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Reader Emails

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

Photo Credit: ABC

Hey Steve,

I have a few questions for you that are centered around the topic of diversity in the franchise. My friends and I talk about this topic a bunch, and we were hoping you could weigh in:

Do you think potential leads of color are held to a higher standard than their white counterparts? (I.e. I think that if Mike had been the one with the girlfriend instead of Peter, he wouldn’t even be a part of the next Bachelor conversation). This is merely speculation, but I feel like since we don’t have as many Person of Color (POC) candidates to begin with, any POC candidate that is a serious contender is heavily scrutinized and is held to a higher standard because it’s more of a risk for the network. Additionally, think the network is cautious to place a lead of color at this exact moment in time because they’re already rocking the boat with the whole Demi thing and might be afraid to lose more of their core fan base (which is wack obviously). Tough to say because I can’t speak for those people. A short answer is (and the one they will give when they ultimately make their decision and it isn’t Mike), is that they are looking for someone who is sincere, who’s ready to find love, who’s got a good story, who’s…zzzzzzzzzzz. Same ol’, same ol’. The thing is, whoever they pick they can justify it with any reasoning they want. It’s still their opinion. So it doesn’t even matter what reasoning they ultimately give. They’ll pick someone and people will have to live with it. And they will because they’ll be watching come January.

Do you think the franchise is ready for another lead of color? Do you think America is? Obviously, the network is making strides in the right direction (although I agree with you on the shadiness of the whole Demi situation), and many people (including ABC execs & Chris Harrison) have recently gone on the record to mention the show is making more strides to be diverse, but a lot of their core audience are people who might not be the most progressive or welcoming of diversity within the franchise. It’s 2019, but racism and other biases still run rampant. Also as amazing as Rachel Lindsay is, her season saw a dip in ratings compared to Jojo’s season the year before, and the network might be afraid to lose viewers since the majority of people who watch the show are white. Personally, I think casting more POC (and other minority groups) in lead roles would be a good way to keep the show fresh & with the times.

Thanks for reading my stream of consciousness. Really interested in hearing the thoughts of a franchise expert. I will be watching no matter who is the lead, and I like both Mike and Peter. Hope you’re having a good day!

Comment: They’ve gotten better over the years – but I don’t think they’re there just yet. Don’t see it happening.
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Hi Steve,

Two questions; firstly loosely (very loosely, I saw about 1/3 of last nights) watching BIP and see production are once again arranging for special things like a table on the beach, or a marching band or whatever. These contestants are all ‘experienced’ by this point, do they really believe this was arranged by their ‘current love interest’ (or whatever) for them? Are they that naive or do they just have to play into it for production? No, they all know nothing is arranged by the person they’re dating.

Second one, I was thinking about this for a while but there seems to be a gap in shows in the fall (maybe they’re filming Bachelor then) but nothing on TV. They could fit another show in, do you see them trying another show that I won’t even try and name with a gay / lesbian bachelor? I know this was briefly touched on in the last podcast but this would be a show with 31 (or whatever) woman or men, same sex dating. Or even including bisexual/trans contestants here?

Comment: If they’re not there yet with a POC as a lead, they certainly aren’t going there with a gay/lesbian lead. The network definitely isn’t there yet with that.
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1. One of your readers from last week asked if anyone ever turned down the role of the lead and you said not that you heard of. You forgot about Chris Lambton turning down the role to pursue Peyton and Ty Brown deciding to pursue Elizabeth Kitt. That’s why they ended up giving Brad a second season. Yes, that is true.

2. At the end of last night’s episode, they showed a “In loving Memory” of somebody. Did one of the producers die? I saw that, but didn’t google who that was. I’m guessing it’s someone involved in the behind the scenes workings of the show.

3. Don’t you think that it was odd that Onyeka decided to leave so early in the show, even though more guys were coming on later in the season? I’m guessing she didn’t want the extra $400 a day lol. I guess she didn’t want that extra fat paycheck coming to her. Or she cared about her dignity. One of the two.

