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Podcast #174 – Interview with Cortney Hendrix of “Married at First Sight” & Final “Reader Emails” of the Season

Hi Steve,

I have a few more questions to ask you since finale. As always, I appreciate you. You’re the only person that answers our questions re Bach.

1. What is the reasoning behind picking the cast first, then the lead. Seems like it should be the other way around. Seems like the way they do it encourages people to go on show not looking for love because they don’t know who lead is. When did cast find out Pete was the lead. Show should be renamed Blind Date. Because it’s a TV show first and foremost and it’s not about finding the best candidates for their lead. It never has been.

2. Does the show make a profit from the products cast members can endorse via their contracts? No.

3. There was a huge disconnect between Pete and Madi post show. Their body language wasn’t good. I heard a rumor that production was trying to push their relationship. Why did she go back? What happened between them? I don’t know if we’ll ever know.

4. Why wasn’t cast furnished tissue? It wasn’t pleasant to watch Madi sniffling without it in finale. Maybe Kleenex had run out.

5. Who is best person I can reach out to re suggestions for activities, guests, etc., for upcoming shows? Like, you wanna give production ideas? I can pretty much guarantee they won’t listen and don’t care.

6. Do you think Hannah S. has a good chance of becoming ette in 2021? She was a class act and stole the show after Barb.

Cheers!

Comment: Way too early to tell.
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Hi Steve,

Not sure if I’m too late to be included in your last RE post. But I have a quick question

Do you think Hannah Ann’s speeches on the SHVs and ATFR were scripted? Either by production or a PR agent for drama purposes.. or do you think she thought about it and came up with it by herself? I rewatched the finale and she was so eloquent during those parts, I was impressed. But then knowing production, I’m curious if they told her to say this.

Anyways, thanks Steve!

Comment: Well, I mean I think she knew what she was going to say heading into the ATFR. She had a month to think about it. So does that mean it’s “scripted” per se? I guess that depends on your definition.
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Hi Steve,

Thanks for your work! I’ve been following you since you started. This season was heartbreaking to watch, as I feel without the producers overproducing, there would have been a different, more positive, outcome. I’m hoping you can answer some questions I’m left with.

1) Does the lead sign a contract requiring them to stay “together” with whomever they chose at the finale for 24 or 48 hours after the finale airs before publicly breaking up? I noticed that Peter and Madison’s break-up posts were almost exactly 48 hours after the finale began airing. No. There’s nothing that says that. But usually when a breakup happens in this franchise, it’s either a joint statement, or each post separately within minutes of each other, so I didn’t see anything different about that.

2) Were Peter and Madison forced by producers to appear to be together at the finale? We’ll never know.

3) Someone said they heard Peter mention in an interview that he asked production if he could leave the show, presumably to pursue Hannah B after she returned on his season, and he was told no (obviously). Have you heard this? Or anything similar? No. I haven’t heard anything like that.

3) Do you think Peter was basically forced by producers to propose to Hannah Ann, so they could have a proposal? I’m surprised I haven’t heard much talk of the role of production in that decision, even from you or Sharlene in your podcast. Or maybe I’m off base and Peter *is* that confused. It was blatantly obvious to me that Peter was much more in to Madison than HA. We know how this works. Outside of Colton and Juan Pablo, it’s like 23 of the last 25 seasons have ended in an engagement. Do they force you? No. But do some of them do it because they feel obligated and they’d be letting people down if they didn’t? Yes.

4) Do you think the overproduction of this season is in part due to the new Elan Gale? That Elan’s replacement is over producing beyond what we used to see?

Thanks again!

Comment: No. People are way overestimating Elan’s presence, or lack thereof now, on this show.
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I know every season you get emails from people claiming to have “tea” on every contestant, but what have you gotten on Madison? I’m not sure that I buy she the sweet Christian girl she comes off as, so curious if you’ve heard anything negative and if so what. Thanks!

Comment: Yes, I have. But no different than any other contestant really, so, not really much to do with it.
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Hi Steve,

I hope I can make it time for Reader email. Long time reader, first time..blah blah.

I know you don’t listen to any other Bachelor podcasts, but do you know why Becca replaced Ali on Bachelor Happy Hour? It was super random where one day Ali was just gone from the podcast. Ali said she had too much going on in her life, and with two young kids, she had to give up something, so she decided it would be the podcast.

