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Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” BIP Episode 6 Thoughts, & DWTS Cast Announced

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Hi, Steve!

It’s my first time writing to you, but have been following your site since Ben’s season. I’m from Romania (Europe), btw, just so you know how far you have reached. 🙂

I was wondering what you think about the Hannah G. situation. I have to admit that she is one of my favourites from Bachelor nation, so might be a little biased. I feel like she’s being super slut-shamed (and not even to her face) and really don’t think that should happen. Isn’t Paradise supposed to be about testing the waters and seeing where your heart stands?

How is what she’s doing different than what Amanda did two seasons ago when she was hanging out with Nick and then switched to Josh? Or how is this different than all the other situations in BIP? Is this because the other guy is Blake and people are already riled up about him?

I know from your spoilers that she ends up with Dylan, but I feel like this kind of hate that she receives from the other women is really unjustified. I get that Dylan should be upset, but the others? C’mon…

Thank you for all that you do for this crazy fanbase,

Comment: I think a lot has to do with the fact it was Blake. And at the time, neither of them had mentioned anything to anyone about him visiting Alabama a week before the show. Just because Dylan followed her around like a puppy dog and told her from day 1 he wasn’t interested in someone else, doesn’t mean that she immediately had to reciprocate those feelings to him. But yeah, because it was Blake on the other end, and a vast majority of their viewing audience wasn’t aware of the fact that Blake and Hannah G. had met up pre-show and were into each other, I think that’s where people’s anger stems from. She didn’t do anything wrong to me.
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Why is it ok for Caitlyn to spend all this time and energy calling Blake on the carpet for essentially using her, but it’s ok for her to use Cam for a rose and lead him on?

Seems like the real issue is Caitlyn using her power as a woman to exploit men. Lets clear one thing up that A TON of people are getting wrong on email and Twitter. Her name is Caelynn, not Caitlyn. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that one this season. I think you know my thoughts on Caelynn by now. She’s kinda pulled the wool over a lot of people’s eyes.

My useless other thoughts:

I want to first say I’m a strong supporter of equality, and especially for women finding their voices and not being exploited. I can back this up, read on.

The women who slept with Blake have their faculties about themselves. They choose to engage with him on their own accord outside of a relationship. Is this a good look for Blake? Of course not. But if your hooking up with someone – this absolutely comes with the territory. A hookup is not a guarantee for anything. In fact, if anything it’s a guarantee that whatever happened won’t flourish into a relationship.

I find Caitlyn’s behavior -and any other woman who would support this or behave in a similar fashion to be appalling. Where does this end and what kind of impact does this have on young men? If Caitlyn was successful in her accusations, would that not have had a profound impact on Blake and his future? These are some serious claims she almost got away with.

Let’s all remember it’s imperative to be mindful and respect the ‘me too’ movement (yes, I belong to that club), but let’s also consider how false claims can ruin someone’s life in profound ways. It’s not ok for Caitlyn to do this on national television and essentially get away with it. There will be plenty of followers now supporting her believing Blake ‘silenced’ and ‘kept her a secret’. Where is Caitlyn’s accountability?

-signed, a lesbian fan

Comment: And her “false claims” is exactly why Blake had to post their text messages. Don’t worry, I think more will be coming on the reunion show if I had to guess.
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Hi Steve,

I know you’ve mentioned in a few of your reader emails recently that contestants are drunk or hammered in a lot their actions this season. Does that mean ABC’s become more lenient on their alcohol policy since the Corinne/DeMario situation a few years ago?

Comment: Not that I’m aware of. I’m told it’s still the same. 2 drinks per hour. However, I don’t know if that’s been technically defined. What is 2 drinks? 2 beers? 2 hard alcohol drinks? 2 shots? We’ve never really known the answer to that. And while I think the rule is in place, I still find it hard to believe someone is walking around with a clipboard writing down what time and what drink each person is having. Hey, maybe that is happening and everything is under control and they are being strict monitors about it. But something tells me they probably get pretty lax about it. Do I think they’re letting people take 5-10 shots of alcohol a night? No. But I also don’t think they are being so rigid with keeping track of everyone’s drinks and at what point they’re drinking it.
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Hi Steve,

I’m getting very tired of people arguing that Tyler is her second choice and that because she didn’t pick means he can do whatever he wants. Hear me out:

