Reality Steve

Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” Ratings, “Temptation Island” Gets a Season 2 Pick-Up, & The Matt Daddy Randolph

Photo Credit: ABC

Hi! A few questions for you this week:

1) So… Cassie gets accused of wanting to be the bachelorette, not wanting Colton, and then leaves him at the end because she wasn’t ready to be engaged. Do you think this might have been calculated so she could “prove” to everyone that she had no desire to be the bachelorette since she doesn’t even want to get engaged which is the whole premise of the show? Or is that me just… reaching? I don’t know. There’s something off about her. Something that makes me not like her. Everyone goes on the show nowadays for opportunities and to become “famous” but it’s just a little off putting when it’s the winner, maybe. I think after yesterday’s spoilers (and this email was sent before Monday’s airing or yesterday’s spoilers), it’s a little deeper than that. Not saying you can’t like someone, but I don’t think it’s that clear cut.

2) Jade and Tanner recently revealed on their youtube that they moved out to California for a “fresh state” and all they’re doing are their instagram ads, Tanner quit his job. How long do you think this whole social media work thing can actually last? Do they really make that much money on products that don’t even seem worth buying? Yes, they make that much money. Will they ALWAYS make that much money? No.

3) I’m curious since you’re a Challenge fan if you get spoilers from the show? Or emails regarding rumors? There was some drama about Jenna hooking up with Tony during the last challenge. Or do you just find out about it on Twitter like the rest of us? No. Nor do I want to. As I’ve said countless times, the Bachelor/ette is the only show I care to know the ending to.

4) Do you think it’s fair game for fans and cast members to chime in on Cara Maria’s relationship since she and Pauly have put it out there? She tweeted recently how people need to mind their damn business or something like that.

Comment: Sure they can comment. I sure have. It’s when it gets into trolling and name calling and threats, that’s when it becomes ridiculous.

Hi Steve,

what would you consider to be the right reason to be on the Bachelor/ette?

We know a lot about the wrong reasons like creating a business out of it, or building and advance a brand. Interest in media presence and being part of tv world is also no go.

Going to the show trying to find love is a wrong reason too, because that’s not what the show is about and this person must be kind of naive and illusional, at least knows nothing about the bachelor world.

Guess a good contestant is someone with an entertaining personality, authentic and smart enough to handle interpersonal relationships and all the production terms and manipulations. I get that, but I can’t figure out the right reason. If there is none … everybody could be blamed and criticized in general to be on the show for having a lack of modesty or cleverness. Like everyone is a fool – unless I like the person.

Can you give me one right reason?

Comment: It all depends on what ones definition is of the “right reason” for going on the show. There’s not a universal answer to that.

Hi Steve,

First time writing you.

I have a theory on why they set up Hannah B to meet Colton’s parents before she got dumped. Pretty sure they know Colton would eliminate her before the date start, right?

My theory is they did it to kinda throw the spoilers off. If they have footage of Hannah meeting the parents that they can include in some of their previews, or words got out that it had happened, they probably think they could sweat you a little, or perhaps they thought they could fool you to think that she got through the final, or even just to make audience think that the spoilers are incorrect (at least for a while). And then of course, added possibility to make Hannah B even more devastated. Thank God Hannah handled it really well.

I know you sometimes say that you don’t have any power to to change the way they edit the show, but i think you do. But why would that throw me off? It’s a “Bachelor” season. A hometown date is when HE would meet Hannah’s family. And yes, I’ve been wrong in the past, but Hannah technically finished 7th. If you’re saying that footage could’ve possibly been Hannah at the end meeting his family, well, I’ve never been so far off in the spoilers that someone going home 7th actually made it to the final 2. So no, none of that would’ve had me second guessing anything.

Proof : Colton is acknowledging the spoilers and is so proud to say you got them wrong (although i’m sure what he actually meant was only the little little details, but i believe you got the gist of how it ends correctly). And we all remember how Kaitlyn was ‘punished’ after snapchat leak (I can imagine Fleiss must be so excited initially that you had the wrong ending and then so mad that Kaitlyn ruined it for him).

