Reality Steve

Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” BIP Cast Announced & Info, Breakups, & More

Photo Credit: ABC

Hi Steve,

Love your podcasts! While I enjoy all your guests, I’m curious what have been your top most downloaded podcasts to date?

Comment: It’s an interesting question and here’s why. Right around this time last year, the podcast industry changed completely with what they considered a download. Before that, it was every time anyone anywhere hit play on a podcast, it counted as “1.” So if it took you 5 different starts and stops to listen to a full podcast, that counted as “5” downloads. That’s all changed now. So to answer your question, before the change, the first time I had Sharleen on my podcast was the most downloaded one I had. I think Michelle interviewing me was #2. Since the change, I believe either Courtney the second time I had her on right after Arie’s season is #1 and the one with Brittany and Sydney (Arie and Peter’s exes) is #2. However, Lauren Bushnell’s has only been out two weeks and looks to be on pace to pass both of those.

Hi Steve,

I decided to re-watch Courtney/Ben’s Bachelor season over the last week. I’ve read her book a couple times and think she’s great. Re-watching that season, I couldn’t believe how mean the girls were to each other (not just Courtney). In fact some of them were worse than Courtney. From Episode 2, I couldn’t believe what I was watching and how many mean things were directed at people like Blakely and Shantel Newton. It was so toxic just to even watch on TV. Also, Ben is an awful Bachelor. Just doesn’t come across as an honorable person at all. I mean, it’s been a while since I watched that season so I don’t really remember all the mud slinging like you say. I just remember Courtney being the lightning rod for the whole season. Others were sniping at different people?

After that I decided to watch Jason’s season of the Bachelor. I didn’t start watching until Jillian’s so I never saw what happened before her season. I was so surprised by how pure the show seemed to be at this time. The girls had some drama but it wasn’t anything big (like how it is now) and they generally seemed to get along. There were also really mature women on the show like Stephanie (where is she now, btw?) and Molly. Jason wasn’t a stand out meaning, wasn’t a super hot jacked guy, he was just a totally average joe but I believe he had a lot of integrity in how he handled himself on the show, and acted like a grown up man the whole time. I think he appeared to be completely honest in the hardest moments (breaking up with Melissa). I thought he just took on all the blame, appeared genuine, and tried his best to be empathetic; completely unlike Arie in this most recent season. Arie comes across as having no integrity.

I was wondering, how do you think it is that the show has changed so much to be what it is now – a production, where love is just an afterthought. Is it the introduction of social media? Or is it the type of women and men they are casting? I think social media has really changed people these days in general. I even see it with my own friends/acquaintances. I think social media has really had a negative affect on a lot of things – life is already so hard! What do you think?

Anyways, just wanted to write you because I was just so surprised by how much things have changed from Jason’s season to present day.

Thank you.

Comment: The easiest, shorter answer is social media. It just is. Back then, there was just no instant feedback of the show. You had to wait until the next day to find out people’s opinions, and not to mention, there were WAY less opinions on the show. Now, you get an opinion on things right after they happen with live tweeting. And it’s coming from all different directions. The show trends on Twitter every Monday night during airing.

Then you have the fact that there’s Paradise now (and possibly Winter Games), which gives these contestants going on the “Bachelorette” and “Bachelorette” another show to possibly go on. And lets face it, most people going on the show now are well aware of this, thus not caring if they “win” the particular season they’re on, because their TV career can continue on a future season of Paradise to stay relevant in Bachelor Nation. None of this was possible back during Jason’s season.

