Reality Steve

Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” BIP Reunion Finale “Spoilers,” & Leo Being Leo Again

Photo Credit: ABC

Hello Steve, I’m a new fan and love your musings and reporting! Please forgive me if this is a question you’ve previously answered. I am curious to what degree of manipulation the producers are involved in stoking the drama? For example, do they have the cast undergo psychological evaluation and testing to identify personality flaws or disorders and then use that information to try to create situations that will cause cast members to display their instabilities and shortcomings? I can imagine producers having discussions like “Jordon is highly possessive and emotionally immature, so let’s try to manipulate some of the men into pursuing Jenna?” I am certain the producers manipulate and exploit the psychological weaknesses of the cast, I am just curious how aggressively and how strategically they do so? Thanks for doing what you do, Steve!

Comment: All of that. Yes. They know everything about you and will focus on things they know will get you riled up. It’s pretty much how they make the show.

Hi Steve,

Just saw Monday’s episode and read your commentary on Leo and the whole kiss situation. I have to say you are spot on when you called him an emotional abuser. Having recently ended my marriage to a man who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, watching Leo brought back memories of how I was treated (gaslighting, victim blaming, circular conversations). Please let your other readers know that if his behavior was familiar to them as well, it is not normal and the issues are his not theirs. Bravo to Kendall for how she handled the conversation and kept her cool throughout is irrational behavior. Hopefully she knows by now that she dodged a bullet!

Comment: Oh she does. We all do.

I know you have said there are suspicions of Kevin wanting to be the next Bachelor: Canada. Do you think Benoit is also “auditioning” for that role? He has a lot going for him:

4th place on Bachelorette: Canada
Heartbreak on Winter Games
Redemption and proposal on Winter Games
Public breakup
Paradise appearance with lots of tears
What do you think?

Comment: I know nothing about the Canada version, but I don’t think Benoit is cut out for this franchise. He should probably stop.

Hi Steve,

I read you were low on reader emails so here’s a couple questions?

-Do you have any information on why Claire and Benoit broke up? I wonder if she has a new man. As far as I know she doesn’t.

-Does Chris Soules still hang out with anyone from Bachelor nation? I noticed after the car accident fiasco last year I seldom hear about him. I know Sharleen has been in contact with him, but I don’t know how many he actually hangs out with.

It warmed my heart to hear you have a new dog. What a good looking one she is!
My dog is sleeping on my lap now. Dogs are the best!

Comment: During my fantasy draft last night, Luka sat under my desk the whole time.

Hi Steve,

I am not sure if you mentioned /heard of this yet but Jacqueline revealed that something she said on Arie’s season in an ITM made it into a voiceover on Paradise. This was her tweet:

“Weird, I could swear I said both ‘I really really like him, and I don’t want it to end’ and ‘it’s going really well’ about my date with Arie, NOT Kenny, and yet somehow those quotes are on Paradise… #frankenbit,”

Comment: Yeah, someone mentioned she said that to me. Kinda reminds me of the time Kacie B. was on Sean’s season, and they used an ITM of her from when she was on Ben’s season.

Hey Steve,

I did have a couple of questions, you didn’t mention Tia and Colton, aren’t they apparently a couple right now? Until they aren’t. No. They haven’t been a couple since they broke up on the show. You’ll see that next week.

I did find it that odd after so many weeks of focusing on that all I saw last night was Tia asleep while Colton spoke with… someone about something. Though I am paying less and less attention as it goes on. Maybe like “time to do the damn thing” the producers figured enough?

Regarding the new entries in. Clearly some of these, like Colton entering was planned, but I wondered do they additionally manipulate the order in which people arrive based on the most drama? Do they actually have a dozen or so people waiting in Mexico and as soon as someone ‘hooks up’ with someone else they send in the person most likely to cause chaos? Then related, do they know/force contestants to actually pick a specific person when they enter or do they just play the odds that say, Benoit was going to pick Jenna based on pre season interviews.

Comment: Pretty much. They know who likes who and who is interested in who. The people arriving later are absolutely 100% being brought in for storyline purposes. Usually to intervene in another couples happiness.

Hi Steve,

Thank you for all the amazing work this season.
You’ve helped make paradise even more fun than it is.

I was wondering if some of the interviews were done in LA after filming. There was a few in which the backgrounds looked different, and everyone seemed more put together lol. What do you think?

Thank you so much again!!!

Comment: Yes. Those are called “pick ups.” “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” do them all the time.

Hi Steve, thanks for always entertaining us! A few questions…

1) I know “relationships” with these reality personalities is a very loose term, but from your understanding, was Jordan in an exclusive relationship with that girl you had mentioned before leaving for Paradise? Any word from her since Paradise? You said she was defending him during the airing of Becca’s season, so what is her perspective now? No, he wasn’t. I have no idea what she’s up to.