I think they would do more of this kind of things in the future to throw spoilers off, hell they might even shoot two endings for next time just to do this. But it just goes to show that they really care about you, isn’t that sweet.

Comment: They will never shoot two endings to throw spoilers off. Just not gonna happen. All they can do, and they do it EVERY SEASON, is get tricky with the editing in the season previews, and that’s enough to get people in a tizzy and start freaking out and doubting the spoilers. They did it this season and it worked. So they don’t need to shoot two different endings or whatever to fool people. Plenty of people believe the season preview videos and that’s good enough for them.


I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, particularly in regards to producers choosing the lead, and I thought who better to ask then you. Watching the show with my mom this week I learned that we have very different views on how editing works. She believes almost anything put in front of her; whereas I’m watching mostly to see how production plays out storylines and am extremely skeptical everything. I know she’s not the only one who thinks this, and I found myself wondering just what percentage of the audience watches like my mom and want percentage of the audience watches like me. After thinking about it more I feel like that might be why the lead never seems to come out of the “popular” people on Twitter or Reddit or in all the other media surrounding the show. Have you ever thought about that? How many people are watching this show “aware” versus people who watch the show as is?

Thanks for considering my questions!

Comment: Waaaaaaaay more people watch the show like your mom does than don’t. It’s not even close.

I know this probably won’t make it in readers email this week, but I thought I’d try.

-I know there are cameras and microphones the majority of the time so do you really think there wasn’t ANY footage or microphone clips of this convo between Cassie and Caelynn that Katie heard?? No, and now after reading the WTA spoilers, you know why.

-Also I don’t know why this stuck out to me but the way Caelynn acted on the mountain in an ITM kind of threw me off. I know you said you’ve heard something about her and I remember Hannah B. Telling Heather that they way she was acting isn’t how she normally does, so when she comes off as so laid back and put together with Colton and in the house then seeing her say “F*ck that insecure 28 year old B*itch” and that she better get a rose was crazy. I understand how frustrating it would be if what was being said about her was a lie but it still came off really strong, in my opinion. It’s interesting that this was actually shown and I’m curious as to how she will be redeemed if she is chosen as the bachelorette. Maybe the “heartbreak” and woman tell all will overshadow this if she does end up being the bachelorette. It will be crazy that the 2 things said would be accurate, Cassie not being ready and Caelynn talking about the Bachelorette. Anything is possible, but Caelynn hasn’t been getting your typical Bachelorette edit, so, I’m not sure if she would be able to redeem herself. I guess if she got the role it won’t matter. But there will be WAY more hate and negativity if Caelynn is named the “Bachelorette” than if they would’ve named her after, say, episode 4 when she told her story. Since then, her edit has gone downhill. But she’ll have an emotional WTA that’s for sure, so maybe that’ll butter some people up.

Last thing, does it still help when we unsubscribe to your podcast and the Re-Subscribe to it? I remember last year you mentioned something about it so every time I listen your podcast, I unsubscribe to your podcatost channel and then immediately subscribed again, and I didn’t know if this still helps your channel or not.

Comment: Yes, it does.

Hi Steve!

I’ve been reading your site since I think Brad Womacks second season. I barely watch the show anymore for a couple reasons

1) I don’t have as much personal television time with 2 young kids now and 2) the whole social media aspect of it is annoying. It seems even more fake now because you can just tell a bunch of them go on to gain followers and become influencers ?

I love listening to your podcast and really enjoy interviews with contestants from old school bachelor days!

My question is actually about Temptation Island. I’m from Canada is there a network here that plays it or streaming app? I was hoping maybe you could find out? Can you guys not watch it on Hulu?

I loved the show when I was younger and would make time to watch it! Even though I haven’t been watching I really enjoy listening to your recaps with Kaci.
Also I really really liked your latest podcast with Craig. I thought it was very insightful and all the best to him.

Comment: Craig is doing great last time we spoke. And he loves the feedback he’s been getting from the podcast. He was definitely skeptical at first about being so open.

My friends and I almost gave up on the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows due to Formula boredom!! Same game/new body’s….yawwn..who cares any more. But we stuck for one more season (because we couldn’t pass up Colton visuals) and we are so glad we did.

