Reality Steve

Reader Emails

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Hi Steve,

I’ve been reading your blog since Jason’s season and for whatever reason, this is what compelled me to write to you for the first time in 10 years: at least two people (a man and a woman) were wearing masks in the audience of the WTA – why? Please tell me they were in the witness protection program or something like that and not because Arie was the “kissing bandit”….

Comment: It’s because it’s a television show and all costumes/signs/gimmicky things are all put there by production beforehand. It was a play on the kissing bandit thing, not witness protection.

Hi Steve,

Long-time reader, like really long-time. Three points, more so than questions, come to mind after reading today’s update:

1) On one hand, I (sort of) understand Arie and Ben saying “I love you” to two people. If they are truly trying to compartmentalize and go with each relationship in the moment, it could happen (also, side note, isn’t is funny how cheaters/f*ck boys seem to be best at compartmentalizing). That said, if they are in that confusing place, perhaps it’s best to keep those feelings to themselves until they’ve sorted it out. Every other prior bachelor has had the sense to use discretion with their final 2-3 and not use those words until the final girl. Exactly my point. Whether you’ve convinced you’re feeling that way or not, expressing it to both of them does way more harm than good. It makes no sense.

2) I do think bringing cameras to the safe house was a producer decision, not an Arie decision (and no, I’m not a fan girl AT ALL). You, yourself, frequently tell us about the ironclad contracts and how production basically owns the contestants. Do you think they would ever let such a prime opportunity slip by? I can see a scenario being something like ” You want to break up with Becca and start dating Lauren? Fine by us, but it all goes on tape.” Is Arie an a**hole for agreeing? Sure thing. Was it his idea? Doubtful. I don’t think he’s a full-on douche so much as a how-do-I-get-out-of-this slippery kind of douche. Is that a compliment to him? He could’ve chosen not to. Just like Jason said he wished he put his foot down, Arie can say the same thing. He could’ve not done it. But he played along. He gets no pity from me on that one. The other thing is, if you knew you were going to do this, how do you not ask to talk/speak with Jason beforehand? He didn’t. That was a huge mistake. Because I guarantee Jason would’ve told him not to do it on camera.

3) Becca’s ex was a total tool. Arie is a total tool. She’s a remarkable woman. I hope her radar gets fixed. She deserves a good guy. We won’t know until we get the full cast for her season. But it obviously worked for her the first time. She fell for Arie. Wasn’t her decision to end it, it was his. So her story is believable for sure. Not to mention, the women in this franchise tend to take their role more seriously than the guys do, as evidence by longer lasting relationships and more marriages.

Thanks for continuing to spoil and make this franchise fun. I’ve only missed Desiree and Juan Pablo’s seasons (by choice). I probably would have skipped most of Arie’s until you gave us the down low–next week’s social media meltdown is going to be epic.

Comment: Yes, it will be. Buckle up.

You and Sharleen are the best of the best ! … Plain and simple … You and Sharleen are the best of the best !

Comment: Sooooooo are you saying we’re the best? Thanks. I agree.

Hey Steve,

I’m literally only writing in hopes that ABC sees this because we *know* their people read your site. Seriously, if Becca is the Bachelorette this franchise becomes even more pointless because at least in previous seasons (ish– let’s realistically go back a few years) they’ve had a lead that the guys would actually want to date!!! (Sheesh!!! Even bring in Kendall, at least she’s spicy and interesting. I’d totally *actually* watch.)

You’re totally right that it is *not* the lead that makes the show, but honestly, I’ve totally stopped watching the actual show because the lead is so boring and/or someone none of the girls/guys would date in real life. Same bs, less interesting cast, different season. (Side note: I will LOL when they finally cast a lead whose job is Personal Trainer).

Comment: You’re saying guys wouldn’t actually want to do date someone like Becca? I couldn’t disagree with you more.

Hi Steve,

Can you try to clear something up about Ben. I had him pegged as a Sean Lowe type. Someone with an actual moral compass. It was strange to see him crying about Lauren on winter games when you stated he’s had a girlfriend for 6mos. Since he’s kept this relationship off of social media, and you have more details than we know, is this more like a friends with benefits thing or an actual committed relationship? They’re dating. Whatever that means to him. Which I believe is different from how other people define it.

Side note: Loved your recap today. I’m literally crying laughing over the fact that Arie spent a year with Sydney and didn’t say “I love you” but blurted it out to two different women he knew for 2 mos. To top that off he’s now been engaged twice in the course of 3 mos. Ridiculous! I’d love to hear an update from Sydney to get her take on this hot mess.