4. Since Jed is obviously not going to land a record deal lol, do you think he will end becoming a social media influencer? What will he be influencing?

5. Now that Vienna has been on the podcast, would you ever have Jake on the podcast? I find it alarming that she said he would throw things when he was angry and that he treated her so badly that she had to move out of his place when he was still on dwts. I’m not sure if you would even want to give him a platform.

Comment: I don’t have any interest in having him on really.
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Hello Reality Steve,

Great recap today – I like your sarcastic humor and your take on the Demi situation.

Four brief things:

1) Why do you think the whole Nicole Onyeka feud has not been brought up or played a part in paradise? Was it just too long ago and no one cares anymore? Apparently.

2) Thanks for noting that Dylan is so obsessed and expressing love for Hannah on day number seven?!? I have found him annoying since day one because the show is about exploring and keeping options open at first and I think he is way over the top into Hannah and obsessed in an unhealthy way! Too much too soon – but what can you expect from a show where people get engaged after 21 days. I get that you spend way more time with someone on this show than you do on the “Bachelor/ette,” but that still is a bit too strong for day 7. Especially when she was also hooking up with Blake.

3) Do you think Blake is kicking himself for not taking Hannah out with his first date card? Do you think that would have changed how everything played out significantly? I wonder if that was production’s influence. If he’s so into Hannah it doesn’t make sense why he took out Tayshia. PS I also support Kristina keeping Blake around over the other three. Absolutely 100%. If Blake asks Hannah out first, my guess is they’re a couple throughout the whole show and Dylan isn’t even in the picture. Bad mistake on Blake’s part.

4) Last night during Dylan and Hannah’s boring date I realized that you are right and if this show were just about love it would be completely boring. The drama is what makes us watch!

Keep em coming…. and even if they don’t officially give you credit for announcing Hannah on DWS you have a big and loyal following and we all know where credit is due!

Comment: The reason I bring it up is two-fold: 1) How many times have you seen me link to US Weekly stories in my Twitter feed or in my column? ALL. THE. TIME. Hell, I did it twice on Twitter during the show Monday night. 2) US Weekly HAS credited me in the past. So it’s not like they refuse to ever do it, which is what makes so little sense. Their picking and choosing is so random and unprofessional.
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Hi Steve!

Hope you are doing well! Long time, first time. Had some questions/thoughts:

1) Jordan admitted that he was on the chopping block going into the rose ceremony. I certainly did not think that he would be receiving a rose. Perhaps he thought so as well and figured, might as well go out with a bang, stand up for Clay (as misguided and completely unnecessary as that was), and stick it to Christian one last time? It’s very possible that’s where his mind was at.

2) I don’t blame you for choosing to ignore Chad’s tweets. Unfortunately, my Google feed tees up such news to me with embarrassing regularity. His tweet about Sarah Heron caught my eye. He claims he was frankenbited and did not actually call her what the show says he did — I don’t want to repeat it. Interesting if it’s true (we have learned enough from you and from Unreal to know that it’s certainly possible), but also interesting if it’s not — wouldn’t you think he’d remember calling her that? Perhaps he was too drunk when he said it? This was before the whole Corinne incident, after which production claimed that they would start monitoring the contestants’ drinking. Not that this would absolve him in any way, but just thought it was worth pointing out. What do you think? I think I can’t ever believe a word that comes out of Chad Johnson’s mouth.

3) Had my fantasy football draft last night which got me thinking about Clay and whether he was any closer to getting signed to a team. Apparently he’s now exploring the XFL and considering switching positions from tight end to fullback. Good for him for also exploring alternate careers(?).

Thank you for everything you do, and please continue to ignore the haters!

Comment: I haven’t heard what his football aspirations are. I’d say the NFL is a long shot. But XFL could definitely be a route he could go.
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Hi Steve,

First reader email here! Always loved reading your posts – your site is the entire reason I got into the show! A few questions.