This season has been much more interesting with less Chris Harrison and fewer rose ceremonies! Their use of Colton’s vlogs as a show guide rather than ‘Chris chats’ make the show feel more intimate. Don’t get us wrong, like Chris but its become almost silly when he enters (from where ever he lurks) to state the obvious. “ladies, its the final rose…’ DUH!

And wouldn’t it would be a refreshing change to eliminate the rose ceremonies all together and simply have him/her hand out roses as they progressed through the parties. The story lines could become richer and it might even create more competition, say if a contestant hides the rose they were given during the party and they continue to talk as if they were still waiting for their opportunity for a conversation.

Anyway, as you can see we ‘fantasy produce’ the show to keep ourselves entertained…there are only so many drinking games you can come up with each season. Convo interruption – DRINK! Arie says ‘I love that’ – DRINK!

Thanks Steve!

Comment: There’s zero chance this show does away with rose ceremonies. Just never gonna happen.

My thoughts after watching Monday’s episode last night…

The reason why Caelynn showed up on the date to defend Cassie is that Kirpa’s (really Katie’s) story revolved around Caelynn and Cassie discussing not being ready to get engaged and being the bachelorette together.

So it stands to reason, that if Cassie is sent home, then Colton believes that the conversation between C & C happened, and thus Caelynn is also implicated. I saw it less of her defending her friend, and more a shrewd woman who understood that if one domino falls, they all fall!

As an aside, I think the reason Colton is SO concerned about people not being #HereForTheRightReasons is that HE wasn’t and so it’s a credible and concerning possibility to him that someone is going to hijack his season for their own gain (thus diverting the attention away from him).

Keep up the good work!

Comment: I think there could be something to that, sure.

Hi Steve,

Thank you so much for the spoilers. You have saved me from watching most of the season, and gave me hours of my life back.

With that being said, I disagree with your opinion that Tayshia having a boyfriend prior to appearing on The Bachelor harms her credibility. If anything, her handling of the situation proved her to be honest.

Tayshia could have gone on the show without telling her ex or just ghosted the guy, but she didn’t. Instead she was upfront with him about her possibly appearing on the show. What’s wrong with breaking up with someone to date someone else? I think an overlap would be a huge violation of trust but people leave one relationship to start another all the time.

Am I missing something?

Comment: In the vacuum of this show, no, what she did doesn’t fly with their viewing audience. In the real world, I guess she can do whatever she wants to do. But anyone who’s with an ex/person they’re dating within two weeks of leaving for this show, I’m sorry, that’s just shady. And it’s especially shady when you go on that show and then call people out for not being there for the right reasons.

So Courtney and arie are on each others Instagram stories showing a house together. Seems they invested in it together since I guess they are both in real estate in Arizona. Lauren has always struck me as the jealous type so I’m shocked she’s ok with this. After all, Courtney wrote in her book that Arie was the best sex she ever had. Thoughts?

Comment: Obviously they’re still business “partners” I guess, or help each other out. But I don’t really know how close they are to each other anymore. When they start posting videos or pictures together just the two of them that aren’t work related, then I’d say that’s when people should probably start worrying.


I am emailing on 2/21 so 3 days after the last episode and 4 days before hometowns. So by the time this email gets read, responded to and posted, this may be old and outdated insight. Anyways, I know the bachelor and bachelorette are different in terms of the type of lead they choose. However, one thing I’ve learned recently, is to prepare to be disappointed. Caelynn is going to end up being the bachelorette. After the disappointment of them picking Colton, I remember thinking to myself, “never get your hopes up because they are going to choose someone, anyone, with hype around their name and you’re going to end up being disappointed. It’s going to be the last person you want”. So, anyways, Caelynn fits that bill. Not a question, just a thought.

Thanks for helping feed my (bachelor) addiction.

Comment: We’ll see. I’d be surprised at this point if it’s her, but anything is possible.

Hi Steve-

I am SO obsessed with Temptation Island! Best show on TV right now. I loved it when it was on air years ago, and it’s even better now. My question to you, is how are the ratings doing? Do you think they will bring it back for a second season?

