Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” Ratings, & Condoms

Photo Credit: ABC

Hi! I don’t have any questions this week except one. Which is also an observation…

Matt hasn’t been very vocal about being the bachelor on social media. He doesn’t even have it in his bio. Is there any reason why he has been very silent on IG as opposed to other leads when their season premiered? Do you know anything about that? I’ve just never seen a bachelor be so low key about being a lead so it definitely sticks out. Do you think is has anything to do with not wanting to come across as thirsty and fame hungry because it’s what Claire kinda accused him of with the whole cameo thing, so he’s trying to just be low key? No multiple bachelor posts, just a simple “thankful” on premiere night and definitely did not post a lot of reposts to his story about the show. Did he have a falling out with the show? Maybe it’s not some calculated thing on his part, it’s just strange to me how so low key he is on social media in regards to the bachelor.

Comment: *Clare.

I follow Matt and I haven’t noticed that. Seems like he’s been posting quite a bit about things. Do I keep track daily? No. But I certainly haven’t noticed anything glaringly more or less than previous Bachelors.
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Hi Steve,

Is it just me or does Anna Redman look like Hannah Brown?

Comment: You and hundreds of others. That one has been said the most often when talking about contestant look-a-likes that I’ve heard. In his intro Twitter live show introducing the contestants, even Chris Harrison said that.
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Hey Steve!

So I saw the reader email about Zac toasting with champagne and just thought I’d write it to let you know that production always gave him sparkling cider to toast with! On a podcast (I think Clickbait) Zac said he knew Tayshia liked him when it was down to the final 4 and they brought out 4 glasses of champagne and 1 glass of sparkling cider for him and Tayshia said she was going to have cider instead of champagne with Zac! I thought that was a very sincere and endearing gesture on her part and perhaps your readers would want to know! Thanks for all you do!

Comment: Thanks. I must’ve read that question wrong last week, because I heard that interview of him saying that. I thought they were asking why even put him in a room with alcohol in general, not his particular glass. Oops.
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Hey RS,

I was reading your response to an email about hearing something bad about a bachelor couple that’ll “blow your mind.” My theory is that it’s about Jade and Tanner. We all know how problematic Tanner is (see marriage boot camp and posts of him eating McDonald’s while Jade was in labor, despite asking him to stop). Could it be them?

Tanner seems so insecure but maybe he knows Jade is out of his league

Comment: I still don’t even remember which couple I was talking about or what reference I was making when I said that. But I know it has nothing to do with Tanner and Jade. I haven’t heard anything about them in years.
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Hi Steve,

I know everyone feels the need to express their 2 cents about Matt’s prayer on the first night, but I have perspective that I’m not hearing voiced anywhere else, so I wanted to add something to the discussion. To be clear, I’m also a devout Christian and am actually in the process of getting ordained, and I have a lot of the same issues with it that I heard you and Ashley voiced on your live, but they stem from a different place.

I don’t have an issue with praying by oneself, or as a group, particularly in a nerve-racking scenario where you think that will help you calm down or center yourself, which is how that read to me. What I have an issue with is the way the prayer was framed…. Which was in a way that felt exclusive and shaming to those in the crowd who were not Christian. So, I agree with that point. However, in my experience, when something like this is done, it is often done from a place of naïveté: from someone who has never spent significant time in settings with people of diverse faiths, and just didn’t realize how exclusive or shaming this behavior can be. Given his upbringing, his friend circle, and the fact that he wasn’t on a previous season, I think this is definitely possible. It’s possible he knew what he was doing, and did it anyway, but I think it’s likely he was just naive. I have myself done this on numerous occasions when I was younger and didn’t know better, and I want to facepalm at my younger self for doing that.

I’ve also heard a few people voice that they wish Matt had just prayed by himself. I want to add a note, that in a situation where you are nervous and feel super isolated, which is very likely for him, a group prayer would have the advantage of helping him feel a sense of community with the sense of calm. It would have helped him feel less alone in a way that personal prayer might not have. Basically, to me this read as someone with good intentions, doing something he knew would be helpful to him, without realizing how harmful it could have been to others. If he had found a way to frame the prayer as something he needed, and wanted to offer for those who felt inclined, and found a way to talk about respect for those who didn’t in a way that wasn’t exclusive and shaming, that would have been much better. That’s a hard line to walk, but it is possible.

In regards to the portrayal of faith on the Bachelor as whole, I actually like that it is being talked about more, as I feel that it leads to more authentic portrayals of the people who talk about it. However, I think it would be so much better if that were applied to all faiths, including not having one. Similarly to other issues of diversity in this franchise, there is such a problem with only one cookie-cutter mold of what is acceptable being portrayed. There are cast members who don’t fit in, but they are never allowed to portray that part of themselves authentically on camera, so there is lip service paid to diversity while none of the real underlying issue are addressed. It just feels like more the same.

Comment: I agree with a lot of what you said. My thing is for those that are voicing how Matt approached it, no one is looking to cancel the guy. This isn’t about that. They, like yourself, just think it could’ve been worded differently. That’s all. The other side think most are being so harsh with Matt and leave him alone when all we’re saying is, “Hey, I think he worded it wrong.” But because everyone thinks any small criticism of anyone automatically means they hate them is what makes this a bigger issue than it should be.
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Hi Steve,

Do places (like Nemacolin) that the show visits pay for the “free advertising “ or does the Bachelor production pay them?

