Reality Steve

Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” Ratings, Final Thoughts on This Season, & The Amount of Things We DIDN’T See

Photo Credit: ABC

So Caelynn is doing her little “press tour” if that’s what you want to call it. Well she did an interview that was on EllenTube where they asked her something along the lines of, would you consider being the bachelorette if you were offered? To which she responded, “F*ck No”.

Do you think she is wanting to get this out there so people think she truly doesn’t want to be the lead or because she genuinely CANNOT support Hannah B getting the lead? I don’t buy for a second if Caelynn was offered the gig she wouldn’t take it. She was never offered it.

Clearly they have prior pageant drama and she (Caelynn) did not have the best edit at the end of this season. But it seems like she is probably having the feeling that HB had when she was runner up at Miss USA.

Also, now I feel like we are getting to see the Caelynn that HB was warning about early on.

I just feel like Caelynn is trying to ride the fame train for whatever amount of time she can, but she’s just coming off extremely fake and going to try to ride on Cassie’s coattails as long as she can (well after we see that Cassie is the “winner”, however that’s going to play out).

Comment: That’s two consecutive “winners” that Caelynn has become BFF’s with. Go look at who she became BFF’s with at Miss USA and how many posts she did with her. Just sayin’.

Hey Steve!

When Colton flipped out and deleted all of his twitter posts, was that mid season or after everything was wrapped up? I’m wondering if if happened during the Cassie break up or “fence jump” since bachelor alums are staying he was mad at the time thinking the Cassie breakup talk was staged by production.

Comment: No, it was actually before the seasons started. First episode hadn’t even aired yet.

My husband watched this show back in the day and I would not watch. Started this season Bc of Kaci being on your podcast. She seems like such a nice person. If she stays with that doof please have her on he said she said and you and Ashley make her break up with him. Please.

Comment: Ha ha, we’ve got some interesting conversations coming up with Kaci for sure.


So Today I listened to a podcast where Caelynn was interviewed, and they asked her if she would like to be the bachelorette and she said no. They praised her and said she was such a different and great person for not wanting it… she also said she reads your spoilers… ahemmm… excuse me but of course she wanted it, she just didn’t get it and wanted to play it cool. I guess my question is, do you really believe there can be someone that does not want the lead role? She went as a cast member: no pay, and some fame from it. Lead role: good paycheck and more tv exposure. Who is she fooling? Have you ever seen or heard of someone that simply rejected the leading role??

Comment: No, I haven’t.

Dear Mr. Reality Steve,

I want to start by thanking you for your many years of providing a cynical but informed (and often very inciteful) view of reality television, especially The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise. I must admit that it is a guilty pleasure of mine to watch this series, before when I was single and now (since 2012) with my bride, who dutifully (but with more than a few eyerolls) indulges this guilty pleasure of mine on Monday nights for the better part of the year.

What I appreciate most about your insight is how you manage to identify the participants, including the Bachelor/Bachelorette, as ‘characters.’ This is interesting to me since the premise behind ‘reality tv’ is that it is ostensibly ‘real,’ with people being themselves.

That idea, however, is often compromised when these ‘real’ people are put before cameras. I’m not sure, therefore, if what we truly see is in indicative of the ‘real’ person (as in, the person that exists when the cameras are not rolling) or just another facet of their genuine personality.

While talking to my bride about this interesting paradox I pointed out that there is, however, one ‘character’ that weaves through the whole Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise and that is host Chris Harrison. Like the Starship Enterprise, he may simply appear to be the background upon which the other ‘characters’ play out their roles, yet he is also vital to the setting of the show(s) themselves. Like Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune, Mr. Harrison’s role (along with his ‘this is the final rose’ comment) might seem rather pointless or ridiculous, yet it is as important to the continuity (and success) of the program as the other ‘character’s’ themselves.