Comment: I think it’s averaging a little less than a million viewers a week. Remember, it’s a cable show. And cable shows very rarely outdraw network television. Been that way for years. Not to mention it’s a new show being rebooted after 15 years. But I have no idea what expectations USA set for the show, so I have no idea if they think that’s good or bad. It’s getting a lot of social media buzz, and that plays a big role nowadays. I would think they’d do a season 2, but I just don’t know yet. I don’t think anyone does.

hey steve,

love your column as always and I loved your reader’s emails this week, currently scrolling through them on my lunch break. I just read your response to britt being the bachelorette at f6 and a horrible thought came to mind – could you see production doing the two bachelorette set up again, but this time with hannah b and caelynn? they already have that storyline built in from their history of competing in pageants against one another, except now they’d be competing to be the lead. I’d personally really hate it, but it would make for some scintillating television, so I could see them going for it.

Comment: I really don’t see them doing the two “Bachelorette” thing ever again. I think it was a one time shot with that, and the payoff wasn’t all that great.

Hi again, Steve. Hope you are well.

I wrote you this week already, but that was Bachelor talk. Now, couple of questions regarding my new obsession: Temptation Island!

Btw, thank you so much for promoting the show, otherwise I would never know about it, and I remember many yeas ago watching the first original season and really enjoying it.

1) You are very knowledgeable when it comes to reality tv, so, do you think we will get a second season of TI? I really hope so! It’s so damn entertaining. Funny how stuff gets asked in pairs a lot. Just had this two questions ago. We just don’t know yet. I would think so, but I don’t know how USA views how the show is doing.

2) I was listening to your podcast with Evan and then Kaci and I’m really intrigued by the whole “Evan should have waited to have sex with Morgan”. I mean, I fully get Kaci being hurt Evan cheated on her and the horrible situation she’s in, they are all in, but I have a really hard time understading why Evan and Morgan having sex is such a big deal. I know they had a deal prior do coming to the island, no sex allowed, but that was out the door as soon as Evan knew he was falling for Morgan.

Let me put it this way: imagine Evan and Morgan did not have sex on the island, but they’d fell for each other, they would kiss and cuddle an tell each other how much in love with the other they were, talk about how much into each other they were, how they could not wait to be somewhere alone and able to be intimate, etc, and in the end, Evan comes clean to Kaci and he ends their relationship to be with Morgan. Would that suck less for Kaci? Would she be less hurt because at least they did not have sex? The way a I see it, if Evan has genuine feelings for Morgan, his relationship with Kaci is doomed, sex or no sex with Morgan. Kaci said something along the lines “if he met the great love of his life, good for him” and the problem really was the sex part, and I just don’t get. If the relationship was going to end anyway (coming from the premise that Evan is in love with Morgan and wants to be with her), why does it matter if Evan and Morgan had sex? IDK, if it were me, I’d be upset about losing the guy I love because he fell for someone else, and that can happen even if no sex is involved.

Comment: I see what you’re saying, but I just don’t agree. She can absolutely be mad over the sex happening because it didn’t need to. And it showed a lack of respect to their relationship. Breakups are hard no matter how they happen. And when you’ve been with someone even longer, the harder it is. I still think it could’ve been handled better.

Hey Steve,

Long time reader, first time writer. First I want to thank you for your work, enjoy reading the blog and listening to the podcasts. I liken your spoilers to Romeo and Juliet: you know the ending, but let’s watch how we get there. Maybe you should rename your site “Reality Steve Shakespeare”, haha. So thanks!

I notice you’ve been getting a lot of questions in regards to the show getting paid to go places and how that works. I’m in the industry and have a grasp, and my partner works for a tourism board (that hosted a season MANY MANY moons ago).

First is getting paid to come. Sometimes there would be payment/cash but more often it is done ‘in kind’. So essentially comping/paying for:

-the trip
-the scouting pre season
-crew food, transport, and accom
-logistic support (breaks on filming permits)
-providing b-roll
-the hotel stay
-all the dates and activities

Second is in regards to the dates. Typically the destination itself will contractually require certain locations/restaurants/activities/scenery/etc be featured. Which would how most of the dates would be planned.

