Reality Steve

Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” & The Bachelor Musical

Photo Credit: ABC

It’s Super Bowl week. I’ve already showed you my bets made earlier this season where I have both teams winning, so, I don’t have to sweat on Sunday. Sure, I’d want the Bengals to win bc it pays more, but I’m not going to be upset if the Rams do. My thing is now looking at all the prop bets. I’ve seen over 465 and it’s damn near impossible to not want to bet a whole shit ton of them. I won’t. I try to limit it to about 5 but even that is hard to do. Not to mention, I haven’t had great success in the past on props, so I don’t even know if I want to even share those. I’m dialing in on college basketball so I can hopefully bring you a 6th straight first round winner next month. I have my teams that I’m looking at that will probably be first round underdogs, probably seeded in the 10-13 range, but until I know who and where they’re playing, it’s all kind of moot. And we won’t know that until Selection Sunday on March 13th, so still a month out. As for the favorites, it’s hard to not like Purdue. Very few teams can match two 7 footers and the guard play they have. Legitimate Final Four team that I can see winning it all. Kentucky I really like again and I think they might get underseeded. The Zags and Auburn I know will be atop everyone’s list, but I need to see their brackets first. Put it this way, if you told me Auburn won’t make it to the second weekend, I can’t say I’d be stunned. Depends on which 8/9 winner they get. But they are definitely beatable.

If you’re in the Chicago area, you’ve got about a week left to see the Bachelor the Musical, which was created by Richelle Meiss, Nick Viall’s former podcast producer. It’s gotten great reviews that I’ve read, Richelle is clearly a fan of the show and knows the inner workings. It’s playing at the Apollo Theater up through Feb. 17th. Check it out:

Lets get to your “Reader Emails…”

Hi Steve!

Got a question for the podcast. Maybe you’ve mentioned this before, but is there anything the Bachelorette/Bachelor leads get out of keeping a good relationship with the producers & handlers throughout their season and after their season ends? Do they get better endorsement deals or PR people? A ticket to Paradise. You basically want to kiss the ass of producers, since they essentially control your narrative, would want to/not want to work with you in the future, etc.

We’ve seen time and time again of producers/handlers manipulating a situation that isn’t in the leads favor or put them in a great light to the audience with the understanding of “producers have a TV show to make”, but then why do these leads keep saying yes to being the lead and not going into it with the mentality of “no one here REALLY cares about you at the end of the day/you only have yourself to lean on”? I know the lead cannot divulge info or “behind the camera stuff” because of their NDA but they don’t have to speak highly of these people/keep friendships with them.

We know several of these contestants turned leads know of you, and probably read your site and/or listen to your podcasts (Katie has mentioned without naming you personally that the incorrect spoiler in your May 13th podcast of John being in her Top 4 is what lead to her forming a close relationship with him, and Kaitlyn & Jason have mentioned your site in her podcast), so anyone going on this show as either a contestant or lead must know by now that producers are the real “villains” of this show.

I guess I just don’t understand how, in Clayton’s case, where he is clearly being told by production to keep Shanae around, how he isn’t thinking “why do they want me to keep her around so bad”. If someone pushed a situation on me, I would automatically become suspicious and do the opposite of what they wanted, consequences be damned. Clayton is just doing what he’s told as a lead. There’s a lot of pressure on you. Producers convince you they’re there for your best interests, but they’re really not. He’s a puppet just like all of those before him. It’s very easy to be swayed when you’re in that position where everything revolves around you. You want to make these people happy, so, you basically do what they say. Any former lead that says otherwise is lying.

This makes me think that even these leads don’t really care about finding love at the end, just endorsements, which, in the overall sense, makes this entire show from production to the lead to the contestants COMPLETELY disingenuous. The lead is gonna come out of their season with a lot of followers no matter what, potentially an engagement and friends from the franchise, so why continue to play these production games?

Thanks for all you do!

Comment: Yes, but, the followers are slowly dropping because IG is becoming less and less relevant now.

Hi Steve,

In recent seasons of the Bachelor, Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, almost all the women on these shows have a speech affectation known as “vocal fry”, at least while on camera. They may think it’s attractive/Kardashian-like, but it makes them sound stupider than Valley Girls and more irritating than even Shanae Ankney. Hearing these women mewl and breathily growl through every sentence has become so gross that I’ve started watching the show on mute with closed captioning.

Have you noticed this too? ( If you haven’t yet, keep it in mind next time you watch the show.)

Comment: Yes, but it’s been that way for year. “Like” is the biggest vocal fry for most women on this show. Voices vary, but those crutches seem to be there for most people.

