Reality Steve

Reader Emails

“Reader Emails,” & Thoughts on Last Night’s FINASCO

Photo Credit: ABC

Today’s “Reader Emails” basically has 4 types of emails in them – ones sent pre yesterday’s spoiler, ones sent post yesterday’s spoiler, ones sent post yesterday’s spoiler but pre last night’s episode, and ones sent post last night’s episode. Now, you’ll see on page 3 that all the emails that were sent to me after last night’s episode don’t have any responses to them. I’ll give you my thoughts on last night in the next few paragraphs. So there was really no need to respond to how each of you viewed the episode. But I wanted to show the audience how different the responses can be while we all sat and watched the same thing. So get ready to read responses defending both sides. I feel one of the biggest things is, when episodes like last night air, it just takes the fun out of things. Everything’s so serious now, and everything is so hyper sensitive and black and white to most people, that the notion this show is just mindless nothing isn’t true anymore. People say, “Oh I wanna watch for fun and just shut my brain off for two hours.” Not after last night you aren’t. Everyone’s now forced to take a side and spout off an opinion that they 100% believe is right and nothing anyone else says matters. Just doesn’t make the show enjoyable whatsoever. Last night fucking sucked. Period. More on that in a second.

Yesterday I did an IG live for 2 hrs where I took your questions on both video and audio. I thought I hadn’t done one since the Olive Garden grand opening in Vegas in Sept, but I forgot I did 3 Q&A’s in Oct. & Nov. Well, apparently things have changed with the lives in the last 5 months since I did one, because while I saved it and posted it on my IG feed, I felt I didn’t want it on my feed and just wanted it on my videos. Used to do that all the time when I did them with Ashley. So I went and just deleted it off my feed maybe 5 minutes after it posted NOT KNOWING it’d also get deleted off my IG videos. It didn’t used to do that but now it does. So for those who asked if it was saved and is there a way you can watch it, the answer is no. I accidentally deleted it not knowing it’d be gone from both my feed and videos. Sorry.

As mentioned yesterday, the “Bachelorette” begins filming next weekend at the mansion. Nothing “official” yet on who it is, as this is the one secret they are pretty good at keeping since it’s a live announcement, but, hopefully I can hear something soon and get it out there before she’s announced. With that said, that means the potential guys will be released on the Bachelorette FB page next week (probably on Wed, the day after the finale like they did last season), and I’ll be on a plane. So the plan is just to tweet out full names, IG’s and any basic stuff I find on a Google Search, or is told to me all day Wednesday (or whatever day they’re released). But whoever I have before then, I’ll release Tuesday night after the finale on social media. I’ve got a few guys right now that I believe are heading out this weekend to quarantine, so expect those Tuesday night after the finale airs. Ok, on to last night.

There’s so much I want to cover, but when I think about it, it’s totally overwhelming and makes me wanna not take forever on this since I feel this is a repeat argument of a road we’ve already been down before. However, lets make one thing clear, there’s 2 different things being debated here:

1) HOW Clayton reacted
2) WHAT he was reacting to

The problem is this is Toxic Bachelor Nation where nuanced arguments basically aren’t allowed. Everything is black and white to everyone and you’re not allowed to have a discussion on the matter without someone yelling at you for looking at both sides. And to me, both sides made mistakes. To say both sides were “wrong,” means it’s cut and dry, black and white, no room for discussion, and that’s just not the case. Take Clayton’s anger for example. Would I have handled it that way? No. I feel he never should’ve raised his voice at her in that argument and taken a different approach. So many different ways he could’ve de-escalated that conversation. But to sit here and act like none of us have ever gotten into an argument and raised our voices to someone we were dating and every relationship we’ve ever had has been perfect is not realistic. They had a disagreement based off bad communication. He was angry, flustered, upset and raised his voice at her then blamed her for why he was that way. Not a good look. At all. But, in the REAL world, this happens all the time in relationships. This just happened to be on TV, so we can’t sit here and say we saw something last night we’ve never seen before.