Firstly, I don’t think Tyler can be considered a second choice. Maybe in the real world that would be the case. But they dated for minimal hours on a TV show knowing that they were being taped almost the entire time. Then at the end of the show Hannah has to decide who she wants to spend the rest of her life with based on the few interactions she has had. Everyone always says the relationship begins when the show ends so after choosing Jed she sees him in the real world and learns about who he really is. Isn’t it fair for her to realize that what she had with him wasn’t real love and with Tyler publicly calling her a queen/saying he’ll always be her biggest fan, she believed she was wrong all along about who was best for her. I don’t think there’s that big of a difference between her situation and what Jason and Arie did. In the end all 3 of them realized they were wrong and who they chose wasn’t right for them. Once they are in the real world it’s a completely different game and the way you get to know each other isn’t the same as it was. People seem to forget that the show isn’t real life and they treat situations on the show as if they are. Hannah thought she wanted to be with a fake version of Jed vs the Bachelorette version of Tyler so I don’t think its unreasonable for her to want to see what happens if she got the chance to actually date Tyler and see if what they had was true love.

I also don’t agree with the argument that because Hannah didn’t chose Tyler, he doesn’t “owe” her anything. I think he owes her respect and consideration. If he truly loved her and truly wanted to marry her, wouldn’t he respect her enough and what they had to not date someone so publicly immediately after, especially after being photographed leaving her apartment days earlier? I think its extremely inconsiderate and sheds doubt on all the things he had said to Hannah this entire time. One second he’s talking about how amazing she is and the next he’s dating one of the biggest supermodels in the world. I’m not saying if he doesn’t date Hannah he shouldn’t be allowed to date anyone, but based on the way he’s going about it just seems straight up mean. His worlds don’t match his actions and therefore I don’t trust him. If you truly love someone, even as a friend, wouldn’t you want to make sure that you don’t cause them pain and think about how they must be feeling? Hannah now looks like a girl who was rejected and rather than having an amazing story about finding herself all people are talking about is Tyler and his new girlfriend (even in interviews post show). People are insulting her saying she should’ve chosen him from the start. Based on the way he is now dismissing her even though he knows cameras are following his every move shows that Hannah was right not to choose him after all.

Sorry for the rant.

Comment: Tyler didn’t owe her anything I don’t believe, but, I do agree that the timing of his public flaunting of Gigi is pretty bad optics. However, I just think that shows more to the fact that the date with Hannah wasn’t ever that serious and it was just done for a storyline. And that sucks. If he wants to date Gigi, great. He has every right to. But either don’t be seen with Hannah two days before that, or, just don’t go out with Hannah in the first place when I think he knew it wasn’t going anywhere.
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Hi Steve,

This is a bit out of date now, but I’ve just started a new job in the last month and keep forgetting to email you.

A lot of folks are saying that Jed cheated Hannah of her happy ending. And yes, he’s a manipulative jerk and I buy that argument to a degree. My other piece of that though is that Luke P helped ruin it too. Luke kept gaslighting and manipulating Hannah – and she kept giving him chances like so many women do in abusive relationships – particularly young women who don’t 100% know themselves and their boundaries yet. I would argue that all that drama the whole way through probably distracted her from noticing red flags with the other guys because they likely seemed relatively normal compared to the big glaring, screaming red flags and drama she was going through with Luke, and then she really only had that short time in Greece with less choice left. I wonder if maybe she might have noticed things about Jed if she could have focused properly sooner, or maybe would have seen something wonderful in one of the other guys and gotten her happy ending. Eh, we can’t pin it on that because we just don’t know. She couldn’t have known what Jed was doing while the show was filming. It’s on Jed, not Luke P.

I was also wondering what your thoughts are on the ending of Love Island, and the show generally. I know you were watching it at one point! Kyra confused me a lot when it came to Cash, and seriously what was up with Weston??? He got a saintly edit, then all of a sudden he was a f*ckboy player. Gotta love reality TV I guess!!

Anyway, thanks for all that you do and I’m so excited for Temptation Island coming back!

Comment: Well, after the first two weeks of the show, because I have DirecTV, CBS got taken off for about 20 days, so I missed the last 2 weeks of the show. I heard what happened, but, other than that it’s tough for me to comment since I didn’t actually see anything that went down the last 2 weeks. It was just either relayed to me in texts or I read a recap the next day, and that never told the full story.
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Hi Steve!

I’m new to reading your blog, so I might have missed this in the past. I was wondering if you could clarify what, if anything, went on between Dean and Caelynn before them meeting on the beach? I remember them talking about how she slid into his DMs before going in the show, and I think someone said he never answered her because she was a nobody. It sounds like she is just using the show to get to Dean (I could totally be wrong). If so, then I really question how genuine she is. It just seems weird that she slides into his DMs, and then when he comes to Paradise he takes her, and now they’re dating.

Thanks!

