Reality Steve

Reader Emails

“Reader Emails” & US Weekly Doing What They Do Best

Photo Credit: ABC

Hi again! Just watched the reunion/ tell all for winter games and I have generated more questions and am not proud of it, but here they are:

1) do you think Lesley knew about the house key proposal? I highly doubt a girl would be too thrilled to think she’s being proposed to and then “oh, JK.” I’m sure when Dean got down on a knee she didn’t actually think he was gonna propose. But I don’t think she thought she was getting a key either.

2) I’m confused by Luke’s brain. Here are my thoughts…

scenario A- he was bothered by the “gossip” (as he calls it) of him being a f***boy and wanted to gain more fans/support like he had on Jojo’s season for being the romantic gentleman he seemed to be—- so he faked feelings for Stassi the whole time and acted as though a physical attraction he may have had was actually a deep emotional connection, with no plans on continuing afterwards and was never really into it.

Scenario B- he really did get swept up in the process and was brainwashed by the environment to believe it was a real connection (to a lesser extent)and considered maybe trying things out afterwards but realized afterwards that he can “do better” and an international romance does not fit his lifestyle.

EITHER WAY, how f**king hard is it to at least pretend to give it a try, reply to her messages, and then end it shortly after. Like, how does he not realize that it wouldn’t stay a secret and wouldn’t be received well?! He knew there was a reunion, he knew they’d be asked what happened.

I don’t understand the purpose of ghosting in general, it isn’t that hard to send someone a text ending things and that way you give the person at least some closure an they’ll leave you alone (usually) too. But I especially don’t get why you would do it on live tv knowing there will be follow up.

Following that- do you think Luke knew that part of him and Stassi talking and him ignoring her during the break was going to be aired? Obviously they’re being filmed still, but did he just assume producers would want to make him look good and not air anything that isn’t during the hosted segments?
To me, it seemed like, on top of being a d**k in general, that he was pissed at Stassi for calling him out so bluntly, pissed that he got booed by the audience and shunned by the cast, so he took it out on her by straight up disrespecting her as a person and belittling her while assuming that part wouldn’t be aired.

Sucks for him, he may have more Instagram followers than before but also a whole lot more negative comments and a whole lot less fans.

Obviously you don’t know what he was thinking, but what do you think his game plan / thought process was for how it would be aired?

Comment: The last thing I’m going to spend anytime doing is trying to get in the head of Luke Pell. I don’t know what he was thinking, and nor do I care. But I will say, that karma certainly is a bitch.

Hi Steve,

I have always been so curious if producers ever bribe contestants to do certain things on the show? For example, Jason mesnick seems like a nice guy and it’s hard for me to believe that he wanted to dump Melissa on national television on the ATFR instead of privately? Do you think the producers told him they’d give him a certain amount of money if he waited until the taping to dump her on live tv? Similarly, I feel like a lot of the leads would prefer dumping the 2nd place person before making them get ready and actually show up to the proposal, so do the producers bribe them to make both people show up at the proposal?

Comment: Jason didn’t get money to do it. Neither did Arie. Jason has said on numerous occasions he let the producers manipulate him and if he could take back the way it went down, he would. Arie on the other hand? I don’t think he cares.

Ok right about now you must have at least a screenful of emails… but I have to know one thing, mainly bc I feel duped, like super duper duped, into believing Luke to be an honest upright good ol Texan boy with a side of Robbie style douche clothes (figured secondary to his bergeoning music career).

What I must know is did everyone already know he was a total douche since JoJos season? Do any of his franchise “friends” actually like him or just tolerate him? Or is this was “stardom” has done to him? I think JoJo should answer this question for us 😉

Anyway have a good one! Enjoy everything you do! Thanks!

Comment: I’m sure people like him. Nobody in this franchise is universally loved or hated. Everyone’s got fans. But hopefully more people are seeing the Luke I told you about last year. He’s a fraud.

Loved your podcast with Sharleen! I was wondering what your opinion was on Sarah Vendal. She’s been one of the few I follow post show because she doesn’t spam with ads and seems to have made a life for herself that doesn’t revolve completely around Bachelor. Thoughts?

