Reality Steve

Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” People’s Choice Awards, & Clayton’s Season

I was just having this conversation with a buddy of mine this morning and thought I’d share it with you. When the pandemic first hit in March of 2020, I felt like the first 2 weeks or that month seemingly felt like it took 3 months. Time moved so slow. Which brings us to now. We’re less than a month away from 2022. I’m sorry, but ever since that initial shock wore off and time had come to a crawl, this last year and a half has FLOWN by. Like, are you serious? It’s gonna be 2022 soon? Maybe it’s because things are getting more back to normal. And yes, we’re not locked down as a country as much as things were in March of 2020. I just remember those first two weeks thinking, “Is this what life is gonna be like now?” And here we are now and that was A YEAR AND A HALF AGO (actually 21 months, but you get the point). So I don’t know how it is for you, but I’m sorry, this time has flown by a hell of a lot faster than I ever thought it would. Just my two cents for the day.

The “Bachelor/ette” and “Bachelor in Paradise” didn’t take home any of the People’s Choice Awards last night, which should come as no surprise to anyone. They should be thankful they were even nominated. I mean, we certainly know they weren’t nominated due to their ratings since every season pretty much did worse than the season before it. But hey, it gave a reason for some of the contestants to get dressed up and appear on the red carpet so, I guess that’s a big deal and a win for them. It’s the kind of perks they knew they were signing up for in the beginning. So they got what they wanted out of it. Although, I can’t help but laugh at the hypocrisy behind most of it. It’ll never not be hilarious to me.

I mentioned this briefly yesterday, but I can’t mention it enough over the next 3 months. The fact that we all know the final 3 on Clayton’s season are Gabby, Susie, and Rachel now, but the spoiler of who won isn’t out there yet, will make dissecting anything those 3 women do on social media damn near impossible. Outside of pulling a Kaitlyn and a Arie/Becca situation where they literally gave away they were the final 1 in social media posts, the show is going to every length to make sure neither woman screws it up. Granted, that doesn’t mean I’m never gonna find out the winner because I always do eventually through means that have nothing to do with social media, but I’m telling you, production is in full crack down mode. Not only will they be eagle eyed on everything those 3 women do, it is not far fetched that they will float false rumors out there to throw people off the scent. They’ve done it before and they’ll do it again. So all I’m saying is be careful of anything you hear regarding Clayton’s season from a “source.” Hell, even when I eventually post the winner, it will absolutely be doubted. That’s the nature of the beast. But know that I’m going to do as diligent of work as I can behind the scenes to weed out false information.

Lets start “Reader Emails”…

Hi Steve,

How are you doing?

I appreciate everything you do. I love that you are a recap/spoiler site and not a gossip site. These contestants don’t need gossip girl following their every move. So again thank you. Thanks. I mean, there was a period where I did post gossip, but I don’t think I’ve ever been a gossip site. A gossip site, to me, is a place where a majority of their content is gossip, and that’s never been me. Ducks Moy is a gossip site. I’ve been recaps, emails, podcasts, with gossip thrown in. Now, I’ve tried to stay away from any gossip that isn’t verified with evidence, or, a third party doesn’t want to put their name behind.

A few thoughts/questions for you:

1. Clayton got the bachelor edit during his elimination but it makes me wonder why he didn’t get it all season long. I still feel like we barely know this guy. You’re right. We barely do.

2. If you could pick any contestant to become the next bachelor and bachelorette, who would you pick and why? I’m 99% certain the next Bachelorette is coming from Clayton’s women. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. But I don’t know them well enough to know who I’d like to see. Plus, I don’t know who’s “unavailable” due to, you know, being engaged and all.

Do I know for sure Clayton’s engaged? No. But the guy said he found love. And his guys Monday night all said he wants to be married with kids. So if the guy found love, on a show that basically forces you to get engaged, it’d be hard to believe he doesn’t get engaged at the end of this thing. Again, that shouldn’t be any sort of breaking news.

3. I read everything you had to say about Katie and John and I completely agree with you (like most times you give your opinion). I think Katie should do whatever makes her happy. However I don’t like how she handled it in regards to Blake. Agree. It’s pretty simple. No one’s telling her what to do. They’re just offering their opinion on what she IS doing. There’s a difference that apparently she has a hard time seeing because she can’t stop addressing it in her social media with all her passive aggressive TikToks and IG stories.

4. What do you think of Michelle’s season so far? Do you think she is doing a good job? I don’t know if it is just me or I feel like her season has less drama then prior seasons which is good. I love watching romance more than drama.

Thanks! Have an awesome day!

Comment: I think she’s done real well in that role. Moreso in that she’s had a few guys this season where she easily could’ve flown off the handle on and didn’t. Seems very level headed and down to earth, which is refreshing to see.

Hi Steve,

I saw a promo poster with “Everyone loves an underdog” and Clayton surrounded by puppies.

We’ve known this show is tone deaf (though they’d been making some level of progress), but this is crazy to me.