My friends and I watched the first episode of this season. We noticed that whenever Clayton is talking to one of the girls he grabs their upper thigh. For me it is uncomfortable and cringe worthy. Like hey I just met you can you maybe not be grabbing me in a personal space. For as much as they have pushed the story that he is a nice, kid friendly guy this is a bad look. Is it something that only my friends and I noticed? Once you see it you can’t unsee him doing it every time. This is the first season we aren’t watching and are group watching Joe Millionaire instead. Thanks for all that you do.

Comment: I’ve seen it a few times. I guess you’d have to ask each woman individually how they felt. It very well could’ve bothered them. Or maybe it didn’t. We really don’t know.

Hi Steve,

I am also addicted to Wordle. If you like math, there’s one called Oodle. Math is not my thing, but some people like it better.

The thing about Shenae is she is a Director of whatever company she works for. It makes you wonder if she treats people in her real life like that and how will her co-workers see her now? Plus she is 29, way too old to be acting like this. Her fights are so stupid and fake

The show is now based around whatever fight they come up with and the lead spends their time trying find out what’s going on, that it takes away from conversations/connections he could be making.

This show should rethink the direction it’s going. Joe Millionaire and FBoy island have more interesting dates and not as much fake drama.

Clayton seems to like the girls that come on to him, like Cassidy and Shanae. I think he is naive and just a nice guy. I don’t think he is used to these manipulative women.

How much longer do you think this show will last?

Comment: A while. The ratings bear it out as they’ve been dropping for years now and the show goes nowhere. Not to mention, it destroys in the Women 18-49 demo, which is the most coveted demo in advertising.

Hi Steve,

Curious to you know your thoughts on this one. Elizabeth was absolutely wronged – she was mistreated, accused of being a bully when in fact she was the victim, etc. etc. she was treated horribly, and she was extremely classy and mature in how she handled it.

However looking at her social media these past 48 hours and I have to say, it’s exhausting how much she’s posted about this. She’s even gone and created her own bachelorette poster promo? Like with the rose petals and all…I find this a little overboard! I’ve seen previous contestants acknowledge bachelor nation fans when they’ve come to their defense, posting a handful of posts or tweets thanking them for their support. But Elizabeth seems to be milking it here, maybe using it to gain as much as she can in terms of followers. I started following her Instagram last week but found myself getting annoyed today and actually unfollowed her. She seems like a lovely person but something just feels odd about those bachelor promo posters she’s made for herself. Your thoughts?

Comment: She’s definitely milking. Like, way more than I expected her to. It’s quite interesting how much she’s playing it up. She has zero chance of being the Bachelorette, but doing that photo shoot with the roses, I mean, I don’t get it. To each their own. She was dealt a crappy hand this season having to deal with Shanae, but I do think her response has been…A LOT. She could’ve gone about it differently, sure. But who am I to say? It’s what she’s chosen to do. My opinion? A bit much.

I’m just wondering if you are going to read the new book “How to win the bachelor “? It would be great if you could do another podcast with the Game of Rose’s podcast Lizzy and Chad. They sent me the book but I haven’t read it yet. They will be on in the future, for sure.

Do you have any interest in Rachel Lindsey’s book “Miss me with that.”? It seams like she is out of her contract now. Have you reached out to see if she would come on the podcast? I don’t think she’ll ever come on the podcast. I’ve reached out in the past and never heard back. So I just assume that’s a no. I don’t ask more than twice. If they can’t give an answer after two asks, I feel I have my answer.

Do you know if the show put it in the contract specifically that contestants could not talk to YOU on record even after their season ends? Is there a time limit? I remember there used to be a limit but it seams like they have made it longer than 1 year. I have heard Peter Weber mention (on his podcast) that he has to be very careful with what he does and doesn’t say because he doesn’t want to get sued by the show. He does tell lot of behind the scenes stuff with how things happen during filming. He has also admitted that he was able to get spoilers from your site during his season. They’re definitely told to stay away from me post show. Especially if they have any interest in doing Paradise. It’s why I can’t get recent contestants on. Not to mention with 3 Bachelor Nation official podcasts, why would they come on mine? They’re in a safe space with those and they know they won’t get in any trouble. The reason I was able to get recent contestants on in the past because there were very few former contestants with podcasts. And I was the first one to do a weekly interview format with former contestants. Then they all started doing on, and the 3 that are paid for by the show, and you just see why it doesn’t make sense for them to do mine anymore. It was different times 3-4 years ago.