Comment: I think it might have to do with the fact she has a new boyfriend that’s not part of Bachelor Nation, so, maybe she doesn’t feel the need to only post ads or post with Bachelor people.

Hi Steve –

So I was listening to your podcast with Sharleen where you were talking about Krystal and kinda disagreeing/discussing whether her actions were producer driver and naïve or just downright weird and mean. I felt really compelled to write – maybe this is more of a personal vent than anything else. So bear with me.

Ever since Krystal’s “true colors” started showing on this season, I starting having a really emotional, almost PTSD reaction watching it unfold. This is because I was raised by a mother with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and the way she acted – in public v. private, and when she was getting the attention she craved v. when she wasn’t – is SO EERILY SIMILAR that it really, truly makes me think that Krystal suffers from the same disorder.

A person with NPD has to have attention. They’d prefer to be admired, but if they can’t be admired they will take pity or even fear.

A person with NPD has zero empathy. They are completely unable to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and see things from a point of view that is not their own. In their world, their experience is the only one that matters.

A person with NPD thinks they are perfect. Now, there are some people out there who think they are great, but deep down they know they aren’t perfect. A narcissist literally thinks they are infallible. And any critique they receive they have an uncanny way of turning it around and using it against the person giving the critique. They won’t ever take responsibility for anything and they will NEVER meaningfully say they are sorry. They might say they are sorry you feel a certain way, but we all know that is not an apology.

A person with NPD goes out of their way to prove to everyone else that they are perfect. They often have a wonderful, peaceful, loving, charismatic and kind personality. (More like a “front.”). This front is overblown. It is beyond what a normal confident person would do or say. It is like an act that never ends. I don’t even think they realize it is an act.

A person with NPD often lashes out in “narcissistic rage” when they are not getting the attention they know they deserve, or when a person suggests that the narcissist is flawed. The horrible things they say when they are in this rage is truly shocking. They will cut you to the bone and rub salt in your wound with their words. When you confront them about it, they act like it never happened and suggest that you are making things up to try to make them look bad. Or, they will just say it was totally justified because of what you did to them first.

Narcissists are truly emotionally abusive. But they will never, ever see it or admit it. They love to play mind games. Someone else is always the villain. They are always the victim.

I could go on, but suffice it to say that I’ve been watching Krystal through this lens from almost the beginning of the season, and she checks every single one of these boxes and then some.

Your mention of the thing the producers got on tape of her calling names and yelling really drives this home for me. When the girls were talking about their experience of it, I felt all these memories coming back of my mom doing that to me growing up. Yet, the next shot of Krystal is her calm, smiling, wrapped in a bath robe, and talking like nothing had happened. Typical. Everyone was so confused about what had just happened. I know that feeling! It’s a mind fuck.

Also, I just have to say that Kendall’s convo with Krystal on the two on one date totally blew my mind. Kendall is eight years younger than me, but let me tell you – she is wise and intuitive beyond her years. To tell Krystal, in a loving voice, that it’s OK to not be perfect all the time. WOW. That was just the perfect thing to say.

I knew that Krystal wouldn’t accept it – because narcissists don’t take criticism. But I hope that, on some level, it sank in and that Krystal can learn to be OK with imperfection. This has been an ongoing battle for me because I was trained as a child to never look less than perfect and to never let anyone see the real me. That is no way to live. It is exhausting! In a way, I hurt for her.

SO, in closing, if you ever do get Krystal on your podcast, I would highly suggest that you keep in mind that she may have a narcissistic personality and that certain comments or critiques that would make a normal person be introspective or apologetic may not work on her, and that you may leave your conversation with her totally confused and frustrated. It’s not you. It’s her. Trust me.

I do NOT think Krystal is an Olivia or even a Courtney. I think she genuinely has issues that make her behavior sociopathic. But she does not know it and she will never admit to it.

Thanks, Steve! I feel better now!

I love the podcasts you’ve been doing and your spoilers!

Comment: Well, that’s quite a diagnosis there. I’m sure there are others that feel the same way. I can’t say one way or another if that’s 100% true. Certainly she showed some characteristics of it and definitely after seeing the footage at the WTA, it’s not who she makes herself out to be on IG. My guess is she won’t be on the podcast because she won’t want to be in that position. Oh, she’ll appear on other podcasts I’m sure, but, when you go on ones with people in the franchise, there’s a level of comfortability there and they probably won’t hold her feet to the fire. But we’ll see. You never know.

