Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” Clare & Dale, Instagram Growth, & How to Be on Tomorrow’s Podcast

Photo Credit: ABC

Hey, Steve.

In this week’s episode, Chris Harrison announced to the girls that because there are so many of them, not all will be getting dates this week. It’s played for drama, but I seem to recall in previous seasons that there are typically a few girls each week who don’t get any dates in the early weeks. For example, (and I could be completely off here because I am reaching way back), I think Madi did not get a date Week 3, since she got a one-on-one with Peter Week 2 (the first week with dates). So am I right that this is something they’ve alawys done, and they just chose to highlight it this season to make extra drama? Or is this actually new, as they said, and I am totally off? It’s something they’ve always done. And it’s always done while still in LA. Once travel begins, everyone gets a date. But even though there was no travel last season or this season, they still are keeping with that particular format.

In regards to Victoria, to what extent do you think she is purposefully playing a character (even an obnoxious one) with the goal of getting more screen time for herself, and to what extent do you think she is really that unaware? The first week I thought for sure it must be all an act, given the crown and the whole “Queen” bit, which seemed very obviously premeditated. But it seems really wild to go out of her way to antagonize the other girls so much and so quickly if that’s all she’s doing. I guess I’m just wondering if she’s manipulative enough to make Matt, the other girls, and the audience hate her in exchange for a guaranteed few weeks of TV presence that she can then leverage into a certain amount of notoriety and Instagram followers. But after this week’s episode, it feels more like she actually might be that way. It’s just wild to me that anyone could be that un self-aware.

Comment: She’s aware of what she’s saying and she was aware at the time she was saying it that she knew it’d get her screen time. What she was probably unaware of is how America would take it. She probably thought it was funny just doing what producers tell her to do, and play it up, and go after this girl, etc. But when it actually airs and she looks like a complete mean girl, yeah, she probably didn’t think that all the way through.
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Hi Steve,

I’ve been following you for a while and consume your content on the regular. Years later, I’m finally emailing in a few questions…feel free to pick and choose which you’d like to answer.

Since the producers do questionable things to contestants and manipulate them psychologically and exploit them physically, why do so many contestants seem to be buddy-buddy with producers after the show? I see so many contestants/leads commenting on producers’ IGs and am wondering if it’s all a stunt. I’m specifically thinking of Becca and what they did to her when they brought her ex on during Arie’s season. She was very upset she was about it…not to mention her sister’s reaction on social media. There are other instances too, that’s just the first that came to mind. Because they know not to bite the hands that feed them. You always want to stay on productions good side. The second you go against them, there go a lot of your opportunities. It just doesn’t make good business sense to stay mad at them.

What’s with most contestants and leads referring to people in a roundabout way? For example, they might say “she’s/he’s someone that I could see myself with” or something of the sort. Why not just say “I can see myself with him/her”? Do you think it’s because deep down they know it could be too fast to actually feel these things so they don’t feel comfortable speaking and clear, true terms? And also frankenbiting. There’s probably more to the sentence, but to control the narrative, the show is only letting us hear what they want us to hear.

From my point of view, it looks like we have the first contestant who is more than a size 2/4 on the show. Compared to the other girls, Victoria looks a lot more curvaceous, though it could have just been her dress on night 1. Is it possible that we are trending in the direction that producers would finally allow women size 6 and above on the show? Possible? Sure. Likely? No.

Is there something in the leads’ contract that says they can’t acknowledge what the producers plan? For example, when Yosef was berating Clare for the date where the men had to strip down, do you think Clare had said something along the lines of “that wasn’t my choice” and it was edited out (because of course it would be)? Or would she not be allowed to say something like that because of her contract saying she cannot acknowledge planning/producers to any contestant? Can she even get in trouble? What are they gonna do…pull her off the show right then and there? Will they not pay her as much? Just curious…

Thank you!

Comment: When you sign up for this, there’s just certain things you know you can get away with and others you can’t. Some people just know it and some don’t. They know they can’t talk about how “the sausage is made” so to speak. That’s why out of contract, post-show interviews you dig and pry and maybe get something a little more. But while they’re still under? Very slim chance.
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Hey Steve,

Without as many spoilers the season I’ve gotten really interested in trying to figure out on my own everything to do with who gets the one on one dates, group dates,what kind of activities they do and who is most likely to make it far in the show. Trying to figure out the puzzle is super fun and challenging! My question to you is, aside from any emails and tips you get, what investigation do you do on your own to piece together puzzles to confirm your information and to get more details for us? Obviously I don’t want your all of your secrets but just an idea of how far you will go.

I love your podcast. You one of the funniest,most interesting and also most genuine people in the podcasting world.