Comment: I mean, Sydney isn’t going to be on the podcast again because there’s no need for it. But we’ve definitely kept in touch and she’s getting a kick out of all of this. She did predict it all, remember?

Thank you for all the great work you do as usual.

1.Do you know (or think) Arie will be getting a spin-off? Chris and Nick V got Dancing with the Stars, and Ben H got the Freeform show? I think you had said earlier Ben H preferred Freeform to Dancing with the Stars. It had seemed like it was par for the course by the time Ben H was Bachelor that he was nearly owed something. With Sean and Chris, it didn’t seem like par for the course, but with Ben H and Nick it did. No. His “spin off” is getting back into racing by gaining sponsors. Ones who’d left him before he became the “Bachelor.”

2. I’m not a fan of Arie by any means, but if one of his goals is to work on his image then rhetorically why would he pull a Mesnick? He must know he’s not gaining any fans in doing that. He should have at least played like Nick V. Unless Becca is that horrible off camera, which I suspect she isn’t since you’re saying she made so many friends. Because I don’t think Arie is the sharpest knife in the drawer and he thinks continuing to lead the life he’s been leading these last five years was gonna somehow work in his favor.

3. Hypothetically if Arie didn’t pull this move, who from this season do you think was most likely to become Bachelorette? Would Lauren have been in the running. Frankly, I think Arie likes Lauren because she seems quiet, agreeable, docile, and obedient. I feel like she would have been the type to be cut very early on Bachelor in Paradise or even on the Bachelor with any other lead. Perhaps it’s the editing, but you also said she didn’t have a lot of friends in the house. I think it would’ve been Tia. Kendall is too quirky to be the lead for this show and Lauren isn’t good TV.

4. If Arie and Lauren do get married, will you include them with Jason and Molly or Sean and Catherine? Because Arie does propose to her on camera and before the finale is aired

Comment: Sure. I have zero concern I’ll ever have to break out my wallet for that.

Did you notice at the WTA, and I played it back 2x so I’m pretty sure I heard it, that he told Jacqueline that it was IMMATURE and brave of her to drop out?!! I think he of course meant “mature” but he clearly said immature. Is he that stupid?! I didn’t hear that and I already deleted the episode.

Did you also notice that Arie wore the same exact shirt at both Kendall and Lauren’s dates? It was a blue short sleeve button down (what my kids refer to as “dad shirts”) with white dots on it. I could not believe he wore the same shirt. He is such a dork, and gets creepier with every episode. I can’t believe these women are so messed up that they find him hot. Gross. Interesting that we never see him with his shirt off. I’d like to thank ABC for that. He took his shirt off once this season. On the group date in Tahoe when they went in the hot tub after the hike.

The next time he says “I love that” I may stick a fork in my eye. (Hey Steve, one of my favorite movie lines ever….”Why is the cork on the fork?” Do you know the movie?)

Comment: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. A very underrated movie.

Hi Steve —

Great job on your last posting. I can’t believe we are going to have to sit through 3 hours of ATFR, but then I guess that’s my stupidity for once again getting caught up in this show. I’m not some young chick. I should know better. I had actually quit watching the last few seasons, just having it on for filler noise when I was reading. Then I thought for sure we’d see a great love story. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

If you have time, just two questions. You had indicated you heard nothing but good things about Becca and I’m glad because I really liked her. Have you heard anything about how Lauren really is and any thoughts on how the producers feel about Arie, i.e. are they now throwing him under the bus. Obviously the ratings will probably go through the roof. I am anxious to see how Becca responds to him and sometimes even Chris Harrison is not a softy, although he is probably being feed what to say through a mike. I think Lauren is little bit more lively than she’s portrayed on camera, but she was not good TV. That’s evident. She’s certainly not a prankster cracking jokes every five seconds making everyone belly laugh. But I think she’s just a normal girl who doesn’t have the personality to fit this show and make entertaining television. Regardless of that, I think her taking Arie back is incredibly stupid and will blow up in her face.

If you don’t have time to respond to me, that’s okay. I really like your spoilers and knowing what’s going on before it happens

I started to email you when you lost your dog and never did. It’s a heart break, but hopefully you’ll get another one someday. They do offer unconditional love.

Keep up the good work.

Comment: Some day. I just don’t know when.

Hi Steve! Big University of Arizona fan here and I was just wondering what your thoughts were on everything going on with Sean Miller and U of A Basketball?