Hi Reality Steve, you mentioned you were low on Reader Emails so I thought I’d throw in my two cents about Jared and Ashley that might provide a different perspective on them than I’ve seen in recent emails on your site. Of course I completely understand why you’d be over them after years of drama, and I get why many are skeptical. I’ve never followed them individually or together, but I did stumble onto the “Story of Us” video they did and watched it out of curiosity. It was shocking to see Jared so in love and emotional, and it was eye opening to hear how he fell in love with her in the fall of 2015 but seemed to be in a “stuck” and honestly dark place emotionally for quite awhile- hearing him talk about it, it almost sounds like depression, which I’m familiar with myself (and know how it can keep you stuck and not moving forward) and I’m also a licensed marriage and family therapist so I have some professional insight as well. Basically, it was through his friendship with Ashley that led him to be in a better place and go after what he wants instead of being held back by fear- and they both seem to have helped each other grow into better versions of themselves. So, I do believe they are sincere and I hope all the best for them. A lot of people have viewed their video (over 1.5 million views) and I think 500,000 of those were within a day or two of it being posted. Again, I understand people being tired of them and oversaturation in the media, but just wanted to mention what I’ve observed. I’m curious for your thoughts… Thanks so much for all you do and I always look forward to coming to your site!

Comment: Interesting take. I don’t agree with it, but I respect your dissection of that video. Plus, I gotta give all the credit in the world to you for having the sanity to watch a 45 minute video about people announcing they’ve been dating for 2 months and to re-live their 3 year journey together, something we all already watched on TV. I certainly couldn’t do it.

Hi Reality Steve,

I have been following you for a few seasons now… a little late to the party, but I am really getting a kick out of your posts. You make me laugh. Thank you for that. I actually like to read your recap first before I watch the episodes… Now I am totally cracking up watching Wayne Newton and his frozen face. He looks like a replica from a wax museum. Thank goodness for your play-by-play spoilers, else we would be totally snowed over by Colton right now who’s “confidently falling in love with Becca”, yet he’s on a beach in “paradise” with Tia, please. I really liked Garrett, but it’s getting harder to buy into her choice after watching that wedding video. It seems odd that he was with his ex-wife for a couple of years before they got married, yet ended it after 2 months. Something doesn’t add up after watching their wedding video. Perhaps, young, and immature, who know’s. I was actually teary eyed by the end. It’s beginning to look like she missed the boat by not choosing Blake. Seems like a great guy, with no baggage so far, but then again the producers are showing us what they want us to see.

Thanks for all the updates and entertainment,

Comment: Thanks. Glad you liked it. But words of advice. Whatever you do, don’t let Leo see that you think acknowledging Wayne Newton has a plastic face is funny. He might come after you and think you’re a horrible person that is the reason for the downfall of society:

I mean, that’s so silly, it doesn’t even deserve a response.

As for the Garrett wedding video, yeah, it’s definitely not adding up. There’s obviously stuff none of us know about as to why two people who put in 2 ½ years together before their wedding day couldn’t last 2 months as a married couple. Maybe she got tired of “Naked and Afraid?”

Hey Steve! Hope your week is going well. I have a few questions for ya

1) Besides the obvious Arie, Ben F, and Juan Pablo, do you think that any other leads were bad casting choices? Uhhhh, Nick? Arie?

Okay the rest are about Bachelor in Paradise

1) I’m guessing with your intel you know who the final couples are. Before you release them, are they what you expected or are they total shockers? Ummmm, you’ll have to wait on that for the sole reason I don’t have all of them yet.

2) Are there any people that you can tell us we’re supposed to/wanted to be on this season of Paradise but didn’t actually make it on? Bekah is the only one who comes to mind. She never went on.

3) Do you have any idea on why Becca is crying on a bed in the promos? No.

4) Did Bekah go to Paradise? Kinda shocked she’s not in the original cast. No.

5) Finally, do you think that anyone will be getting a redemption arc on this season of Paradise? Maybe Krystal?

Comment: I would say the two that probably did it for the redemption story would be Krystal and Jordan. Whether they get it or not is a whole other story.

Hi Steve,

As speculation has turned to who will be the next Bachelor, I think I may have heard a clue (not that it was very subtle). It comes at the very end of Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti’s Almost Famous podcast that aired June 25th.

A large portion of the podcast is dedicated to all things Ashley and Jared’s engagement, obviously. At the end, Ben thanks Ashley for flying back from her engagement moon to be in studio for taping. Ben laments that Ashley will leave him to do a podcast with Jared. Ashley replies that she will never leave him and the podcast, but she thinks he will leave to be the Bachelor. Ben’s response is “Hmmm.” Then she follows up with the fact that he was gone the week before. He quickly changes the subject and signs off the episode.

