A lot of stuff coming up as we’re down the home stretch of the “Bachelor” season with overnights on Monday and then the finale and ATFR on the 15th. We know Emmanuel Acho will be hosting, but we haven’t heard a word from Chris Harrison since his February 13th post on IG saying he was stepping aside for a period of time for the show. That will all change, allegedly tomorrow, when he sits down with Michael Strahan on GMA. It hasn’t been officially named which day he’ll be on, but that’s the rumor going around it’ll happen tomorrow. I think we know pretty much what Chris will say, but, seeing and hearing him say it will be quite interesting. And as Ashley and I discussed on the live last night, I think the fact this is happening seems to be step 1 to Chris’ rehab tour and I think this is a major step into him returning to the show at some point. I don’t know when, but, if the show was completely done with him forever, I don’t think this interview happens. That’s just the way I see it. But I think a lot of people will see what he has to say. I wonder if he doesn’t only address the Extra interview (and by the way, the first thing he should do is apologize to Rachel Lindsay), but also all the other problematic things he’s said in the past that have been brought to the forefront the last few weeks. I hope he doesn’t think the only thing he did wrong was the Rachel “Extra” interview.
Last night’s live was broken up into 2 parts in case you missed it. 90 minutes total, and we covered a lot. Enjoy…
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I’m glad to see that the Bachelor franchise is making some effort at being more racially diverse — and that after the latest debacle, they’re going to have to do more of this. I think it’s fantastic that there are so many BIPOC women on the show now.
But it’s hard for me to take this diversity all that seriously when I don’t see them showing diverse images of women. Are they ever going to have women who are more than a size 4 or 6, and who aren’t conventionally attractive? Will there ever be a contestant who wears glasses all the time, or has acne or imperfect teeth, or who chooses not to wear makeup? And are we ever going to have women that don’t fit this attractive, middle-American, “normal” mode? How about some girls who were unpopular in high school, who are Goth or Emo, who go to sci fi conventions, who are bisexual or pansexual or gender nonconforming, or who are otherwise alternative or unique or outside the norm? And, for that matter, are we ever going to see men who aren’t conventionally attractive and conventionally masculine? It’s been 41 seasons and we’ve seen none of that. So my guess would be no.
To me, there are two fundamental representation problems with the show — the lack of racial diversity, but also the misogyny. It’s misogynist to show such a narrow definition of what it means to be an attractive woman. I don’t see the show dealing with the misogyny any time soon, because it’s hardwired into the DNA of the show. If pressed, the producers would tell us that viewers don’t want to see different kinds of women — which is the same excuse they’ve given for keeping the show so white for long.
I suppose this is more of a comment than a question! But I’d love to hear your take on it. Is this show ever going to include women who don’t fit their current mold?
Comment: Here’s the thing: It’s not just this show. Just in the media and social media as well has portrayed what they believe to be an attractive woman. So yeah, it screws with a lot of people’s heads because an attractive woman to some might unattractive to others and vice versa. But for this show, I just don’t see it changing unfortunately. They are what they are at this point. If they can just barely touch the surface on racial diversity after 18 years, it certainly doesn’t seem like they’re anywhere close to casting people with “normal” body types and features.
I must admit that watching this season is moot. We all know what has occurred, and what is happening outside the current season, is much more important. Do you think they should cancel the upcoming episodes and instead use the platform to promote education and healing using past and present POC and BIPOC contestants? Do you think the powers that be will ever do this?
Comment: They should but they won’t. But I am looking forward to some discussion about race on the ATFR. Shit, they’re bringing on a very qualified black host. If they don’t let Emmanuel do what he does, they will have totally wasted him in that role.
My comment first: I don’t know what happens behind the scenes, but for me as a viewer, I thought that Clare/Tayshia and Matt had very diverse casts. With them and the upcoming season’s men for Paradise, I thought they were on track for an equal split for the Paradise cast in terms of diversity. I was looking forward to watching that show.
My question: Production for the show must be a huge enterprise. How many people do they have filming the show in total, traveling with production, and how many people did they have in their covid bubble? Do the crew usually stay at the same hotel or do they rent other rooms for them elsewhere?
Comment: I think it’s around 200 total. And where crew stays depends on where they are. Clearly for these COVID Bubble seasons, everyone was at the same place. In the past, most crew is at a different place, while some crew members have to be with the cast or else they’d just take off and do what they want.