And that’s where we get into TV rules vs relationship rules. Clayton is playing by the “Bachelor” rules and Susie is playing by real life rules. The second that happened, of course there was going to be major conflict. Clayton has every right to kiss, make out, and fuck anyone he wants to on this show if he pleases. It’s kinda what the overnight episode is all about. And in the same realm, Susie has every right to set any boundaries she wants to in her relationships. This lazy, “you know what you’re signing up for” take is getting old. Each season and each person is different. “You know what you’re signing up for” is insinuating it’s 100%, without-a-doubt, universally accepted that the lead will sleep with everyone left at final 3. Has it happened on multiple occasions? Yes. But does it HAVE to be that way? No. So while Clayton can do what he wants by the “Bachelor” rules, he still has to understand every action has a consequence. Because if he were playing by real life rules like Susie is, and she’s the one he “loves the most” like he told her, and this wasn’t being televised and Clayton and Susie were just two people dating in the real world, then no, I’d say it wouldn’t be acceptable to bang two women, tell them both you love them, but then go to third one and say “I love you the most, I was just exploring with them.” And that’s where the lines are blurred here. We’re not dealing in reality when we watch this show.

Where Susie I believe made a mistake was basically giving an after-the-fact ultimatum. She has every right to feel that him declaring love for or having sex with two women before her is a deal breaker. But she also literally said last night in an ITM while he was on the other dates, “I hope he sees it from my perspective.” Hope? Clayton? Him? Have you watched him all season? He’s just supposed to know and guess how you’re feeling? It probably should’ve been relayed to him how she felt. Her “hoping” was a bad call on her part. Do I think she trapped him or she’s a horrible person for not telling him sooner? No. I just think on a show like this, where she knows what COULD happen on overnights (and they all do at this point), something like that is too important to leave on a “hope” he understands, and would probably be better communicated how you feel. I think on this show, you HAVE to communicate your boundaries, even moreso than in a relationship outside this show, because this show literally has an episode where you have free reign to bang three women. So while Susie can “hope” Clayton would recognize that, when she’s playing real world and he’s playing TV world, it’s just not realistic. A giant miscommunication.

This idea of “Oh, she just wants to be the Bachelorette and this was her chance out” I think is another lazy take. They all know once they get that far that “Bachelorette” is a possibility. They’re not dumb. But there’s a difference between knowing the “Bachelorette” is an option versus it being their goal. They can want it to be their goal all they want but they don’t control that. Production does. You can do all the right things, kiss productions ass, do what they say, be a teachers pet so to speak, and it still guarantees you nothing. Because there are multiple people every season in productions good graces, but only one can get chosen for the next lead. So while I think Susie is a smart girl and was well aware what could possibly happen, I don’t believe there was any sort of diabolical scheme on her end for her to be the “Bachelorette” because she has no control over that.

Once Susie told him how she felt, that’s where things went off the rails. While she’s crying and apologizing and even understands what he did, Clayton is so distraught and upset he’s not even trying to put himself in her shoes. Because he’s still playing by TV rules. Which he’s allowed to, of course, but he has to look at it from her side and I don’t feel he did. Then from there the look got worse. Blaming her for hisactions made her feel awful. “I don’t even know who I’m looking at anymore,” “Your opinion is BS,” “You invalidated everything we had,” was uncalled for. You literally just told this woman you were in love with her the most, but when she tells you her boundaries in a relationship (that yes, should’ve been conveyed earlier) he completely went off on her and made it her fault. That flip of the switch in demeanor was a terrible look. And social media is making him clearly aware of it. It’s no wonder Clayton said he was taking a social media break. He knew what was coming. Good idea.

And this is where the show has a problem. This was all a set up. Clayton wasn’t opening up to anyone pre-overnights, and now production is in his ear no doubt telling him, if not threatening him with like, “Hey, if you don’t open up to these women, they might leave you” kinda deal. Then he just took that and ran with it to the 100th degree to screaming his love for every woman so all of Iceland could hear. And you know it was a set up considering as Rachel and Gabby are having their overnights, we’re getting an inordinate amount of clips of Susie’s ITM’s of how much of a struggle she’s having with everything. We’ve never seen it so-over-the-top like that where the show is constantly reminding us during the first two overnight dates, “Hey, this girl up coming up third here, she’s literally in freak out mode right now and can’t handle this.” It was cruel, it was shitty, it was unnecessary, but it’s exactly what they wanted. They knew Susie would spiral by putting her third which is exactly why they did it. Yet these people always seem to think producers care about them and their well being. They don’t. Ever.