Ashley has speculated many times throughout their podcasts about Ben becoming the Bachelor again, which Ben always responds with adamant denials. He talks about how he can’t imagine doing it again and how production and Bachelor Nation wouldn’t want a tired retread like him. But he has NEVER hemmed, hawed or deflected when the subject was brought up. It’s almost like they were trying to clue in the listeners. I’d imagine if he leads another season, he will have to take a break from the podcast, and perhaps this was preparing the audience for his absence.

Have you heard anything about the possibility of Ben being the next Bachelor?

Comment: Ben is always going to be a possibility, but I don’t know if his chances are any greater than anyone else’s.

Hi Steve,

So late last night Michael Friday posted a 4 minute 51 second rant on Facebook and YouTube. It was basically him screaming every expletive; calling himself the victim; that his life was ruined; his future relationships were ruined, etc. He called Erica a piece of S. It was truly insane. I watched it twice. It only had about 24 views. When I woke it said “user deleted video” or something to that effect on YouTube and on FaceBook it was nowhere to be found. It still showed the post about him considering a libel case or something like that but the video was long gone. I should have recorded it. But then again; maybe not. Geez, this guy is absolutely going about this the wrong way. Anyone have this video? Nothing says “I’m innocent” than an expletive filled tirade on YouTube calling your accuser a piece of sh**. Hey, maybe he is innocent. We’ve heard her side and we’ve heard his. She said this is what he did, he said he didn’t. None of us know for sure because we weren’t there. But the evidence against him seems much stronger than him saying it didn’t happen. Hopefully this will play out in a court of law.

Dean brought up an interesting point about a week ago. When they have those dates that end with the musical acts what if a rose is not given on that date. Does the Bachelor/Bachelorette just go dance solo. I vaguely remember Andi maybe being in this situation but I might be wrong. Maybe they tend to give those dates to someone with an exceptionally high probability of staying so that there will be less chance of disappointment for the 400 or so that have patiently waited. The only one I remember was on Sean’s season, he had a 1-on-1 with Leslie Hughes, didn’t give her the rose, and there was a concert set up and Sean just stood there while it played. That’s the only that comes to mind.

I liked The Proposal because it was so ridiculous but now that is tainted and it will not be so much fun to watch.

I hope to see Casper and Louise on a future MTV Challenge. Cupcakes and donuts were such a bad idea; who knew ? I never got into “Champs vs Stars” this season, although I recorded the last few episodes, so maybe I’ll watch the end.

Also Jonathan Penner’s wife has ALS; so so heartbreaking. Did not know that. Horrible.

Be grateful for every day and embrace life.

Many blessings for you !

Hi Steve!

Do you know how to pronounce Garrett’s last name? I can’t get my heard around it. Is that Y silent for does it sound like an E?!

Comment: It’s pronounced Yer-GOY-yen.

Hi Steve!

In the past, leads have reacted differently to dirt spilled “in confidence” on competitors. Some were grateful for the inside info they were unable to observe themselves. Others, notably Sean, whipped their panties into a bunch at the very idea! That’s fine, but what bugs me is how the lead goes running to the target and tells what was said. Seems like someone should ask permission first…”I’d like to get his/her side of this, too, may I share what you told me?” Just wondered if that’s standard production rules – “You gotta go stir the pot further once some poison bee gives you the goods!” And do you personally agree with me or do you think it’s fair game to go blab what you’ve just heard?

thanks – love ya – great spoilers bla bla bla

Comment: I think it’s a case-by-case basis honestly. There isn’t a correct universal way to handle it. Some I think should say something, and sometimes I think it’s better not to.

Hey Steve,

A couple questions for you.. it’s pretty clear watching the show that her two strongest connections are with Garrett and Blake. I’m wondering if those two knew early on that they were each other’s biggest competition? I noticed they don’t follow each other on social media, which in itself is pretty much a giveaway that they were the final two guys. I’m sure the guys have an idea who she’s into the most. That’s certainly not hidden.