Lastly is measuring the success and attributing growth. This is where is does get tricky as there is no exact science to it. Certainly items like social media engagement (especially with this show), website traffic, and “increase of general awareness of the destination”. Earned media value is an old school way of thinking (which is what the show and tourism boards are doing) and it is tracking how much money was spent to showcase the destination compared to how much money would be spent on advertisement to garner the same exposure. Lastly, creating a bachelor “package” would be a clear way to track specific results. For example being able to book a package to stay at Playa Escondida including the room, rose petals, a bottle of tequila, (and crabs), etc. in the room. The hotel will be able to say X amount of people booked this room resulting in Y amount of extra room nights and therefore bringing Z amount of incremental revenue from being on the show.

Of course there’s more to it but thought this would be a helpful overview!

One more thanks: really enjoyed your podcast with Johnny Fairplay… the grandma stunt is one of my favourite reality tv moments, what a guy.

Hopefully one year will be able to make the Vegas party!

Comment: Interesting. Thanks for breaking that down. That certainly helps because I really didn’t know what these cities were looking for exactly. And yes, I do notice now on ABC’s website, you can always book a package that involves where the final couple stayed, etc.

Hi Steve,

It seems like every season the show goes to Thailand, has there been a season where they haven’t gone there? And is there anywhere else they travel to each season, besides to Los Angeles of course? Why is it that they travel there each season? Yes. Plenty. I think they’ve been to Thailand four times off the top of my head that I can remember (Ashley, Sean, Becca, and now Colton). But there’s plenty of times they haven’t been. Vegas is probably the place they’ve been to the most.

My next question is out of all the dates in the franchise, which is your favorite one and the one you would like to go on? What are your favorite types of dates for the show? Also, if you were on the show, what would you do for hometown dates? Interesting. First two questions: I wanna be on the Soulja Boy group date where they did the rap. Put me in that video so I can do the Superman dance.

What would I do for my hometown? Hmmmm, never thought of that. Lets see. We’d go to the park with Luka, come to my place and watch 90210 reruns, then dinner at my dad’s. Yep. That’s my life.

My last question is do you honestly think a celebrity will ever be casted as the bachelor or the bachelorette? The show isn’t stupid enough to do that. Celebs can easily find love other places or the show can just make a spin-off just for them.

Comment: No.

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  1. tinyred500

    February 27, 2019 at 9:49 AM

    I struggle with the whole Bachelorette and Cassie thing and whether she discussed it during filming. Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t, but she has zero credibility for wanting it if she says she’s too young and isn’t ready to be engaged. I think she went on the show for fame.

    Of course the producers organised Matt Randolph’s visit (in next weeks episode), just like they have on previous seasons. Nothing is left to chance and Mr Randolph didn’t fly there on his own steam/inclination or without producer say so. I still think the whole non engagement is part of Colton’s narrative as well as Cassie’s.

    For emailer saying ‘Cassie claiming she loves Colton, without being in love makes no sense’. Yes, you can love someone for who they are as a person etc., but not actually be ‘in’ love with them, there is a big difference between the two and makes perfect sense.

    Where did Steve get the $500 million annual salary for Mr Randolph from? Yes, he’s a CEO, but the company would have to have a multi billion dollar annual turnover to cover that salary. Is the company listed on Forbes? Mr Randolph would be a multi billionaire with that kind of salary. I’m just curious, is there anyone out there that knows more or better, or did Steve get keyboard happy and get carried away with the extra naught?

  2. tinyred500

    February 27, 2019 at 9:55 AM

    That should be ‘nought’ and not naught. 😉

  3. meredith1972

    February 27, 2019 at 7:56 PM

    The Reality Show in which Cassie starred 2 seasons was based on her college – a Christian school which strongly encouraged no alcohol, tobacco, or pre- marital sex.
    Based on that, I suspect Cassie has been raised in a conservative, Christian home.

    Cassie’s Reality Show also featured her former boyfriend of a very long time. I suspect the family knew him and knew the length of the relationship.

