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Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” Ratings, IG Growth, & Ivan Speaks Out

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Hi! I have some comments on this season. First time emailer, long time reader. Thanks for all you do.

First, I am very sad they Katie won’t be the bachelorette this year. I think she’s funny and is very positive. I understand what the reasons why, but it stills sad. Are you sure there’s 100% no way Katie will be the Bachelorette now? I would like to see Pieper be the Bachelorette. I’ve heard it will not be Katie anymore.

Matt seems like a great guy but my husband and I both feel he’s not ready for a commitment from watching this season. I feel they focused on the drama because there was less of a romance story line this season. It seemed like all the families pretty much had the same thing to say during the home towns, questioning if their daughters were ready.

One takeaway we noticed was Matt never asked permission for an engagement and I was thinking most Bachelors have asked permission to the parents maybe in the last few seasons? Unless, they just didn’t show it.

I think Tayshia would be a great host!

Also, they should just skip to Bachelor in Paradise instead of the Bachelorette:)

Thanks Steve!

Comment: Yeah, I don’t know if they just didn’t show it because they know he didn’t ultimately propose in the end. But it definitely was weird we never saw him ask once. However, that’s the way it should be. I get that this is speed dating, but it’s always so ridiculous that the first time the guy is meeting the parents, he’s asking the dad for permission. It’s never felt right.
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Hi Steve!

Sorry if you’ve addressed this. I just read your column, but other than that I’ve kind of avoided bachelor posts/videos the past two weeks because it’s just exhausting.

I haven’t seen anything addressed on this yet! But what about the promos that have been running during the show the past 2 weeks calling for senior casting contestants?! Do you think this is a road they’d actually go down? A few years ago I think this idea would’ve bored me, but now it’s time for something different!

It’s been years since Byron’s season and he seemed ancient at the time, but I’m sure he was only like 40. I would hope they’d go even older for this. I would totally welcome this and be interested in watching. Maybe only cast contestants who aren’t on social media? Ha. Something different to switch it up.

Comment: No they were advertising this during Peter’s season before COVID hit and they were all set to do it. Now they’re just re-starting it again. It’s not going to replace the “Bachelor” or “Bachelorette.” This would just be another show from them. And no, this isn’t a 40’s dating show. They are looking for 60 and over I believe.
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Hi Steve,

I sure hope this is where I’m supposed to be emailing.

Anywho, I have a few theories and I wanted to see your thoughts on them. You were questioning why Matt and Rachael broke up. Well I think we all knew they weren’t going to last anyway but I think it goes deeper than him just dumping her because he’s under pressure. Do you think??

Do you think producers push him in her direction? Is that something they do? I certainly think Matt has been hearing a lot of chirping from people in his life and online, and this seems to be a knee jerk reaction to it. Why now? This isn’t new information.

Do you think they recommend Matt to give Rachael certain dates? I personally think they are not giving us the full scope of other relationships to look like he’s so in love with Rachael but I just don’t see anything deep there. It seems very shallow and infatuation-ish with them.

The reason I ask is clearly he is interested in her and finds her physically attractive but it’s not that deep between them and I think he’s comfortable with that based on his past of finding it hard to open up. It’s hard for him to open up and go deep and it’s clear. I think Matt holds back on purpose with Bri for this reason. I personally think he called her last on the rose ceremony because he’s scared to go further with her because he feels he will be vulnerable to opening up and potentially getting hurt. Just because she told him how she felt doesn’t mean long term action.

So I’m also saying all of this to say it seemed as though Matt picked Rachael based off of physical attraction, security/reliability in a relationship but over other solid amazing women only for her to have such negative things come up about her. And in the beginning he supported her until other solid evidence came out. I think that’s probably when he had to really re-evaluate the situation and think deeply on it. Matt seemed pissy that Serena would come that far only to do that to him so I can’t imagine how he feels betrayed by Rachael especially when he could have had a solid relationship with Bri or Michelle who we have seen 0 drama from on or off the show. His message on IG was pretty strong against Rachael and the franchise…ouch

I love Michelle!! she is amazing but for some reason I think he has a soft spot for Bri. It’s just the way he looks at her and holds his posture. It’s like he’s afraid to go deep with her. Anywho that’s just my observation but Im excited to see how they end because I don’t see him sending Bri home easy. And there still seems to be tension there….yea???

Maybe I’m wrong.