My second question is do you know how often Garrett and Becca see each other after filming wraps up? Obviously they won’t spoil it on social media when they are together, but seems like every weekend they both post Instagram stories when they are hanging out with their friends and doing their own thing. I know they travel separately to their secret weekend getaways but I would think fans would see them on flights/at the airport and photos would get out there.

Comment: Interesting observation, but I’m also going to come back at you with this. Every season there’s a final couple. And every season that final couple sees each other, usually about every other weekend for 3-4 days. It varies depending on schedules. And for the most part, every one of those couples is flown to a secret location separately for that weekend. Do you know how many times pictures have gotten out of them on a plane or at the airport? Zero. In all the final couples, in all the flights to meet up, not one time has a picture ever been sent to me, or has a tabloid ever posted a picture of the “winner” on a plane or in the airport headed to see the lead. So while it may seem like an obvious thing to you that if you saw them you’d take a picture, I think you’re forgetting the big “picture” in that most people at an airport don’t know, don’t care, and aren’t looking for it.

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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  1. jessie

    June 27, 2018 at 10:49 AM

    Does anyone disagree that Jared and Ashley must want their own TV show and that’s what this silliness is about. She is just to shallow, without charactr, without culture, (he is probably the same) to be interesting on TV. oy!

  2. rob22

    June 27, 2018 at 1:34 PM

    So, the comment about the older Bachelor’s season, especially that Jason Meznick’s season was so pure…. and the subsequent comments by RS blaming social media and naming (of course) Ben Flatdick and Huan Pah-blow as especially bad seasons…. Well, everyone is forgetting what came right after Jason’s season. That was the Jack Pavelka sh*t-show season with Vienna. Remember now? Is it coming back to you? So, yeah social media definitely changed it, but I think the tone went really dark starting in that season and the show has bounced back and forth ever since. They had Jake and then followed it up with Brad 2.0. They then had Ben and followed it up with Sean to clean up the mess. Then they had a series of losers with Juan Pablo, Farmer Chris, Ben (cleaned it up again) then Nick and Arie, two of the bigger s*it shows ever. Though I found both of those seasons to be entertaining. I expect a cleanup version this time. Therefore, I’m all in on Ben 2.0. I like Becca, but her season is train wreck with all the scandals. Ben 2.0 definitely. The show always reacts to criticsm with a season that they try to play pretty straight.

  3. tinyred500

    June 27, 2018 at 2:37 PM

    I’m unable to download seasons prior to Jake, so I can’t see how much the shows have changed over the years with regard to social media and its impact. However, the contrived drama and producer induced/produced villain(s) have made the shows just as bad if not worse overall. It has got so irritating to watch and just plain silly. Although Sean’s season was okay, Tierra was kept on far too long, the show focused too much on her and made Sean look naive and stupid in the process. Juan P season although bad in its own way (him!), there was little if any contrived drama. From Chris’s season it went downhill with the cheap contrived drama, including the bachelorette shows. Some people like the drama and villain’s, which I suppose is fine, but surely it’s better for the drama to be natural and real, and for the villain to be truly authentic, but not over-stay their welcome!

    Ben 2 Bachelor would be perfectly okay, apart from telling two women he loved them, please not again! Arie’s season was just awful, worse then Juan’s IMO. I’ve not minded Becca’s season so far, better than some of the more recent Bachelorette’s, though I’ve not seen Rachael’s yet.

  4. mariet

    June 27, 2018 at 4:14 PM

    Ben 2.0? Please, no! He was so boring! Zero personality. The only “interesting” thing about him was his mother’s subtle references to his anger issues. Joe the Grocer is on BIP. He will not find love, and hopefully be the next Bachelor! Yay!