Comment: Yeah, she brought that up at the “Women Tell All” on Colton’s season. Or maybe Onyeka did, but it was known that Caelynn slid into Dean’s DM’s long before Caelynn ever appeared on Colton’s season. And I think he ghosted her. And now he wants her again. Give it a few months and I’m sure he’ll be on to a new flavor of the month.

I don’t think there’s any future for these two. The thing I’m waiting for the most is which one fires off shade at the other one first when this eventually fades out. We know Dean has that ability in him as he did it to Lesley after their breakup. As for Caelynn, well, we know she had no problem shading people who she doesn’t like either. Get your bets in! Who shades the other first?
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Steve,

I think people might not know how to explain exactly why they can celebrate Demi but condone others that have had other “relationships” or dating situations prior to the show. Maybe people are attempting to empathize with the added difficulty of accepting yourself for your sexuality, so they’re just giving her more of a break. Doesn’t seem like the worst thing. I think we’ll absolutely trend towards a society who would treat these situations the same in 5 or so years. I look forward to that time..

Comment: I would fully understand that sentiment IF this was Demi’s first foray into a same sex relationship. It wasn’t. Long before she was on Colton’s season, Demi had a girlfriend. Family and friends knew about it. Don’t know how they couldn’t have since Demi and her gf posted pics of each other all the time together kissing. I’ve seen all of them. That’s why all of this is so exaggerated and not believable to me. I have no issue whatsoever with Demi being in a same sex relationship. But the way she’s exploiting it, and pre-planning it all while pretending it’s organic is what makes her so fake. I actually feel bad for Demi. I think she’s pretty lost.
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Hi Steve-

Just a couple questions for you.

Why do you strongly dislike Tayshia and Demi?

First off, with Tayshia, I think she is fantastic at interviews and I think she would be a great person to have on your podcast one of these times. While she does get sucked into drama, I don’t think she tries to and she does give off a more genuine real vibe than most of the girls here. I guess my question for you is, has your opinion of her changed since paradise? I know she did some things in Colton’s season that I didn’t like either. I wouldn’t say I strongly dislike her. I really don’t think about her much. I’ll comment what happens on the show with her and what happened pre-show with her boyfriend before Colton’s season, but I think she’s really no different than most of the contestants. Gonna ride this train as long as she can.

With Demi, I understand that she’s all about Demi, but I think that’s her charecter and why TV loves her. She’s no different than Jordan in that sense. Jordan came on to Paradise saying he was the mayor of paradise. Demi is refreshing in the sense that she made her tv image and is confindent with it and with herself. A lot better TV to watch than Nicole crying, Caelynn being the same old mean girl from high school, and then the other people who are kind of just.. “there”. I think she was strategic in making her TV persona and I think it is all about Demi. Doesn’t everyone who goes on think it’s all about them?

Thanks so much for your blog and podcast! I’m a huge fan!

Comment: Read my answer in the previous question. And honestly, I think Demi is the opposite of confident. Because when you have to announce it consistently what a bad bitch you are and queer queen, to me, that’s a persona you’re trying to convince yourself of. Like I said, I think she’s pretty lost unfortunately.
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This Blake/caelynn bullcrap. Ugh! Neither one of them is right. They both need to grow the heck up. What choice did Blake have other than releasing the messages? No one would have listened to him otherwise. I feel like it’s the difference between the Hayley/Caylee situation. Hayley had tangible proof about jed, Caylee had nothing but her word on Peter. And of course Caelynn is mortified. She made it out that Blake was so in the wrong and didn’t mention her side in this at all. Blake is an f-boy, but he is single. So, if that’s the road he chooses? And these girls know it, it’s all over social media and has been. I dont USE social media, and I know it. That’s their world, so you cant tell me these chicks didnt know. Caelynn came on in a jealous rage. She outed Blake. She was talking about Kristinas sex life. You cant throw people under the bus without telling your part in things. Blake is oh so wrong, and not the smartest cookie, but so was Caelynn, in other ways.

Look, I’m proud that we have come so far that women aren’t unheard anymore. However, now I feel like we have gone too far in the other direction. Men are automatically seen as the guilty party. But guess what? Women lie! I’m a woman, I have been raped twice in my life. I have a daughter, my world, who is the product of one of those rapes. I am PROUD that I can stand up and my story will be heard. But not all men do the things women accuse them of. I just dont know. This whole situation makes me sick to my stomach. As a woman of rape, how can she accuse someone of silencing her when… I just dont understand. Soooooo frustrating.

Whew, I feel better. That was eating me up. I know I’m late to the party, but I dont get to watch the show as it airs, so I’m behind the times.

