Reality Steve

Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” This Week’s Podcast Guest, & a Lincoln Email

Photo Credit: ABC

You know I love taking it back old school on occasion with my podcast guests, and this week is a perfect example of it. Inevitably when some media outlet does a countdown list of dramatic moments, or lists of show’s villains, Trish Schneider will always be a part of it. And she should. She is the original “villain” of this franchise. There had been 4 seasons of the “Bachelor” and two “Bachelorette” seasons that had aired before Jesse Palmer’s season began. In those 6 seasons there were certainly characters, but no one had ever been established as a true “villain,” like the one everyone was talking about at work the next day. That is until Trish came around. We talk about all the things that happened on her season that gave her that villain status, what she was up to before the show, what she’s been up to since and how her time on the show affected her personal life. It’s a fun conversation and I’m glad I found her to come on and tell her story. The podcast will be up tomorrow morning as always and even if you never watched Jesse Palmer’s season, I’m sure you’ve heard the stories regarding Trish. She certainly doesn’t hold back in talking about all of them. Fun times. Looking forward to you hearing that tomorrow.

I mentioned last week that every season I get stuff sent to me from people that is negative towards a contestant. I can’t possibly print everything, because it’s obvious some just have an agenda, some are jealous, and some just aren’t verifiable. Trust me, I get stuff about contestants ALL. THE. TIME. Most of it negative. In light of the recent Lincoln story, where he was convicted on May 21st of this year for indecent assault and battery stemming from an incident on a boat in 2016, I give to you this email I received back in March. This was 2 days after Lincoln showed up as one of Becca’s 5 guys she met early on the ATFR. At the time, sure it was disturbing, but I knew nothing about the guy and couldn’t possibly run with something like this then. With the recent conviction, I’d say this email certainly is a little more important considering it seems to be showing a pattern of his behavior towards women:

Here is this week’s batch of “Reader Emails.” Enjoy…

Hi Steve,

I just wanted to make a quick comment regarding one of your comments on this week’s reader emails. You replied to one reader who asked how contestants deal with wedding season, that some people prioritize the show first. I just want to add that didn’t Carly miss her brother Zach’s (also from bachelor nation), wedding in order to go on paradise?


Comment: Yes, she did. And it was the season where she ended up getting dumped out of nowhere by Kirk. How’s that for a double whammy? But I guess it all worked out for her the following season with Evan.

If Chris Harrison got hit by a bus and they had to choose a new host, do you think it would be Ben Higgins or Sean Lowe? I used to think Sean, but the head honchos at ABC seem to like Ben better. Who do you think would make a better host? I follow Sean on Instagram and don’t think his humor would resonate with the masses. I also listen to Ben’s podcast and he would be a natural.

Comment: I think they’d go with Ben. I also don’t think this show would ever have a host besides Chris Harrison, so it’s kind of a moot point.

Hi Steve,

I was listening to an old episode of the Huffington Post Bachelor podcast and one of the hosts mentions that she generally goes spoiler-free and then she reads your site after the season is over to see what your inside scoop is and read your commentary. This piqued my curiosity: do you see a spike in site activity right after the season finale airs? No. My site traffic is highest in the beginning, then as we lose contestants and the pool gets smaller and smaller, my traffic goes down. Kind of the opposite of what you’d think. It peaks at the beginning then dips, steadies, dips, then usually the finale will peak up a little bit, but nothing major. Because the finale is just a validation of something I posted usually 3 months earlier. So it’s not like they need to come running to my site for anything after the finale airs. Unless the ending is wrong, which it’s only been once on Des’ season. That day after had huge traffic.

Now last season Arie’s picked up in Jan and February because of all the exclusives I had regarding the switch from Becca to Lauren. So last season was one of the better traffic seasons I ever had. Then as you know, Becca’s premiere was the highest traffic day in the history of my site – only to be outdone the very next day. That’s impossible to sustain throughout the season unless there’s constantly stuff happening. I mean, the Garrett/Lincoln/Tit & Raven stuff have definitely helped, for sure. And maybe something else will happen this season, who knows? Still have over 6 weeks left. But things have been great so far.

