Reality Steve

Reader Emails

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

Photo Credit: ABC

Hey Steve!

1. I loved the podcast with dalton Ross! I haven’t seen an episode of survivor in probably over 10 years but loved all his insight and info! I can’t wait to watch the next survivor this fall! Can I jump right into to the next season or do I need to know more about how the show works and/or do I need to know more about previous cast members who may be returning this next season? The next season that starts in the fall, “David vs Goliath,” is all new contestants. So you don’t have to worry about any repeats and not knowing their history with the show, so you’re good. Glad you’re back on board. It really is the best reality show out there and always has been.

2. I’m so happy about Jared and Ashley I! Do you think they’ll televise the wedding?

Thanks for all you do Steve! Sending love from Miami!

Comment: If Ashley and Jared make it down the aisle, ABC will absolutely televise it.

Hi Steve,

I love your site, thanks for all you do!

Can you please ask your readers what the name of Garrett’s Patagonia jacket is? I couldn’t find one like it on Patagonia’s web site.

Comment: Readers to the rescue! I’m not the Possessionist-er. I have no idea about any of these people’s outfits. Chime in if you happen to know.

Hey Steve! I just wanted to let you know that last weeks podcast was great! I follow two writers online – you and Dalton. So to hear you both on the podcast together was truly awesome! I hope you’re able to have him back on again – it was amazing!

Comment: So glad to hear people loving the Dalton podcast. Honestly, it was in my top 5 because I love when you can just talk to someone and let them go on for as long as they want. You can tell how passionate the guy is about the show and how much knowledge and insight he can provide. He was great. Can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed that podcast.

Hey Steve,

I wanted to write you to tell you how disappointed I am in myself. You’ve always talked about Survivor, but I never really paid any attention to it until a few weeks ago. My older brother said he wanted to watch an older season of survivor and asked me to join him. Since he never asks me to do anything, I thought I had to say yes. Now…

WE ARE ADDICTED. This show is so good. We’ll watch three episodes in a row before our parents drag us downstairs for dinner, and then all we will talk about is Survivor some more. Our parents were so excited to have us both home from school, but now they wish we would shut up and fight with each other like we normally do. How have I let myself not watch Survivor all these years? And I’ve watched The Bachelor instead??? You can understand the disdain I have for myself right now.

Anyway, I am looking for recommendations for seasons we should watch. We want to watch as many all new member seasons as possible before we watch ones with returning members so nothing gets spoiled for us. However, it is hard to look up which seasons we should watch without it getting spoiled in the process. Could you steer us in the right direction? We watched Survivor China and Survivor Cagayan already, and now we’re watching Survivor Amazon.

Comment: LOVING all the “Survivor” love in these last few emails. I would never lead you astray. Such a great show. Great visuals, great gameplay, for the most part always an interesting cast, and the concept of having to vote out people who will eventually decide your fate is almost compelling TV. Because as Dalton and I talked about, everyone has their own criteria for who they think is most deserving to win. And ultimately you have to get a majority of the jury on your side to vote for you, no matter what you did to vote them out of the game.

Since I’m not good at remembering seasons at all, I do remember Fishbach said Cagayan was one, but you’ve already watched that. Blood vs Water and Second Chances were really good if I remember those correctly. Check those out.

Hi Steve

I’m sure everyone wants to know your reaction to The Proposal premiere last night and I wanted to share my 2 cents. The whole show seemed so … awkward. The contestants did not seem comfortable or confident up on stage, most of them seemed downright shy and the timing of the show felt very rushed. But the thing that really turned me off was when one of the final three women was asked about having children and she responded that she did not want kids. This question was obviously staged for this particular contestant, but the audience “reaction” was so offensive and I cannot believe the show publicly shamed this woman for her lifestyle choice. I don’t care that the lead didn’t choose her, that is well within his right to do so, but the show made it feel so gross and regressive. Thoughts?

