Reality Steve

Dr. Reality Steve

Podcast #86 – Interview with Jemmye Carroll of the “Challenge,” & “Dr. Reality Steve”

A new “Challenge” season is upon us as “Final Reckonking” premiered this past Tuesday, so I knew it was time to get someone on again from the show, so it was great talking to Jemmye Carroll for Podcast #86. As expected, Jemmye had no filter and had no issue talking about a ton of things going on in the “Challenge” world. There are no spoilers for “Final Reckoning’s” season if any of you are worried about that. Yes, filming is over. Yes, she knows what happened, but I don’t want to know and she can’t publicly share it anyway. But just wanted to give people a heads up who were curious. However she does talk about the ending in general terms and how this season is building up to be one of the craziest ones yet. I can’t wait. We spend a good amount of time discussing what has made the most news from this season already, and that’s the Paulie/Cara Maria situation. We both definitely have our thoughts on how everything is being handled. As always, if you’d like to reply to the interview, please include Jemmye’s Twitter handle (@JustJem24) in your responses. Great time talking to Jemmye, and you know me, I can’t get enough of this franchise. I’ve interviewed now 5 from the show and I expect there to be more going forward (and my apologies to Tori Hall as I forgot to list her in the podcast when talking about former people from this franchise I’ve spoken to). One last thing, Jemmye posed a question to me at the end of the show about who from “Bachelor” world I thought would be good “Challenge” competitors, and I needed more time to think about it. So here’s the short list I came up with when I thought about it more: Kaitlyn, Chad, Josh, Nick, and JoJo. I’m sure there are others who could/would be capable, but those are the ones that jump out to me who I think could actually go far if cast.

You can listen to today’s podcast on a number of platforms, but you can also tune in by clicking the player below:

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, RSS, Stitcher, Spotify
Music written by Jimmer Podrasky
(B’Jingo Songs/Machia Music/Bug Music BMI)

(SPOILERS) Jemmye joins me to talk about getting “eliminated” on the first episode, why Jenna couldn’t find her (6:00), the theme of the season (8:28), Bananas talk (12:42), how crazy the ending is this season – no spoilers (18:18), how she feels about cast from other shows being brought into the Challenge family (20:59), how she first got cast on the show and her season on RW: New Orleans (25:47), her relationship with Knight (30:38), her overall strategy when appearing on these shows (38:38), thoughts on Camila (42:53), we play Word Association (46:21), we discuss the Paulie/Cara Maria scandal this season (1:02:41), and we end with the Final 10 (1:18:14).

Twitter – @JustJem24
Instagram – justjemm_

Dr. Reality Steve

Hello Steve,

Hope this email finds you well. I’ve been a fan since Jason Mesnick season. I have a little issue and I think your advice will help me out since I literally have no one else to turn too. So here is the situation, I will be at my job 5 years in August. I am only supposed to be the receptionist however I turned into the bitch/assistant and am not getting compensated in any way. The lies I have to keep and the favors I have to do are eating away at me and I end up going home at the end of the day snapping out on my poor husband. So this Friday I set up 3 interviews for different jobs and was going to call in sick that day. I come in today to the office to the one boss telling me she will be out tomm and Friday due to her boyfriend’s grandfather passing away as well as another co worker who has the day scheduled off. She is already telling me all the things that I need to take care of on Friday. My question to you is this. Do I still go with my plan and fake sick to go to my interviews or bite the bullet try and reschedule them for another day and come to this he’ll home of an office?? If you can’t reply I totally understand u are a very busy man and from I read I think you are in Chicago. Keep up the great job with the spoilers and may God bless.

Comment: Sorry I didn’t get to this last week. For your sake, I hope you sh** canned the job, or at least made up some excuse as to why you couldn’t be in the office that day so you could get out and go on those other interviews. One thing you can control is your own happiness. Sounds like you’re miserable at your current job. You did the right thing by looking elsewhere so I hope you followed through and went on those interviews. And furthermore, hopefully you landed one of those jobs you went to interview for. Sounds like you’d be much happier if you did. 5 years at your current job is a long enough time to know if it’s somewhere you want to be long term, you’re doing extra work and not getting compensated for it, so yeah, I’d say time to get out. Hope you did.

Dear Dr. Reality Steve,

I’ve never felt inclined to email in but this situation has gotten out of hand and I honestly am not sure what to do. I’m hoping your words of wisdom and unbiased view will help me out with this. This is going to be a long one, so I apologize in advance.