For six seasons of Bachelor/Bachelorette, I watched faithfully, tapering off and ending in the middle of whoever it was at the time.

I did watch the Bachelor Pads, stupid as they were– like a building burning.
THEN! I found you, and a new world opened. I no longer had to cringe at what Fleiss was selling onscreen. Now, I read you—

BIP is interesting in its way, so I admit to viewing it, while still reading your columns. I just finished Winter Games; thankfully, it was only four episodes.
But what has made me write to you for the first time is that idiot Ashley I:

The more she bragged on being a virgin, the more she dressed like a Paris streetwalker– no, not even that classy. Her sobbing was annoying; her clothes were expensive and tacky (oxymoron?); and she, she was altogether the worst representation of a young woman ever.

All I pray is that we never need see her half nude, overly made-up person again. That is unlikely, as you noted, she now has a career. Should– whenever– she wed, they are bound to pay her for “crying at the chapel”.

Thanks for being on top of everything and enabling my guilty pleasure.

Do you ever monitor cooking show competitions? (I see a lot of the same people on them; Robin was on three.)

Comment: I’m glad I opened up a whole new world to someone. And no, I don’t watch cooking shows.

Do you think the production team knew that Arie’s visit to Lauren’s family’s house would be busted/spoiled by a neighbor or friend or similar? Seems like they easily could have gone to a soundstage somewhere in Virginia and kept it much more secret….also seems like the type of thing they might want to tease, and therefore didn’t do it as secretly as they could have…..

Comment: This show has never filmed any of their dates or travels on a soundstage. Why would they now? No, I don’t think they had a clue that a neighbor across the street would take an picture from an upstairs window, post it to a private Facebook group, then within minutes have two different people from that FB group send it to me. Pretty far fetched.

Not to mention, as I said at the time, why would anyone possibly be on the lookout for “Bachelor” filming happening on a Tuesday afternoon in an affluent neighborhood in Virginia Beach? They wouldn’t be. It just so happened someone caught it and it made its way back to me.

Reality Steve,

First of all I want to say I love your site and show. I cant imagine watching anymore without knowing what to watch for.

I’ve always wanted to email you but never had a reason to but I saw a couple of things recently on instagram that I’d love to get your opinion on. The first is a photo of Lauren B and her dog in November 2016 that I stumbled upon when I was trying to see photos of her and her ex fiancée. Arie liked the photo which I found pretty ignorant since I know the spoiler, so I was curious if you thought this was a stupid accident or if he maybe did it so people would see and would take them more seriously. He did that in December. I’ve pretty much given up trying to figure out what was going through this guy’s head.

I also noticed that Ben Flajnik liked Courtney Robertson’s most recent Instagram and was wondering what your thoughts were. Probably nothing but I was surprised to see it since I didn’t think they were on the best of terms and was wondering if there was more to it.

I cant wait to watch this ending play out!

Comment: I didn’t see that. However, I did see that Ben spent this past weekend in Sonoma with Bri Amaranthus, one of the girls eliminated on the first night of Arie’s season. It was all over both their IG stories this weekend. And just so you know, Bri lives in Oregon. Translation: She flew down to see him and toured wineries with him. I mean, just sayin’:

Then of course, there was this one:


Luke! OMG – “sleazy!” Could not believe his attempt to ease Stassi into the sack for a one-nighter when he knew darn well he had no intention of continuing with her outside the show! I like the inclusion of “internationals,” but wonder about the practicality of long (realllly long!) distance relationships. Do you think Josiah was the only one who had the sense to realize he wasn’t going to go traipsing across the ocean to see Ally again? I know plenty of these newly unemployed “celebs” somehow find the cash to criss-cross the country constantly, but except for USA/Canada and NZ/Aussie matches, do you envision anything concrete coming from US/Europe relationships?
Comment: No. And it’d be ridiculous to even expect that from someone you met for less than two weeks. All the ones who did come out of that relationship were, like you said, either US/US, US/Canada, or NZ/Aussie.