Comment: Thank you. It’s really a case-by-case basis. Some I put more work into than others if it’s a bigger story. Like the Victoria F. stuff last season. I spoke to a lot of people. I didn’t just randomly run with the first thing I heard. That story was 2 months in the making. Others like this Sarah boyfriend thing I posted yesterday, that took maybe a few hours because a lot of it is public. It all depends on who’s involved and what the story is.
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Hi Steve!

Not sure if this was every addressed but why won’t the show ever cast a person of a quote on quote average size. It’s very hard as a viewer to watch this show and not see someone that reflects the true average girl. Can you bring light to this? Or have they already addressed it.

Comment: They’ve never addressed it, they never will address it, and this is season #41. If you’re still watching after 41 seasons, how hard has it been? This couldn’t have possible just snuck up on you, right?
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Hi Steve,

I can personally confirm that Nemacolin is a legitimately awesome resort! I’ve been numerous times, but my only gripe is that they jack up the prices after Bachelor appearances. And cancel all wedding that were set for October and November by lying to them saying it was COVID related. Don’t forget that one.

My question is around the arrangement with ABC. I know in the typical seasons where they film for a few days at a single location, it tends to be a trade: the destination provides accommodations in exchange for branded placement in the episode. However, with this season (and the last) essentially closing down a resort to the public for 1-2 months, does ABC pay the destination for using it? I mean, the publicity Nemacolin is getting from this season is amazing, but does ABC also pay for the use of it? Curious to hear your thoughts and if you have any insight here. Thanks!

Comment: I doubt they are. It’s still trade I would assume. They get an 11 week commercial on network television for their resort.
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Hey Steve,

The Chatty Broads mentioned on their podcast last week that they’d gotten info that Sarah had a boyfriend before the show and may be back together with him since filming ended. Just wondering if there’s any truth to this. Have you heard anything like this?

Comment: Yes. I covered it in yesterday’s column. It’s why I just find her whole appearance on the show phony.
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Hi Steve,

Just one single question for you. After two of Matt’s episodes, I feel we are back to something resembling Peter’s season. I guess I’m just not very impresssed after Tayshia and her cast who actually made me LIKE the show. Instead of hating to be entertained by it:)

Which leads me to the question: do you know how it actually goes down between the lead and production when it comes to keeping on the villain?

Peter was easy to manipulate, but although Matt is more unfamiliar with the franchise, he is not stupid. So.. how does production make the lead keep the villain? Is there a clause in the contract stating that production gets to pick one (or more) at each RC up to a certain point? Outside of Marylynn telling him, what has Matt actually been around where in that moment he could see Victoria with a villain edit? Nothing. Everything she’s doing is away from him, in ITM’s, or in groups with the other girls. He’s oblivious to this. This is nothing new. We see this every season. The lead doesn’t see what we see. And the only reason he heard anything from Marylynn was because Victoria came to him first.

Or how do they otherwise go about it?

Since Matt obviously is not super exited about this Victoria girl, do they use the carrot or the stick?

Thanks in advance!

Comment: Victoria is strictly there for entertainment. Matt knows he’s not picking her. The show knows he’s not picking her. So they’re just telling her what to do, what to say, to play up her character, and in return we get 4-5 episodes of her acting like she’s been acting. She’ll be gone and forgotten until the WTA where we’ll see it all again.
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Hi, have you ever thought about having your podcast be recaps of the Bachelor instead of interviews? It seems lately a lot of your guests are people who recap the show so I would love a podcast version of your recaps vs the written form. I mean you could still do the written form but also recap it and talk about your thoughts on your podcast? Just an idea I had and thought I’d share!

Love everything you do, keep it up!

Comment: No. The written recap is where this thing started 18 years ago and it’s not going anywhere. I think the live with Ashley Spivey, which are all saved as well, is another place for my thoughts on the episode.
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Hi Steve –

I’m hoping Netflix adds more seasons of The Challenge as I missed several. I watched Duel II a couple weeks ago. It was funny to see Johnny Bananas as “John” and be the first guy to leave. It is so impressive how he has grown as a character and a competitor over the years. The evolution of CT is also remarkable. The game has really grown too in terms of strategy, and difficulty of challenges, especially the finals.

I guess one could say the same of other long-running reality shows in terms of heightened strategy / gameplay – Survivor, Amazing Race, Big Brother and even The Bachelor but The Challenge adds the element of so many players who have battled it out with each other repeatedly for years.

Don’t let the haters get you down!

Comment: The Challenge is a great show. I thought I would end up hating them bringing in players from overseas from shows I’d never watched or heard of, but it’s worked out great. They know exactly what they’re doing.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. dixiekudo

    January 20, 2021 at 11:49 PM

    I think Dale reposted in IG in order to remove the option for people to leave comments. Good call on his part.

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