I think there’s a misconception that all people care about is the spoilers. That’s just not the case. If it were, then the day I post the “winner” and the episode-by-episode spoilers, that traffic would be ridiculously high, and everything after that would be peanuts. Hardly the case. Then again, people who say that have no idea how my site works and have ever seen the numbers that I look at every day. The site is doing as well as it ever has. Amazing after 36 seasons.

Also, I loved the Lauren Bushnell podcast. I was never a huge fan of her on the show, but when she talked about her mentality throughout filming I found her so endearing and relatable. Actually, I have changed my opinion about several former cast members after listening to them on your podcast (Sharleen, Olivia, and Lesley to name a few). It seems like reserved women who are understandably skeptical and standoffish during filming end up coming off like blah personalities on TV but they actually turn out to be some of the most reasonable and interesting people in the franchise. Love all of those that you mentioned. As I’ve said many times – everyone has a story. What you see on TV is just a small fraction of these people’s lives. My job is get to them to tell us more about themselves, their time on the show, and anything else. I enjoy doing it because I know there’s more to most of them that we see.

Also, I really hope you get more Survivor contestants on the podcast! I watched the first several seasons as they aired and then after listening to Eliza’s podcast, I binged several seasons on Hulu. What a great show!

Comment: Stephen Fishbach and Dalton Ross were so good on the podcast, I mean, I don’t know how I top them. I’ll definitely have on other “Survivor” contestants in the future, but those two will no doubt be two of my favorites.

Just thought you might get a kick out of a misconception I had that a recent podcast cleared up. Every time you rolled your eyes (verbally) about Flat Tummy Tea ads when talking to a guest about social media ‘influencers’, I thought it was Tee, as in a Spanx-type shirt/shapewear. I only recently heard you talking about it being something you drink!! I think the Spanx-type tee shirt probably would have better results. (They do exist.)

Comment: Funny. You aren’t the first person to tell me that. I can see how one might make that mistake if you’ve never seen that particular ad on Instagram. Because there are those “tee’s” that you put on that claim they can give you a flat stomach, which is just absurd. Almost as absurd as drinking something that you think will give you a flat stomach.

(1) Why would Lincoln even apply for and go on a show like this knowing he had a pending sexual assault case? Obviously people go on the show for fame and to build their “brand” but don’t people understand how “fame” works in the age of the internet and social media? Did he not think that, even if he made it through casting, someone would dig up a criminal charge (ESPECIALLY in the year of the “me too” movement)? I’m just saying that if I had skeletons in my closet as big as being a potential sex offender, I would stay as far from the public eye as possible. I have no idea what the hell that guy was thinking. Impossible for me to answer that. He’s a moron if he thought nobody would ever find that.

(2) now that Lincoln’s charges are the big story of the season and ABC has already released a statement on it, do you think they will use this as an opportunity to sweep Garrett’s stuff under the rug? Like now that all the focus is on Lincoln they hope that everyone will forget about Garrett’s drama/mistakes? Depending on how much else comes out about Lincoln, I could see them doing something at the ATFR where (though Lincoln won’t be there), Chris Harrison will make some kind of a pre-rehearsed PR speech about “as some of you may have noticed, Lincoln couldn’t be here tonight… after filming we were made aware of some charges… we here at The Bachelor don’t condone any kind of assault or inappropriate behavior… the safety of our contestants and especially the lead is our highest priority… if you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, misconduct, or violence please call the number listed on the screen” Certainly possible. I would be pretty stunned if Lincoln was there. I just don’t see how they’d want to be associated with him anymore after he “lied” to them and they screwed the pooch on doing a thorough background check of him.

(3) if Clay can’t play NFL football this year and/or if his career can’t be salvaged due to his injury, do you think he has a shot at The Bachelor gig? He already translates so well on TV and that would be the perfect story line: “I lost my career because I took a shot at love… blah blah blah”

Comment: No. They’d never in a million years give the gig to someone who lasted three episodes. They just don’t have enough of a following and a narrative that’s stronger than someone who makes the final four.

Hi Steve,

Good work on this season! Everything is almost spot on with what you spoiled, as usual!

The first thing I wanted to say is about how everyone keeps comparing how much Jason Tartick looks like Andrew Keegan from “10 things I hate about you”, but no one has noticed how much he looks like Milo Ventimiglia from “This Is Us”!

