Reader Emails

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

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Hi Steve,

I’m feeling quite unimpressed with this season so far. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m missing the depth and maturity Tayshia brought last season, as well as the real world topics she and the guys discussed, or if I’m simply over the petty drama. As a fan of the show for over 12 years, I suppose all good things must come to an end. Is there a way to tell if the ratings have declined among viewers age 30+? I noted the ratings among 18-49 demo are on par but I’m curious who majority of this is. I do feed into this though as I keep watching to see if it’ll turn a new leaf. So it’s understandable how the viewership holds up but I’m also curious if they measure favorability or likability? This season just feels very blah! They kill it for 2 hrs every Monday night in Women 18-49, and that’s the most sought after demo in advertising. Hence the reason why this show isn’t going anywhere.

Another thing to note, Sarah’s “isolation” reminded me of something Kelley F. said after Peter’s season.. how producers kept her away from him. Sarah was shown sitting on a couch in a room with cameras on a few different occasions. I’m thinking that couldn’t be her own room or it would feel like an invasion of privacy. Knowing how calculated the producers are behind the scenes, the comparison came to mind. Any thoughts? She definitely got a bad edit but also very much a Mean Girls scene after her apology. Cue Katie’s good edit and Sarah turning off her comments on Instagram…

Comment: Yeah, it could just be because Sarah wasn’t feeling well, was thinking about her dad, etc. We don’t know. I’m sure at some point Sarah will make the rounds on the Bachelor approved podcasts. This would be the first question I’d ask her in regards to this situation. Why did she get to separate herself? Who told her it’d be a good idea to crash a group date she wasn’t a part of? Did she realize the second she did that, immediately she was going to get a ton of shit from everyone? Lets see if anyone asks her that.

Hi Steve!

Hope you are well. A few years ago I had the chance to attend your live podcast recording with Olivia in Dallas and meet you both afterwards. You were both super lovely humans and it was a great evening. Here’s to hoping whenever things are semi-normal again, we can go back to those types of things. That was the best time I’ve ever had doing a podcast. A lot of fun. I hope to do that again in the future at some point.

Anyhow. I was watching tonight’s episode and listening to QVC (Queen Victoria CuckooPantz) list off adjectives and nouns to describe herself and Marylynn and I FINALLY placed it. I’ve been struggling all season to figure out who she reminds me of and I finally got it. The SNL character that Cecily Strong plays… “Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With.” Seriously. Watch a video or two on YouTube and it’s uncanny.

It’s allowed me to find some degree of entertainment in her persona. Hopefully it does the same for others!

Comment: Yes. Good call. Very similar. Just rambling incoherent sentences and thinking certain words meaning something they don’t.

I cannot believe the number of people saying Sarah got “bullied off the show.” Maybe it is because the show is geared towards women, but the reaction is unbelievable. First of all, she CHOSE to leave. Second of all, actions have consequences. Sarah should not be able to steamroll over other dates because she is in her feelings. If the other ladies didn’t want to hear it out of her, that is their right. Yes we are all human but the fact is, several of those ladies did not get to talk to Matt because of Sarah’s antics and will likely not get a rose directly because of those antics. Why is everything so excusable these days? It isn’t like they tried to fight her. They said, Nope, not hearing it, and that’s fine. Sarah seemed super manipulative to me, whether she was intending to be or not, and she definitely did not have the emotional fortitude for the show. Jealous on the 2nd week? Come ON. Also, the comment about “our relationship is progressing faster than the others.” She had no way of knowing that. She needed to get out of her own way and couldn’t. Girl bye.

P.S. Steve, I’m sure you will skewer me and tell me I’m mean, how can I live with myself, blah blah blah.

Comment: Thank you for answering for me.

I agree with half of what you said. She did steamroll the other dates. And her actions should have consequences. But maybe one or two women expressing they didn’t appreciate what she did would’ve been fine. She apologized to Katie personally and then to the group as a whole. Why did 5 more people have to pile on after that? It made no sense other than this show continuing year after year and season after season making sure they continue the narrative of women hating on women. They encourage it. They loved every aspect of that group setting last night watching all of them pounce on Sarah. Don’t think for a second they didn’t. And that’s pathetic.

Hi Steve,

First-time emailer, long time reader! Thank you for you blog and everything you do. You truly make this overly produced excuse for a reality TV show entertaining. I only watch for your gossip, the memes, and so I have something to talk about with my friends that isn’t politics.