Comment: Of course she was specifically put on that show to utter her thoughts on having children, and they knew that. They also knew that Mike (I think that was his name) wanted kids. So it made for cringeworthy TV when he asked and she answered. No, she shouldn’t be shamed for that. It’s just embarrassing it happened on national TV because that’s obviously the reason he dumped her.

Hi Steve,

I‘m bored with this season of bachelorette can we just fast forward to the top 3 already? Obviously based on what we got to see, it’s easy to tell that she is in love with Garrett because he reminds her about her late father, likes Blake maybe because he likes outdoor and she also likes Jason because he is a good kisser. Any prediction how will people react in the final rose when they see Garrett is the winner? Will Becca and Garrett get the same reaction (or probably worse) that Rachel and Brian got because people like the runner up more? And is it safe to say that Blake is the next Bachelor? I don’t think anything is set in stone as far as the next “Bachelor” just because of what they’ve pulled the last two seasons. It’s open season when it comes to that since two seasons in a row now, they didn’t take a guy from the preceding season. They dug back into the archives and pulled Nick and Arie out of their ass. So it’s definitely not a done deal it’s Blake. Should it be? Probably. He’ll have the best story heading into next season. But you never know. Maybe they don’t want a lead who has a head like a Lego figure. You never know.

Anyway paradise is way more exciting especially after the Raven-Bekah twitter feud. Who do you think thirstier? I mean sure they both want to gain some attention but on the other side both of them also trying to defend their friends. The real question is what is it about Colton that makes both Tia and Becca fight over him? Sure he is kinda good looking but I‘m sure they both can find someone else (or even better). Your guess is as good as mine. That’s a question to ask Tia, not me. Because I don’t get it either. She obviously had something for him. Either it will culminate in Paradise, or they’ll move on from each other.

The other shocking news is the Jared and Ashley engagement. I‘m still trying to process that now they are a couple and in love and suddenly they are engaged? Did their 3 years of friendship count as a relationship? I‘m confused. Whose idea is it for them to be engage in paradise? It‘ll make more sense if it‘s Adam and Raven. Wait was that the original idea for Adam to propose to Raven and suddenly they changed to Jared and Ashley?

I‘m v v confused and can‘t wait for Paradise. Any spoilers aside from Tia and Colton?

Hope you can answer and enlighten me a lil bit about all of those dramas.

Comment: I don’t think anything was set in stone for Adam and Raven. Not sure where that became a story. As for Ashley and Jared, I’m just over them to a point where dissecting their 3 year courtship is tiresome. I just don’t care enough. Plenty of people doubt the sincerity and have every right to considering how quickly this all came about. I guess they’re just gonna have to do everything in their power to convince people it’s real until they walk down the aisle, and trust me, I’m sure they’ll spend every living breathing second doing just that.

Hello Steve,

I’m a loyal longtime reader and first time reader emailer. The whole Ben Higgins/Lindsey Duke thing has been baffling me for a while. You said that as of a few weeks ago, they were still together. My question is, how do you have proof of this? There is no evidence on either of their Instagrams (including tagged pics) that they’ve ever dated and Ben makes it seem like he’s single as a pringle. I’m wondering if you have an inside source who knows for a fact that they’re together or if you’ve been sent pictures of them out and about together?

I don’t know why this bugs me so much, I guess because I listen to his podcast and have listened to recent interviews and he has made zero mention of being in a relationship. You would also think that Ben dating the “other woman” in the Amanda/Robby debacle would have been publicized by now.

Can you please enlighten me? Keep up the great work, Steve!

Comment: My proof is sources. Ben has been seen with Lindsay quite a few times since last summer when it first started. He just never posts it on his IG. Nor does she on hers. It’s been kept under wraps for God knows what reason. Only he knows. I don’t understand it, I’m not gonna try and begin to understand it, but know that he definitely has been dating her since last summer. Granted, people from this franchise use the word “dating” quite loosely, so you’ll have to ask him what that actually means. But yeah, they’ve definitely been seen together out in public on plenty of occasions, he/they just don’t let people know about it and I have no idea why.