Anyhow, that was a minor thing, but I just wanted to share that because I’ve never seen it anywhere, just the Andrew Keegan comparisons. I didn’t even see people were comparing him to Andrew Keegan. I can kinda see that one more than young Milo actually.

Moving along, I noticed that Seinne isn’t going to be on BIP but she has openly said before that she’s dating someone. Do you happen to know if that’s the reason that Caroline doesn’t seem to be in Paradise either? She’s been fully active on Social Media so I assume she isn’t there, but was such an integral part of Becca’s Squad so I think we all assumed she’d definitely be there. Caroline was on Paradise. She didn’t last long.

Do you think this upcoming season of BIP will feature a surprise wedding or engagement of some sort of any alumni? (I.e. Raven/Adam or Ashley/Jared) every season seems to have a big event attached to it. It’s possible, but it’s still filming, so I just don’t know yet.

Lastly, I noticed through interviews that more contestants seem to have been approached or scouted to go on the show versus through manually going to apply for it (I.e. Clay, GroceryJoe, etc). Do you think they’re doing that being the people applying is less “quality” contestants, or that they want to put a more diverse group than who is actually applying?

Comment: Pretty much everyone that gets cast now isn’t done by going to an open casting call. They have recruiters searching all year round for contestants. They’re always asking former contestants if they have any friends that would apply, etc. Open casting calls are a thing of the past in terms of getting your cast from there. And that goes for most reality shows, not just this one.


To me the obvious question is which company did the background check and what other reality tv shows is this company is doing background checks for. Neither the show, Warner Bros. or ABC is going to do the background check themsleves because they don’t have the expertise and don’t want the legal liability. They would rather have a third party they could sue or fire.

Comment: Ashley Spivey actually tweeted out last week the companies that the “Bachelor” uses for their background checks. I gotta imagine at least one of them will get canned after the Lincoln fiasco, if not more.

Hi Steve,

I am a little upset and skeptical regarding WB’s statement regarding Lincoln. Criminal/Civil/Traffic records are public knowledge in the state of MA. I did a little digging, and it appears that all you have to do is request them. Not sure if you have to pay for them, but what’s $15 when you’re protecting your female lead from a potential criminal suitor? Seems like quite a small price to pay to have normal, clean contestants on your show.

I usually don’t dig down the rabbit hole this deep, however, in my home state of Pennsylvania, there’s a website called USJ Portal where you can search the records of anyone who’s even had a parking ticket in the state. All you need is their name. They list the docket sheets by action date, meaning that if Lincoln was arrested/charged/whatever back in 2016, there would be a paper trail. I understand that ABC uses a third-party background check, however, it wasn’t very difficult for Ashley Spivey to gather pertinent legal information and only took one google search from your average consumer to see this information can be easily obtained before you cast a reality show that millions watch. An extra step for them would really save them from potential legal implications.


A longtime fan

Comment: They missed the boat on this one. Plain and simple. But just like so many other things that are brought up against the show, I’m sure this will get swept under the rug and we won’t hear much about it going forward. Sure, they released a statement already, but it’s one we expected where they essentially blamed him and not the independent contracting company they hired to do background checks. Their next statement regarding why Lincoln was ever on the show to begin with is what I’m looking forward to. Who knows if we’ll ever get it.

Who seems shadier, Colton for dropping Tia and going on the show or that guy who showed up from Becca’s past suddenly showing interest?. I would say Colton does. The other guy seemed to really want to get to know her for her and was too chicken to do it until now and knows now was his last chance. What do you think?

Comment: Easily Colton.

Hey Steve,

Had a question for reader emails that I was curious about. Just watching the first three episodes and hearing how Blake and Garrett talk about Becca, both of them seem very caught up and invested in the process, especially this early on (Blake’s line about how he’s usually a secure guy, but even that’s gone out the window, sticks out). Knowing they finish F1 and F2, I’m wondering if there was any tension or competitiveness between the two of them, kind of like with Nick and Shawn on Kaitlyn’s season? Or do they have more of an amicable relationship, like Jojo and Lauren B?

Was just wondering if you’d heard anything – I’m curious to see how their relationship unfolds, or if it’s even highlighted at all.

Comment: Haven’t heard anything but I don’t think those guys despise each other or have any ill will. Just normal competition between two guys fighting for the same girl. I don’t think they’ll ever be BFF’s in the future, but I don’t think they’ll be enemies either.