Comment: I don’t think Sean Miller will ever coach U of A again and anyone who thinks players aren’t getting paid under the table in college athletics has their head buried so far in the sand, it cannot be retrieved. You know, kinda like the Arie fans. This scandal is going to change college basketball as we know it, and that’s probably a good thing, because it needed to happen. Unfortunate it’s gonna take a scandal like this to bring change, but hey, at least it’s something. The sport has been corrupt for too long. And not only college basketball which I love to death (hence my annual March Madness trip that begins two weeks from today), but college football as well.

I know this is purely speculation on your part but any guesses on how long Arie and Lauren will last until the inevitable break up? Just asking based on your knowledge on relationships and giving advice as Dr Reality Steve. Love your columns. Nice to read your commentary & just roll over in laughter at the end of a stressful day. Keep doing your great work.

Comment: I honestly don’t think it matters whether they last a month, 6 months, or a year. At that point, it’s just a fun bet between friends. They aren’t getting married because doesn’t have the first clue of how to be in committed relationship with one person.


Totally agree about producer involvement (duh!) in getting Becca’s ex to Peru. But to me he gave off a creepy vibe that made me think something more than just producer manipulation made him show up (Becca immediately refusing to be in room with him and then her later tweet re toxicness of relationship). Just me?

The fact that he supposedly left town during Stanford’s football season (risking losing his job) also makes me think he may have Instagram dreams of his own. #notthereforrightreasons.

Curious, if you knew if the scenes of him with him were shown in chronological order? Seems they were based on him telling Becca he has told “the guy” earlier. The whole scene was bizarre, but yes, I do think he saw Arie first, then went to Becca. I have no idea what that guy was thinking, but I’m pretty sure he went there with assurances (either in his own head or through producers) that the result wouldn’t end up the way it did. Why else would he have gotten on a plane and done that?

If yes, then just a rant re NotPeter crazyfans. It says a lot that he just said “I can’t speak for her”, without some protective “I don’t think you should ambush my girlfriend” or “why don’t you insist that production tell her you’re here and give her choice to see you or not?” Obviously, ambushes are preferred by show (but there has been rule-breaking by Leads before that made dramatic episodes). He didn’t seem to feel the need to do more for 1 of the 2 women he said he was “in love” with at the time. So fake.

Comment: Here’s an instance where I’ll not necessarily defend Arie, but not jump on him for that. He had no idea what was coming. Once that happens and the ex is sitting right in front of you, hindsight is 20/20 and yes, I think he should’ve said something to that effect, but I’m not gonna kill him for not saying it just because he could’ve easily been tongue tied with a wave of emotions at that point. I actually thought he handled that part well. The reason of the season? Not so much.

Hey Steve.

Do Jason and Molly get paid to show up at the ATFR? Since they both seem to mostly stay out of the spotlight and took so much heat for how things went down with the 2 of them, I don’t know why they’d want to remind people of it again without some sort of incentive. Yes.

From the “shade” ABC has been throwing at Arie and his reactions, blaming editing, etc it seems like ABC is not going to try to shield him from the backlash he’s about to get and might even be perpetuating it. Any insight on how/why/when that relationship between the producers and Arie took a nosedive? That I don’t know. Could’ve been when he and Becca twice broke protocol and essentially spoiled their own season back in December, but that’s just a guess.

What is your opinion about the cause for this season having the lowest ratings? Do you think that the #metoo movement has begun to sour viewers on this concept of the show? I know Arie wasn’t a popular choice and had been forgotten about by a lot of people but in the past even seasons with an unpopular lead still seemed to get comparable ratings to other seasons so could it be that the franchise has hit its jump the shark moment? Well, 4 of the 10 episodes that have aired have gone up against college football and the Olympics. That didn’t help. Then one other one was on a Sunday, and the WTA’s ratings were almost 2.5 million behind Monday’s episode. But the biggest reason I believe was they cast someone that their johnny-come-lately fans had no idea about. There was zero momentum and zero excitement heading into this season. It’s not like even on the first episode everyone was excited, tuned in, saw he sucked, then it dropped from there. It started out with 5.5 million viewers on the premiere and never had an episode over 6.5 million viewers. That’s not good. At least for them and the standard they’ve set. You know what the premiere episodes of the previous 4 Bachelor seasons drew?

Juan Pablo: 8.4 million
Chris: 7.7 million
Ben: 7.5 million
Nick: 6.5 million

So yes, the finale and both ATFR’s will draw over 6.5 million (which was Arie’s last episode viewership) and you’ll see the execs tweeting about how great the ratings were. Of course, compared to the rest of the crap season, yeah, they will be. It’s all relative, but they won’t specify that in their tweets. They’ll just say the finale and ATFR were the highest rated episodes of the season. Which they should be EVERY season if your show is worth a damn.

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



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