Hi Steve,

Just curious, and perhaps you have some insight, when Garrett says he and his ex-wife got “divorced” two months after they got married, I assume he means that is when they got separated? And then probably legally divorced 3 months or more likely 6 months to a year later? I’m a family law attorney, and obviously I’m not familiar with the laws in every state, but I do not believe you can get an official final divorce two months after getting married in any state, even if one of them had filed for divorce literally the day after they got married. Even states with the most flexible divorce laws typically require at least a 6 month waiting period for no-fault or 3 months when there are fault-based grounds. Assuming they were divorced in California, I did two minutes of research and California doesn’t have fault-based grounds, and the waiting period there appears to be 6 months. Did one of them go to the Dominican Republic to get a quickie divorce? Did Garrett just use the wrong word?

Thanks Steve, I always read your column and listen to your podcasts. You’re a great interviewer.

Comment: I think he used the wrong word. Sounds like the marriage ended (they got separated) after two months. But the divorce papers online that people have found showed the divorce was final 6 months after the wedding. And they were in Nevada, so maybe that’s why you didn’t find anything since you looked at California. Garrett’s parents live in California, but he’s in Reno, Nevada, that’s where his ex lives, and that’s where they got married and lived after the wedding.

Hi Steve,

First off, let me say thank you for only doing advertising in one spot in the podcasts. I get that’s how people make money on these, but a lot of people have commercials every 10 minutes and it’s really irritating. Once a podcast is great. Thanks. I do what I can. I want to get them out of the way early on in the podcast because, yes, I understand people don’t want to hear them splattered all throughout. The most I’ll ever have that I have to play during the interview is 3. If I have three, I’ll usually try and do 2 of them at around the 10 minute mark, then the third one by itself around the 20-25 mark. If there’s only 2 ads for the podcast, then I try to do them both at the 15-20 min mark. If there’s one, same. Good news this week. The podcast is ad free. So about 70 minutes straight through with no interruption.

Little late on the Meredith podcast, but a quick comment. She was my favorite Bachelorette. Beautiful, intelligent and very articulate, which is what made the podcast such a shock. I think this is why there was a lot of speculation on if she was drinking or not. She has been through some horrible things and I’m sure that would have an effect on anyone, and hope she’s okay.

Thanks for pointing out the Becca drama. The way she freaked out over Jean Blanc I though was way over the top and ridiculous. Makes you wonder or hope production told her to act like that and that’s not the way she really is.

Then finally, did they ever address why that guy was in a track suit at the rose ceremony??? They had to put tape over whatever logo was on there, so I’m thinking he must have spilled something on himself and changed or hopefully.

Comment: No, they didn’t. Totally bizarre not only that Nick was in that track suit, but yeah, that we got zero explanation for it.


James Carville is a hard-boiled liberal, and Mary Matalin is a hard bent conservative. These two have had a successful marriage for 24 years, because they have a rule never to discuss politics at home. The success of this relationship seems more like the exception than the rule. I’m not a hard core political person, but when I dated someone who had political views that were polar opposite to mine, I found myself losing respect for the person and I couldn’t trust their judgement, so the relationship failed. I wanted to get your thoughts on whether you see Becca and Garret having a successful marriage, since their views are so radically opposing?


Comment: I know nothing about their relationship. All I can go off is what Becca said when the Garrett story first broke, then look at his apology. Those are the only public statements either have made about it. Sounds like they definitely talked about it. Does it mean they’ll be together forever? No. Does it mean they’ll break up in 6 months? No. But they seem to definitely have polar opposite political views, and yeah, I gotta imagine that’s not easy. Only time will tell if it’s something they’ll be able to work through. Your guess is as good as mine.

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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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