Thanks!

Comment: Everything is done on trade. Nemacolin is basically getting an 11 week commercial for their property, something that all resorts/hotels that host this show are doing when they appear. But those are usually only getting it for one week as opposed to a whole season. In return, you provide the lodging, food, and access to your place for about 200 cast and crew.
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Hey Steve,

Netflix just put season 20 hero’s vs villains and season 28 Cagayan on. I binged both seasons in 3 days and I’m hooked. Hulu has almost all the seasons and episodes so I was wondering what other seasons you recommend since I know your a big fan. Love the podcast and keep doing what your doing

Comment: With “Survivor,” I’ve watched every episode of every season, but because I don’t cover it, it’s not my job, and I’m not constantly following it other than the 1 hr a week it’s on, I’m really not good with what seasons were good and which ones weren’t. Dalton Ross at EW.com has ranked every season (in his opinion). If you can Google and find that list, I trust him with all things “Survivor.” I’d watch those that he suggests.
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Hey Reality Steve

I can’t believe the carry on about Matt’s prayer on night one. His faith is obviously central to who he is as a person and likely he’s looking for someone with a similar depth of faith, so I see this as his way of quickly sorting out the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. As someone who is definitely not religious, if a guy on my first meeting prayed for me I would smile politely, say Amen and exit stage left as quickly as decorum dictated but wouldn’t be offended in the least.

I think he was probably making a public statement of faith and then seeing which girls related to what he did and who either didn’t or completely pretended it hadn’t happened. He’s put his dealbreaker front and centre straight up and good for him for being true to himself when faced with such an alien, overwhelming thing like being a brand spanking new Bachelor.

I had more of an issue with Tayshia dumping Ivan at the last minute due to their religious differences. If this was a dealbreaker for her, then she should’ve made that clear much earlier in the piece (as should’ve Maddy with Peter). People who are religious generally want someone who follows the same path, and that’s totally their call. A lid for every pot and all that.

Would I prefer less religious leads on the show? Probably, because I find it harder to relate to them. Am I going to stop watching? Oh hell no. Hannah B turned out to be one of my all-time faves and yet she wore her faith on her sleeve in her own weird way. Who knows, Matt might be the same. I must admit it’s a whole new ballgame going into a season without any preconceived ideas on the lead (except for the Tyler BFF connection) and I’m looking forward to it. I’m glad that you, who isn’t religious, isn’t letting what he did affect your opinion of him or feel like that was the most egregious mistake ever. Like I said earlier, could’ve worded it better. That’s all. Lets move on.

Kudos to you too Steve for managing to get any spoilers at all in this new way of filming. I thought it would be almost impossible without some sort of freak thing like the Nick Viall plane video falling into your hands. You are damned good at what you do and I appreciate any little crumbs you can give us ? You were spot on with Tayshia’s ending in all ways except for the engagement. And as it was probably the most personalised and touching proposal I’ve seen on this show, I’m kinda glad you didn’t spoil it until the last minute because it was a lovely surprise. Thanks. It’s definitely been different that’s for sure. I’ve been hearing stuff non stop about this season. Probably just as much than in season’s past. The difference has been not being able to confirm it as easily as I have in the past.

Also touching on your conversation about Bachelor couples, everyone forgets Kevin and Astrid who I believe are still together, engaged and only not married due to COVID. They’re definitely one of the more low-key couples but seem very happy. People have sent in ones I’ve “missed” when I made that statement last week, and maybe I wasn’t clear. I was saying there are no public Bachelor Nation couples that are engaged OR married, outside of Kaitlyn and Jason (who everyone expects to be engaged any minute now), and Dean and Caelynn (who are basically acting like they’re married as they’ve lived together over a year and are now moving to Vegas and building a house).

In the Survivor world, I am having major withdrawals! I know Fiji is off the table for now but I hope they find an alternative location or some solution STAT because…Survivor! As an Aussie, Australian Survivor is also delayed as it too films in Fiji and I’m feeling a little lost (the only show in the history of Australian television that remotely lives up to the US version). We have a couple of Survivor vets coming out of our version that I think would be amazing on the US cast and I’m lobbying Mr Probst for a US vs World edition. If Turkish Turbo can keep his hands to himself, I’d love to see him on it too.

Keep on spoiling and don’t let Toxic Bachelor Nation get you down!

Comment: Yeah, I think “Survivor” is gonna film their normal two seasons this year. I just don’t know where. I just can’t see them taking two full years off. It can be done, it’s just a matter of maybe changing up the location for their two filmings this season.
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Hi Steve!

Just finished listening to your podcast with Brett and this might be one of my faves! I loved the back and forth you guys had, especially with him asking you questions and your opinion/thoughts on things. Great chemistry! Second, I really enjoyed the part about Matt’s prayer and liked hearing Brett’s POV. I think you both had great points. As a Jewish woman, the prayer was a little odd to me (as an audience viewer) but definitely not something that would stop me from continuing to watch. Thanks for having this convo!

Comment: As it shouldn’t since it was such a minor part of the whole season. All it was was a suggestion from people on how he could’ve approached it differently. I think if the guy did it every week or what not, then it’d start grating on people and they’d probably have a bigger issue with it. But it was a short one night thing that he did for himself that he probably didn’t think twice about. No one stormed out, nor should they have, and it’s over and done with.

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