Ben Flajnik treated her. Whenever they write articles about who is the worst bachelor ever, they always name Jake, Juan Pablo and Ben Flajnik. I have never liked Ben, starting when he stormed off Ashley’s show in the nasty and immature way he handled it. You have said that the producers didn’t like Ben. My question is, what is your opinion of Ben after having read Courtney’s book and having a conversation with her?
Comment: I loved Courtney’s book and I loved the interview she gave. With that said, I’m very well aware it’s still one side of the story. I’m not saying I don’t believe her. I’m just saying that I’m sure Ben didn’t nod his head “Yep” at everything she said exactly how she said it. So yeah, the book was highly entertaining, but just know what you’re reading when you read a book like that.
I sent this question in last week but I’m not sure if it made it in.
Is Nick the least popular bachelor? I don’t mean least liked because I’m sure Ben F or Juan Pablo take the cake. But Nick seems to be the least popular. I’m purely basing this off social media engagement. He’s been on 3 Bachelor related shows and he’s not even at a million followers yet. Ben H reached a million as soon as his season aired. Lauren reached a million as soon as the finale aired and Jojo before her season even started filming. Seems like people just aren’t that interested in him or his season. Might just be me tho, I haven’t watched the last two episodes. Such a subjective statement, it’s impossible to answer.
Why did they decide to give Rachel such an anti climactic announcement? Unless you follow social media or watch Jimmy Kimmel, you wouldn’t have known. Not to mention she hasn’t even been eliminated yet. It’s a bit odd. It was odd in that they’ve never done it before. But I thought the announcement was the opposite of what you thought. Every media outlet covered it.
Have you heard any outcries from crazy fans regarding the bachelorette choice? I haven’t heard that much and everyone seems excited. I definitely am. I think she’s a great choice, and I’m hoping her season will have more than the token black guy. I mean last season the top four had the same exact hair cut.
Comment: I re-printed all the emails I got regarding Rachel up through yesterday morning in yesterday’s post. Looks to me like she’s being well received. Of course you’ll have people that hate the decision. But there would’ve been haters if Raven got the gig. Or Corinne. Or anyone. It’s the same thing every season. Some people love it, some people hate it, but most will watch. When the show casts a lead that people are indifferent on, that’s when they should worry. As long as you have an opinion on Rachel one way or another, you’re probably going to watch. Plenty of people hate watch this show. We know this.
A few questions for tomorrow’s column:
1) When does the WTA get taped, and in lieu of the bachelorette reveal, will Rachel have the floor more so now than if she hadn’t been named? Feb. 24th. I don’t think it’ll be any more or less. I’m sure she’ll get called up to the hot seat.
2) Do you think the Rachel/Vanessa argument be addressed during WTA? Guessing it will end up on the editing room floor if it does. I highly doubt it.
3) We know that historically bachelorette contestants tend to be in their mid to late 20s- with Rachel being 31, do you anticipate a crop of men in their early 30s? I know the bulk of casting has been decided, its just hard to see her personality type taking a 25 year old seriously. Of the few I have, the answer to that would be no. But, I don’t have close to 25 guys yet, so maybe I just have the ones that aren’t.
4) With the new president of ABC, I cant help but wonder if Rachel had this gig from the beginning. With Nick being a mouthpiece for the producers, do you think he knew exactly what role Rachel was going to play in this season (being an African-American going furthest as a viable winner)? Seems to be the running speculation, but since it can never be proven, there isn’t much to say. If people want to believe that they can, but we’ll never know.
5) (Not a question, just a comment!) I greatly enjoy your podcasts. As someone who faithfully tuned in each week for your video chat, I enjoy the podcasts so more, and you seem to be in your element. I also only knew Possessionista by name prior to her being a guest, and I really like her. Im excited you’ll be doing these throughout the year. Now get some sponsors so you can make a killing! 🙂
Comment: Thank you. We’re working on it. Hopefully within the next couple weeks you’ll be hearing sponsors. Have some calls lined up this week.
If Rachel takes four African American guys to the “final four”, do you think they’ll give us the first African American Bachelor or give us an excuse to go outside of the “final four”?
Comment: I would be willing to bet that Rachel doesn’t have four black guys in her final four. No way.
Hi Reality Steve!!
One of my friends told me that one of the contestants this season is pregnant and it’s not the winner. To me, it sounds like it’s total garbage and was posted by some click bait-y websites so I didn’t want to read the article to find out and give them more views. Have you heard anything about this rumor??
Comment: Actually, Nick got ALL of his final four pregnant, they’re all due on the same day, and they’re having a spin off show where he becomes a polygamist and lives with all of them.
I have been a long time reader and am really loving the podcast! I look forward to it every Thursday.
Just a thought on something that could be why they announced Rachel as our Bachelorette while she was still on the show. By doing this, they have 2 different things that are “historic” about the announcement. If someone criticizes the show for making a big deal out of something that shouldn’t be a big deal, Fleiss & Co can turn around and counter by saying the historic moment was actually that the announcement was done while she was still on the show. No one from the show (that I’ve seen) has outright said historic=black Bachelorette.
