Reality Steve

Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” Emmanuel Acho on GMA, & (EXCLUSIVE) What’s the “Bachelorette” Twist This Season?

Photo Credit: ABC

Hey RS!

Long time reader, first time writing in blah blah blah you know the drill. Thank you for all you do!

Do you think/have you heard if any of the break-up between Matt/Rachael was filmed? I’m assuming it wouldn’t be full on similar to Pilot Pete/Hannah Ann, but any conversation at all?

Curious to hear what else you’ve learned about ATFR as well.

Comment: It was not filmed. I hope to have some ATFR details soon. Stay tuned.

Hi Steve,

I remember in Matt’s sneak peak video Rachael and Matt have a conversation and she was wearing the same red dress as in fantasy suites. The conversation was Rachael talking about acknowledging color and that love was love. What is your take on why they chose not to show this but were using it to promote the season early on. Considering everything that has come out, would this conversation be seen as insincere? I honestly just want to not be the only person who remembers this conversation and was waiting to see if they kept it considering everything.

Comment: I do remember that convo, and yeah, after everything that came out, I’m guessing they left that out for a reason.


It’s easy to draw a straight line from Taylor’s past bigoted tweets to her current practice of assigning blame and shame to people based on skin color, which is a new form of racism. And she compounds the problem by attributing her racism to “centering her whiteness.” In other words, don’t blame me; blame my white ancestors. In her world, racism is a product of systems, processes, and ancestors, rather than people with bigoted attitudes. I’m not sure what she means by her repeated use of the phrase “doing the work,” but if she would do the work of viewing people as human beings rather than categories, she’d be better off for it.

Comment: I hated when she said that. And that was in her first apology, which I didn’t agree with at all. It really was confusing and made no sense to me. She sent those tweets because she wanted to identify more with white people at the time? She hated being half black and was centering her whiteness? What does that have to do with taking a flamethrower to a bunch of different ethnicities, overweight people, disabled people, etc? Totally made no sense to me.

Dear Reality Steve,

Life this last year has been crazy for everyone! I have been out of the loop on keeping up with your website.

I tried to do a search to see if you mentioned if you were having the Vegas party? I wasn’t able to find anything after January 2020.

It’s one of the events I look forward to every year. Last year’s got cancelled because of covid-19 and I know we aren’t exactly there yet with group gatherings. Do you have plans to bring this back once it’s safe enough to do so?

Thank you for all you do. I hope you are doing well and that your website continues to be successful. This pandemic has thrown us all for a loop and changed how we all live and thrive.

Comment: As of right now, I don’t see it happening in 2021. Even if I pushed it back to August or September, the whole point is I don’t want to have a party of roughly a 100 people in a room (like it’s been, and even if everyone shows proof of vaccination) if we’re still at a mandate to social distance and wear masks. 1. That wouldn’t be social distancing and 2. Throwing a party where everyone is wearing masks (even if everyone is vaccinated) kinda defeats the purpose of the party. So unless mask mandates are lifted in ALL of the US (not just Nevada) but August or September, I don’t see it happening this year. But I would think we’re back next year ready to roll. Fingers crossed.

I had a Temptation Island question because I felt like it wasn’t addressed completely in the podcast. Kendall says there is no rules BUT that he didn’t come to the Island to cheat. So is “no sex” an unsaid rule then? Or does he not consider it cheating if he is physical with another woman while on the island? Thank you for getting me into this show! I’m loving this season! Can’t wait to hear more from the other couples.

Comment: Yeah, it’s really confusing still to me. Clearly in every sense of the word, he “cheated” last night by sleeping with Alexcys. But according to his definition, I guess it isn’t. Erica is on the podcast this week and I will ask her directly. Because I’m like a lot of people. I just don’t quite understand what rules versus the definition of cheating allows everything to happen.

Hi Steve,

I am so interested in the work you do! I know you said you’ll never expose your sources, but I’m curious, how did you get your first ever spoiler? Did someone just reach out to you about the bachelor? Were you even interested in the show at the time? And how did you turn one tip into your business? It’s so fascinating to me and I respect your profession so much.