Also, what you are your thoughts on Survivor Fire token this season? I still have no IDEA what the Fire Tokens are supposed to be even after listening to Dalton Ross explain it on your podcast.

Stay safe!

Comment: Have you watched the episodes? I think it’s clear how they’re used now that we’ve seen the episodes play out.
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Hi Steve,

Thanks for your reporting on Peter’s season. It was a crazy at the end there. It was definitely weird how it all played out and I feel like there were things that they didn’t show. The producers produced the story that they wanted us to see and not what really happened. I usually trust your spoilers more than whatever they show us on screen.

You said it was particularly difficult this year because you were hearing a lot of contradicting things and not able to get the proof that you needed to confirm a lot of things. There were some things that you initially reported that [it seems] did not come to pass based on what they showed us in the finale. One thing you initially reported was that Peter had worked really hard to gain Madison’s and her family’s trust back and that he did all of that traveling to Alabama and it did not happen in California. What we saw in the finale though was Madison traveling to California once and surprising Peter and that’s it. Do you have any insight into what actually happened? Did Peter actually travel to Alabama at some point? Is there more that happened that they didn’t show us? I don’t believe anymore that that was true. If it was, they would’ve given it more than 2 days.

It seemed to me, after the finale, that Peter and Madison did not really want to be together that badly. They just did not look like an in love couple that was willing to fight against the odds. It seemed like the producers were maybe trying to force something to happen so that there would be a “happy ending” but Peter and Madison had both kind of moved on already. Then of course, they broke up about 48 hours after ATFR.

The ending was just so weird and I feel like there was a lot going on they didn’t show us. I’d love to know your thoughts on what might have actually gone on behind the scenes, if you have any further insight.

Thanks!

Comment: There’s plenty that went on that they didn’t show us for the reasons you stated. But will we truly ever get our answers? Probably not.
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You say that celibate contestants face some challenges in this environment. Is one of them likely to be that producers will encourage them to bring up the issue at the very last minute, if possible? I highly suspect Producers did this for Madison, yet Chris Harrison is dragging Madison for not saying something or being more specific earlier. It’s not unusual for him to rake contestants over the coals for something that producers encouraged them to do. Yeah, it’s very hypocritical since I’m sure behind the scenes Madison was being told if/when to tell Peter. But that’s just a guess.

Rachel Lindsay, who hates Madison almost as much as Barb, is seizing on the fact that Madison might have an agent as some kind of proof of corruption, and I am hearing this nonstop from fans who’ve listened to their podcast. Most of these contestants sign on with someone while the show is filming, or promote something after the show is over, so I’m not sure why this is all the sudden an issue.

In truth, isn’t it the case that every contestant and lead enter the show looking for fame as at least one of their goals? A relationship is just a possible side benefit that might have the same odds as winning the lottery. Because of that I don’t fault Madison if she does have an agent. It’s not my money, so she can find out for herself whether it is a waste of money or a great investment. It’s irrelevant to her if Becca doesn’t have one, for example. We just know this is what a lot of the contestants do post-show now. People have to accept that. Has Becca and/or Rachel done an ad post-show for anything? If they have, I’m not sure why they would have an issue with Madi doing it.

Do you think the experience with Peter will lead Producers to avoid a Bachelor who still lives with his parents? Of course, every situation is different, but Peter’s is one where the parents support his promiscuous ways. As Peter has said to Entertainment tonight.

“I’ve brought girls home, and it’s not weird. The next morning, I’ll wake up and the girl is making breakfast with my mom, and they’re chatting it up.”

Comment: That was always bizarre to me.
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Steve, Yes, there are more important things going on in the world right now that everything else pales in comparison. And knowing that, this email may sound so insignificant and trivial. I get that; but I still need to send props.

Your Podcast with Sharleen Joynt? How refreshing to hear two people have an honest, fair, unfiltered and articulate discussion about the Bachelor and the finale. You are each other’s intellectual equals and the volley back and forth was sooooooooo good. Thanks. Sharleen and I have always gotten along, and I’m glad you think we sound great on the air together. I will say that however you feel about Sharleen on the air, she’s an even better person off of it. I feel I can text her about anything, which I have, and she always gives me good advice.

The best point raised? Peter Weber never needed to be the Bachelor nor should he have been. He did not need it to find love. Or fame. He already had fame from Hannah Brown’s season. He is 28. He is good looking. He has a sexy job. And speaking of sex, his four times in a windmill reputation certainly did not hurt him in the least. (Women were probably clamoring to experience for themselves this non-stop sex machine.) So why would he want to settle down when he had it all right there? Makes no sense and certainly supports the comments and rumors about his f**kboy ways. He might as well f**k his way thru the tri-county area; at least you know Barb would be proud. Yeah, I said it.

