Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” Ratings, & Your “Bachelorette” Filming Location Confirmed

Photo Credit: ABC

Hello Steve,

I have to be honest I am not watching this season of The Bachelor. I’m not sure why. It could be because the Claresha season just did me in and I’m still recovering or because I find Matt James lack luster, who knows. I recently read an article talking about why Robert Mills thinks ratings are down for Matt’s season. He also talks about when Matt said he didn’t know what to do during the rose ceremony and all the bachelor producers fainted from shock. Well not really but that’s basically what he said. If I remember correctly Chris Harrison said something along the same lines about him having to “teach” Matt what to do.

My question for you is do you think their criticism of him being a first time Bachelor is fair or warranted? I was actually excited to get someone new that we haven’t seen 23 times already, crying into our tv screen (sorry Clare). But I get it could be a slippery slope when trying to get someone outside of Bachelor nation, we could get a dud. Maybe Matt is? How would I know, I’m not even watching. I just get my info through you. Even though he’s new I think their being too hard on him. Again sorry he hasn’t done this show forwards and backwards like some other people. I’m rooting him on from afar.

Comment: I mean, how he is as a Bachelor is purely subjective. Some people love him. Some people think he’s been ok (like me). And some people think he’s shown zero emotion and is barely into more than one or two people and he’s counting the days til Tyler shows up so he can bro out with him.

Robert Mills did specifically say though that 99.9% the next “Bachelorette” will be from the franchise. Not that that’s a shot at Matt, but for him to be so definitive only 4 episodes into Matt’s season, I think pretty much says, “Hey, for the first time in 25 seasons, we chose someone who’d never been on our show before and, well, next season we’re not gonna do that again.”

Hey Steve,

Thanks for all that you do! I’m so happy that Ashley is back for the lives 🙂

Here is my 2 cents on the Clare/Dale break-up. Dale has always seemed a little off to me, especially with the parents hitchhiking story. That was just too strange of a coincidence. It almost felt like Dirty John vibes. As in, he wanted to connect on such a deep level that he would make things up to have in common. Then he posted the break-up in his IG story AND feed. Then he called the paparazzi to come ask him questions about what’s going on and if he would do BIP or be The Bachelor. His answer was “I’m not there yet man”… He is looking pretty bad in the way he has handled everything. Seems disrespectful and immature.

Non Bachelor related – on a scale of 1-10, how surprised are you that Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton are still together and engaged? I remember back in the day you thought this may be just another celebrity hook-up.

Comment: Pretty surprised.

Hi Steve,

I just wanted to share some thoughts I had about the ratings this season. You talked about the comments being made about how viewership will increase now that there is a buzz around Matt. I really appreciated your thoughts and I agree that I do not think viewership will increase substantially, but for a different reason.

Using the small sample of friends that I have that watch the bachelor, we seem to all agree that Clare/Tayshia season was a disaster. It was not enjoyable to watch and the dates were downright cheesy. It seemed like a super low budget version of the show and didn’t have the same polish as other seasons. I honestly think that may have turned people off Matt’s season. People don’t want to watch that again and it was well-known that this season was also being filmed in one location.

How did you feel about the Clare/Tayshia season compared to other seasons of this show? Do you think that is impacting viewership currently?

Comment: It’s hard to say. Monday was the highest rated episode of the season thus far, both in viewers and rating. So I expect small increases as the season moves forward.

Hi Steve,

Love your lives with Ashley and so glad y’all are back! I’m not sure if you have already explained this before, but with the recent talk about Matt’s season having such a low rating and references to how many million viewers compared to other seasons, I can’t imagine that is the reference point for live cable viewers only with the way the industry is moving. How do DVRs, streaming services, etc. play into those numbers?

Comment: The numbers you see me post are the overnight numbers. There are definitely other ways to break it down, DVR +3, DVR +7, etc. But advertisers really look at the overnight numbers, as do most networks. Streaming services don’t have something that you can log into and see the download numbers or stuff like that. Maybe in the future they will. Right now, they stay pretty coy about their numbers, other than to say a particular show is a “hit.” Well, we don’t really know if it is because they don’t share their numbers.