Someone mentioned in recent reader emails about Clayton being the typical white male athlete. Basically a cookie cutter Bachelor to appeal to their core fan base. I get it.. I do. It’s the classic “I can’t be racist. I have black friends.” The show has “proven” that it’s progressive with a few BIPOC leads, and now they’re good.

But “underdog”??? No matter his circumstances (I didn’t watch this season, so I don’t know his back story), he’s an attractive white male athlete who can afford to drop life and go on a TV show. Calling him an “underdog” just feels like it’s spitting in the face of the progress they seemingly made. I know they have to pick an element/characteristic to promote (and run into the ground) but this seems tacky even for them.

I know, I know. It doesn’t matter. They appeal to their fan base and will do what they want. I just thought they might have learned at least a little something over the last year.

Comment: Agree. Nothing about his story all season had him as an underdog. And not only that, they legitimately had another guy this season where the word underdog was used numerous times, not to mention his edit, and that was Rodney. So the tagline for this season is just totally off. Nothing about Clayton says underdog. Nothing.

Hi Steve,

Long time reader and Bachelor watcher..first time email/comment submitter here. I wanted to share a counter-opinion to what is popular regarding the whole Katie/John/Blake situation.

I will preface it with I have zero ties to any of these people..watching mindless (i.e. bachelor/bachelorette/BIP) shows are my mental wind down from work/life/kids. I’m team no one. Also, I will preface with I work in the environmental conservation/protection sphere and have been viewing Blake through that lens pretty closely since he appeared on Claire’s season.

Personal opinion- Blake is cringey, on many levels, and perhaps Katie realized this over time, and perhaps things happened behind that scenes that led to the 12 Days of Messy. From what I can tell on Instagram, John seems to be a pretty nice, mellow mannered what you see is what you get kind of guy. Blake, well, based on what I’ve seen on TV and Instagram, seems like he’s full of himself and shit. And perhaps, Katie discovered all this in due time.

First- he went on an American television show with the end game of engagement. THREE TIMES. Lets correct this fallacy. He went on TV twice. He didn’t appear on three different shows. It’s not his fault Clare left and they brought in a new Bachelorette. Not to defend the guy here, but what you said was factually incorrect. To me, if you are that committed to finding love in this outlet, in a different country, then you are that committed to relocation to said country and modifying your life for said person should you be chosen in the end. Plus, its the Bachelorette, you are wanting to fit into her life by the sheer premise of this show. In the podcast where he discussed the breakup, he talked about being fiercely independent and needing someone to be able to deal with that- well, if that is the case he is clearly not ready for marriage and shouldn’t have been on a this show for MARRIAGE …three times. So, as rumors leak that distance didn’t help their relationship- I’d be willing to bet he was a big driver in this being the issue, can’t feel bad for him if he is not willing to change his ways.

Second- His job. He worked for a Pest Control Company- which is respectable. From his first appearance on Claire’s season tagged as a “Wildlife Manager” i was intrigued because people from my career space usually don’t have the personality or looks for a show like this, and it turns out, that job title was definitely misleading (which I know can be a production thing). BUT, he takes it one step further with these very conservation based instagram postings (which is great, I wish conservation was a passion of everyone) but there is zero link to this actually being his career. If you want this to be what you’re passionate about- excellent, but don’t sell it like it is your job. The Africa trip from what I can tell appears to be a voluntourist trip- where you pay to go and do volunteer work. Which again, noble, but is this really your job? Don’t sell it as such. Based on instagram it came across as he was using it as a platform to try to be a nature show host… Which leads me to the biggest red flag this guy has- his conservation “fund”. Nowhere searchable is any information about what split of the money goes to what, and how much is overhead versus donation based, etc. Same with the merch sales. So, sheer speculation on my part, but I would take this as these funds, while some may be getting donated, are potentially paying for him to go to Africa to create content to try to become the next big nature guy??? Yuck. If you have a true nonprofit, where are your disclosures?

I guess what my ramblings are getting to is his actions and what he is trying to sell don’t seem to line up to me, and they haven’t since Claire’s season. I don’t think he’s as “poor blake” as everyone is making this out to be, and I’m excited I won’t have to see him pop up on another episode of the Bachelorette anytime soon haha.

Comment: You bring up some very valid counter points. A lot of them though, we don’t know are facts. They’re your impressions or opinions based on what you’ve seen. We just don’t know enough because both he and Katie gave pretty generic break up posts, hers of which is already deleted. I’m sure there was stuff behind the scenes for both of them. But I get it, you were presenting counterpoints for Blake.

All of that to say, I still think everything I wrote about Katie’s handling of the breakup and John’s Reddit response was valid. I think BOTH can be true. Maybe Blake could’ve been a better boyfriend or more committed to moving AND Katie could’ve not started a countdown to her new boyfriend two weeks after breaking off an engagement. I just don’t think she HAD to do what she did. That’s all. Plenty disagree and think she can live her life how she likes. If that makes her happy, then do it. I’m just saying I found that selfish because she didn’t think about the other person involved, someone she gushed about and said she was in love with in numerous interviews post show. If she’d never been so over-the-top pro Blake post show, or I got vibes she didn’t like him based on things she was saying in her interviews, then I don’t think I would’ve thought what I did about 12 Days of Messy. But it was her actions and words that seemed to not match up.