Hi Steve!

Do you have any idea if Arie and Lauren are going to do the usual final couple press? If so, will they do it after the second half of the AFTR?

Thanks for everything!

Comment: According to what I saw online, Kimmel will have the final couple on Tuesday the 6th, so Arie and Lauren. Kimmel tapes at 5:00 PST, and the ATFR isn’t until 7:00 PST, so they’ll actually be done taping Kimmel before we see them live. This has happened numerous times in the past, but maybe I’ll be able to get an update for you before we even see them live and possibly confirm solidly the engagement that I believe happened.

Hi Steve,

Love the work you do! The finale can’t come soon enough. I know many people were saying that Lauren B looks like Emily Maynard but I disagree. I think she’s a dead ringer for Danielle M from Nick’s season. Curious to hear about your thoughts. I think she’s a combination of a lot of his exes.

Another thing I wanted to mention was Winter Games. They’ve been getting lots of positive feedback from viewers and I happen to agree with the general sentiment. I don’t think it’s groundbreaking television but it sure was entertaining. Which couple would you put your bets on lasting the longest? I have to go with Lily and Courtney because they seem really down to earth. I really wish we got to see more of them. Agree.

I also find it vindicating that Stassi gave Luke a piece of her mind. Truly justified in my opinion. How did he not get her phone number?!!!

Anyway, thanks for the spoiling and I can’t wait until you’re vindicated once again on the finale!

Comment: Shhhhhhh, just don’t share your opinion with the Luke sheep. They’ll send you private messages and berate you with the lies that he told them to tell everyone.

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  1. rob22

    February 28, 2018 at 8:12 AM

    I thought it was funny that RS thought Tia’s Dad was the most scary. The guy was basically a teddy bear trying to act tough for a minute, probably at the producers behest. I honestly thought the hype about the Dads was a little overblown. They each asked a couple of tough questions, then totally caved to Arie’s BS. The guy is an amazing BS artist. I kinda understand how women are fooled by his act. But when you see him saying essentially the same things to every single parent, you know it’s just a series of lines he’s put together for the occasion. I don’t think I remember a Bachelor doing that in previous seasons. It felt more organic in years past, instead of scripted. And, by scripted, I mean Arie scripted his responses to the various challenges and repeated them three times. He also told every single parent that he was falling for their daughter. That was his way of softening up their parents. If parents feel that someone truly cares about their daughter, they’re immediately going to start feeling better about the guy. Kinda gross when you think about it. Arie is fast becoming the worst Bachelor ever. He’s really challenging JPablo if you ask me.

  2. anita29

    February 28, 2018 at 9:06 AM

    I just read the Us Weekly article and the part that makes me crazy is when Arie says
    “…it’s going to be fun for me to watch back”…WTH!! If the spoilers are correct and
    he really ambushed Becca, he should a least acknowledge that it was painful to watch
    what happened at the end. I really don’t understand this stupid guy.

  3. tinyred500

    February 28, 2018 at 10:26 AM

    The stock lines and phrases are one of the most annoying things about the franchise! IMHO. Even I could rattle them off, I’ve heard them that many times! Argh!! All the leads use them and so do the contestants…that’s why so many peeps think it’s ‘scripted’. The stupid contrived ‘lines’ are just more noticeable this season. It just makes the season sound and look even more ‘produced’. At least neither Becca or Lauren will ask…’when did you know’? That has to be the phoniness question ever, when it’s answered, ‘the night before’! Lol lol SMH! 😀

  4. rob22

    February 28, 2018 at 10:52 AM

    @tinyred: There are stock lines like “I’m falling for you”, “You’re amazing”, etc. There are also Arie lines like when he responds to everything a woman tells him with “I love that”. Arie has added his stock lines into the mix.

  5. rob22

    February 28, 2018 at 10:57 AM

    I’m wondering how this whole thing is going to go down. Obviously the ambush aspect is really horrible. But you know Arie will have his own spin on it. That’s what I was trying to assess during overnights. What is going to cause him to pass over Lauren the first time around that’s going to change. When we had the first switcheroo with Meznick, the spin was that he chose Melissa because she was the safe choice because she better expressed her love for him. But he really wanted Molly the whole time, but was unsure of her love. We’re going to hear some rationalization. Perhaps it will be another version of what Meznick threw out there. I haven’t figured it out yet. But we’ll see.

