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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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