Is the editing finalized before the show starts airing? Or do they edit the later episodes as the initial episodes are airing? Have they ever gone back and altered editing based on news (like Jed) or lead decisions (like Caelynn and Hannah B)? They’re always editing as the season goes on.

You mentioned that five bachelor nation folks said they didn’t think Hannah/Dylan would last. Was this just based on their opinion after watching BIP, or behind the scenes/ personal knowledge?

Comment: I didn’t ask, but considering they all came around the time of Hannah and Dylan’s date, my guess is it was just their impression from watching.
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Hey Steve,

Love what you do – only reason I watch these stupid shows!

I agree with you 100% about the whole Demi situation. Replace Demi with Blake and Kristian with “any female,” and people would be livid! However, I suspect our opinion will not go over well with the LGBT community OR all the Demi lovers from Colton’s (and now Hannah’s) season.

Hope you don’t get too much hate mail!

Comment: Oh, I’m sure. Although there are members of the LGBTQ community who aren’t on board with the way this is being handled. Not everyone is praising it. The Demi lovers? Yeah, there’s no reaching people like that. They’re so far up her ass they can’t see straight. So I don’t really care what they think since they cannot look at the situation objectively.
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Do you know what Ashley I was referring to in regards to Mike and why she doesn’t think he should be the bachelor? She said she hasn’t heard the best things from people that were on paradise from him (maybe comments he made about the girls) and that he didn’t come across the way he does on TV when she met him, but she admits it was briefly. Have you heard anything that would maybe make people think twice about him getting the gig? I’ve heard some negative things about him, but I don’t speak with Ashley, so I have no idea if what she’s talking about is what I’ve heard. And it’s nothing horrible or scandalous. Just some negative stuff about the guy in relationships.

Do you think going forward, the bachelor is most likely to be picked from the guys on Paradise? I mean I’m sure Peter’s still in the running but who’s really still thinking about him at this point when people are invested in paradise? I get why they went with Nick and Colton. And it’s kind of hard for any of the top 3 guys to go on Paradise the season following their bachelorette season so with the way things have gone, maybe Peter is more likely to get the gig if he goes on BIP next summer & doesn’t find anybody. We’ll have to see who they go with this season before making that determination. But even then, if they did, that’d only be 2 seasons in a row.

All Hannah’s appearance on the show showed/told us was that this whole Demi/Kristian thing was orchestrated. Also, did Derek know about Demi’s plan? Or was he an innocent bystander and just didn’t care because he’s not on the show for love either? Judging by social media, doesn’t seem like him and Demi have any bad blood whatsoever. I don’t think Derek knew the full story. Just what Demi had told him in Mexico.

I know this question is probably outplayed but I just can’t wrap my mind around WHY Blake didn’t just ask Hannah out with his date card? Was that producer’s doing that he take Tayshia? Because it makes zero sense.

Comment: It’s probably the $1 million question and I’m sure he’ll get around to answering it once he does his media rounds when the show is over. He’s gonna get asked it for sure.
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Hi Steve,

Long time fan. First time I’m writing. The podcast with Jennifer Pozner was so good. You can hear the passion in her voice about the phenomenon of “reality tv” and it’s impact. Anyone with a clear brain could have probably figured out that there’s not much reality going on here. You have also tried to drive the point home over the years of the manufactured drama and spliced together clips and conversations.

Over the last few years, I have been growing tired and bored of BIP. I haven’t watched it live for a few years as I find the need to fast forward through the nonsense. The production value is SO poor. The cast and dates are all recycled. These people in “paradise” look so uninterested. You have commented that you’re not sure what this show is trying to be and I agree 100%. Could they not muster a volleyball game, three legged race, charades, ANYTHING besides sitting around, drinking and talking smack about each other?? I honestly think the producers are wondering how little they can actually show before folks just give up. I was so sad to see Bibiana, Oneyka and Annalise return this year. We all know they are not going to find a partner on this show and I cringed during their scenes. Why would these ladies make themselves such pawns of this show? They want to be on camera, even looking sad and desperate. I think they just look at it as an opportunity to increase their brand, and hell with how they come off.