Hi Steve couple of questions…. love your posts by the way…
was just wondering if you knew if Clay and Amber (from Bens season) and together I’ve seen them on instagram with each other so was just wondering.

And the Bekah and Raven drama … do you know what caused that…

Lastly, so how the storyline for paradise is most likely going to be Tia and Colton will producers try to push for an engagement at the end.?


Comment: Clay and Amber aren’t a couple if that’s what you’re asking. I believe they knew each other pre-show.

Bekah has a hard on for Tia, tweeted something she shouldn’t have (which she admitted yesterday on Twitter), Raven defended her friend, and it escalated from there.

Producers are always pushing for an engagement on this show. And for 4 seasons, they’ve gotten at least one. We know we’ve gotten one already with Ashley and Jared once they made a cameo down there. As for the rest, filming isn’t over, so nothing is finalized.

Subject: Derek and Taylor

Have you heard anything about a split from these two? I know you don’t like to pay attention to social media, but judging by theirs, seems to be trouble in paradise.

Comment: Nope. I don’t follow either but someone told me after a year together, he lives in NY and she’s still in Seattle. That can’t be easy on a relationship.

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  1. rob22

    June 20, 2018 at 10:37 AM

    Someone mentioned Tara, from Jessie’s season. First, I looked it up, and that season was in 2004!! Wow. The mention in the email was backwards. Tara showed up second. Jessica went first, against tradition, because apparently Tara was a mess and couldn’t get her act together. So, the show got messed up on time and decided to have Jessica come in first. As I recall, Jessica watched Jessie dump Tara from a window. Imagine how that would have gone over in the social media world of today!! 2004 was a whole different world. No Social Media (except My Space, which just started up in late 2003). No RS. People were waiting for People magazine or US Weekly to get the “scoop” on what went down. Sounds kind of ridiculous these days. I do think the show would be gone by now without Social Media to market the contestants and ex-contestants to market and prop up the show.

    I still don’t get why the whole background check thing keeps coming up. Is RS being purposely oblivious to the obvious? That the 3rd party background company, which every organization in the world uses 3rd parties for background checks, had to comply with CA law that doesn’t allow arrests to be disclosed, only convictions. It’s pretty obvious why a law like that would have been written. An arrest is not the same as a conviction and it could prevent an innocent person from getting work….or say, be on a show like The Bachelor. That is a feature, not a bug, of the law. One of the reason 3rd parties are used is because they know how to do a proper background check without violating privacy laws & subjecting the organization to lawsuits. I find the show’s explanation completely credible. They used a 3rd party, like everyone does, who did a legal background check which, by law, didn’t disclose the arrest. And, Lincoln lied on his application. That’s what they said & it sounds completely accurate. I guess it’s too much for RS to dig that deep. Just keep bringing it up, and never make any attempt to understand it. I understood that he might have the reaction he did the first time he wrote about it, but you’d think he’d have a little better understanding by now.

  2. shenanigans

    June 20, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    Rob, for what it’s worth, I don’t think that the issue is that Steve doesn’t understand the law. He wants the screening criteria to be different. Currently, the contestants only have to disclose convictions. He wants them to ALSO have to disclose any arrests. And, he wants the show to have zero tolerance for even ONE arrest.

    If they had taken that position and Lincoln had told the truth, he never would have been on the show. Further, if the penalty for lying was significant, such as a cool million, he would have thought twice about lying.

  3. jlal

    June 21, 2018 at 4:37 AM

    “…penalty for lying…, such as a cool million,…” Who the heck is paying this penalty? You can’t get a cool million out of someone in their 20’s who doesn’t have a pot to piss in. There will always be people who lie, always. You can’t design foolproof systems for anything that involves humans. This isn’t NASA or school/daycare caring for children for goodness sake it is a reality TV show. The contestants are very rarely left alone off camera and not for any length of time at that. I think using a third party background checker, like almost all employers and agencies do, is sufficient for a third rate reality show. Also, let’s not forget NOTHING happened so RS can tuck away his outrage and move on.