My boyfriend, let’s call him Josh, and I have been dating for quite a number of years. We’ve had our ups and downs, as every couple, but at the end of the day he matters very much to me. In recent years, we’ve been extremely happy with each other and things have never been better. I know at the end of the day, I can rely on him for anything and vice versa. We have a very communicative and healthy relationship so that’s not the problem.

He is two years older, so when we were in college we did long distance for my last two years. During that time, I did everything with my best friend and roommate *Brooke. My personality is very “go with the flow”, so whenever we went out for food or anything, Brooke normally called the shots because I genuinely didn’t care all too much. On the negative side, Brooke can be a little demanding and very sensitive when things don’t go her way. She has her own internal struggles and has never been in a serious relationship before. She can be a little abrasive and petty at times but it has never been directed at me. I know I’m listing some negatives but she has been a great friend to me and I care very much about her. She made my college experience an amazing time, in addition to helping me a gain a much needed backbone.

The problem is that Brooke has always been off about Josh and I never knew why. Keep in mind that we had already been dating before I even met Brooke. You see, Josh is one of those guys who is genuinely the nicest person and goes out of his way for anyone. He goes the extra mile for all my friends, which admittedly goes unnoticed by most of them, especially Brooke.

Last weekend, Josh was nice enough to let a couple of my friends stay with us at his beach condo. During this visit Brooke lost an e-cigarette. She claimed she put it on the kitchen counter before we went out that night. When we came back, it was gone. We looked all over the apartment but couldn’t find it. Josh spent about half an hour looking before he gave up and wanted to enjoy the weekend at the beach (as we both work full time jobs and want to enjoy the weekend). All weekend Brooke accused Josh and his friend of knowing where it was. No proof, no evidence, just that there was no possible way she misplaced it or accidentally thrown it out, so “all evidence pointed to them”. We don’t smoke and I know Josh would never take it but it was accusation after accusation. It was brought up in every conversation. No exaggeration, like at least 20 times.

After the weekend, Brooke continued on about how she had zero respect for Josh and how she can’t believe someone would steal her property. If it was that important to her, maybe she should have put it somewhere in her bag and not out in the kitchen? Regardless, it was constant accusation about how he didn’t try hard enough to find it and how he should care more. Let me put it in perspective, this is an e-cigarette. Josh spent half an hour looking and after hearing every 5 minutes about it, he wanted to enjoy the weekend.

Fast forward to this weekend and guess what I found inside the sofa? The e-cigarette. Turns out Josh didn’t take it and it was misplaced. Instead of saying thanks and apologizing for all the false accusations, she simply said someone moved it and is still yet upset with Josh.

The next day Brooke actually invited herself to enjoy the beach at Josh’s place. I said she could but only if she apologized to Josh for the accusations. She said no, accused me of making him a victim, how she felt betrayed, sent me paragraphs of texts about being blindsided, how she wanted to have a third party friend to schedule to pick it up, and much more borderline nasty texts. In the end, I told her it’s best she didn’t come over being it’s not my apartment but Josh’s, who felt incredibly hurt. She continued on asking me if it was worth ending a friendship (…over an e-cigarette).

My honest question to you, am I wrong for sticking up for Josh for the false accusations (because I don’t think I was)? Or should I have been more sympathetic to my friend? Because I’m sorry if someone misplaced it but it wasn’t stolen and after a week of accusations, it turns out Josh didn’t take it. Is an apology too much to ask for? That’s all we wanted.

Brooke has now blocked Josh on every social media platform (he hasn’t said a word to her about anything) and I don’t know what to do. She wants to talk to me to explain it in person (I’ve received numerous texts about it so I’m not sure I really want to) but how can I continue a friendship with someone who treats my significant other like this? Is she threatened because now I’m not “go with the flow” as I used to be when I was doing distance with Josh? Or am I in the wrong? Any advice would help!

Comment: The short answer is Brooke needs to take chill pill. Holy sh**.

I mean, you kinda said it yourself. This is over an e-cigarette. Something easily replaceable. No, you haven’t done anything wrong in this situation. She made a mountain out of a mole hill, and when the e-cig was found, obviously not stolen like she claimed, the fact she can’t apologize says way more about her than it does you. This one is very simple. Talk to her. Explain to her how she’s acting over a simple e-cigarette, all the accusations she made became moot once it was found in the couch, she’s being completely irrational by carrying on and on and on about this, all you asked for was an apology to how she treated Josh who spent 30 minutes looking for something so stupid at his own party, and she didn’t appreciate that. If she still gives you flak back, you just have to step away from her. Whether that’s for a week, for a month, forever – whatever. That shouldn’t be your concern. She’s not thinking she’s done anything wrong, and until she does, you can pretty much expect this type of behavior in the future if you remain friends. The fact she went to the classic “you’re gonna end a friendship over this” just shows how completely lost she is in all this. Can’t accept responsibility or take blame, which makes sense, because you described her as someone who’s always gotten her way. She needs to be more understanding about things, and if she isn’t, then just start hanging out with her less and less. Sounds like a pretty toxic person.