Thanks for listening

Comment: I don’t think Matt ever did this show to find a life partner. I’ve made that known since before he was ever named the Bachelor. He was in this for clout, for followers, to improve his brand, and to get his name out there. Especially when you’re someone who’s never been on the show before, I don’t blame the guy for taking the gig. I just don’t buy it was for any sincere reasons, like most of them.
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What’s up Steve?

Guess I’m starting to send emails a little more now. I actually love hearing your thoughts. I always enjoy talking with people about shows and hearing their thoughts, no matter how good or bad it can be. Last night’s episode was okay, but the tweets are what I live for while watching the show. I prefer bachelor nation on twitter because you can make a joke and everyone laughs, but instagram is where it can be toxic, especially with Chris, Rachael K and Rachel L and how fans still wanna sympathize with Chris and Rachael but not Rachel L, but i’m not gonna discuss that. What were some of your favorite tweets from the show? I have so many relating to Bri and Rachael “smacking into the earth.” I didn’t notice many last night since I wasn’t on Twitter too much.

Other thing, so I read that you said Rachael and Matt broke up. I’m not gonna lie but I’m both shocked and not shocked at the same time. I’m shocked because when he first made his statement, he said in that interview that Rachael will speak on it (kinda made it like he was defending her, plus they were still together) and I’m not shocked because what she did was actually very serious and after Matt did some research and thought about it, he probably felt lied to because he’s just finding out about this. She probably most likely would have never said anything if people didn’t find out information about her or even admitted, so in a way, I’m glad for Matt. Hopefully he will find someone else, and if he’s back with Rachael, then I do hope she is learning and educating herself. I never wanted her canceled, I just wanted to make sure she owns up to what she did and educate herself. That’s all I wanted for Bachelor Nation. make sure they are educated and learn. Here’s the actual question:

Now they are no longer together, how will the show go about After the Rose Finale? Do you think it’s possible that Tayshia and Zac can have it considering they never got one because of Covid? I just feel like that would be fair instead of having Matt come all alone and explain what happened or something but it also makes sense for him to actually come to explain what happened.

Comment: Well last I checked Tayshia and Zac are in NY. So unless we see they’re on a plane to LA, they aren’t gonna be on. But they were in LA during WTA taping, so maybe they’re part of that.

And yes, your point about Matt is a good one and one I mentioned earlier. The first time he spoke about the stuff against Rachael, seemed a hell of a lot more forgiving and asking people to wait til she speaks on this. Then that statement was like a 180 where things had to sink in, or he just looked at his phone for the first time in weeks? I don’t know. It was certainly confusing and his words and actions from a couple weeks ago don’t add up.
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Hi RS:

Do you think Matt would have chosen Serena if she’d stuck around & didn’t leave?

Or was it always going to be Rachel? I didn’t get any sense that Serena was his front runner.

Did you notice that the sky diving instructor who was attached to Rachel looked like he was a teenager? That would have made me nervous. I didn’t pay attention to him. I have no idea. But I gotta believe he at least knew what he was doing and was a trained professional, no? They’d just let some random guy jump out of a plane at 12,000 feet with her?

Did the producers give the kids the questions to ask Michelle & Matt?

Comment: Absolutely they did. Because if they didn’t, I’m sure one of them would’ve dropped a, “Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina” on them. Or maybe “It’s not a tumor.”
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Steve,

I’ve quit watching the season at this point, but I’m still following your recaps to keep up with what’s happening regarding Chris/Bachelorette.

I am on board with removing Chris. He isn’t intrical to the “process” and his acting is terrible. Maybe they find someone who can look surprised when twists and turns happen. His fake “Heather, what are you doing here?” was just too much.

I am not on board with removing Katie because of Chris. She didn’t do anything wrong, and is literally being removed because of the color of her skin. That isn’t progress, that is regression. Imagine the conversation they had when they let her go, “You’re a great pick. The best we have actually, because you’re mature and shine onscreen. But we can’t pick you because the color of your skin might piss some people off.”

And if it is the solution that the franchise comes up with, then clearly they aren’t actually learning from their mistakes. They are trying to pacify their critics by doing the same thing they did this season, “Look! We hired a person of color! We are diverse and inclusive!” But the critics aren’t stupid.

Matt James wasn’t a good pick for Bachelor. The first black Bachelor should have been Mike Johnson, and instead they picked F-boy Pete. Critics allowed themselves to be pacified with Matt because it looked like progress. But @bachelordata has made it very clear how little progress was really made. (Thanks for the intro to that Instagram account by the way. I love her stuff!)