Worst season ever.

At times I seriously thought the only way thru this is with a vodka IV, ya know?
Thank you Steve for surviving this pain in the ass season with all your hard work, efforts and patience. As always, you delivered.

Comment: I think Peter fit their mold for “Bachelor” because of his story, not necessarily because he was a guy who would struggle to find a date.
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Hi from Finland!

New season of The challenge starts now April 1st. Why don’t you recap that?
What do you think about the new season? Did you see the trailer? I would love to listen a podcast with an challenger too. I have listened all of your podcasts!

Comment: I will definitely talk about the “Challenge” once it’s on. But I doubt I’ll be doing a weekly recap.
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Hi Steve

In the absence of The Bachelorette coverage, what about exploring the various motivations that folks have for coming on these shows? Contestants are always being accused of not being there for “the right reason.” Well, what are those reasons that aren’t “the right reason?” You’ve mentioned that more and more contestants are interested in using the Bachelor franchise as a vehicle for promoting their careers as social media influencers, as models, etc. One that I’ve been thinking about lately is proselytizing. It seems that some contestants, and some leads, are becoming increasingly vocal about their religious beliefs. Is it possible that they view the Bachelor franchise as a means of spreading the word? I would love to see how you would handle this.

Thanks for everything you do regarding Bachelor Nation. Watching these shows without your commentary is not an option.

Comment: I think that most contestants would never admit that publicly just because it would make their fan base think they might be coming across as fake. But you don’t need to hear it directly from them to know that’s what almost all of them are on for now. Their post-show activities prove that out.
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Is it possible since Clare saw the guys for her season on line that she could secretly “date” one off camera right now? Or what if Clare meets Mr. Right all of a sudden since her NEW popularity her DM’s could be full? Do you think she’s sworn by ABC to stay single right now? Did she get paid pre-season by ABC Disney payroll or do they pay them weekly as they go along? In other words if she’s getting paid is her contract iron clad? Do you know when they get paid? Before or After filming? I think this is an interesting point of discussion, because if the leads are not paid upfront what’s from stopping them from dating? A lot of questions here, but I think Clare would keep herself single for the short term because she believes her season is happening. As for her DM’s, I gotta believe people are contacting her just like they contact anyone else in the franchise. I don’t think the leads get paid until their season is complete.

Lastly, since I studied TV contracts for years can ABC enforce “Force Majeure.” It’s in every standard Television contract. It means when certain circumstances arise beyond control (earthquakes & hurricanes of mass destruction used to be examples) that the producers have the right to cancel production without pay essentially. It relieves the parties from performing their contractual obligations. I am guessing The Covid-19 Virus is most likely now being used as “Force Majeure” on some productions so producer’s don’t have to pay talent. On the flip side if they envoke this then the talent has no contractual obligation to return later. Food For Thought to discuss, Steve.

Comment: Yeah, I see what you’re saying. But I think we’ll get through this and until Clare is told “We are not doing a season of the ‘Bachelorette’ for you,” she’ll stay single holding out hope to have her season.
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Hey Steve!

Let me start by saying Peter is a tool. I feel terrible for Madi…. his mom was absolutely awful to her and that was so uncalled for. We knew Barb was nuts when she started cheering for her son when the whole 4 times in a windmill thing happened. Madi dodged a bullet by getting away from that family.

Anyways, in regards to Clare’s season – is it possible they bring the guys out – put them in a full quarantine for 2 weeks to ensure they are symptom free and then have a season without travel or public dates? They could basically all live together and just never leave their Corona-free environment. Dates could happen as alone time in their bubble but never leaving their “compound”.

Maybe that is just wishful thinking on my part. We’ve locked ourselves in the house for the foreseeable future and with all of the TV shows not filming anymore I would love to have my weekly garbage to tune into to break up the monotony.

You are awesome. Thanks for all you do!!

Comment: No. That’s not happening. Production has been shut down and everyone is home. Same goes for almost every TV show out there.
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Send all links and emails to: steve@realitysteve.com. To follow me on Twitter, it’s: www.twitter.com/RealitySteve. Instagram name is “RealitySteve,” or join my Reality Steve Facebook Fan Page. Talk to you next week.

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