Hi Steve,

I was listening to your podcast during a run this weekend and heard your question about what makes a book a best seller and what that means. You may have already received an answer to your question, but I’m writing with my understanding of it just in case.

Any provider can have its own “best seller” list based on their own sales and top performers. Amazon, Barnes &Noble, etc often have their own and advertise such based on that. That’s why their lists don’t necessarily align, although there is often overlap and similarities because a truly good book will perform well across multiple platforms.

New York Times Best Seller aggregates data from all national sales, pre-sales, etc. to make their own list. This is more accurate as to what is truly a national “best seller” as it’s not relying solely on one book provider. I think NYT also considers critics’ choices and opinions.

While being a best seller on any list is an honor for a writer, being on NYT is probably the highest (aside from awards like Pulitzer, obviously).

Chris Harrison showing he’s a best seller on Amazon simply means a lot of Bachelor fans went to Amazon and bought his book there. He’s unlikely to make a Barnes & Noble or NYT best selling list because most people don’t care enough to actually go out and buy it. Or if they’re perusing a bookstore, they’re likely looking for more substantive books..although it’s possible if enough fans buy it and his ghost writer is really good.

Ashley/others may have different understandings, but that’s mine. I read a lot of books (especially during the pandemic) and have learned the differences that way, so it might not be the most accurate description of differences.

Comment: Crap. Totally forgot to ask Ashley about that last night on the live. I knew there was something I forgot. Thank you for explaining that. So basically Chris Harrison didn’t sell shit outside of the links he provided for people to buy off Amazon. Got it.

Hey Steve!

Longtime reader and fan, you know the deal!! For once, I have a question not dealing with Bachelor stuff at all which I know can be a breath of fresh air sometimes!

I recently started watching Love Island, and wow I love it!!! I’ve seen you mention it in your columns before and I know you’ve had “Islanders” as podcast guests before, so I said let me give it a try! I started with Season 1 of the U.S version which I heard didn’t get the best reception, but I found it so hilarious; I actually finished all 22 episodes in like 3 days!! Did you watch that season and if you did, did you have a favorite or least favorite couple or Islander? I really liked Caro because she was just a burst of energy; I loved Kyra and Cashel together too; and then Zac and Elizabeth!! I just think it’s hilarious that like Bachelor Nation, it doesn’t seem like it works out for the couples once they get to the outside world, because none of the final four couples from that season are together today!!

Then for someone that’s new to the series, which seasons do you recommend watching (if not all of them) and should I watch in a particular order? I was thinking of continuing with the 2nd season of the U.S, but people have told me that the U.K version is just so much better, so just wanted to hear your advice in terms of that.

And then last question- Overall, who have been your favorite Islanders on the show?? It can be from the U.K or U.S Seasons!!

Thanks for all you do!

Comment: I’ve only seen the two US seasons. I don’t remember a thing about season 1. Season 2 is more fresh. I’ll go with Tre as my favorite since he came on my podcast ha ha. Thought Caleb and Justine would last longer. Crazy to think that Connor and Mackenzie are the only couple left. I figured they’d be the first to break up.

Hi Steve!

Love reading your spoilers every season. I know you’ve mentioned they’ll never change casting young girls, but man am I tired of seeing 21 and 22 year olds come on the show “looking for love”. Serena certainly carries herself well, but Kit’s behavior last week was so childish and dramatic. I saw her and MJ post their “apologies” on their stories, but they seemed very fake; as if they were only sorry because of Sarah’s dad and not because of how they actually treated her. Do you know when MJ and Kit are gone? I can’t stand watching a 21 year old on this show anymore.


Comment: Not sure their exact episode exit, no.

Hey Steve,

I’ve kept up with your blog more recently and I always enjoy reading your content.