Now I’m not sure if Mr. Harrison’s role extends beyond that. Perhaps he does editing? Perhaps he suggests venues to visit? Perhaps he picks or pushes the button on who the next Bachelor/Bachelorette are? Beats me. But the more I thought of it, the more intrigued I was by the ‘character’ that Chris Harrison was himself playing, if that can be reasonably said.

Then, tonight, it struck me. Chris Harrison, either by design or by circumstances, is the Bachelor/Bachelorette version of Mr. Roarke – the mysterious ‘host’ of the famed Fantasy Island television series that ran from 1977-1984!

At first that did not seem to make sense. But the more I considered the on-tv function of Mr. Harrison, the more he reminded me of the role Ricardo Montalbán made famous. After all, they both seem to be in charge of a mysterious organization that helps men and women fulfil their fantasies (one man/woman choosing between 25-30 eligible partners while travelling to exotic locations is quite a fantasy) at little to no cost.

Like Mr. Roarke he also makes key appearances and helps push the narrative along, without necessarily being drawn into the story of the ‘character’s themselves. Moreover he seems to possess a unique “power” to keep things on an even keel, preventing or mitigating any real ‘dangers’ that the guests/characters may find themselves in or potentially could get into. He also does his best to ensure there is a ‘happy ending’ to every season, thus satisfying the viewing audience’s craving for rewarding conclusion after seeing their favorites endure or survive through many pitfalls and emotional upheavals in the course of the previous episodes.

In short, Mr. Harrison is the pivot upon which this show seems to move. Yes the story is about the Bachelor/Bachelorettes ‘journey of love’ but that ‘journey’ is often just a fantasy itself, as we all know since most do not get married in ‘real life’ much like the actors and actresses on Fantasy Island did not.

Comment: I have no words.

Hi Steve:

I know you heard about Kirpa on Ben and Ashley I’s podcast. She said that Kaelynn told some of the other girls while she was on Colton’s season that she tried to slide into Dean’s DMs before she appeared on Colton’s season.

Do you think Tia is slightly happy that Colton may now be feeling how she felt?

Comment: So did Onyeka.

Not sure what to think about Tia at this point as far as Colton goes. She’s got her own relationship so I doubt she’s very close to Colton at all anymore, but who knows. And lets stop making the Colton/Tia relationship out to be the “Notebook” or something. Their relationship was about as relevant as a high school fling.

Hey Steve!

As a lover of spoilers and knowing what’s going to happen ahead of time, I have appreciated your spoilers for many years now.

I fully respect that you never reveal your sources – that’s the only way to keep this going!


QUESTION: Would you ever consider doing a Woodward&Bernstein-esque reveal if the person dies or the franchise comes to an end (ha, ha, ha) and they give you permission?

I will forever wonder how you know all these things that have made me enjoy watching the show so much more! This is probably a question you can’t answer, because you have no idea how things will play out… but I thought I’d ask anyways! (Also probably a question you have been asked before and addressed… so sorry if I’m repeating!!)

Keep being you.

Comment: Nope. No plans to do that.

Hey Steve-

Long time reader, first time writing in. First of all, I’m right there with you in mourning the loss of Luke Perry. Beverly Hills 90210 was probably the most important pop culture influence of my childhood and adolescence, and Dylan McKay and Luke’s portrayal of him was incredible. I’m so glad you’re doing a 90210-themed episode on your podcast and hope you will provide more of your insights when the reboot airs this summer. Recording it today. It’ll run next week unless something happens with Sharleen who I’m supposed to record with tonight.

Now onto The Bachelor – couple quick questions for you. Maybe I’m just a huge cynic, but it feels like I’m the only person who thinks that Cassie really was never that into Colton at all and was just there to increase her brand, get more IG followers, or potentially make it to BIP or Bachelorette. Am I crazy for thinking this? At the top four rose ceremony after hometowns she looked horrified when Caelynn told her to go get engaged, she never really told Colton that she had serious feelings for him, and she gave him the most vague possible responses when breaking up with him. It seemed like she was looking for any possible out when she really should have just said, “I’m just not that into you.” I guess we’ll see how they look when they come out as a couple next week, but I also think that of course she’d be smart to take him back so that she doesn’t end up with the hated villain/bitch edit for breaking his heart when he was so fearful of that all along. Plenty of people think that. It’s impossible to prove she was other than the generic form of pretty much everyone who goes on this show isn’t looking to get engaged and are more interested in increasing their brand. If it happens, it’s a bonus.