  6. ctrealitygirl

    February 28, 2018 at 11:51 AM

    I, too, was appalled when I read that Arie had commented that it was going to “fun to watch” the finale. Really?? Then I was even more appalled when I read another online article (from someone who had apparently previewed the footage of the breakup with Becca), that said Arie acted very cold toward Becca when he told her and that he would not even look at her. How the hell is he going to spin that? Steve’s spoiler about the “switcheroo” itself did not bother me, as I truly believed that when Jason did it, he had good intentions, and watching that season I thought Molly was “the one” from the gitgo and was happy that he ultimately ended up with her. And look how well it worked out for them. But Arie going to a safe house to meet Becca, knowing he was going to blindside her with the break-up AND knowing that camera crews were following him to get it all on film, is just plain despicable. Me thinks he’ll be digging a hole/grave right next to Luke!
    With that said, the person I feel sorry for is not Becca but Lauren. Becca is going to be WAY better off as the Bachelorette than ending up with Arie. And Lauren has no idea what’s in store for her. Arie broke her heart once already and as Steve predicts, I’m betting he’ll break up with her again.

  7. tinyred500

    February 28, 2018 at 12:08 PM

    I do agree. It’s just cringe worthy, he’s just made it worse, maybe he’s just got bored with lying they have to do ..!

  8. rob22

    February 28, 2018 at 12:24 PM

    @ctrealitygirl: I agree about Jason & Molly…. however, that’s not how things went down at the time. Jason was called “the most hated man in America”. And they both took a lot of abuse for weeks. Melissa took her sympathy tour to Dancing with the Stars and to a few other media opportunities. That extended the cycle. As bad as it was, social media wasn’t what it is today. It’s going to be WAY worse for Arie and Lauren.

  9. tinyred500

    February 28, 2018 at 12:37 PM

    The whole filming of the break up with Becca is the thing that I find despicable too. No warning it was going to happen, and there she has the cameras in her face. This isn’t great television, this is sad, bad and reprehensible television. A new all time low for the bachelor franchise.

  10. rob22

    February 28, 2018 at 1:36 PM

    My understanding with Jason and Melissa is that they had essentially already broken up by the time ATFR aired. Or, at least Melissa knew the relationship was in bad shape & not going anywhere. So, the two of them were put on set and forced to deal with it. That’s way different, IMO, than having a film crew show up to a safe house visit to film their date & have it (surprise) turn into a dumping. Yeah, this is going to be a s*** show. I’m sure the show is really proud that they’re saving this ratings train wreck. But honestly, if you look at the ratings numbers RS poste, the trend has been down for the last several seasons. I don’t think you can blame it on Arie, I really don’t. Shows get old. People stop watching. And this show is generally pretty predictable & exists on solely on manufactured drama these days. I think it’s more that than who the leads have been.

  11. jlal

    February 28, 2018 at 4:27 PM

    I totally agree about the manufactured drama getting old. Like it way more in the old days before social media took over and they really upped the manufactured drama.

  12. ladyjane747

    February 28, 2018 at 10:13 PM

    Wow! Stassi is gorgeous without the overdone lip filler.

  13. ctrealitygirl

    March 1, 2018 at 9:14 AM

    AND, rob22…when Jason did it, he had not already started dating Molly – rather he asked her out on date on the show. In Arie’s case, not only did he immediately start dating Lauren (even though they had not even gotten to the AFTR yet)…but if Steve is right, he freaking proposed to Lauren already! That, to me, is the lowest of low.

  14. gagrlinpitt

    March 1, 2018 at 9:15 AM

    Any business that has been around for years has had to change with the times.. unfortunately the bachelor has become predictible and boring as of late. Unlesd they change the way they do things they will continue to lose viewers.