Where can I sign the petition for Mark Walberg as new Bachelor host?
Love home, love him, love him.
Comment: He’s awesome. Ashley says I fangirl over him. I couldn’t agree more. I absolutely do because I think he’s excellent at what he does for the show he’s on.
Thank you for all you do. I have a couple of questions to ask.
1. On one of your lives with Ashley you alluded to drama behind the scenes with Katie that we were never shown. Between this and one of the contestants saying they expected Katie to be the villain. What are we missing here? All I’ve heard is that the what was shown wasn’t necessarily how it was. BUT, I don’t have any examples. You can see some of the women speak out against her on IG after the WTA. There’s quite a few things being said on IG, but one main thing I keep in comments is her Sarah conversation and how it played in the house is much different than how it played on screen. But still no details.
2. Do you not think Michelle is getting the bachelorette edit? She’s been featured in the credits twice in a row and is getting that “falling deeply in love is about to be heartbroken”. Could it be the bachelorette edit or could it be setting Matt up to get back with Michelle at AFTR? I think you could’ve made a case for Katie, Pieper, Abigail, and Serena P. ALL getting “Bachelorette” edits at the WTA. So I expect it’s one of them, and adding in Bri and Michelle (minus Katie).
3. Is there a chance Rachael will ask to get Matt back? I’m quite surprised he broke up with her because at the start he defended her. Not from what I’m hearing. He’s done with her and done with the show. Just wants to move on.
4. Did you hear Kiarra (from Peter’s season) talk about Rachael? She basically said she has mutual friends with her and the things she’s heard about her are not great.
Comment: No, haven’t heard about Kiarra. I hope when she said this she provided receipts, or else, it’s another she said/she said game.
Keep up the good work. With all the Bachelor Nation drama, I have been riveted to your site.
I like Matt, but I totally agree with what you wrote about him doing the show for clout. Nothing about this man’s life as posted on social media says, “I’m looking to settle down with a wife or even a serious girlfriend.” lol
When he’s not working or doing charity programs, he seems more into partying, skateboarding, biking, boating, eating junk food, and hanging out with his bros, especially his bestie bro Tyler. Nothing wrong with this, if he’s not hurting anyone.
But no way, is this dude going to give up all that because he seems perfectly happy with the setup. The lifestyle is very much like a frat boy pushing 30. A serious relationship means that significant other would and should come before bros. I just don’t see that happening any time soon. However, he is certainly not the first to do the show to raise a profile. I actually think a good number of them are thinking about influencer sponsored content, podcaster money, and free goodies/ trips (pre-Covid) when the gig is over.
The show has moved so far from its roots. Before social media was popular, clout chasing didn’t seem to be as rampant. A shot at Dancing with the Stars was as good as it could get. I recall Kaitlyn B. initially had problems getting permission to do DWTS or something along those lines. I’m not sure what the reasoning was at the time, but Kaitlyn finally got her DWTS gig. Years later. She sure waited long enough!
My question to you is this. Do you think clout chasing has ruined the show or just changed it? Do you think the show could get back to its earlier roots if cast members were required to sign a contract that wouldn’t allow them to do sponsored content for at least a year after doing the show? After a year, their popularity might have cooled with new cast members getting most of the spotlight. This would certainly weed out the impatient ones. Do you think such a clause in the contract would be fair? I’ve read only the lead gets paid to do the show. Thoughts? Good question. I’d lean more towards ruined, just because it’s impossible to take any of these contestants seriously when they say they’re there for love. We know why you’re there. Love is like 87th on the list.
Second question. If the show seriously wanted to make a change, why are earth did the producers anoint Katie so early and give her the best edit when they had the most diverse cast ever? Surely others in the cast had the likeable personality to make good TV, but we didn’t get to see them as much. Michelle and a few others come to mind. The ham-handed cast- Katie-quick move makes them look extremely disingenuous.
Comment: Because production has made mistake after mistake after mistake this season. That was just another one in a long laundry list.
Hello Reality Steve,
How’s it going?
Uh…. the weather has been crazy lately, huh?
Alright enough chit chat.
I’ve watched a few seasons of the bachelor/bachelorette. I stopped with Peter because he was kind of sleazy, jumped back in with the Bachelorette(s) and now Matt James.