  5. upmyalley

    June 27, 2018 at 6:44 PM

    Whatever happened to the Bachelor villian Jake the snake Pavelka being brought up when villians are the topic? That dude’s anger was off the charts! As much as I didn’t like Vienna, I felt bad for her when that nut job ripped her a new one on tv. I felt like he had a lot of skeleton’s in his closet particularly with past relationships and how her probably treated past girlfriends. If soc media had an influence then, I bet stuff would’ve come out about him. He was the most desperately fame hungry person this franchise has ever had. He was of short stature too and it was obvious how insecure he was about it. A complete narcisist like many of these people in bach nation.
    Watching Becca these past few weeks I find myself not liking her very much. She sure can dismiss these guys like a champ! I’ll have to wait and see how things play out but right now, she seems pretty boring and just my opinion, she’s no knockout but does have sorta average good looks.

  6. upmyalley

    June 27, 2018 at 6:50 PM

    The earliest seasons I recall were Jason, Deanna and Travis the doctor. Oh and Matt from the UK?

  7. tinyred500

    June 28, 2018 at 12:40 AM

    I’ve not watched prior the Ben F season, but I will watch Jake. I’ve seen excerpts of his reunion with Vienna and it was ghastly! I wish I could see the really early season’s.

    I don’t mind Becca having no trouble sending the men home. 🙂 Most of the goodbyes are usually so drawn out, over the top and disproportionate given they’ve only spent between 15 and 45 minutes with her, even the F2 and F1 only have up to 70 hours spent with the lead.

  8. jlal

    June 28, 2018 at 4:20 AM

    I have watched every season since the beginning and agree and have said that social media way changed this show. Also agree with upmyalley that Jake Pavelka was a total douche with major issues. Vienna was no prize and frankly I felt like they deserved each other. However, his true colors came out in the reunion (or whatever you want to call it) show and they weren’t pretty. He hid his true nature better than Juan during filming, but it sure shone through afterward.

    Luke Pell needs to go away. After what he did on Winter Games to that Russian chick – what a creep!

    I think Ben 2.0 would be a total snooze fest. Please find some new blood and for the love of all things holy they don’t have to have a sm following. Actually, it would be so refreshing to have a lead that didn’t have the sm agenda.

    Also agree that Becca is brutal when dismissing these guys. I love it though, as she doesn’t waste time and words. On the two-on-one when she just got up and walked away with Jordan without a backward glance I was like “AW SNAP” take that you little instigator.

    None of the guys shine for me though, not one. She and Garett without a doubt have the most chemistry. I may be seeing that through the spoiler lens, but she just seems to be going through the motions with all the others. Some seasons it is obvious when this happens, others not so much. But, this season I think it is glaringly obvious she isn’t one bit interested in any other these guys other than Garett.

    Also, just for the record what’s his name never actually said Jordan said he would settle for Becca. He said Jordan acted like he’d be settling for Becca or something like that. And, when Chris first asked to butt in, Becca told him twice they had only been talking for two minutes. He totally ignored her and then addressed Wills and asked again. If I was Becca I would have kicked him to the curb right then. I would have said “I just told you we’d only been talking for two minutes, why are you asking Wills now?” How disrespectful to totally ignore her and what she said and then address the guy. What an a-hole!

  9. LynnS

    June 28, 2018 at 5:21 AM

    May I ask where you are watching older versions of the Bachelor? I can’t find them anywhere.

  10. adelina

    June 28, 2018 at 6:49 AM

    I would be disappointed in a Ben 2.0 season – nice guy but just way too vanilla.

    I wish I would’ve sent Steve an email asking his opinion about Chris Soules and what’s going on with him and his case.

    I followed him on Twitter after he killed someone while driving drunk (“allegedly”) out of curiosity to see if he would tweet. He made a return to Twitter on Monday making a couple comments about the show. For some reason I find his presence on social media offensive. I think he should just go away. Anyone else feel the same way or differently?

  11. tinyred500

    June 28, 2018 at 6:50 AM

    If you’re in America you might be able to download them for free. I’ve bought mine via iTunes and one from Amazon.

  12. tinyred500

    June 28, 2018 at 7:32 AM

    I think out of respect for the circumstances, whether he’s guilty or not, Chris S should probably refrain from tweeting especially about the shows because they are high profile.