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



  1. shenanigans

    July 12, 2018 at 8:48 AM

    This is for the second poster. Brooke is a toxic friend who isn’t worth the drama she causes. You would be foolish to include her in any plans that involve Josh, considering how badly she behaved at his beach house.

    If you still value her friendship, you can see her, talk to her, exchange emails, etc. on your own time. But, protect your relationship with Josh from this viper, who isn’t worth it.

  2. keddo

    July 12, 2018 at 11:07 AM

    “She can be a little abrasive and petty at times but it has never been directed at me. I know I’m listing some negatives but she has been a great friend to me and I care very much about her. She made my college experience an amazing time, in addition to helping me a gain a much needed backbone.”

    So she’s a great friend until things don’t go exactly the way she wants. Time to use that backbone she gave you to stand your ground on behalf of your boyfriend. A contrite apology from her to Josh is the bare minimum to make a continued friendship worthwhile.

    “She continued on asking me if it was worth ending a friendship (…over an e-cigarette).”

    She’s the one ending the friendship by insisting on her continued poor treatment of Josh being a condition of her friendship. It’s not about the e-cigarette; it’s about her lack of basic decency.

    The key to keeping the bridges intact for a possible future rekindling of the friendship is for you to keep calm, stick to the facts, and let her know that you would be happy to reconnect when her apology is delivered to Josh.

  3. rob22

    July 12, 2018 at 12:01 PM

    To the first emailer. You don’t owe a company, any company, anything. You work, they pay you. Period. If you are bailing on them, especially because they are unethical, you do what you need to do to get another job ASAP. If you catch some blow back for calling in sick, so be it. Loyalty at work is a thing of the past, if it ever really was a thing. But toxic companies deserve nothing. What’s the worst that could happen if you call in sick? They fire you? They’d be doing you a favor. And these days, if you end up on the street, you can drive for Uber or catch some other gig tomorrow until you get another job. Run, don’t walk.

  4. rob22

    July 12, 2018 at 12:17 PM

    Second emailer: congratulations on handling the issue exactly right. You stuck up for your boyfriend and dis-invited your “friend” for her behavior and demanded an apology. Yay! Well done. So, I don’t know your age, but I’m assuming you are a few years out of college. As we age, we change and (hopefully) grow up. Some people do not grow up and it becomes noticeable. When we’re in college, all those self absorbed habits get ignored, because well, we’re all kind of self absorbed in college. And, we tolerate a lot of bad behavior, especially if it doesn’t directly impact us. But again, we move on. We realize some of our habits are no longer acceptable in polite company and especially in the working world where we’re around older people who don’t put up with any garbage from the younger people. Your “friend” is a self absorbed b*tch. She’s always been a self absorbed b*tch. She doesn’t like your boyfriend because he competes with her for your time. This was as much about her not wanting to share you with her boyfriend as it is about her being self absorbed. Bottom line, she’s not getting her way and she doesn’t like it one bit. Too bad.

    Anyway, there’s a natural culling of these people that occurs through the 20s and into the early 30s. We find that some people really aren’t keeping up for one reason or another. So, I think you’re at about that point. She was fine in college, but she’s no longer acceptable in the more mature company you now keep. At the very least, she needs to apologize for her behavior before you consider continuing your friendship. And it will be time for you to draw boundaries where this kind of behavior is no longer tolerated at all. I suspect that if you stick to your guns (and you should) this will end your “friendship”. But, tbh, this isn’t really a friendship. She liked you because she could tell you what to do and always get her way. She’s never going to be OK with you standing up for yourself, drawing boundaries and not putting up with her crap. Good riddance. These type of people end up being miserable adults who create lots of drama and ooze toxicity. They were miserable kids too, but we just didn’t notice.