  4. jlal

    June 21, 2018 at 5:22 AM

    Someone commented about how hard it would be to have different political views as a couple. My parents were polar opposites politically and were married over sixty years until their deaths; made for interesting dinner conversations. Most of my girlfriends are married to men who have opposite views. My family is about split in half politically and we still manage to get together, have fun, and love one another. How boring would it be to only surround yourself with those who have views exactly like your own. Just because the politicians in Washington and the people on social media who attack those with differing views can’t seem to get along and co-exist doesn’t mean those of us in “real” life can’t.

    My world, family, friends, co-workers is pretty much split down the middle. There are some you know you just can’t go there with, so you avoid politics and others that you can. Life is not black and white.

  5. rob22

    June 21, 2018 at 7:17 AM

    @shenanigans: I’m not sure why it matters that RS “wants” the screening criteria to be different. The laws of California (and other states) specify the limits of screening criteria. So, if the show decided to add arrests in their criteria and do their own background check, they’d become open to a lawsuit. No organization is going to take that risk, nor should they. Knowingly breaking the law could also open up the show’s leadership to other penalties from the state.

    As far as lying on an application, you cannot legally fine someone for lying. Employment law does not allow fines to be imposed for lying. You can fire them. You can kick them off the property. That’s about it.

    The larger point, even, is that because the average person and the average company is ignorant of all the laws that apply to background checks, they hire 3rd parties whose job it is to follow the law. If people don’t like the laws, then create a petition or something. The Bachelor can do nothing about the law except follow it.

    The point is, the show is doing what they’re legally allowed to do. To try to hold them to another standard, which they cannot legally achieve, is mystifying to me. There’s obviously some nuance to many people, that isn’t really there, so the show decided to keep their answer short and sweet & let the news cycle die. They could have made a compelling case based on facts as to how they were doing everything they legally could. However, they knew it would fall largely on deaf ears, so they chose to move on quickly.

  6. nevermiss

    June 21, 2018 at 10:15 AM

    Hey Steve,
    Just have to point out a hilarious typo. In response to reader email #2, in your second paragraph you refer to Tia as Tit. Subconsciously, I’m sure it’s what you think of when you hear her name lol

  7. shenanigans

    June 21, 2018 at 10:18 AM

    Rob, here’s how I’ve personally seen it done in other companies. The organization creates a NEW company in a different state that has open laws re/ background checks. All they need to do is file the corporate documents and arrange to have a registered office in that state (which you can do for just a few hundred dollars per year online). That new company is the entity that screens the contestants and ultimately selects who will appear on television. For the sake of consistency, they will also be the ones paying the contestants (if any money changes hands).

    This is how MANY companies skirt a number of laws in restrictive states. It would work well for a show like this, because they don’t film exclusively in California (which would negate the argument that the company had to be based there).

    Personally, as someone who owns a business, I support any method that allows me to obtain as much information about the people I am going to hire before I actually hire them. Trust me, it is a pain int he patooka to get rid of a bad hire after the fact.

  8. traversingthetwincities

    June 21, 2018 at 1:52 PM

    I have no idea if the people who asked the Survivor questions will read this, but just in case…

    You can watch nearly all seasons of Survivor on Hulu. You can also watch all of them on CBS Access.

    Best seasons to watch for first timers: 2) Australian Outback, 6) Amazon, 7) Pearl Islands, 9) Vanuatu (Eliza’s season), 15) China, 16) Micronesia (half new players, half returnees), 19) Samoa, 20) Heroes vs. Villains (all returnees), 27) Blood vs. Water, 28) Cagayan, 29) San Juan Del Sur, 31) Cambodia (all returnees)

  9. nickielson1

    June 22, 2018 at 8:48 AM

    To the reader who asked for recommendations on new-player seasons of Survivor: Pearl Islands (season 7) is one of my all-time favorites. So classic. After that, I recommend you watch Borneo (season 1) to appreciate how far gameplay has evolved since then. For a more recent seasons with some of the best characters and great Survivor moments, I recommend Millennials vs. Gen X (season 33) and Kaoh Rong (season 32).

    To further your Suvivor immersion, check out Rob has a Podcast (as in Rob Cesternino from the Amazon season) and look up the Survivor Ponderosa videos on YouTube – just be careful about spoilers. You might want to finish watching the whole season before looking up Ponderosas.

    Welcome to Club Survivor!

  10. nickielson1

    June 22, 2018 at 9:23 AM

    P.S. Several back seasons of Survivor (and Amazing Race) are included with Amazon Prime.

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