    Reading some of the other comments about Social Media I can see how many would have been annihilated for their behaviour etc., on the shows and thereafter had it been around. I was thinking more a long the lines of how contestants use it for their own quasi-fame now etc.

  13. rob22

    June 28, 2018 at 9:47 AM

    Ha, pretty funny the comments about our buddy Jake. I’m sure he’s hoping everyone forgot his season. As I recall, it’s all coming back, wasn’t he the “snitch” during Jillian’s season. He was the one who came back, I think, after being booted to rat out someone who “wasn’t there for the right reasons”? Usually “the snitch” kind of then attains a very low status where they are only eligible for BIP or BP….. which Jake also did. I seem to remember that it was Jake vs. Vienna in BP… another total S*it show. So to recap, Jake was the snitch in Jillians season, then got the Bachelor gig where he picked Vienna, leading to a completely volatile s***-show, especially on the ATFR or some afterwards show. Then Jake went to BP where he was pitted against Vienna … they were on opposite teams somehow and Vienna was hooked up with, I think, the “guard your heart” guy…. Kasey, right? And if I recall, I think Kasey came from the same season of The Bachelorette as Jake. What a mess! Jake was arguably the worst all around contestant from the franchise. Wherever he went, things were totally f’d up. The other thing I remember from Jake is that he gave out a sort of gay vibe. I really wonder what that dude is up to. I’m sure it’s a mess whatever it is.

  14. LynnS

    June 28, 2018 at 2:46 PM

    Thanks – I’ll look around!

  15. LynnS

    June 28, 2018 at 2:52 PM

    I believe Kasey came from Ali’s season. Wasn’t he the one who she left stranded on that snow-covered mountaintop? Ali left with that guy (started with an R) in the helicopter. Reggo or something like that – the one with the broken leg.

  16. upmyalley

    June 28, 2018 at 9:25 PM

    @rob22 Yes, it was Jake who snitched to Jillian. Don’t forget he went on DWTS too and then pimped himself to other shows. He was so obviously out for fame and his frustration always shone through on all the shows. I too think he was/is a closet gay man. One of those who are afraid his manhood would be in peril if he came out. I also feel he expected to be loved and famous for getting the bach gig and didn’t know how to handle it when it didn’t go that way. He publically blamed Vienna for everything. He sure wasn’t “on the wings of love”. More like a plane crash for that so called pilot.haha!The meanest bachelor ever. The franshise buried him deep.

  17. upmyalley

    June 28, 2018 at 9:37 PM

    The people who snitch do not usually fare well with the lead in terms of keeping them around. I sorta think Becca is really down about not being worshiped by the guys even though she does have Garrett and Blake. It reminded me of Deanna Pappas just a little when her guys seemed to be enjoying the other guys company more than hers. To be fair though she’s had to deal with so many bad guys with issues. Deanna was just into herself so much and wanted all the guys to prove themselves to her by treating her like a diva. Does anyone remember, wasn’t Jason Mesnick one of her final two?

  18. LynnS

    June 28, 2018 at 9:50 PM

    Yes and she even let him get down on one knee and propose. I think her ego couldn’t resist it.

  19. tinyred500

    June 29, 2018 at 1:10 AM

    Have a look on the ABC’s website, they had some if not all the previous seasons, (whilst Arie’s season was airing) they might still be there. I couldn’t view even with a VPN.

  20. jlal

    June 29, 2018 at 4:35 AM

    OMG I forgot about Deanna and how she let Jason get down on his knee before dumping him, brutal! And, she did get pissy when they weren’t paying attention to her.

    So, the franchise hasn’t buried Jake Pavelka very deep, as he was in Vegas promoting Bachelor slot machines at the MGM this past May. I guess he has found love now with an attorney from Arkansas. Can’t believe he is still around after eight years.

  21. tater82

    June 29, 2018 at 11:38 PM

    Dr Travis Stork, whoo wee!!! Lol <3

  22. upmyalley

    July 2, 2018 at 7:12 PM

    Jake may be pimping bach slot machines but I highly doubt it is with the franchise blessing! Sounds more like he’s looking for recognition- still- again! Haha! What a fool idiot.

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