Also, do the leads ever get any info from production about the contestants? I think on Juliet Littman’s podcast she suggested that they add a segment of an internet deep dive so that the lead could actually have a little more info about who they are dealing with (and whether they’re actually racist, sexist, etc.) and while I’d love to see that, I doubt they would ever add anything close to it. But does production give the lead any info about them or is it up to them to find out whatever info they can? Like, did Colton know that he was dealing primarily with 23 year olds or does he have to awkwardly ask them all their ages?? They don’t know anything about the contestants. Unless Hannah had her phone today before they took it from her, I guess she could’ve technically seen 15 of her guys early. But I don’t know when she had to give her phone up.

Thanks for all your work – your podcasts and website make this show ten times more entertaining to watch.

Comment: Thanks.

Since Temptation Island has been so popular and now that people know do you can apply to be on season two, do you think that season two will be different and less authentic than this season? Kind of like what we’re seeing on the bachelor right now with people obviously using the show to get Instagram famous.

Comment: I sure hope not. But obviously they’re going to have a tough time beating this cast and this season.

I have just discovered your spoilers this season and it’s not so much the spoiler facts I enjoy, but the production piece…. the ideas about what is organic and what is pure production. So my question relates to this, and I’m hoping you have a thought…

I read somewhere on Twitter that Hannah B was chosen to be the bachelorette while being cast for Colton’s season. Then they play it out and see how it goes. It certainly makes sense in my opinion. Even looking at how different people get casted. Some just a phone call (Jordan for JoJo) or a long processes. Do producers seek their leads out during casting and hope their story plays out (encouraging 1:1 connections, edits, etc). I also had read that they originally castes Jordan for JoJo’s season hoping he’d be the bachelor if he didn’t end up with JoJo – so that would line up a similar process.

Thanks for your time!

Comment: I never heard that, nor do I think that’s true. I think when they cast “Bachelor” they always have a few girls in mind who they think might make a good “Bachelorette.” But you can’t say anyone was chosen before they even stepped foot in the mansion. Front runners? Yes. Already chosen? No.

1. Regarding the reader email from last week who asked if Brooks was paid to leave, I think that if he had stayed for 15 minutes of fame, that would’ve been a sh*tty thing to do if he wasn’t into her. So I actually respect that he left. Money talks though. Not saying he did, or anyone has ever been offered money to stay/leave. But considering you’re not getting paid as a contestant to be on this show, seems like that’d be a good incentive if ever offered.

2. Are you surprised that this franchise still has the contestants doing activities like skydiving after what happened to Eric Hill? Colton wasn’t into Tayshia anyway, so it was all for nothing? Eric Hill didn’t die skydiving though. He was paragliding and got caught in a burst of wind.

3. Are you surprised that Clare is still single? I thought about this after you mentioned that the top 4 women from previous seasons are all in relationships. Tough to say if I’m surprised. Everyone’s different.

4. I know people are always asking if they will ever cast a lead from outside the franchise again. I think when they picked Juan Pablo, since he didn’t last long and never had a one on one date, they didn’t know him well and he turned out to be a pr nightmare for them. So they won’t take a chance on someone they are not familiar with at all. They want a lead who understands how the show works, will comply with their demands, won’t question them, and won’t embarrass them publicly. Precisely why we’re at, I believe, 25 seasons in a row now where the lead was on a previous season.