2) Chris is constantly being referred to as Goose. What is that? Is it a nod to Top Gun? Is it some other cultural reference I’m not understanding? He just started calling himself that this season and I don’t know if we’ve ever gotten an explanation as to why.

3) How is Annaleise traumatized by going on bumper cars yet laughs it up while driving a dune buggy over a narrow bridge? Were the producers trying to get her to play the victim again to draw her and Kamil closer together? It didn’t work that way, but they ended up hitting it off. Seems a little weird for sure.

4) Do parents like Kenny and Chelsea get to stay in close contact with their kids while on Paradise? It seems much more laid back than the Bachelor/ette shows, where you’ve said they get a phone to contact every so often. Yeah, they get to Skype daily I believe.

5) How many dates has John gone on? I lost count. Does he hold the record? He must. He’s everywhere. And kinda wearing out his welcome if you ask me.

6) I’m sure Kevin was trying to get the Nick edit, vying for the bachelor spot. He even has begun distancing himself from Astrid, just like Nick did with Jen. However, it seems like production is really pulling the sympathy factor for him if he has to watch Jared propose to Ashley. Thoughts?

Comment: Kevin would never be the “Bachelor” here in the states, so I don’t know if that’s the angle he was trying to work.

Hi Steve,

Becca’s MTA was filmed after paradise right? I can’t remember but was there tension or anything between Leo and Joe that we saw? Or are they pretty good at covering that stuff up?

Thanks! Love your site and spoilers. I also really enjoy your podcast.

Comment: Yes, it was filmed about a month after. There was no tension because there couldn’t be. Nobody would understand.

Steeeve, hi.

Thought I’d help ya out with gettin some random questions in!! Totally not for my own entertainment……..

1) I know you mentioned at some point that Jordan had a girl at home and he had no interest in finding love, which surprised nobody cause he didn’t even seem to think or be attempting to form something with Becca. However, Jordan doesn’t need to find love on tv for more attention. He would have been the star of the show regardless and he knows that, so it makes me believe his emotional response and “connection” he feels with Jenna may actually be real. Because the difference between him attempting to become a couple with Annalise vs Jenna is just night and day. But then I remember what you said about his girlfriend and I can’t decide if it’s real (in his head, that is) or he’s playing it up big time. You may have recapped this but I’ve actually been doing other things lately… super unlike me… so I’d like to know your thoughts!

Ps when I say that I believe that it’s real, I mean that he actually is super into her. Not real like, an actual lasting relationship real. I’m not that cray. I don’t buy it for a second with Jordan and Jenna. This isn’t lasting. No idea about the other girl.

2) I know you have held your ground on ignoring every bachelor question in terms of who it’ll be. But I’m gonna be basic and keep annoying you. I know you probably don’t want to say because people will be like “you were wrong!!” and “wtf reality Steve spoiled that it would be ____,” so I’m going to disclaim it as this:

Steve, completely off the record, knowing that this is nothing more than a mere mortal’s guess based on what you can visualize happening more, and will not be held against you in any bachelor crazies’ court of law: who would you guess now that it will be?
This is my final attempt ?
I was obsessed with Jason on the show and thought he had it in the bag but then had to unfollow him on social media cause of how annoyingly “humble” he tries to be whilst also promoting himself like no other. Also because he talks like a motivational speaker while I prefer to be a cynic with a dark (complain-y) sense of humor. That’s why you’re my bff without even knowing it! My guess is Jason and that’s based on nothing. I think that’s the second time I said that this column, and I guarantee now people will hold me to it because they have nothing better to do. Not you. I’m just saying. I know how this works. Everything out of my mouth gets dissected to the 1000th degree even if I say it’s a guess. That’s just the way it goes.

Lastly, congrats again on your new little one- I remember you saying at first that you felt like it would be a blow to Maddie by replacing her, and let me reassure you that she would have been so sad to see you lonesome without her or anyone to scratch their belly for. Obviously you don’t feel that way anymore, but are they very different from each other personality wise or do beagles usually have similar traits?? (I think Maddie was a beagle??)

Have a good one Steve! Thanks for your time.

Comment: They’re similar, but Maddie was definitely more independent. Maybe it’s because I’ve had Luka less than two weeks, but she really needs attention at all times. Especially when I come home. Maddie was excited to see me when I came home, but never barked once that I can remember. Luka goes full on spaz and runs in circles, jumps on me, howls, wails, whines, etc. Maybe it’s early and that’ll eventually subside, but that’s how it is now.

Hey Steve!

I don’t know if this will make the cutoff for reader emails, but you don’t have to publish this answer!