So while I think there was horrible miscommunication last night and both sides made mistakes, I think it’s possible to just move past it, and not write on each of their IG’s how awful they are, and they should rot in hell, etc. Things could’ve been handled better but lets show some people put in a pressure cooker of a relationship a little bit of empathy. Piling on Clayton or piling on Susie right now accomplishes…what? Nothing. That’s why I hated last night’s episode because I knew it would generate the Opinion Police where sides are taken, and people are pitted against one another, and it’s getting nasty when it doesn’t need to be. Clayton admitted to mistakes he made in interviews all season long. I’m sure he’s referring to this. Lets just let him learn from those and hopefully not repeat them.

As for the spoiler from yesterday, I mean, it’s clear to me now that Susie was the one he wanted. He told Gabby and Rachel at dinner “I’m falling in love with you,” then told Susie “I AM in love with you.” Then after that, even told her he’s in love with her the most and reacted the way he did when she basically wanted to leave. So it’s clear to me at least that she’s the one he wants. And while it doesn’t look like Susie can come back, or people asking why she even would, I totally see it. Cooler heads will prevail, and my guess that the knock from Jesse on Clayton’s door is him telling him Susie wants to speak with him. Like I said, I don’t have any details on her return in terms of what point it happens, what she says, how she goes about it, etc., I just know she returns. I gotta believe after the new footage of Jesse knocking at the door to tell him he’s got some news that could change everything, that’s him telling Clayton Susie is still around and wants to speak. Not sure what else it could possibly be knowing what the spoiler is.

“Reader Emails” begins on Page 2…

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  1. shenanigans

    March 9, 2022 at 9:25 AM

    I totally understand Susie’s position. For her to move forward, she needed to be the only one he loved and slept with. However, she wasn’t going to tell him that upfront, which would come off as controlling and manipulative. Instead, she sat back and let him make his own decisions.

    Once she knew that Clayton did in fact sleep with both other girls and told them that he loved them, Susie knew that they were NOT on the same page re/ what they had. She wasn’t as special to him as she had hoped to be. That’s a perfectly reasonable way to feel and I respect her for it.

    For those who claim that Susie should have given him an “ultimatum” upfront, think about that for a minute. Viewers would inevitably have called her out for trying to manipulate the situation and interfere with his other relationships. To me, Susie was in a no-win situation because she was NOT the only one Clayton loved. That being said, neither of them is right or wrong to me. Sadly, Clayton simply wasn’t invested enough in Susie for her to accept a proposal.

  2. dogmomma

    March 9, 2022 at 9:49 AM

    I haven’t commented on here in a while, but I also skipped a few seasons until the final 2 or 3 episodes. I agree with the first comment 100%. The whole thing was set up and it’s so obvious. If production had allowed Susie to go on the first overnight, she would have told Clay-in her feelings about him sleeping with other girls, and the entire ending would probably have been different. They wanted an ending that has never before been seen so they set it in motion. I don’t think Clay-in is a bad guy, but he definitely wasn’t Bachelor material, which may have been part of the plan to find someone without the Bachelor Nation experience. I hope he gets some counseling so he can move on. And I hope Susie stays true to her beliefs. What a shame that this show can ruin lives and turn good people into villians.