    If the Dad did not know the format of The Bachelor, it was easy to find it out online. I can imagine it was a shock to that family for Cassie to even bring Colton in, let alone for Colton to ask for permission to marry Cassie after one 1-1 date and all those group dates.
    Therefore, her Dad’s reaction is not that big of a surprise to me; the surprise is that they flew the Dad out to the Fantasy Date to give him another shot at “talking sense into her.”
    What I don’t think they counted on is Cassie completely caving, leaving, Colton leaving, and them being left with no show.

  4. jp22

    February 27, 2019 at 11:14 PM

    Even if Colton saved himself for someone special, it doesn’t mean he’s a serious Christian. You’re right that the religion may be a factor in the family’s objection. Or it could even be the idea of Cassie famously being the one with whom Colton finally ends his virginity on national TV doesn’t sit with conservative values. Finally, Cassie seems very young to me, I think her parents/sister may understand this.

  5. rob22

    February 28, 2019 at 11:20 AM

    I agree with @meredith. It makes no sense to me that the show allowed Cassie’s Dad to fly out to torpedo the relationship. It sounds like they miscalculated, thinking they’d add some more drama and then instead ended up torching the only viable relationship. I’m not sure whether they knew that Colton was going to send two girls home (wouldn’t they have had some influence in getting Colton to not do that?) And certainly they probably didn’t think that Cassie would have deleted herself. Any way you look at it, they have six hours of programming to fill with very little in the way of plot lines to fill it. It makes me wonder if Colton did go a bit rogue when he sent the two girls home. I can’t imagine they would have allowed Cassie’s Dad to come talk to her if they knew that was going down.

  6. tinyred500

    February 28, 2019 at 12:38 PM

    I think Meredith has raised some interesting points too, and I agree with rob that it seems like a miscalculation on the producers part with her Dad etc. It blew up in their faces.

    With regard to producer influence, I’m pretty sure there’s been many previous bachelors that have wanted to send girls home much sooner, but didn’t, because they couldn’t. I heard Clare Crawley say she wanted to leave when Juan Pablo said his piece in the helicopter to her, and she wanted to leave. It came across like she had no choice other than to stay, because she was one of the final two. Maybe the producers have more recently loosened the reins and allowed more free will with both the lead and contestants. So Colton going rogue is possible!

    It’s all subjective as we know, nobody will ever truly know the truth, like pieces in a puzzle and trying to make the pieces fit together. 😀

  7. taxionna

    February 28, 2019 at 3:01 PM

    @tinyred500 re: the $500 million salary – Steve was clearly being facetious. The only people who have $500 mil/year salaries are Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett.

  8. meredith1972

    March 1, 2019 at 5:47 AM

    The voluntary exits and even the leads wanting to leave are manipulated by the producers and their contracts as to timing and even if they leave. Case in point recently is Heather leaving dramatically on the train right before HTS. I suspect she was ready to leave earlier.
    Then there are the leads who set their hearts on contestants who want to leave (we find this out much later). Dr. Andy Baldwin wanted Tessa who wanted to leave. They moved everything around to make that one happen.
    Bachelorette DeAnna set her heart on Graham, and it was obvious. When he found out he was expected to propose, he wanted out. They made him show up at the RC, and he was a slouchy mess. DeAnna threw a hissy fit! She threatened to leave, they had to talk her into staying so her season would not be a failure.
    It was clear Bachelorette Ali wanted Frank. She said he was”her type,” and indeed she married a guy who looks a lot like Frank. Meanwhile, on the show, Frank informed the producers as early as the 3rd episide that he wanted to go back to his old girlfriend. Unbeknownst to Ali, they filmed Frank during HTs getting back with her, and we saw Frank dump a sobbing Ali on the beach during the Fantasy Dates. They talked her into staying, and she chose Roberto.
    Colton didn’wait or talk to the producers it appears. Cassie left, and so did he!

  9. corn29

    March 5, 2019 at 12:50 PM

    > I’ve had one of my highest traffic and highest
    > grossing “Bachelor” seasons these last two months.

    Yep… and using without an ad blocker is borderline unusable these days. Ads in the middle of text, popups all over the place, and popovers blocking content.

    I don’t begrudge anyone for getting paid and generally don’t promote ad blocker use, but the ads around here are getting silly.

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