A few months back you had mentioned that you were working out two heavy hitters in the franchise to be on your podcast, the first of which was Lauren Bushnell. I’m wondering if the second guest was on and I just didn’t realize that it was the person you considered to be a heavy hitter (I was thinking maybe it was Sean?) or if things with the second guest just didn’t work out?

Comment: Yes, the first one was Lauren. The second one kinda just disappeared after saying they’d do it. I wouldn’t rule it out as a possibility in the future (although I haven’t tried contacting them since around June when they disappeared), but I’m not crossing my fingers for them. I’ll reach out later on and see if they’re still interested.

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. katieottawa

    August 29, 2018 at 8:59 AM

    you know what i rarely post about this show mainly because i dont care about any of these people and i forget about it 5 secs after watching it. but i felt compelled to write here that i am more supportive of the men than the women on this season.

    personally i found the men to be much more serious, loyal and genuine to the women they were interested in than the women who seemed to care more about the attention of multiple men on them and playing games.

    jordan. you can tell he is interested in jenna. it was a done deal for him, right after he went to the other girl he was seeing before and was upfront with her. the rest of the time he was only about her. shes the one who decided to play games with benoit. he may have his flaws but i think he deserves better. she isnt serious about him which in a way i feel bad for him. shes going to hurt him.

    joe. nice guy but dude needs to grow a set of balls and tell that kendall girl to take a hike. way too nice. she doesnt deserve him. im not defending the leo guy as he was over the top rude but talk about the pot calling the kettle black. she got mad that he kissed someone else while she herself kissed joe afterwards and kept joe as backup and THEN kissed venmo guy. i guess whatever she was calling him out for doesnt apply to her for some reason??? also she said in an itm ” i feel like i owe it to him” really?? dude dump her. do you want to be with some chick who feels like she owes it to you to be with you?? youre popular now youll have girls lining up at your grocery store. find someone else.

    chris. sure he was a dbag at first but when he made his feelings known to krystal you could tell he was serious about her yet she decided to go and date the other dude and make out with him.

    the only couple who seemed semi decent was kevin and astrid.

    everyone else was just desperate to pair up with somebody just for the sake of pairing up. pretty sad.

    i just found it odd this time it was the women who were noncommittal and cheating on the guys they had established relationships with.

    but since realitysteve has become a feminist im guessing hell give them all a pass and only focus on the men who acted like dbags.

    I am not defending the leo dude but why is steve defending the amanda girl??. girl started it herself when she decided to take a jab at him on social media. im sorry what?? he isnt allowed to defend himself and reply back?? are women no longer able to be called out now and be put back in their place?? she went looking for it.

    i do agree with him on the part of the detrimental effect it can have on his livelihood. Are we at a point where people are no longer able to earn a living because he told a girl off on tv and because there are unproven gossip stories about him online. Even if he was playing girls back then does it mean the guy needs to be homeless living on the street and have everything hes worked for taken away???

    For people who are so caring about illegals and criminals whove done way worst come across the border and say they deserve shelter and work you sure have a different attitude about someone who called a girl out on tv. So illegals are victims and deserve everything even though probably a good percentage of them treat women worse than what weve seen with this guy but this guy deserves to lose everything, his house, his job and essentially to become homeless.

    get a clue people

  2. tinyred500

    August 29, 2018 at 10:52 AM

    I can’t say I disagree with you. SM playing its ugly part once again too I might add.

    I haven’t seen Monday or last night’s episode’s yet and I wondered what all the fuss was about with Leo. I read RS blog and I looked up the scene on YouTube, I rolled my eyes over the amount of fuss people have made of that one scene. Leo is far, far from perfect and has some issues which are pretty indefensible, but I took RS over reaction the same way you did. The reaction of RS, Amanda and Tanner, anyone could be lead to believe it was gross or terrible behaviour that was punishable by law. Amanda’s comment was way off, and this is woman who got engaged to Josh M! I noticed Ashley S adding her tuppence worth and stirring that ole pot again, sadly, not unexpected either. SMH

    People need to own their actions and that includes the women who have taken part in these shows too; the men aren’t all to blame. BIP has become a slutfest and that’s not anything the franchise should be proud of.

  3. rob22

    August 29, 2018 at 11:30 AM

    I wonder sometimes if people can distinguish between people who are boorish jerks (Leo) and someone that’s actually sexually assaulted someone (Lincoln). The reaction almost seems the same. Look, if a guy like Leo goes on a reality show and acts a fool (really in not a different way than Jordan did more than once) there’s going to be a degree of blow back. If you go on the show, you deserve what you get. But I honestly don’t see that much difference between the criticism on social media of Leo and Lincoln. Meanwhile, Jordan seems to be getting a pass. It’s not like Jordan is so likeable either. So, I really don’t get it. I guess it’s just an outrage fest on social media that’s always turned up to high, regardless of the offense.