I don’t know if it’s just me or what but it doesnt really seem like we “get to know” Matt James this season. Part of the fun with The bachelor/bachelorette is “getting to know them” with the contestants and buying into this made-up romance.
I feel like all I know about Matt is that bro time is really important to him and that he’s the first black bachelor. And if he’s not that into you you’ll stay home and bake cookies or hang out with Tyler c. I know more about the contestants like Victoria, Abigail, and Katie than Matt and he’s supposed to be the star of the show.
Is this different from past seasons? Are they giving him less attention and screen time? Did I just miss it?
If we are talking about inclusion and giving time to the stories of BIPOC why isn’t there more focus on Matt James and his story.
Cool. Cool cool cool.
Comment: No, it’s more that we’re not used to having a lead brought in that we’ve never seen on our screen before. And we’re learning as we go. At least that’s the way I see it.
First time writing an email, but I had something on my mind and I wondered what you might think.
While I completely condemn all acts of racism (explicit, implicit, not being an anti-racist), I do believe that Rachael is being made into some sort of crazy racist monster. Of course what she did was so wrong and she should 100% apologize, own up to it and do better, but seeing the way that bachelor nation and tabloids are talking about this really does make me feel a little sorry for her. Like she said, her racism and ignorance has no excuse, but I am sure that there are things from every person’s past that they would be ashamed of if it ever got out. And for Rachael, these mistakes from her past are being put on every headline of every news article talking about Bachelor news. People are reacting as though she is an extremely racist person to her core, and send her death threats, make memes of her falling out of the sky, and much more.
Just to be clear, I really do believe that any acts of implicit racism is very wrong and perpetuates the cycle of racist thoughts and ignorance, however I can’t help it but feel sorry for her and imagine how it might feel for her. Her acts of racism were hurtful and disappointing, but the overkill from the media and (as you like to call it) toxic bachelor nation only fuel the fire for people who think what Rachael did was never wrong in the first place. I do wish she could move on and begin to focus her energy on anti-racist actions, but I cannot see how she will when she feels like the 2nd most hated person in America right now (1st being CH).
Do you think I’m missing the point? I just can’t see how making Rachael out into a racist monster helps anyone. Let me know what you think. Thanks for all you do!
Comment: No, I see what you’re saying. Rachael’s not a crazy racist monster. She had some incredibly ignorant and racist beliefs online, but, every since any of this has come out, all I’ve seen is someone who has laid low, hasn’t made excuses, and is willing to learn. That’s all anyone can ask. She needs to be held accountable, and so far, she released a statement, then a 7 ½ min video about what she did that I thought was well done. Again, didn’t make excuses, didn’t explain herself, and told people to stop defending her. Which became humorous when her comments under that video were filled with a bunch of Karen’s saying “You have nothing to apologize for.” She’s just at the very beginning of this journey. She’s by no means being close to being out of the woods yet. But some of the language being used against her online is so hateful and just wrong, it’s sad.
You may have already answered this and I missed it. Have you wanted the Tony Parker documentary on Netflix? It was so good… I guess I am a bit biased being a crazy Spurs fan. Kobe speaks in it… and that sent chills up my spine. Just wanted to give a suggestion to a fellow basketball fan! Keep up the great work!!
Comment: No, I didn’t even know he had one. Gotta check it out. Does it address his alleged hookups with teammates wives? Oops. Too soon?
I see this every season on your site and always wonder and never ask. Would you mind explaining what it means when you say “5.1 mil watched (1.2 rating”? What does the rating mean? I remember you sometimes broke it down by age group but I don’t quite understand if 1.2 means good or bad. Is it out of something? Is it a ratio? Help?
Comment: Found this to best answer your question:
“An important thing to know about Nielson ratings is that they are based on statistical sampling and are not a comprehensive measure of every person watching TV in America. According to Nielson, there are 120.6 million TV households in the United States, but only around 46,000 are sampled. The numbers reported are estimates of the 120.6 households based on the viewing habits of the sample population.
These TV ratings help calculate how much a network can charge advertisers for airtime during specific programs. One of the most important pieces of data used to determine ad pricing is the adults 18-49 rating share.
-Adults ages 18-49 are known as the key demographic because advertisers believe they have the most disposable income and least brand loyalty, which may make them more susceptible to advertising.