Comment: I’ve had since 2003. I was just a recapper with a niche following that made fun of the show for years before I got my first spoiler in 2009. And yes, someone who knew I wrote a blog about the show knew about Jason’s ending and filled me in. Based on who it was and what they told me, yeah, I knew it was legit. And then ever since then, people just like to tell me stuff. I know people find that hard to believe, but it’s true. I don’t reveal sources, so, I think people feel comfortable telling me stuff knowing they won’t get outed.

Hello Steve,

Have you followed Katie’s instagram this week? She has posted several stories in support of the Trans community, stories promoting equality for all, and even hinted in one that she smokes weed. I personally don’t find anything wrong with what she posts but this feels very anti-Bachelorette. Wouldn’t ABC have a tighter grip on her and pressure her to promote more of a squeaky clean image? I think she would be a good bachelorette and has a different personality than leads in the past. Curious to see what the twist is.

Comment: Clearly they don’t seem to care. And none of that, like you said, there’s anything wrong with. So I’m fine with it and I’m fine with her as our “Bachelorette #1.”

Hi Steve,

I’m excited to have Katie as Bachelorette. I feel like her maturity is what the audience was led to believe we would get with Claire. Obviously, we need more diversity and having a BIPOC lead, LQBTQIA lead, or someone with a disability as the Bachelorette would be a small step in showing that producers are willing to acknowledge problems with the show and make the necessary changes. But I also think they screwed themselves with how they edited this season and how they’ve responded to everything going on behind the scenes.

As for the twist – here are some of my based-on-absolutely-nothing theories:

1. No host.. because they aren’t really necessary and why not save the salary. They could easily break the 4th wall and show the lead talking to producers and use date cards to introduce everything.

2. Katie as the host instead of bachelorette?

3. They do the dual-bachelorette. BUT, instead of having them compete, they each have their own group of men (but maybe only ~20 each) and the other bachelorette acts as the host for the other. It would also facilitate conversations that they usually need a host or bring in a past-bachelorette for.

4. They have so many seasons to pull from for Paradise, maybe they have a group of past contestants on Bachelorette. Hell, maybe they just give Claire’s men a third bachelorette.

5. Doing small groups of Contestants rather than a big group on night 1: she gets 5-10 new men each week for 4 weeks and only keeps her top 2-3 of each group and then we have one big group of 8-12 by episode 5 and proceed normally from there. This would give them more time to cast and quarantine the men.

Oh well, I’m sure none of these are right and it will actually be something boring. But I guess we’ll find out next week.

Comment: Welp, this was sent in yesterday I believe. 0-for-5.

Then again, to be fair, no one guessed it. Saying “oh we knew it was two Bachelorettes,” I mean, that’s not the spoiler. That’s not what’s happening. Yes, it’s two, but two completely different seasons. That’s never happened before, nor, would anyone ever expect that. Why would we ever have thought they’d give Katie and Michelle both full, separate “Bachelorette” seasons both in the same calendar year? Anyone saying “two Bachelorettes” was thinking same season, like Kaitlyn and Britt. Or even like Bachelorette New Zealand where it was both in the same season, but neither were eliminated and they did a simultaneous double Bachelorette. This is not that.

Hi Steve,

I know you’ve commented numerous times that you don’t see Chris as host for Bachelorette as it’s too soon. But… do you think it’s too soon for the average viewer who doesn’t pay attention to when things are filmed (versus when they air)? I know May isn’t *that* far off, but perhaps to the average viewer, not seeing Chris on their screens for three+ months since the interview with Rachel would be sufficient? (Not saying it is… But you’ve noted many times the short memory of the average viewer.)

Obviously this is unprecedented territory, but this franchise seems to bank on the naivety of most viewers. I really do wonder if the “powers that be” remaining silent is, in part, because they’re counting on this all going away or being less controversial in two more months.

If the average (white) viewer has had no issue with the lack of diversity all these years and continues to watch regardless, could they be counting on time healing these wounds (and absurdly believing that three months is sufficient)?

Just curious to your thoughts…

Comment: I agree that with you in that the average viewer has basically zero concept of time when it comes to this show. Hell, there are still people that think this show is live on a week to week basis and have zero clue it’s filmed in advance. Yes, I’m serious.

However, I still think bringing him back for “Bachelorette” seems like a very long shot. That’s no punishment for basically the biggest thing to happen outside the show to this franchise, probably ever. And no, missing one ATFR show is not a punishment.

His Steve!