The BIPOC/allied community isn’t trying to eradicate whiteness from the screen. They are simply trying to make sure the cast/crew is diverse and that those diverse stories are shown. They are trying to make sure that people don’t feel ostracized on account of their skin. You can continue on with Katie and still do that! Choose men from diverse backgrounds that will match well with her! Then show their stories! Their real stories. It is that simple.

I know you’re waiting for a statement from them. So am I. I’m sad that it’s going to be some bullcrap statement about inclusivity though. I was hopeful when they released their statement about diversity back in June. Now… eh. I’ll believe it when I see it on the screen.

Comment: At this point, is a statement even worth anything. It’s been over 2 weeks since Chris’ interview with Rachel. If you can’t make a statement by now, it kinda seems pointless. The other thing is, if this statement doesn’t include some sort of plan of action moving forward, it’s even more worthless. If I can’t trust them to even address this publicly and it’s been 2 weeks, can I really be confident that they already have a plan in place to improve the show? No would be the answer.
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Hi! Not sure if this is where I am supposed to send questions for reader emails but I assume it is!

I’ve always loved watching this show and reading your spoilers (been getting super drained on the entire show these past few seasons though and just feel like it’s way too produced now). I’m a huge The Challenge fan as well! I’ve had a question this whole season and it has to do with Kit. Are there certain rules about not being able to post on social media while filming is happening? I remember thinking there is no way that Kit made it that far in the season because her social media had posts every single day during filming (obviously she had someone posting for her) but are there certain contracts that says they can or can’t do that? She also hasn’t posted anything regarding the show this entire season so it just seems odd! Thanks! I was just curious and was wondering if you had insight on this type of thing!

Comment: She clearly had someone posting for her while she was filming. People have done that before. It’s rare, but it does happen.
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Hey Steve,

I feel like I’m emailing every couple of weeks just to tell you how much I love the podcast. Each week, I appreciate the enjoyable banter and depth of conversations you bring to the table for all of us!

If you ever have another fan appreciation party, I feel like you must invite Ashley Mitchell! I was cracking up listening to your convo. It is so nice to hear from Challengers and get a different perspective than what we see on TV. I’d absolutely invite Ashley to the next one – whenever that may be.

Can we talk about Mark Walberg too? He does more as a host at 1 bonfire than Chris Harrison does for an entire season of the Bachelor. He didn’t give a single spoiler on the pod but the way he spoke, actually made us excited for the season. I really enjoy when you chat with him both pre & post season for TI. He’s great. And he would absolutely be someone I can see hosting the “Bachelor” franchise moving forward, although I don’t think they’ll ever bring him in.

Finally, just wanted to say thank you for having Taylor Nolan on again. And thank you for your honesty and the stance you’ve made for more diversity and change. You’ve been an advocate and an ally for a long time. Thank you.

Couple questions because it’s my favorite thing to throw at you.

1) Since you stay unspoiled on TI, are you going to put down preseason predictions for each couple? I honestly think all of them break up. And I’m basing that on nothing. I haven’t done any research online about these people, nor have I been told anything. Someone asked me if I wanted to know some TI spoilers the other day, and I said no.

2) If you were on the challenge, would you rather pole wrestle or hall brawl, if thrown in to get your skull? It would all depend on who I was going up against. If it was someone my size or smaller, I’d do Hall Brawl. Because that’s really a strength thing. You can have all the heart in the world, but if you’re going up against someone significantly stronger than you in Hall Brawl, would be very tough to win.

3) Speaking of the challenge, is there a challenger you did not like but have changed your mind on this season (or seasons past)? I have never been a Devin fan but find myself liking him this season. That would quickly change if Bananas came back and they were at odds again. Devin is pure comedy. When he tries it against Bananas, it doesn’t seem to work since Bananas sees right through him. But he can sure rile these guys up. I was always pretty indifferent on Leroy believe it or not. But now I’m openly rooting for him.

4) Have you ever heard of Lauren Zima again, once she got together officially with Chris Harrison? I know you had her on the pod once. Once I did. And I doubt I ever will again.

5) Do you think we’ll see any one from TI on a future season of the Challenge? There were rumors that Morgan from season 1 was going to be on Double Agents.

Thanks always for what you do Steve!