    With that being said, I’m with RS on not liking the way he handled things. Unfortunately he’s going to get raked through the coals and I don’t see him gaining any popularity in the racing circuit fromany of this. Him and Lauren will get to deal with the backlash and they can figure things out.. however if they got engaged last week I don’t feel sorry for her at all. I don’t care how in love you might be, he was just engaged to another women six weeks ago. Not to mention I still don’t understand how these women are ok knowing your “man” had sex with the other two ladies on the overnights.. just not ok by me.

  15. ctrealitygirl

    March 1, 2018 at 9:21 AM

    I meant to mention in one of my posts that yesterday I ready an excellent article/recap on Glamour Magazine online about Arie that was as good as any I’ve read by Sharleen Joynt, and that’s saying something because hers are the best. This article was so insightful and described Arie’s behavior to a tee – namely his lack of conversation skills and how he manages to pull the wool over the eyes of so many women and get them to believe he cares about them, when in fact he does not. Google it and read it!

  16. jessie

    March 1, 2018 at 10:46 AM

    Someone mentioned Arie challenging JPablo in jerkiness – but I have to say at least JP wasn’t telling these people he loved them and making them think he wanted to marry them. Anyone with a sense god gave a duck would release JP was just getting his jollies – and I say if you know what’s what going in – don’t be mad when you get what’s what! lol

  17. jessie

    March 1, 2018 at 10:47 AM

    realize not release. Opps.

  18. crushonspivey

    March 1, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    I have zero problem with Arie ending it with Becca, if it wasn’t working and he preferred Lauren. Happens all the time in real life, and this show needs more real life in it. What I would have a problem with is if he did dump her on camera with her having no notice of what was going down. That is garbage, and even though the contract they sign for this poopfest probably allowed it, still really poor form.

    As to Mesnick, that dude deserves praise. Yeah what he did back in the day was crazy for this show. But he made the right choice and is on the VERY shortlist of Bachelors now in a successful relationship with a woman from this series. And let’s be very clear on one thing: Arie is no Mesnick. I give Arie and Lauren til the end of their relationship contract. And yes, I think they signed one and get paid for it. Happens all the time. So 6 months. Then done and Arie is back to trolling for young 20s.

  19. tinyred500

    March 1, 2018 at 3:08 PM

    I said on a previous post that the break up should have been done off camera and in private. The fact it’s on camera and with no prior warning is so totally demeaning for Becca. I really don’t see how it can be a positive thing for the franchise overall, it’s a lousy cheap move and it appears to be a desperate bid to save the season.

    However, I don’t think their contracts state they have to stay together for a certain length of time or have paid relationship contracts (like some real celebrities do). Chris Soules barely made it to June with Whitney (one of the shortest relationship in the franchise), and so if Arie does propose to Lauren, I think they’ll be together for as long as it lasts. :/

  20. ladyjane747

    March 3, 2018 at 8:09 AM

    I’m surprised that Sharleen would say those things about Arie given her posts on ATPP. On her own blog, she often comments about Arie’s maturity and how he seems ready to settle down and that she has a mini crush on him and how similar he is to her husband. So, that’s odd. Maybe she finally found out the ending with everyone else, since the ending is now spoiled and splashed all over everything now.

  21. sumguy

    March 5, 2018 at 2:00 PM

    “This has nothing to do with sour grapes”…continues to write an essay about why he has sour grapes. Don’t get me wrong, IMO you have all the reason in the world to have sour grapes. Just don’t say that you don’t have sour grapes, and then write a 4 page essay of why you’re bugged about not getting credibility. Clearly you have sour grapes, and deservedly so.

  22. bonkers

    March 13, 2018 at 3:46 AM

    Have to say I’m a bit confused on why such sour grapes on the US Weekly thing… I wasn’t aware that it was a rule of reporting to have to mention anyone who has reported something previously? As a reader, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any such thing happen in any type of media, be it newspaper, blog or tabloid.

    If you actually are their original source, sure, that makes sense and they should absolutely mention you. However, it doesn’t seem that crazy to me that US Weekly would have its own sources for this type of thing..? And if their actual source is not you, then why would they add a line crediting you for just for doing your job a bit faster than them?

    You say you always give them mention when due, but in your examples you specify giving them credit for things you *weren’t* already aware of.. i.e. didn’t have a previous source for, making them your source. So you should be crediting them, as your source.

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