-Rating is the percentage of total TV households tuned into a program at a given time. So if a show has a 1.0 rating, it means that 1% of those 120.6 million households watched that program. This number is always out of the total estimated TV households and does not factor how many of those total households actually had their TVs on.”
I have hesitated writing, and you are probably going to disagree with everything I’m going to say here. And that is totally fine, because that’s what public discourse is all about.
I’m a romantic and so, despite all of its flaws, which are myriad, I have watched the Bachelor/ette seasons because I like happily-ever-afters, even if they ultimately end after the show finishes airing. But I’m done with the franchise, but not for the reason you might think.
It’s easy to say that all of these contestants signed up for the show and whatever they get, they had it coming, in one way or another. But, as a mom and grandmother, I grieve for all of these young people and even their families who are thrashed in social media and have their lives turned upside down and even ruined because of a woke mentality and demanding cancel culture that is growing bolder every day.
When my older brother was four years old, he and my mother were visiting my grandmother, and he was curiously investigating my grandmother’s trinkets and knickknacks in her living room. My mother was fretting and cautioning him over and over not to touch things. My grandmother finally looked at my mom and said, “Now, Beth. He’s only four years old. He doesn’t know EVERYTHING yet.” I have told and tell that to my kids all the time, substituting in the appropriate age, when they have needed or need to be less judgmental of others, or even of themselves.
So, Rachel Lindsay knew she was going on a show that had been predominantly white. She was the first Bachelorette of color, which was monumental and well-deserved. She found her husband on the show. He’s white. He may be from South America, but anyone looking at him will assume he’s white. The show gave her a huge national platform she probably wouldn’t otherwise have. But she has basically thrown the show that gave her that platform (however flawed the show is) under the bus.
Matt James knew he was going on a show that had been predominantly white. There were a lot of beautiful girls of color on his season. If your spoiler is correct, he chose a white girl, who has been accused of “vicious racism” because she went to a college party with an Antebellum theme. Girls who are twenty are thinking about pretty dresses and looking good for handsome guys and not social racial optics. Bad choice? Undoubtedly. But she was only twenty years old and didn’t “know everything yet.” Interestingly, this racist with her—horror!—Republican parents didn’t seem to have any problem falling completely in love with a black man. Sound racist?
Matt didn’t seem to have any problem signing his own contract to be on the show. He also didn’t seem to have any problem encouraging a masseuse to subject his BFF to sexual assault on national TV. Anyone calling him out for egging on a sexual assault? Do you think if the tables had been turned and a male masseuse had been asked to tweak the nipples of a female or mount her suggestively it would fly? The strip dates on the show have gotten bad enough, but this was too far. Governor Cuomo is taking a beating right now, not only for the nursing home scandal, but because he full-mouth kissed an aide without her permission and they’re calling it sexual assault. What the masseuse did was worse, in my opinion. Tyler was basically naked and vulnerable on a massage table.
Chris Harrison seems to have had a good relationship with the contestants on the show, and, as its spokesperson, was undoubtedly trying his best to strike middle ground when Rachel Lindsay asked him about the Rachael Kirkconnell situation. He stepped in it, sure, but do you really think he wasn’t trying to help people see both sides and find a place of reason? He’s only [I don’t know how old he is] and he doesn’t know everything yet, especially in our current state of racial tension. It’s actually new territory for most white people, at least at the level we are finding ourselves at now. But there is no learning curve. For anyone.
There is too much anger and judgment in the world and not enough level discourse and forgiveness, especially for past offenses. People spend too much time dredging up old things to damage people’s lives and claim the moral high ground, depending on their political/social position. Has Gov. Northam of Virginia, who wore blackface in college, been removed from office? Has the comic from SNL who told an anti-Jewish joke this weekend been kicked off the show? I could give you other examples of double-standards that exist, but this email is long enough..
There was a woman whom men had caught in adultery and were demanding that she be stoned. Jesus showed up, quietly listening, and when they asked for His opinion He said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” The men, feeling guilty and uncomfortable, left. Jesus asked the woman where her accusers were. “Hath no man condemned thee?” He asked. When she answered no, He said, “Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.” Jesus didn’t give her a free pass—He told her not to sin anymore. But this also points that the men who’d accused her weren’t without their own set of sins that could easily be brought to light for condemnation.
We could all do with a little less self-righteousness and judgment, and a little more understanding, dialog, and forgiveness.
In the meantime, I’ve handed out my last rose.