This debate can go on forever really. I’m not gonna convince anyone who’s Team Katie that what she did was selfish, petty, and not necessary. I’m just laying out my thoughts on what she did, and then what John did.

Hi Steve,

Just curious if you have any insight on Elyse moving in with Blake H? I thought nothing of it but after the whole Katie and John saga, I’m now just waiting for them to announce they’re a couple. Thoughts?

Comment: Ha ha I don’t believe that’s the case. I mean, the one good thing for Elyse is now she gets his house all too herself while he’s off filming that new MTV show for a while.

For those that don’t know, Blake is filming a reality show now for MTV where a bunch of US reality TV contestants are joined by international reality TV contestants and they live in a house and do stuff. Not sure if it’s dates, challenges, both, etc. It’s the first season of whatever this show is, so who knows.

Hi Steve,

Hope all is well!

I didn’t watch Katie’s season but kept up with your recaps and everything. Knowing she is with John now did she ever address why she let him go so early on?? I tried looking through reader emails and your recaps and couldn’t find it.


Comment: No. I mean, he was barely on the show and wasn’t involved in any drama so TV wise, we definitely don’t know.

Hi Steve,

A few questions for you this week:

Do you know who was “supposed” to be the Bachelor before the cancelled the season? Was there someone even picked? Or any reason why it was cancelled? Will they film ‘ette during that time? No, no one was picked. They were months away from that even happening. Don’t know why they changed their mind, and yes, the “Bachelorette” will film in its normal slot, essentially when that season would’ve filmed.

If you had to guess, do you think Michelle would leave MN, or desire her final pick to move up? As a Minnesota person, I secretly hope she would stay here but I know it’s probably not likely. She said she’s not nailed to MN, so, I guess there’s a chance she moves. But I also think that’ll be determined by if she and Nayte last.

Are the final 3 always at the ATFR show, or usually just top two? I want to hear from Joe! They will be this season since the MTA aired before overnight dates. In the past, for the most part the Tell All has usually aired the week before the finale, which means that all but the final 2 would be there. And night 1 guys and randoms. But anytime it’s aired before the Fantasy Suite episode, then the final 3 will be there.

Do you ever hear any spoilers from general reality TV? Or behind the scenes things? This question stems from DWTS and the speculation and Olivia and Val had some sort of relationship, and also my hope that Amanda and Alan will date. No, nothing concrete. I hear stuff here and there but it’s maybe 5% of the stuff I hear about Bachelor/ette. I would hope Val and Olivia didn’t. Ummmm, he’s engaged. (CORRECTION: They’ve been married for 3 years). No idea on Amanda and Alan.

Also, it’s funny Joe Coleman comes from the same high school as Kris Humphries; that coach even went to Kris & Kim K’s wedding. Top basketball school in the state over the last 30 years.

Thanks Steve! What you do is much appreciated.

Comment: Man, how’d that 72 day marriage for Kris Humphries work out? What a diaster.

Two part question:

1. Do you think Colton making this documentary is to help someone struggling similar to the way he has? Or do you think it’s more so driven by ulterior motivates (i.e fame, money, staying relevant)?

2. Do you think the documentary is authentic?

Comment: I haven’t watched other than clips. More on that in a bit.

It seems like Katie and John are really doubling-down on their “we’re so in love and we don’t care what you think but we also want you to know how in love we are” narrative. Their social media activity is cringe worthy. Him posting a pic of them dancing/hugging and captioning it “when you see a candid video when you’re at your happiest.” Her posting a pic and captioning it “life’s short, do what makes you happy” (like she’s giving everyone the “I don’t care what you think middle finger”—who is this directed to? no one is telling you NOT to do what makes you happy). And then her Instagram story on Sunday where she took the time to copy messages from people asking about her and john’s relationship—if you really don’t care what people think then why are you even responding to these types of DMs, and why did you take the time to copy them, make a collage, and put it on your story? Because she absolutely does.

Anyways, I don’t hate Katie or John or their relationship, but this whole “we don’t care what you think” narrative that they are cramming down our throats is borderline insulting. do you think that the two of you are so famous/polarizing/etc that people are out here losing sleep because of your relationship? No. Do you have to post over-the-top lovey-dovey posts just to prove to us how in love you are? No.

P.s. I know you’ll probably say “just unfollow them then”—I don’t follow them 🙂 just wanted to check out their social media activity after reading your coverage of their “announcement.”

Comment: No I won’t say that to you, because you already seem to understand how to handle them. They’re gonna do what they’re gonna do. They’ve clearly shown that. Some don’t care, some care a lot, some think it should’ve been handled differently.

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