Comment: Yeah, I do. Morgan was a finalist for Double Agents but didn’t make the final cut. But I absolutely think we’ll see a TI person on the Challenge at some point in the future.
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Hi Steve! I know I’ve said this before and you said it’s never going to happen, but I think for this next season of The Bachelorette, the most perfect candidate would be Angela Amezcua. She could be the new Arie! Some people would have no idea who she is, but they have all the clips from when she was on Bachelor in Paradise, her backstory with Clay, etc. I think it would be the perfect time. I don’t think it will be Angela, nor do I think they’re even considering her.

Many people have said that Ben Higgins would be the perfect replacement for Chris Harrison. I do not think that is ever going to happen now, considering his fiancee attended the same type of parties in college that Rachel attended. She has acknowledged it on her instagram. I absolutely love the idea of having Mark Wahlberg. As you said on the live, some people wouldn’t even realize that Chris Harrison was gone since they look so much alike! Mark is absolute perfection on Temptation Island and would be so great on The Bachelor. I actually wish they would have him give advice, like Chris used to back in the day. As you have said, Chris hasn’t done much the last few seasons anyway. Mark would be the simplest replacement and easiest transition. I think he’d excel on this show, as long as you let him do his thing and actually incorporate the host more. Will it happen? No.

I will not be surprised if Chris returns to the show eventually. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if he just wants to relocate to Texas and continue to be behind the scenes on the show, or move on all together. Maybe he doesn’t want to go back anyway. Who knows!

I am sure Rachel is obligated to attend after the final rose. I am very curious to see how that is going to be handled. Rachel and Becca keep saying that Rachel will be on their Happy hour podcast eventually. I will honestly be shocked if she goes on that podcast. Maybe it will depend on how the after the final rose goes. We shall see! I think Rachael absolutely needs to go on their podcast. She needs to put a face and/or a voice behind her statement.

Please tell Ashley that she made me laugh the other day when she posted on Instagram that she’s always going to be Burley’s nanny, even when he goes to college. All I could think was, if he ever goes on The Bachelorette, he’d be the new Corrine! I am so glad that you and Ashley are back doing the lives. I love the dynamic between the two of you.

Comment: Thanks. We never thought these lives would be as popular as they are. We just did it during quarantine last May out of boredom. But this has been a lot of fun.
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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 tomorrow.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. jlal

    February 25, 2021 at 11:16 AM

    I said it in an earlier post and I’ll say it again. This show is the epitome of the patriarchal, privileged white male society we have had in this country since the beginning. The objectifying/sexifying of women (and men), the women “catfights”, the either ignoring or pathetic attempts at racial diversity all were normal TV back in the day. Unfortunately, as early as 20 years ago that was standard in TV and films and frankly accepted by most and grudgingly expected by women and minorities. Sure, SM has changed the show and not for the better that is a given. However, the majority white male producers and network execs first don’t even recognize their own privilege, but second don’t want it to change even when they do. And, why would they because under representing minorities and painting women as petty and vapid has enabled them to stay in their privileged position. That being said, society has moved on and they are hanging on by their fingernails now. They either change with society or they will be left behind.

    One point on the Rachel southern party thing. Everyone evolves (hopefully) as they learn. She was young and going along with a tradition of her institution. Most of those kids probably didn’t think they were being racists at all. Ignorance is bliss and they most likely weren’t aware of the negative symbolism. Honestly, someone almost 50 years old is taking a break because of cluelessness and she was only a kid. I say give the girl a break, she is learning and it is a hard lesson.

  2. justsaying

    February 26, 2021 at 7:34 AM

    I feel Racheal’s latest audio apology is one of the most sincere. I hope she will be the ally she promise to be and I do think she deserves the benefit of the doubt.

    As for her breakup with Matt, mehh. All he gave her was a promise ring. He was never serious. Who gives someone a few weeks to change like this and then gives up on that person they supposedly love?? I wanted Mike Johnson in the first place over Pilot Pete and Matt.

  3. mgb970

    February 26, 2021 at 12:44 PM

    @justsaying

    > and then gives up on that person they supposedly love?

    Exactly this.

    Where’s the “we’re gonna work on things together”? Or, “we’re going to use our platform to make things better together”?

    Instead Matt took a page from the Becca playbook of my life partner isn’t woke enough for me.

  4. justsaying

    February 26, 2021 at 1:19 PM

    @mgb970 Any man who gives the lady a promise WILL NOT be standing by her. I wish the ATFR will delve into this matter to save lots of ladies their time but they won’t.