  5. tiggertamer

    July 12, 2018 at 7:59 PM

    Well, I’m old, so maybe this advice will sound outdated. However, many years ago, I read that, when interviewing for a job with normal office hours, ask to schedule your interview early in the morning, during your lunch break (distance permitting) or in the late afternoon/early evening. That way, you don’t have to lie to your current employer and you don’t leave your prospective employer wondering how, if you’re gainfully employed, it’s possible for you to be interviewing at a time when you should be working at your current place of employment.

    Shortly after that, I tried it. For a job I really wanted, I asked for a 7:00 am interview, so I could be at my current job by 8:30 am. The manager interviewing me gladly agreed to meet with me at 7:00 am, and I got the job – and it was a good job – and he didn’t even check my references. Maybe I impressed him with my dedication to my employer by not calling in sick to have an interview.

    That said, I understand what it feels like to work for a difficult boss and to feel taken advantage of. I hope you find a job that helps you feel fulfilled, rather than fed up.

  6. tiggertamer

    July 12, 2018 at 8:28 PM

    To the person with the troubled friendship, I basically agree with both Reality Steve and Rob22. It’s natural for people to grow out of relationships and into new relationships, with the “growing out of” often occurring from only one side.

    I think telling your friend you need a month of no contact with her (at all), to give you the time and space you need to think about whether your relationship with her is still healthy and beneficial for both of you, is a good idea. That will not only give you the opportunity to see how much you miss having her in your life; it may also force her to seriously reflect on her behaviour.

    Several years ago, I ended a friendship with a long-term friend who had always been controlling though she was, generally, a very nice person – she attempted to control using more subdued approaches. The break up wasn’t the result of any sort of dispute. I was just going through a difficult time in my life and I realized that, instead of our friendship helping me through it, just knowing I had received a message from her added to my stress significantly. And several years later, I don’t regret ending it because, sadly, I have never missed her, though I sincerely hope she is happy and healthy.

    How does your friend make you feel? If hearing from her makes you feel more dread than joy, I would take that as a sign that the friendship may no longer work for you. But, considering that you are both younger, and your friend probably has room to grow, forcing some time apart before making a final decision about the friendship is probably a good idea.

  7. realitynyc12

    July 13, 2018 at 8:21 AM

    This may be a slightly different perspective but I think friendships, much like a marriage/ romantic relationship require good communication and working through difficulties, if there is a strong foundation there. Perhaps I’m speaking from a different experience but I had a couple of friends “fall out of friendship” with me that I still don’t quite know why, other than they felt like the friendship ran its course. But one of them I was extremely close with, I was a bridesmaid in her wedding and helped her get a job at my firm (which, in retrospect, was my biggest mistake and likely started the path to the demise of our friendship- word of advice to others, don’t work with friends, it never ends well lol) so after being there for her, the way it ended was quite one sided and really hurtful to me. I just feel like she dropped me like a bad habit without really talking to me honestly or trying to work on our friendship or fix whatever issues she felt we had. Mind you, I never pulled the dirt of self absorbed crap the person’s friend in this case did, not even close. And I’m generally a good loyal friend that always apologizes when she’s wrong. I do sense my personality may have been too strong for her but here’s the thing, why do we think its important to work on our marriages and romantic relationships but not on our friendships? Are friends that disposable nowadays that you just write someone off as toxic and close the door on them? I would advise this girl to sit down with her friends, and in a non confrontational manner explain to her exactly everything about her behavior that wasn’t ok by her and why she felt she owes her and her bf an apology. If the girl refuses to listen or get defensive/ argumentative without hearing her out, then yeah, sounds like it’s a lost cause. But definitely try to work it out first. And separating her and her bf is never going to work, it needs to either be fully resolved or not….
    Just my 2 cents.

  8. rob22

    July 13, 2018 at 9:51 AM

    @realitynyc: I definitely agree with the sentiment of your comment. I think relationships do take work and they shouldn’t just be tossed into the scrap heap when someone makes a mistake, even a big one. That said, the emailer didn’t give a terribly flattering picture of her “friend”. She wants her way all the time, throws a fit when she doesn’t get her way, acts poorly and accuses others when she gets frustrated by her own mistake, and then doesn’t apologize for acting poorly. Granted, you want to give people a chance. We all make mistakes, including big ones. But good people apologize and make an effort not to repeat the same mistakes. Maybe her friend can get there…. but I operate off the principle that people rarely change. There is some growing up that people do, yes. So, maybe there’s still an opportunity there given her age. But, I’m just not terribly optimistic in this case. The description of her friend and her actions are pretty consistent. It doesn’t feel like a “bad day”, or something like that. Hopefully I’m wrong. It’s no fun to lose a friend, even if they deserved to get dropped.

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