Have you noticed the large amount of air time GMA has been devoting to the Bachelor franchise? I’m so embarrassed for them. The anchors must hold back the eye rolls whenever they recap the drama from the previous night. I watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette as a distraction and I am SMH at why it deserves any more air time on a morning news show.

Thanks for being so doggone entertaining!

Comment: Yeah, it pains me to watch Michael Strahan interview someone from this franchise. You can tell he cares so little, doesn’t really follow the show, and some intern prepared him for every question to ask. Ugh. Cringeworthy. Kinda reminds me of Kimmel. He HATES having to talk “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” as much as he does.
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Hi Steve:

I wholeheartedly agree with you on Demi. I don’t understand why bachelor producers seem to be so into her.

On the “Women Tell All” what that other girl did to her with the pacifier was bad and I think right after she did it. She regretted it – at least she should have. other than that I don’t really like Demi. I don’t know how she convinced them to make this a storyline for her. She wears a crown in the intro please – give me a break.
This whole thing was planned and is just dumb. I wish it was real same sex couple they focused on – that this charade. Unfortunately starting tonight, there’s 7 episodes left of it.

I really don’t understand the Jordan and Christian fight either. I get that Jordan was “sticking up” for his friend Clay – but that seemed to come out of no where. Is there more back story than what was shown on the show?

Comment: Other than their mini beef they had at the “Men Tell All” last season, not that I know of.
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Hey Steve,

The thing is, you’re totally right about the problem with bringing Kristian on when she’s never been associated with the Bachelor shows before and the viewers have no reason to care about her and her relationships. But they’ve painted themselves into a corner with a set of decisions, no one of which is inherently terrible, but put together they don’t give the show a way to make things work.

They want to bring LGBTQ contestants onto BIP, because it’s much more of a free-for-all setting than the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows, and the structure doesn’t need changing in order to make that happen. You just dump them in with the rest, and it’s fine. Except they’ve already established BIP as the “second chance at love” show where the contestants are all former Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants, and that’s what viewers are looking for. Meaning that in order to get LGBTQ people on BIP without making it this kind of mess, they would need to bring them onto the Bachelor or the Bachelorette. And they’d have to do it first.

They don’t want to bring LGBTQ people onto the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows, because those shows are structured differently and it would involve changing the show’s dynamics considerably. In order to have gay or lesbian contestants, you’d also need a gay or lesbian lead; and if you have only bisexual contestants competing for a straight lead, it’s arguably irrelevant what their orientation was in the first place. I mean, the premise is that they’re striving to get involved with a straight lead and stay monogamously with them for life, right? Never mind how rarely that actually happens; that’s still what the show pretends it’s aiming for every season.

On top of that, there is a huge deal made about the difference between each contestant’s relationship with the lead (romantic, and singleminded bordering on obsessive) and their relationship with the other contestants in the house (platonic, either friendly or rivalrous). If they bring in people who are potentially romantically interested in each other instead of in the lead, it changes the entire dynamic of the show. They’d have to decide whether they want to treat two contestants falling in love as a positive outcome or as a sign of “being there for the wrong reasons” and kick them off the show in scorn. Meanwhile, the whole thing would distract massively from the interactions between each contestant and the lead, which is supposed to be the core of the show.

Personally, I think it would be great to do all these things. Cast a gay Bachelor with a houseful of gay and bi men as his dates! Cast bisexual women competing for a straight Bachelor, or for a lesbian Bachelorette, and let the drama roll when a few of them pair off among themselves instead! Cast a bisexual Bachelorette with a houseful of both men and women for her to choose from!! All of these sound like terrific ways to improve the franchise and bring it into line with the realities of modern romance, and it would all make for great, dramatic television.