I noticed a similar thing with the first episode, also with regards to Rachel. Prior to the first episode, they kept calling it “historic”, presumably alluding to Rachel, a black woman, getting the first impression rose. However, on Twitter, people (including a producer, I believe), said that the historic part was not a black woman getting the FIR, but rather that one of the night 1 contestants had previously slept with the lead.
Of course, I know multiple things go into these types of decisions. But I just thought the idea of being able to dodge criticism with the doubly historic night might have played a role
This could be totally stupid thought or poorly explained. I am thrilled for Rachel to be the lead, but I am already over the show applauding themselves for doing something they could’ve done years ago.
Thanks for everything you do! Maybe I’ll send in a Dr. Reality Steve email at some point and get your take on my love life (or lack there of!).
Comment: I think Fleiss repeating “historic” for two weeks leading up to Monday’s announcement was the fact they had a black bachelorette. Unfortunately, that’s the way he rolls.
Courtney podcast – LOVED IT!!!! Looking forward to the upcoming former contestants that will be on! Another great podcast with Dana – she is a pleasure to listen to.
Would love it if on the podcast you have unreal cast members or even the creators?! Any inside scoop on the upcoming season?! I hope to have that once we get closer to the season. Other than the link I shared a couple weeks ago (or was it last week), which was the release of the some of the male suitors next season (Joe Bradley lives!), nobody knows anything about the season. They haven’t started doing pre-show interviews yet.
Rachel – I’m fine either way as long as I have your column to read 🙂 I could def see her on DWTS post her season. I think she’ll be fine as well.
Last night – was it me or was Corrine’s self esteem down the tubes last night? She started off with some pretty rude behavior (ie reaction to Vanessa getting 2nd 1-1) and then was the girl who couldn’t get a hold of herself and starting to lose it. If she hadnt been so nasty and annoying for the last several weeks maybe I would have felt bad for her. Problem is, I think it had more to do with a spoiled, 25 year old brat not getting her way than it really did with her feeling like this deep, longing connection with Nick was going away.
Also, at the end of the episode when they showed the out-take from the group date when did that happen? When they were waiting for nick to come? It was funny, but weird…The outtake of Raven and Kristina putting cheese on Corinne’s head? Didn’t necessarily have to be from the group date because they were in their pajamas essentially. Was probably just from some other time when those three girls were together in the house.
Lastly, what are you looking forward to on the last few episodes of THIS IS US this season?
All the best!!
Comment: Kind of hard to answer since we have no idea what’s coming. According to the show’s creator, we’re in for some gut wrenching moments.
I know you don’t really care either way and you have no investment in the people on the show, but I’m curious, are you as bored as I am this season? I’ve been a die-hard fan since Jake’s season and I’m struggling to stay interested this year, it’s the first time it has ever happened to me. He comes across as annoyingly arrogant and calculated, he’s so self absorbed it’s nauseating.
I was wondering, do you think the early announcement of Rachel as the bach is to drum up interest in an otherwise boring season? I don’t think I’m alone here when I say that this season blows!!
Comment: Boring is purely subjective. While you might find it boring, plenty of others don’t. To me, the season’s are all the same. Saying this season bores me versus other seasons is to say that other seasons I sat there and watched and said, “Wow, this is really good! I’m thoroughly entertained!” And that’s never been the case.
Hi Steve —
I apologize if you have already answered this question, but I cannot stop wondering about how long the 1 on 1 dates/dinners are. In the last episode, they showed about 3 minutes of awkward conversation between Vanessa and Nick at their dinner. Should we assume that it was 3 minutes out of a 1-2 hour dinner (the length of a normal dinner out)? So that they actually got to spend some time just getting to know each other like normal people before they had to talk about stuff that the producers want them to? Or should we assume they were only able to talk for about 20 minutes? I just cannot get a feel for how many minutes/hours these people actually spend together on these dates. I was really curious what you think about it.
Thanks – love your site – I can’t watch the show without it!
Comment: No, these dinners don’t last 20 minutes. It’s longer than that but it varies. Probably a good 1-2 hours.
We don’t have cable and have to watch on Hulu so we’re always a day behind. Not sure this will make it in on time. I’m pretty surprised by the choice for the Bachelorette. Not because she’s black- actually given everything going on in the country, I’m not surprised they want to “take a stand” on the race issue. The reason I am surprised is because Rachel seems like a smart, level headed, normal person with a good job and stable family. Why on earth is she doing the Bachelorette? Could she actually have “pure” motives? That’s the only reason I can come up with. I also don’t see her as someone who would be in on the game with producers like Nick is. Would they just take advantage of her because she’s naive about the manipulation? Maybe I’m giving her too much credit but I really like her and think she would be above this. What do you think?