My email is about Rachael and TikTok / Instagram gate. I don’t think people should cancel her just because she is a Republican (Matt was also a registered Republican until he was cast for the show.) I also don’t think people should cancel her because she is from the South either (from an apparently a racist town LOL) I think it’s ridiculous that Gen Z and young millennials are so overly engaged in politics that they literally think everyone who voted for Trump is a racist homophobe who hates LGBT & POCs and stormed the Capitol with all those Qanon idiots. I am a registered Republican and also a normal person. Most of us don’t worship Trump and many of us are one-issue voters who are simply making a choice based on what our values are. Literally, all my friends are liberals, I like in a very blue suburb. By automatically calling someone who disagree with a racist or a communist or whatever, you are further radicalizing them and pushing them underground.

Being from the South or from a conservative town also doesn’t make you are racist either. It is true that the South has a more recent and visible history with racism than the North with slavery, segregation, and interracial marriage not being legalized until 1967. However, this doesn’t mean that ALL white people from conservative Southern towns are racist. Same goes for the fact that this doesn’t mean ALL white people from liberal Northern towns are not racist. My MIL has made racist comments towards interracial couples, and she’s a white liberal from a Northern blue state. It was hurtful to hear her say this because she didn’t know I had dated a black man in the past.

Anyway, what concerns me the most about Rachael is the confederate flag picture and the bullying. Whether or not you think the Confederate Flag is racist or not shouldn’t be a whole argument but it is. However, at the very least it has the PERCEPTION of being a racist flag. Why would her friends GO to a party with this said flag, POSE in FRONT of it, and POST it PUBLICALLY on Instagram? Rachael’s mother’s excuse was so lame. The fact that Rachael liked it shows ignorance at best, and internalized racism at its worst.

The bullying of Maddy Bierster (the girl on Tik Tok) for liking black guys concerns me. The influx of messages that Maddy got regarding it were even more concerning. One of which most was disturbing was an instance where a group of black people were trying to get into the bars in Milledgeville near her college GSCU and Rachael was apparently making remarks that “their kind isn’t allowed.” Apparently, she also bullied half of her pledge class and a girl dropped out because of HER. Another girl cheered with her for four years and she never said a word to her and would ignore her if she tried to talk to them. Yes, I know you are doing to say “innocent until proven guilty” but I still think its concerning. At the worst, she is a racist mean girl. At the very least, she runs with catty bully type groups.

I feel like Rachael might have been involved with the drama more than we see on the show, but she is adjacent to it. The producers don’t want the lead to come off as catty or mean in any way. She was seen hugging Anna, one of the girls openly bullying Sarah last night. It seems like she was friends with Victoria as well, since Victoria actually posted a picture with the two of them in wedding dresses and she is the season’s number 1 bully. It would be extremely upsetting to see her actually win. I do think Matt is naive and just picked one of the “hottest” girls. I would be extremely disappointed to see her win. You can’t just date a black man to get over your internalized racism. If your family is racist too, that makes it even worse. Imagine having biracial children, and being upset they don’t “look white enough.” It’s just a horrible thought. I think if you have racism in your heart or your family, don’t marry someone of another race to compromise. Your children honestly deserve better than a mother who also wishes they were “whiter looking.”

Anyway, that’s just my two cents.

Comment: Thanks. There’s a lot to digest there. What I’ll say to you is exactly what I said the day Maddy’s TikTok came out. I’ve had people come to me who’ve said Rachael bullied them in high school and college, along with being openly racist, and I’ve had just as many defenders of her saying she’s nothing like she’s being portrayed online, everyone is trying way too hard to look into things that aren’t there, people are making extreme reaches, and that she’s one of the nicest, most soft spoken girls you’d ever meet. Some of the things online the optics aren’t great. Lets just be careful with the cancel culture. It’s getting out of hand. Especially on something that isn’t 100% crystal clear.

Hi Steve,

I hope you are doing well. Here are my thoughts on Sarah leaving the show last night.

Overall I think it was yet another situation handled in a very disrespectful/cynical/sad way by the producers.

I don’t keep statistics but I am pretty sure that there is at least one contestant who self eliminates on every season. However I don’t remember seeing so much drama surrounding it as we saw last night.

Another thing that we see regularly, maybe more so on the Bachelor, is a contestant who believes she formed an early strong connection with the lead and can’t handle seeing him dating other women and forming other romantic relationships. Some manage to get through it, others don’t.

I believe this comes from very personal insecurities and vulnerabilities. And I don’t think it makes a big difference what the person’s motivation was for being on the show in the first place or if they can actually see themselves getting engaged at the end. When it gets triggered you just have to suffer through it.

In Sarah’s case, I think she fell (with a little push from producers) into this pattern. Having to open up about a very personal family situation on your first date with a guy with whom there is definitely a mutual attraction would tend to heighten those “romantic” feelings, especially in the context of the show where it is expected of you to fall in love quickly.

I guess the producers needed extra drama and they felt Sarah was expendable even though Matt seemed to genuinely like her. I am sure it was easy for them to exploit Sarah’s insecurities, add in the situation with her Dad to bring her to the point of feeling she had to leave.