  4. tinyred500

    August 29, 2018 at 12:16 PM

    @robb, the problem is indeed that too many on SM (and the like), cannot tell the difference from boorish idiotic behaviour and (potentially) criminal behaviour. The level of hysteria and outrage is pretty much equal for both scenarios. If it was a female who had behaved in the same manner, would there be the same outrage? I don’t think so. There lies another problem. As a female I’m appalled and offended by so many women now. 🙁

  5. katieottawa

    August 29, 2018 at 12:29 PM

    i mean he came off like a jerkoff but i dont disagree with everything he said and did. after his make out date with kendall he took some other girl aside and made out with her. wasnt the most honorable thing to do right after you had your tongue jammed in someone elses throat the whole day and i disagree with him making a big deal about kevin telling her but when kendall went to call him out i agreed with him for calling her out on doing the exact same thing she was accusing him of doing. maybe he came off a bit rude but there is such a double standard. tia called out chris last week and kept swearing at him…how is that any different??? yet people were applauding tia for not putting up with chris bs. then yes leo was out of line when he left when he called kendall out again and everyone out and called joe grocery bitch and threw water on him.

    but for the amanda girl to hope the guy got fired i think is over the top. she was worried about taking her kids so what was she insinuating here??? i think it borders on defamation to accuse someone of being dangerous or will somehow abuse her kids. These people need to tread lightly with their accusations and gossip/comments. Just because a guy is a jerk doesnt mean the guy deserves to be shunned from society and unable to earn a living and have a job. Look at garrett they made such a big deal over nothing like what he did was as serious as a crime and still now even though hes apologized people keep bringing it up like the guy doesnt deserve love or a girlfriend. These people need to get a grip on themselves.

    also benoit ecoute. partir sans dire au revoir a personne etait deplaisant. comme canadiens francais on est mieux que ca. et puis pleurer dans la voiture apres??? vraiment??? je t’avais trouve fin a winter games mais la c’etait ridicule. De courir les americaines anglophones quand tu es francophone et que tu restes a montreal est ridicule. Les filles ne feront pas de la longue distance pour un gars de montreal voyons. Il y a plein de filles a montreal pareil comme toi qui ferait l’affaire. ton stint a l’emission ne t’as pas avantage du tout

  6. rob22

    August 29, 2018 at 12:54 PM

    Haha. Love the French. I was able to translate some of it from memory of the language… hardly use it anymore, unfortunately. At one point I had to learn because I had a group with a French Cajun, a Belgian and a French Canadian that loved to speak French, although obviously their dialects were different. So, I can kinda sorta keep up.

    Bottom line though: there’s no special shame for the French Canadians. Every nationality & region is poorly represented on this show. Obviously Kevin’s crying in the car was an embarrassment to him. But I don’t think anyone thinks he’s representative of French Canadians. You’re probably right, though, that few Americans are going to relocate or do a long distance relationship to Montreal. But I’m sure Kevin, like the others, was mostly doing it for the cash and prizes, including a nice free vacation on the beach.

  7. tinyred500

    August 29, 2018 at 2:05 PM

    I most certainly wouldn’t judge any nation by the type of contestants participating in a dating reality show! 😉

    In Britain we have far worse programmes that manage to reach new levels of social and moral degradation – ‘Love Island’…is to be avoided at all cost! The type of individual’s who appear on that…are a certain ‘type’ of their own! Lol

  8. katieottawa

    August 29, 2018 at 2:07 PM

    im french canadian. although unlike him im fully bilingual. he has a hard time speaking in english. he tries but you can tell hes thinking about every word. another tidbit i heard vanessa “nicks exfiance” on a quebec radio interview in french last year and I remember the show painted her as being bilingual filming her talking to her students in french but her french was very limited and broken. she kept inserting english words when she coudlnt think of the french word and eventually just resorted to answering the rest of the questions in english by the end. you can tell she primarily speaks english. i was very surprised.

    yeah basically i said he came off much better on winter games than on here albeit a bit desperate with the whole clare engagement thing. found it rude that he just left without saying goodbye to anyone. canadians are polite. oh im sure he is doing it for the money and the recognition/fame. that was sort of my point he came off very disingenuous. just going after one girl after the other and then getting all upset. realistically no one is thinking any of these girls are going to choose him to have a long distance relationship with him. hes just too different. kevin sure, hes english its an easier transition but benoit is just too different as far as language, background goes to really fit with any contestant from this show.

    seriously it was an embarrassment. and the whole french suave thing is complete BS. most of quebec men are very verbally sexually direct and explicit and vulgar, huge players and SUPER CHEAP. Expect them to always ask for discounts or to get you to pay most of the bill, they cant help themselves.

  9. adelina

    August 30, 2018 at 11:46 AM

    Leo is a d-bag and that’s pretty much all he’s guilty of.

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