I have a couple questions since you said you are light on reader emails and none are bachelor related. My husband’s name is Steve so I am curious:

1. Do you spell your full first name with a ‘PH’ or a ‘V’? I am Stephen. But basically only my family calls me that.

2. Does your family call you Steve or Steven? My husband‘s family calls him Stephen and I have always called him Steve so it’s really weird to call him Steve to his family! Lets see, my mom, dad, and sister call me Stephen. Literally no one else does.

3. Did you watch or read about Prince Harry and Megan Markel‘s interview with Oprah? I was curious about your take on it if you have? If not, no big deal! Have a great day!

Comment: Ha ha, well, I believe Ashley and I talk about it for the first 10 minutes or so in last night’s live. Check it out on my IGTV page. I just think it’s sad all around what happened to them, I don’t think they’re lying, and I think people who immediately think she made up the fact she wanted to die are disgusting people who went into that interview already disliking her, so they can’t do anything other than try and discredit her because God forbid they show are any love whatsoever.

Hi Steve,

Love your work, thanks for all you do. I do have a few questions I was hoping you could answer before the season is up:

First, what is your take on how the focus of your job has shifted a bit this season? Do you miss when you were just covering the shallow events of bachelor nation, or are you enjoying being able to speak out about important issues that have come up recently? (Not to say you are happy there are these issues at all, but just asking in general which type of reporting you enjoy more). While I certainly expect it, and was definitely reluctant at first, I’m glad I have. I’ve become much more aware than I’ve ever been and I’ve learned a lot more than I ever thought I’d have to covering this show. Does it get heavy, and sometimes annoying, listening to certain people’s ignorant responses that just refuse to listen to anything, or, attack you when it’s clear they’re missing the point of things? Absolutely. But I’d rather learn and become more educated and deal with that than not.

Second, would you even watch The Bachelor/ette if this wasn’t your job? No one ever believes me when I say this and I’m not sure why, but no, I wouldn’t. It’s not that entertaining to me. I love spoiling the show. That aspect I really enjoy. Everything else has turned into “meh” for me. But I’ve always liked to write, and this gives me an added bonus to write AND provide information to people that they can’t get anywhere else.

Last, I’m curious to know what your educational background is. I’m a high school ELA teacher, and I can’t help but notice when someone is well educated or trained in writing. I understand that you write informal blogs and sometimes your writing lends itself to that, but I can tell you either have a degree in ELA, or just had a great education growing up. Or perhaps reading and writing is just a passion of yours, and that in turn creates great writing/grammar. Just curious.


Comment: Wait a second, what? Someone just complimented me on my writing? Why thank you. I swear I’m not fishing for compliments or anything, but shit, no one EVER says they enjoy my writing. Ever. At least anymore. All it is is people bitching about some opinion I had, or telling me I don’t know anything, or that my spoilers suck, or that my business is dying, blah blah blah. I honestly cannot remember anyone writing anything like that last paragraph you just wrote in God knows how long. So thank you. Much appreciated.

I graduated from college with a BA in Communications. My senior year most of my classes were loaded with writing classes, I had to do a senior thesis that I nailed, and I’ve just always liked to write. Never took any formal journalism classes, and I definitely get lazy with proofreading stuff, but I do think for as many words I write in a given week, I don’t make very many mistakes at all. And sometimes the auto correct on Microsoft Word I don’t pay attention to, and that kills me on occasion when I don’t proofread. 98% of the time, I post my column right after I’m done typing the last word. I know, I know. I should proofread. But I choose to forgo that in order to get it up quicker since I feel I don’t make a ton of grammatical mistakes. I write like I talk. Or at least try to. I’m not Billy Shakes over here. I’m not trying to write some profound piece of literature. I cover reality TV. So, I figure that I don’t need to write as formal. Just me talking and giving my thoughts in written word. If that makes any sense.

Hi Steve,

I’d like to start of by saying wow, just wow when it comes to this franchise. I know how you continue to cover it but can’t seem to understand why lately. That being said, did you listen to Juliet Litman’s interview with Rachel Lindsay on Bachelor Party Monday night? If not, give it a listen, as Rachel hits home (yet again) the major points we need to know about how production horribly handles race and racial stereotypes and they just don’t care. Period. They never have and never will.