Comment: Lets face it, everyone has ulterior motives when they do this show. But you can’t blame anyone who takes the lead role. Who doesn’t want to be the “star” of a network television show where a bunch of guys are cast just for you to date, you get free travel, and an “engagement” at the end? I think if Rachel wasn’t the “Bachelorette” and signed on for BIP, that’d be a little sketchy. But maybe she was like, “Hey, I’ll do this show again but only if I’m the lead.” I guess we’ll know more about her motives once it’s all said and done and we see what she does with her career.
Long time reader, first time emailing you.
So first, its obvious that you were right on with Vanessa. The whole last part of the episode, I was thinking wait, where is she? Obviously something went down.
But the reason for my email is I have to ask something. I am a skeptic when it comes to this show, but I found myself thinking there have been some actual nice girls on this season. Girls that seem completely out of place and that may shockingly be genuine. Kristina and Danielle seemed like decent people who might have actually come to this show to find love. So I wanted to ask, am I wrong? I know you hear things about these girls and I’m not asking for details. But have I been fooled by good edits or do these women seem like they do not fit the mold of the “wanna be Instagram famers”? I felt really bad for Kristina last night and wondered what she was thinking coming on this show.
Thanks for the behind the scenes! And thanks for the Friday Night Lights recommend. It was my maternity leave show this past fall and I loved every second of binging it.
Comment: No one goes on this show to find love as their top priority. So you immediately have to get that out of your head. It’s just not realistic. They’re going for the experience, the time off, the travel, meeting new friends, possibility for BIP, possibility to meet other contestants in the franchise, capitalize on social media stuff, etc. Finding love is about 78th on the list of reasons why they come on.
Now, do I think Danielle and Kristina are different than Corinne? Absolutely. Those two were probably more vulnerable and open to it as opposed to someone like Corinne who obviously came on to become internet famous.
Hi Steve —
I listened to your podcast w posessionista about the bachelorette announcement. I have to admit, it was a bit painful listening to two white people discuss race. I wish you had brought on a woman of color (maybe Sharleen Joynt) to add some persepective.
Here’s the thing. Rachel knows she black. She knows she’s the first black bachelorette. She is prepared to take this on. Not because her personal experience on the show will be different from a white contestant, but because she knows what she’s getting into. For starters, I’m certain that production has already gone over media prep and how to frame answers about race. As you reported, they already asked her about race on GMA and she handled as any PR pro would “its an honor and my experience won’t be different”. But also, she is expecting to get scrutiny and be judged for her race because it’s happened her whole life (she’s a black female corporate attorney in the south).
Theres a reason that nick was super awkward asking about race and Rachel felt comfortable addressing it: if you’re black and live in this country you’re already used to race coming up constantly. Listening to you both discuss Rachel, there was a lot of hand wringing about not making it about race but I feel this is only something people say when race is uncomfortable for them to discuss. Rachel’s black. She will live her experience on the show as a black woman. And her experience will also transcend that. People will judge and comment and bring it up and she’s smart enough and trained as a litigator (so she can avoid tricky questions and stay on message) and already lived a lifetime of experience not internalizing racism and bias and judgement for her skin color. This is no different. Race will come up and she will surpass it. She did it in law so she can do it for a stupid tv show.
I don’t think it’s just the show that has a long way to grow in terms of cultural competence. That criticism would extend the commentators and general media as well.
Thanks for making the podcast. Always interesting.
I was surprised by how much I liked your “hot take” podcast from Tuesday on the Bachelorette announcement. I usually listen to just parts of your podcasts since I tend to not have large enough chunks of time to listen all the way through, and I’m not usually a start-and-stop type of podcast listener. The length on this one was great, the conversation you and Dana had was great, and, as always, I look forward to your recaps for the rest of the season.
Comment: I purposely ended the “Reader Emails” with these two emails as they came in late last night and early this morning, and it shows how two people listening to the exact same podcast can have essentially completely different opinions on it. That’s what makes the world go round.
To the first emailer, I would say you might wanna get used to white people commenting on Rachel’s season. Because it’s gonna happen a lot. Race is a touchy subject in this country. Always has been and always will be. My point was that I hope the SHOW doesn’t make her season all about race, but I can’t guarantee they won’t. I’m aware that Rachel can handle it because she has her whole life. But knowing what this show has done for the sake of ratings for 33 seasons now, I just hope Rachel knows what she could possibly be getting herself into. I mean, can you imagine if they frankenbite some guy next season basically making it seem like he made a blatantly racist comment? That guy will be ruined. Not only on the show, but post show as well. They have the ability to do that to anyone they want. And next season it’ll be more prevalent and it will cut more because the lead is black. Sure, that’s completely out of Rachel’s hands and she’ll get past it, but to that contestant? He’ll always be known as “that guy.” We have no idea if it’s gonna happen or not. But if it does, none of can say we’re surprised.
Send all links and emails to: firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow me on Twitter, it’s: www.twitter.com/RealitySteve. Instagram name is “RealitySteve,” or join my Reality Steve Facebook Fan Page. Talk to you tomorrow.