    His decision to break up is solely image-based, obviously. Just a few weeks ago he said to give Racheal grace and benefit of the doubt, exactly what Chris said. But no outrage on Matt’s part.

    I wish the host will hold Matt accountable for saying the exact same thing Chris did. But they won’t bother.

  5. mgb970

    February 26, 2021 at 11:25 PM

    @justsaying

    > I wish the host will hold Matt accountable for saying
    > the exact same thing Chris did. But they won’t bother.

    Nope.

    The thing that sunk Chris was implying a party in 2018 is not the same as a party in 2021. Without that, you’d have a point about hypocrisy.

  6. realitynyc12

    February 27, 2021 at 4:20 AM

    You know, there are a lot smaller things one can break up over than ” my partner isn’t wokec enough for me”. That’s actually a pretty damn good reason to break up, if you ask me. Becca actually explained it best- how are you going to raise a family with someone if you’re fundamentally not on the same page on very major societal and political issues. Sure some people manage to do it but its insurmountably harder and relationships are plenty hard even when you don’t already have those road blocks.
    What I’m really curious about, and I hope this gets asked on AFTR, was if Matt and Rachael have had any serious and honest conversations about race and her upbringing and views of her family on these things. Because as Becca pointed out, stuff like this should 100% be discussed during any off camera time prior to getting engaged. That’s the kind if eye opening discussion that I think would have saved everyone a lot of time and aggravation here.
    I like Rachael, I really do, even more so after the latest Video she put out on Instagram, it was sincere and well spoken. But I think Matt 100% made a mistake in picking her, maybe he felt a pull to go against the grain and didn’t want to pick someone just because they’re biracial like him and that’s what he felt was ” expected of him”, he was prob the most physically into Rachael. But clearly a lot more is needed than that for a successful relationship.

  7. justsaying

    February 27, 2021 at 9:07 AM

    @mgb970 Chris got into a hole because he asked for compassion, downplayed, made excuses and dismissed Racheal’s racism.

    This was exactly Matt’s overall sentiment. He was calling it rumors and to give her benefit of the doubt. How can he not outright denounce the racism and in turn warn everyone how rumors can ruin her life.

    Say what?? I remember feeling outraged. These aren’t rumors or gossip or here say. There were so many photos of her culturally appropriating, liking photo with the confederate flag and of course the terrible party. No excuses for Matt.

  8. justsaying

    February 27, 2021 at 9:22 AM

    @realitynyc12 if he broke up with her because she wasn’t woke enough, then why did he defend her before the major backlash?? He was happily listening to her Spotify but the timing is, there’s an outrage and she no longer is good for his image, therefore he dumps her.

  9. realitynyc12

    February 27, 2021 at 2:26 PM

    @justsaying
    That may very well be a part of it too. And then also perhaps initially he thought he could get past all that and stand by her but as the controversy took on a life of its own, perhaps it forced him to take a cold hard look at the relationship and whether it was something that would be sustainable long term. Looking at her family history and where she grew up, honestly if I was a person of color, as much as I may have been into someone, to have to jump over those types of hurdles for the rest of my life and then potentially involve children. While she clearly is very eager to unlearn the racist upbringing and I believe her every word about doing the work, its just a lot, and it is exhausting for a black person to have to bear the weight of that in what’s supposed to be the beginning Honeymoon period of a relationship. So I don’t blame him at all. Even if a lot of it is also to save his image, he’s only human and has to do what he feels is best for him longterm. I’m sure it was far from being an easy decision either way.
    Bottom line is, none of us were a fly on the wall in that relationship, all we can do is speculate. Hopefully a lot of this would be answered at the AFTR.

  10. justsaying

    February 27, 2021 at 5:01 PM

    @realitynyc12 I seriously doubt this promise-ring-Matt thought about children and upbringing and I even wonder if he knows her last name. The moment she didn’t match his image, he bails.

  11. Nahu

    February 27, 2021 at 10:49 PM

    LOL. Are you getting paid by ABC to defend their awful business decisions? Ratings have been DOWN all season (1 million compared to Colton and Peter’s seasons).

  12. justsaying

    February 28, 2021 at 10:56 PM

    Ok time to cancel Taylor too?

  13. kayakguy

    March 2, 2021 at 1:12 PM

    How can we watch Bachelor Canada? Time to stop watching the US version — too political.

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