A few seasons ago at the end of a season you posted a bunch of emails of “false spoilers” that people had sent you. It would be funny if you did that again after the final rose episode.

Comment: Ha ha, I think people would be amazed at some of the stuff I receive. But I doubt I’d do that again. They’re so scattered in texts, emails, DM’s, and IG messages over the last 4 months, it’d take a while to compile all of them, then black out any info I don’t want out there.

Hi Steve,

I’ve never written you before but I just had to share my take on Shanae and all her antics. Will she apologize? Why can’t she see her behavior for what it is, rotten. As I’ve watched, what I see is a classic sociopath. I have some in my family and it’s IMPOSSIBLE to reason with them, get an admission of guilt, an apology… never. They always change the subject and turn it on you when confronted. We “normal” people are confounded by their behavior and try in vain to understand. We live in reality where we feel guilt for bad behavior, we are able to empathize with others, we CARE about the people we interact with. If I had to guess, there will be no apology from Shanae and if there is, it will be contrived and not heartfelt. Sociopaths don’t think they’re wrong ever, it is all about them and they are always the victim, so we can just expect more of them same from her. Thanks for all your hard work covering the Bachelor franchise, it’s priceless!

Comment: As I said yesterday, when she basically admitted in her ITM that her “crying” apology to the women was all act, she lost all credibility in regards to any future apology she might do. How could we ever 100% believe her next apology is legit? You can’t. And that’s on her, not us. She’s the one who’s given us reason to doubt. It’s not our own biases.

Hey Steve!

Elizabeth’s public response to all the hate being thrown at Shanae, and the entire relationship between the two of them, is probably the best example Bachelor Nation has seen in someone truly taking the high road.

In the history of Bachelor/Bachelorette, whom would you say are the top two “villainous” characters and whom would you say are the top two “victims” who truly came out on top in the end.

Stay warm in Dallas!

Comment: I don’t know if I’d call Elizabeth taking the high road. It’s not like she’s fighting back, but man, she sure is milking it. I wish she’d just be less in our faces about it, that’s all.

I’m so sorry I didn’t get this in before the podcast, but I didn’t notice this until last night. I saw Elizabeth posted a picture and was talking about the auditory challenges. The thing I noticed though, is that she was in the hot tub. Now, I’m not using that as a way to diminish or condone Shanae’s behavior because it is horrid. I’m sure it could all be spliced together as well. But, I did find it odd that the “argument” pivoted to whether or not Elizabeth was in the hot tub, she adamantly said she wasn’t, but she was. She seems like a class act, so I’m surprised she hasn’t said, I apologize, I was in the hot tub, but I didn’t process Shanae offering shrimp, etc.

Again, I realize that none of that is actually the issue with Shanae’s behavior, but I was just curious on your thoughts.

Comment: The hot tub argument has me confused because she was in there, but I’m not sure what time they were talking about. Because I’m guessing the women were in the hot tub a lot.


Listening to your reader email podcast, and really enjoying it!

Just wanted to provide some background on the Shanae eating question. A lot of women do have body image issues and many worry about looking greedy as well as people thinking that they’re a fatty or a pig, etc.

Prime example, I never want to be the first person to take food at a buffet, and don’t like taking the last item off a plate.

Anyway, the reader mentioned Chad and Christen as examples of how the producers made them look bad when it came to eating. Another example was Clare, who the show and TPTB had every reason to be mad at. In her bloopers, it showed her constantly eating or holding a chicken wing, saying she loved snacking etc.

Anyway, some “food for thought” for you (pun intended).


Comment: Gotcha. Never looked at it that way. Christen and Clare I can see. Chad? No. He relished in that and you could tell he was putting it on for the cameras. I don’t think he cared in the least bit.

Hi Steve!

I started watching joe millionaire after you suggested it and absolutely love it. Both guys are very likable and I genuinely am rooting for them! Any idea how the finale is going to work out? I believe there’s 8 women left now and they announced 5 episodes left at the end of last nights episode. If they sent home one women an episode that would be 4 left in the last one. It seems odd to have only 2 left in the finale since it would be obvious which guy is taking which girl. Any idea how this shakes out?


Comment: Yeah all I know is 5 episodes left but I don’t know how the eliminations are gonna break down. My guess is the penultimate episode will have both guys down to 2 women and having final dates with them, then making their decision in the final episode. So the next 3 I would think would get us from 8 down to 4. But that’s just a guess. Looking forward to talking to both guys at the end of the season with whoever they chose and if they’re still with them.

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