After listening to your podcast with Olivia C and staying up to date with your tweets I can’t help but notice how much attention you give to the trolls. Olivia’s podcast made it seem like they really affect you. I know it probably feels good to clap back sometimes but just know you don’t have too! I’m not sure if you’ve always called them out so maybe I’m just noticing it now. Sometimes after reading comments on bachelor content I feel exhausted with the audience so I can only imagine how you feel. I feel I give them maybe 1% of my time. Because I don’t respond to 99% of the stuff I get. But are there times where it’s fun to call them out? Sure.

Anyways, I wanted to send a positive review since it seems like you’ve got a lot of negative ones recently. Thank you for your take on the show and the spoilers! It saves me a lot of time not having to watch the dumb stuff but I still know what’s going on.

Thanks again for your work, I appreciate it.

Comment: Thanks. I haven’t looked in a while at my reviews, but the last time I looked, I did see a good number of trolls on there, so, I thought it was pointless. There’s a major difference between someone leaving a review of a podcast where you can tell they actually listened and are critiquing/complimenting what they heard, and trolls just saying they don’t like it without giving any specific examples, which is exactly what I saw. Disappointing, but what am I gonna do?

1. Not trying to be ugly or pass judgement on physical appearance AT ALL, but this is the 2nd rose ceremony where Victoria appears to have some kind of injury or stye on her left eye. Shouldn’t she have gotten medical help or seen the show doctor by this point? It’s just making me super unnerved since eye stuff is so easily transmissible. I believe she said on social media somewhere that yes, she did get a stye the night she slept on the couch. Now, it’s very tough to just automatically believe anything she says based on what we’ve seen about her, so I don’t know for sure. But that is what she shared.

2. How do you think production determined the ladies that they had come in on episode 4 versus the OG contestants? Did the contestants that had to wait around longer only to be introduced 4 episodes behind everyone else know that’s what was happening? At that point, when/if they realized they weren’t night-one contestants, could they have dropped out or had they already signed on the dotted line? I guess they could’ve said no, but they’d already been flown out there, had to quarantine for 10 days before the first night happened, then doing the math, probably another 10 days before they were introduced. Would you really want to leave after waiting around for 20 days? Might as well just stick it out at that point.

3. Did production know that Anna and Brittany knew each other (or knew of each other) prior to filming? Seems like too convenient of a story line for it to be just a coincidence.

Comment: I’m sure they had an idea.

Since day 1, every time I look at Kit I see the Queen’s Gambit actress. Is it just me? Surprised no one has brought this up. Also surprised how she comes off relatively mature for a 21 year old, especially compared to 27 year old Victoria.

Comment: I wouldn’t know. I haven’t watched Queen’s Gambit.

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  1. angelfish

    January 27, 2021 at 11:34 AM

    I don’t care what anybody says, vows, heard, intuits or believes:
    Matt was cast because he’s black.

  2. crushonspivey

    January 27, 2021 at 3:09 PM

    You’re probably right. But I have no problem with it. He’s a good lead. Better than many the show has produced from Bachette rejects.

  3. angelfish

    January 27, 2021 at 5:28 PM

    Sadly, I think he is the least charismatic, the least attractive, and the least watchable bachelor they’ve ever had. He’s an African-American placeholder, being used to satisfy a racial requirement the network finds itself at the mercy of.

    Lucky Matt at least gets some cash from the gig. Not an actual job or any self-respect, but he’ll have some pocket change for when he & Tyler hit the clubs. Good thing he won’t need to keep that pesky “fiancée” for long.

  4. ladyjane747

    January 28, 2021 at 8:49 AM

    A few comments from the reader emails. I’m an author and there are many “best seller” lists. I call myself a “bestselling author” because I’ve made the Publishers Weekly Bestseller list in mass market paperback. Any author who has made a bestseller list is going to use it. If you are a New York Times bestselling author, you’re going to specifically put “NYT bestselling author” in front of your name, but know the NYT list is also manipulated and not based solely on sales. Also, to call Rachael a racist is ludicrous. No racist is going to go on a dating show to date a black guy, and then get engaged to him. And to the person who wants Bachelor contestants “held accountable” for lying or whatever – sheesh! What would you like, the firing squad? People take this show much too seriously. And, yeah, most of us don’t really want to see current or political topics discussed on the show. Politics has invaded everything – just leave some mindless entertainment for us to enjoy! For those who want to see an all black cast (no diversity there at all), there are a couple of dating shows on OWN.