By the way, hi Steve! I’ve been reading your site for years and love every minute of it. Impressive! Well thanks for sharing that story with us. You didn’t need to, but if it helped get things off your chest, all the power to you. Sorry that happened. As I’ve said, what Caelynn through out there from the second she stepped in Mexico was very defamatory. Blake didn’t have any other options. Yes, in the process of doing what he did, he hurt someone in return, but, she hurt him by blabbing all of that the second she arrived in Mexico. She can’t go off like she did, get retaliated against with private texts being shared, then get mad after the fact. She basically did it first. She should’ve realized there could’ve been consequences to what she did. And there were.

Finally a question for you. Are we just getting older, or are the casts of the show’s just getting younger each year? Or less immature? Or more dramatic? The last paradise, Coltons season and now this Paradise, everyone just seems so young and kind of ridiculous. Maybe I’m just getting too old, but I cant help myself, I must watch!

Thanks for all you do. You rock my socks!

Comment: No, the cast will always be young. That’s just the way this show is. They will cast more younger women on the “Bachelor” than older women. It’s never changed in 23 seasons really, nor will it in the future. All you need to do is look at the average age when Nick and Arie were our Bachelors. Both guys were 35 and older, yet, their women’s ages were really no different than Colton’s, who was what, 26 when he was the Bachelor? 27?
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Just curious as to if you finished watching Love Island USA? I, like you, put a deadline of like the end of the second week to see if it got any better before I stopped watching. Needless to say, it did not improve, but I found myself bored and, with nothing else really to watch, kept watching until the finale in which, predictably, Zac and Elizabeth were crowned the winners. Like The Bachelor and Bachelorette , these couples have an extremely low chance of making it in the real world (Elizabeth is a total babe and well, Zac works in a grocery store) Since I kept watching, I found myself drawn to posts to see what others thought and found for the most part everyone said how Love Island UK was far better than the US version. I was skeptical and it took me a week or so to look into watching on Hulu. Oh. My. God. This version is fabulous! It has it all (and no censorship!)…gorgeous contestants, sex, fighting, cussing, smoking, drinking, fun challenges and (when you can understand their accents!) you will learn a whole new vocabulary of slang words! Their banter is brilliant babe! (insert english accent here!) And, not that this is a big draw, but more couples have gotten married from the couple of seasons I’ve watched so far than all the Bachelor seasons combined! I’ve already binged the first 2 seasons and have started on the third. Only drawback is that it is a huge investment in the time it takes b/c there are like 35 episodes per season, but I skip the recap episode each week and that helps. Just wanted to encourage you to give it a try because it seems right up your alley.

Comment: Yeah, I think the UK version works better (even though I’ve never seen it), because you can get away with a hell of a lot more on UK television than you can in the states. Not to mention “Love Island” is on network TV out here, which means even LESS you can get away with. Maybe if they moved it to cable, or had an All-Access like CBS they could pull it off better, but as long as it’s on network TV, there’s just too many standards it has to abide by, and it’ll never approach the raunchiness I hear the UK version presents.
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Hey Steve, im probably early for your next reader emails, but here it goes. I just read an interview Kevin (from last year’s paradise) did with People Mag about Blake and him releasing the texts, here is what he said:

“At the start, he said, ‘I don’t want to do it, I know there is a line between the reality show and bringing in that,’” said Wendt, 35. “You shouldn’t be hanging out before the show anyway, and he knew that. He knew it’s against our contract, you’re not supposed to be mingling with everybody, you are supposed to wait until the beach.”

Is it really on the contract what you are not supposed to hang out before Paradise? I feel like it’s stupid to put that on a contract if there’s no punishment for it. Most of these people were seeing or at least talking to each other before Paradise and apparently the producers couldn’t care less since it brings so much drama (and ratings). What do you think?

Comment: Is it in the contract? I think so. Do they ever enforce it? No. Kinda like how you’re supposed to stay off social media until the cast is announced. Yeah right, like that ever happens. Hell, most of these people jump back on social media the second they get eliminated, which always helps with spoilers.
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Hey there- I just listened to the podcast with Jennifer Pozner and I just wanted to say THANK YOU for posting this! I am a newbie to watching reality television- I felt like an outsider when talking to friends that were so invested in these shows and I had never watched one. They say they love reality tv because they don’t have to “think” when watching it. Well I can say after watching this season of the bachelorette and now watching Paradise I apparently am the complete opposite. I think so much my head hurts! I actually found myself following these people on social media to see if I could catch a glimpse of a different side to them…. constantly questioning how the hell they could put themselves into these situations. Reading their followers comments protecting them and bashing anything critical I was so confused!!! Jennifer’s take is eye opening because I know for me I went into this thinking “Reality” tv show… meaning this is Real Life… when in fact it is the farthest thing from real life. This is still manufactured entertainment. Social Media has taken everything to another platform and it’s like watching a soap opera play out. Thanks to Jennifer I’m definitely going to play bingo when watching further episodes!!