5. A lot of your emailers have been complaining about how young and immature the women this season are. Since many people expected this to be a boring season, I think that this cast gave the producers the exact amount of drama what they wanted. Plus, I think it is easier for the show to find 22-23 year olds who haven’t established themselves in their careers yet than it is to find women in their thirties who would have to leave or quit their jobs to come on this show. So unfortunately, I think this show will only continue to cast predominantly extremely young women. As it always has. I tweet out that chart every year of the average age of the women of this show vs the men. It’s always the same. 23 seasons now and you’ve basically kept roughly the same average age of the women every season no matter how old the “Bachelor” was. Can’t argue with 23 seasons. They do what works for them.

6. It seems like the women (besides Courtney) disliked Nicole more than Demi. Do you think that the editors spared her from the villain edit because her brother has autisim and that wouldn’t have fit the narrative that they wanted for her? Or do you think they thought that Demi made better TV?

Comment: Demi was more entertaining TV for sure. Annoyed me, but plenty of people found her to be funny. I will give Demi this though: last night on the roundtable, she acted normal. And was 1000x more likable. My problem with her from Day 1 is how she tried too hard. She didn’t need to. You saw her last night. She answered questions, didn’t try to hog attention, and didn’t make everything about her or have silly ITM’s. Granted it was live so she couldn’t, and I’m sure in Paradise she’ll go back to calling women bitches and trashing them behind their backs in ITM’s like she did this season. But last night? That Demi was likable.

Hi Steve,

1. Not that it matters, but did your sources give you any indication/guesses on who was likely to be the second place finisher had the Cassie situation not happened? Like, who would have gone home for the final three to two rose ceremony? While each sit down was happening, I felt like it could have been either. I didn’t hear. But judging from what we watched. Seemingly you’d think he was into Hannah more than Tayshia. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he would’ve taken her to the final 2. He might’ve spared her showing up that day and making it worse. We’ll never know.

2. At the point that Tayshia/Hannah G. was on the hot seat, did she know definitively she wasn’t the Bachelorette or did she still think she had a chance to do a great “audition?” I’m pretty sure they knew. If we’re to believe Chris Harrison, he said last night that Facetime conversation with Hannah B happened two weeks ago. So that was possibly before WTA taped, which was on 2/22. All depends on how loosely Chris meant “two weeks.” Roughly two weeks? EXACTLY two weeks? But seeing Hannah having a makeover for WTA, I think they either already knew and hadn’t told her yet, or, she already knew.

3. Do you think having the “normal” ending on the Bachelor of a final two, one gets rejected at the alter, the other gets a proposal is irrevocably done? As in, it won’t excite audiences anymore? We’ve had too many “shocking, crazy endings” in a row now. I mean, it’s only been two (Arie with the “unedited” Lauren swap, Colton with the no body left at the end) but I wonder if that has whetted the audience’s appetite to not want normal. But then again, they haven’t done that for the Bachelorette. It’s a good question. I don’t think it’s done forever. But when you’re 38 seasons and 17 years into a show, you definitely need to change things up. I think we’ll get some normal ones and some not-so-normal ones.

4. Do you think the show is sexist? If yes, in what ways? (even if that’s just the DWTS stuff, for example) For sure. I tweeted it last night, but could you imagine if we had a virgin “Bachelorette.” Do you honestly think Chris Harrison would’ve sat on live TV for two days straight in the MeToo Era and teased whether or not that woman had finally had sex? Yet, he can do it 100 times for Colton. That’s one of many examples.

5. Any insights on why they chose Hannah B. so “early” this year? Maybe I have a faulty memory because there are so many well known stories of last minute swaps, but it seems like she’s been concretely the one for a lot longer before the announcement than is typical. I think it’s possible others have been notified earlier and I just didn’t find out til later.

6. Silly random question: Do you think Chris Harrison is legitimately invested enough in these people’s lives/their stories that if he saw the second runner up from, say, season 4 on the street he’d remember him/her?

Comment: He’d remember them, sure. Would he carry on a long conversation? Probably not.



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