One key piece of the interview that Rachel divulged is how due to production’s active ignorance, many potential BIPOC contestants are bowing out, which means Katie’s cast will look like the “good old days” where it’s 90% white with a few tokens. This leads to my conclusion on how the franchise will go “forward” : They are going to appear to have changed, but only to double down on catering to old stereotypes/archetypes and get rewarded for it. You already see this with Michael Eric Dyson vouching for Chris Harrison. He will absolutely be back to host Bachelor 2022 if not The Bachelorette. Future casts will seem like a blast from the past where you might not even get one black contestant (I think that was Jillian’s year?) and it will all be swept under the rug like “look, we had diverse leads/casts, see?!”

I don’t expect The Bachelor to be “All in the Family” or some groundbreaking thought piece but what I would like to see is a reality show that respects its employees. Instead, I see a show that treats humans like they’re 2D cartoons (including the “in” cast members like Ashley I) and have only become worse in pretending they care.

Comment: Yes, I put a link to it in yesterday’s column to make sure people listened to what Rachel had to say. She described perfectly why showing Matt’s conversation with his dad was so problematic.

And yes, her adding that part in about how she’s spoken to black contestants who have bowed out of Katie’s season due to the fear of what happened to Matt (and other BIPOC contestants) happens to them. And while I’m sure that’s true, I don’t know if that means ALL black contestants have. Maybe they have others that are willing to come on. And maybe ones that backed out of Katie’s season will be interested in joining Michelle’s. We won’t know until Katie’s cast is released which, if we are going by what they’ve done the last few seasons, should be coming in a few weeks. Can’t remember exactly what season they started this, but, I believe it’s been around 6 seasons in a row now where the potential cast has been released about 3 days before filming begins, in hopes that the public will do their casting work for them and report any possible problematic contestants. And even THAT hasn’t worked.

Hey Steve!

I just have a few quick questions for you. I’ve noticed in past weeks that whenever you mention you are low on Reader Emails, it seems like you get a pretty good amount sent in after that and you include them in the next day’s column! It seems like the people who actively follow you/your page are pretty loyal to you and try to support you the best they can! That led me to wonder a few things, like for instance, how many views does your website get each day, on average? And each week? I’d be really curious to know, as I’ve been looking at your website regularly for probably the last 7 years or so! In season vs out of seasons differs greatly. In season, I average about 750k-1 million unique views a month. That’s what everything is based on – monthly. I’ve never cared to look at weekly since I’m not paid weekly. Sure, columns that have exclusive spoilers get more traffic than others, but it always seems to even out to those numbers monthly, season in and season out. You know, despite what others who know everything think.

Also, how many Reader Emails do you get for a typical week? I’d also be interested to know if you have gotten more or less Reader Emails during Matt’s season, or if it’s been about the same amount? And do you usually include all of the ones you get, or just however many you can fit into that week’s column? (I also appreciate your responses to the mean/ridiculous emails you get, especially last week when all you said was “Bye.” to somebody, haha. That had me literally laughing out loud.) I don’t number them as you know, but, I put all of my “Reader Emails” into a folder every week, and then I just start cutting, pasting, and answering into Microsoft Word. And judging from the size of the folder every week, I’d say a standard week is around 30 Reader Emails. Very rarely is it less than that. When a major thing happens, that’ll reach 50 or so emails. And I put everything in that folder, but sometimes don’t answer all because the questions might be repetitive.

Lastly, I just want to say how impressed I am with your efforts to use your platform and your voice as an advocate for change and awareness . Thank you. I think your efforts are having a bigger and more positive impact on people than you may fully realize, myself included.

Comment: Thank you. I appreciate it. I’m doing the best I can. I’m still gonna screw up, I know that. And I will own it when I do. Because I know I’m never gonna say everything perfectly. But this has been such an interesting last 9 months for me or so. I feel I’ve learned a lot, and honestly, if we didn’t have all these racial issues in the world and on this show, I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to learn more. So while it came at a cost worldwide, it opened my eyes and I definitely think opened a lot of others’ as well.

Hey Steve,

Do you think with all the things that have came to light about Rachael that the franchise is done with her? Or do you think she has a chance at BIP, if that’s even something she’d want to do. Also not a question, but every time I see Matt rub his hands together while walking (which is all the time) it makes me cringe. I’m so over him. In my opinion he’s prettyyyy close to being the worst bachelor ever.


Comment: I don’t think she’d want to at this point, honestly.



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