But ABC has made it extremely clear that it wants no part of any of these ideas, which is its privilege. It’s got a formula that makes a lot of money, and which is entirely based around stereotypical heterosexual romance tropes, and it has no idea what kind of ratings it would get with a Bachelor who makes out with men on screen. So it’s not touching the whole concept with a ten-foot pole.

Which means it has painted itself into a corner. Its normal casting method involves taking only former Bachelor/Bachelorette candidates. But they’re all straight and it doesn’t want all the BIP contestants to be straight. But to get BIP contestants who aren’t straight, they’d need to change the Bachelor/Bachelorette. But they don’t want to do that. And round and round and round we go.

Something had to break, somewhere in there. They have to give up at least one of these wants, because they’re totally incompatible with each other. For a long time, the thing which they gave up was the idea of having non-straight folks on BIP. Now they don’t want to give that up anymore, so what they’re giving up is their typical way of casting for BIP. But there is no way to have all the things done the way they’ve always been done AND get LGBTQ contestants on BIP, because the way things have always been done does not yield any LGBTQ people to cast.

So yeah, it is a problem that they brought on a contestant to BIP who was not previously any part of the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows. But if they were determined to have LGBTQ people on BIP *and* they were also determined NOT to have LGBTQ people (openly) on the Bachelor/Bachelorette, I don’t see anything else they could have done. I wish they’d give up on the refusal to have LGBTQ Bachelors/Bachelorettes and contestants, but they have said very, very explicitly that they have zero intention of doing that in the foreseeable future.

Comment: Excellent points and 100% agree, which is why this LGBTQ storyline feels so forced. Because it can’t happen naturally within the structure of the show they’ve created.
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Hey RS,

I love following your spoilers and learning all the dirty secrets so I figured you’d know the answer to this. I saw somewhere (can’t remember where) that Nicole was so mad about how they portrayed her on Colton’s season and threatened to sue abc unless they gave her a better storyline on BIP and that’s why she has all these men literally fighting over her. I don’t think a contestant threatening to sue would worry them, but I don’t think any guys would be all over her like this otherwise.

Would love to know if you know anything about this!

Comment: I haven’t heard anything about that. If that’s true, then honestly, she’s a moron if she actually thinks she can sue the show. Utter stupidity.
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Hi Steve,

My question is regarding Jen Saviano. It had been posted or talked about somewhere a few months ago that Jen and Blake were spotted out together in Nashville. I’m curious if that could have been a producer move to bring her into paradise to see if that could drum up any additional Blake/Jen drama (and make she chose to take Chris instead)?

Thanks!

Comment: If it was, it wasn’t taken advantage of since Jen didn’t ask out Blake so nothing came of it.
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Hi Steve! First time emailer here!

Unrelated to Paradise and I hate to beat a dead horse on the whole Hannah/ Tyler situation BUT something has really been bothering me post show. I don’t feel like you’ve addressed it and apologies if you did and I just missed it…

During the show, Tyler was the first person to step up and defend Hannah in any and all situations. He always had the NICEST comments to say about her and would battle any haters that came her way. Now, fast forward several weeks and Hannah has been posting left and right on her Instagram about how she has been struggling with life… how she is trying to figure it all out now and not once has Tyler left any of those same kind of “girl power” comments he had for her during the show. You see many of her other guys step in and comment on her posts but not Tyler.

Those were the kind of things that I feel like made him the most popular contestant ever on the show but to me, he now seems less genuine, not nearly the same nice guy he played during the show and that he was doing it all for a fan base and followers and perhaps to strengthen his case for Bachelor.
My guess is that with his new found fame and love interest in Gigi that he just doesn’t care anymore…

I’m with you and fully believe that the ship has sailed on the two of them ever getting back together but his image just seems so different now that everything is said and done.

Curious on your thoughts?

Thanks for everything you do! You make watching each week so much more entertaining!

Comment: I don’t scroll through Hannah’s gazillion comments when she posts a picture of her on a beach. I have no idea what Tyler says or doesn’t say, so this is the first I’m hearing of it. But if he hasn’t posted a word since the show ended airing, well, I guess that says something then.

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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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