Maybe they knew she had a boyfriend and would leave before hometowns anyway, maybe not. Was she more than happy to get extra attention from Matt? Sure, but that backfired on her big time.

They made her interrupt the group date after party, which pissed off all the women there (with reason) and made her feel even worse.

On a side note, some of those women, like Queen Victoria and Anna (who has the eyes of a crazy woman) were absolutely awful to Sarah (to the producers’ delight I’m sure). Another proof of production’s total disregard if not contempt for these contestants as they allow this behavior.

So in the end Sarah left. Yes she was fake crying in the car, but her tears looked real enough on group date night and in her room. What a train wreck of an ending for her, with no upside.

She might get extra followers who will sympathize with her, but we are only at episode 3, in two weeks max she will be forgotten. Some might think she created drama on purpose to get Matt’s attention, but she didn’t need to do that and I think if the producers had left her alone she would have made it far.

Thanks for reading this long winded rant. Looking forward to your feedback

Comment: Well, if you look at Page 1 today, you’ll see Sarah gained 45k followers from Monday night til last night, way more than any other contestant over that 24 hr period. So her goal that she set out for, at least for the time being, is working. Now that she’s gone it’ll slow down, but she will 1000% be on Paradise.

Hi Steve,

Thanks as always for all you do!

I know it’s very early so I won’t hold you to this, but if you had to make a guess right now, who would you guess will be the Bachelorette? Assuming he does pick Rachel, I’d have to guess either Bri or Abigail, though we don’t know how big of a player she ends up being this season. If she’s too 6, I’d have to imagine she’d still be a contender, especially given her backstory. Bri is incredibly likeable and seems very mature and reasonable. Serena came across great last night, too, but I don’t see them making a 22 year old the lead, no matter how mature she seems. Will be interesting to see what Michelle’s portrayal is, given that she’s one of the late arrivals.

Speaking of, it’s funny how big of a deal it was that Bekah was 22, and now we have 21 and 22 year olds and the age hasn’t come up. Granted Matt is much younger than Arie, but still.

Based on what we’ve seen so far, I think Bri would be a great candidate. I guarantee there’d be people complaining about three leads of color in a row…but I’m sure those people thought it was fine when it was 20+ white leads in a row!

Comment: I’d say those are two good guesses. Yeah, I don’t see Serena at 22 being the “Bachelorette.” But she’s great. One of my favorite ones this season. Paradise? Absolutely. I know last night Ashley on the live brought up Katie for “Bachelorette.” I think she’s more suited for Paradise, but I’m pretty sure Katie finishes like 10th or 11th in that range. I can’t see them making someone who finished that low the “Bachelorette.” She’d definitely be the first that’s for sure.

So last night was the first episode I’ve watched -( preferring your recaps, though I did PVR them) – just never got around to watching them.

Your column should be required reading for everyone that signs up for this show. Do you think that they are aware of who you are at all before signing on the dotted line – especially the younger ones? Or do they think they’re too smart to get sucked into this crap? I mean, these people are behaving awfully. Yes, there’s behind the scenes manipulation, yes they all want screen time….but seriously? If any friend of mine acted like some of these women do on the show, – they would no longer be a friend of mine. I can’t speak for everyone but if they haven’t heard of me before they go on the show, they will have heard of me by the time they leave since production tells them about me. Unfortunately, bad behavior gets rewarded on this show all too often.

The gang mentality bullying is horrific – and we wonder why this stuff is a problem in schools. It’s rewarded here – and people recognize that.

As per your info, Sarah may not be the best person in the world, – but I don’t think that means these girls have act like she’s the last gazelle at the lion lunch station. It would be nice if MAYBE we saw some adult behavior once in a while – and yes – absolutely agree that Serena is a welcome respite from these idiots.

Anyhow, – I guess they’re doing what they need to do in their minds for fame and followers…it’s too bad the show rewards this stuff – but hey, – ratings, right? And of course, you’ve got to feed the beast that is toxic bachelor nation.

Comment: I think Sarah took waaaaaaay too much from the women last night – especially after an apology. If Sarah came downstairs all guns blazing, the reaction from the women would’ve made more sense. You saw both Kit and MJ post IG stories yesterday apologizing calling it a lack of communication because they didn’t know what the backstory was with Sarah’s dad. Sooooo, that excuses their behavior? Doesn’t work like that. They’re saying, “Oh, well, we didn’t know she had a dad with ALS at home.” Why did you need to know that before you jumped down her throat after an apology? What am I missing here? Should’ve just apologized without using a qualifier.

Send all links and emails to: To follow me on Twitter, it’s: Instagram name is RealitySteve, or join my Reality Steve Facebook Fan Page. Talk to you tomorrow.

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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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