  5. justsaying

    January 28, 2021 at 9:21 AM

    Bri, Abigail and Katie, any one of them will be awesome. Quality, quality women. Hip hip hooray!!

  6. dogmomma

    January 28, 2021 at 2:11 PM

    ladyjane747, I agree with you!!! I don’t want to see or hear about politics on this show because I watch for entertainment and not to debate on political matters. What is surprising to me is how people automatically make judgement calls on someone based on what they did in high school or what they “liked” on Instagram. OMG, seriously??? Are we not allowed to make mistakes or bad judgements during our life? Garrett Y was practically crucified because of some things he “liked” on Instagram years earlier. And I see people criticizing Rachel for things she did years ago (allegedly). None of us are perfect and not everyone has the same political views. So I wish people would calm down and just enjoy the show for what it is….. mindless, sometimes trashy entertainment.

  7. idontcare

    January 28, 2021 at 10:46 PM

    I have to agree with you. I was excited to watch Matt’s season but now, it is just a snooze fest. I can also now understand why they choose leads from previous seasons. They already know enough about the person to get a feel for what their season will look like. Matt is not the best looking. He is rather dry and lackluster. I feel like he’s in it for the money which I don’t have a problem with. But all in all, they picked him solely bc he is black and they needed to appear woke. I wish him well.

  8. idontcare

    January 28, 2021 at 10:51 PM

    He is an okay lead but I feel like he’s trying too hard to look perfect or be someone he thinks tptb want from him. The one thing he does that kinda creeps me is the couple fingers on the girls chin thing when he’s kissing them.

  9. ladyjane747

    January 29, 2021 at 12:09 PM

    Thing is, if they wanted a black, male lead, there were plenty of other black contestants from previous seasons (including Tayshia’s) who were better looking and more dynamic than Matt. It’s almost like if they couldn’t have Tyler, they’d settle for his best friend. And don’t get me started on the hate Garrett got for supporting the police. When did supporting the police become political or a bad thing? I’m glad he didn’t back down, and it seems as if that cost him his relationship with Becca. If appearing woke is more important to you than your relationships, you have a problem.

  10. chasus

    January 29, 2021 at 6:01 PM

    I just want to say the entire thing on Rachel is just so dang loose and why did the accuser not choose to state this well before the season aired when they released the contestant photos? again forgive me if I too find this suspicious. What gets me is that people are so quick to believe a tik tocker who they know nothing about over someone who has made it on the show. we dont know either of these folks and yet people already clamping on against Rachael calling her a racist over this. When the tik tok girl first posted all of this I saw the comments of people even exposing her as a bully herself, she even deleted those comments and locked the videos. Yet people are jumping on this bandwagon of calling someone a racists with little to no evidence that would not even hold up in a court of law. I dont care if there are so called private messages to the tik tok original poster stating that Rachel was a mean girl. Being a mean girl and racist are 2 different things, IMHO. That is so bold to call someone a racist and when you get a chance to actually verbally state it was her who said these comments, all I get from the 5 tik tok videos was “the friend group” “the Friend group” To me why is this lady not willing to verbally say that it was specifically Rachael in those videos who called her racists things? It all stinks to me especially on something that happened in high school nearly 9 years ago. No it doesn’t excuse the behavior if true, but I assure you we all can remember how we acted at 16/17 compared to when we are 24/25. Also I have experienced racism and have encountered racists’ and let me say they would never step foot on any show let alone in any space with a person of color without seething through their teeth. You best believe they would not even touch a person of color nor be kissing on them for all their Klansman to see.

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