Comment: Oh good. I’m glad you listened then. Jennifer really breaks down how truly fake this show can be (and others as well). It’s definitely not real life or anything close to it.
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Read your Tweets and listened to your podcast today…. Can I add my 2 cents?

I don’t believe they’d have let Demi bring a male friend on just because Demi was “confused”. I mean, think how many other contestants in the franchise would have loved to have their opposite sex significant other brought on the show so they could gain “clarity” about their feelings toward that person.

Nope. I think it simply boils down to this: TPTB just could not pass up an opportunity to proclaim themselves champions of same-sex relationships, especially when it could be done with minimal fuss via this little BIP story line. Yep. It’s exactly why they allowed it. Which sets a truly bad precedent. But honestly, they don’t care. They pick and choose who they allow to get away with murder on this show, and Demi is one of their “untouchables.”

I’m confused. Are Hannah B. et al. okay with Derek being used, without his knowledge, simply to further the Demi/Kristian story line? I’m assuming he knew nothing. (If I’m wrong, then I guess they’re all complicit in trying to put one over on us.)

Here is my thinking, if you have a minute:

The franchise plunked down a bunch of money to bring the girlfriend on the show. Why would they go to that trouble if they thought there was a possibility that Kristian was going to be quickly booted off, or Demi was not going to propose at the end?

Also, Kristian had to know enough in advance so she could clear her schedule for the necessary week or two, right?

My point here is you’re right, there was clearly some pre-planning; bringing Kristian does not look to me like a spur of the moment development.

And common sense would suggest that part of the pre-planning was also “How do we make this look like a legitimate (organic) story line”? The answer: “How about having Demi pretend to date a guy on the show, but she’ll decide her heart is just not into it, and that’s because she may be in love with someone else, and it will turn out to be a woman! And then we can bring that person on [something they’ve never done for a straight couple, have they?], and they’ll have a fairy tale same-sex ending, and the franchise is golden for being so same-sex-relationship friendly!”

So, back to Derek: Since I think common sense tells us there was definitely some planning involved in this story arc, how can anyone be okay with Derek just being an unwitting tool, used to carry out the greater plot line? (Again, I guess if he knew what was happening, he’s just as bad as the rest of them. But if not, why is using him okay?)

Thank you for letting me chime in.

Comment: Pretty much all accurate, except for the “plunked down a bunch of money.” Kristian (like every other person out there) gets paid to be on BIP. But I honestly doubt she got any more than anyone else. Probably less actually because the audience doesn’t have a clue who she is.
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Hi Steve,

Love your column! I probably would not watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette/BIP if not for you. Today I was texting a friend about BIP and something came up in our discussion that I can’t recall if you addressed before. What about if they made Jordan the next Bachelor? He is certainly entertaining and I could only imagine the types of girls they would cast for him. Total train wreck. Now that would be entertainment! I know it probably won’t happen and they will probably go with boring Peter. I will still watch of course but Jordan would be so much better!

Take care!

Comment: I really don’t think that’ll ever happen unfortunately. However, I do think Jordan should be the bartender on Paradise from here on out.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. jeepers

    August 21, 2019 at 10:29 PM

    I wont say which email was mine, but I appreciate you sticking it in here and answering my question. Thank you.

  2. justwondering

    August 22, 2019 at 8:00 AM

    First time posting here, but longtime reader. I can’t help but wonder if the Demi situation blows up in the producer’s face. Her storyline is now clearly done—it’s hard to see how they could bring her back. If the blowback from this clearly fake situation escalates, does she throw producers under the bus and say they made her do it and they were trying to use the LGBQT community for profit. It’s clear that she loves the attention and spotlight. Is this her only way to keep it? I certainly wouldn’t trust her not to try it.

  3. jp22

    August 26, 2019 at 6:31 AM

    Just an observation re the commenter who said the contestants seem younger all the time. We’ve moved into a generation of kids that stay living at home or enmeshed with their parents all through their twenties. Also few of the contestants have established much of a career to speak of (thus seeking fame of course). So naturally they seem immature compared to when the show began. Back then people had their own apartments and jobs and weren’t involved in all the illusions of social media that just mess with their heads.

  4. dave4881

    August 27, 2019 at 10:04 PM

    Demi & the Dyke, Bachelor’s Abomination! Leave that crap in West Hollywood or San Francisco!

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