  3. rob22

    March 9, 2022 at 10:43 AM

    I agree totally with RS that this whole s***-show was producer generated. They set Susie up to spiral & create this situation. And they obviously knew that Clayton was favoring Susie, so they essentially setup the relationship to fail. And killed off the “love story” that a majority of viewers are turning in to watch. What were they thinking? One thing I think people are forgetting, is that Susie, in her emotional death spiral, decided to bank the whole relationship on whether Clayton slept with someone else. She directly said that if Clayton didn’t sleep with another woman, that would validate their love. To me, that implied that she didn’t have that validation & decided to bank the whole thing on Clayton’s behavior in the fantasy suites. So, she wasn’t sure, and decided to flip that proverbial coin. Except that, as we know, the chance that Clayton wouldn’t sleep with someone else was like a coin flip where the coin lands on its edge. And if she was really wanting a relationship with Clayton, and the implication is that she really didn’t, that she was going to have to tell him her feelings in advance. I don’t know what was going on in Susie’s brain. Perhaps she did think there was a good chance that Clayton would behave as one would expect in the real world (not the Bachelor world). But in essence, in the Bachelor world, she was giving herself an exit ramp out of her spiral. Again, I don’t know if it was 100% intentional, but it did provide her an easy out. I do not have any reason to think that she was specifically making the move to open up the Bachelorette gig. But it’s hard to imagine that she didn’t consider it at all. She had several days to consider her situation. She was feeling stressed, spiraling, and wanting to get out of her emotional situation. If she gives herself an out, she doesn’t have to feel bad anymore. And, as a nice bonus, she could be lining herself up as the Bachelorette. That doesn’t make her a bad person. That doesn’t make Clayton a bad person. But I have to say that the manipulation by production of these people’s lives was pretty bad, and borderline evil.

  4. lubozz

    March 9, 2022 at 11:15 AM

    Still to this day I am shocked at how this show (and the fanbase) can culture cancel Chris Harrison (and other members from BN) but don’t realize that the very show itself glorifies bullying, condensing, demeaning and other emotionally abusive behaviors. Why is one issue bigger than the other – because they are not. They are equally important and impactful in our society.
    There were so many teachable moments here to explore – but instead of spending time on those like they spent the time with the Chris Harrison comments and the fallout of such they sweep it under the rug and exploit it. I have loved watching JM and have found it refreshing and like most of the readers emails have expressed the women are just so different in how they treat one another (with a few exceptions).

  5. jlal

    March 9, 2022 at 11:21 AM

    I agree with everything RS said. I lean on the more negative opinion of Clayton though. I agree that he was way out of line when he tried to make Susie the bad guy instead of validating her feelings. He didn’t have to agree with them, but to turn it around to where she is apologizing, ummm hell NO. And, to say she invalidated everything they had was just, wow master manipulator range there. Plus, he was so cold and dismissive at the end it was brutal to watch. Like I said earlier, run girl run.

  6. shenanigans

    March 9, 2022 at 11:57 AM

    Before ANYONE set foot in a fantasy suite with Clayton, Susie wanted to be the only one he loved and slept with. That was the standard that she was holding him to. Personally, I think it was better that she DIDN’T tell him that upfront, because we might not have seen the real Clayton (and Susie wouldn’t have, either).

    As annoying as Nick Viall is, he had the right idea: only sleep with the one you really love, who you plan to propose to. Clayton wasn’t ready to take that step with ANY of these women, which is what Susie needed to know. He caused her short-term pain and embarrassment, but, in the end, she dodged a bullet. That might not have been the outcome had she given him an ultimatum.

  7. ctrealitygirl

    March 9, 2022 at 12:02 PM

    This show/franchise has stooped to a new low. I hate this new practice of having the final three forced to stay together during fantasy suite week. What torture! To have to sit there and see the person return from their overnight all smiles and blushing, knowing that most likely they’d been intimate with the lead. In the past when they stayed apart, at least they rubbing their noses in it. And, I agree with RS that, knowing that Clayton’s top pick was Susie, the producers made her go last so that she’d be totally unglued by the time she had her turn. Perhaps if Susie had gone first and Clayton had professed his love for her and was intimate with her, it would have swayed him not to sleep with the other two. It was obvious last night that as soon as he saw Susie he knew she was “the one.” Why on earth would the producers want to spoil a love story? They did pretty much the same to Maddie on Peter’s season. Watching Clayton’s transformation into an angry jilted suitor was cringe-worthy to say the least. My heart broke for Susie when he turned the tables and put the blame on her. I’d say she dodged a bullet if that’s how he behaves when he doesn’t get his way. Pretty scary behavior. With all his faults as the lead, I thought he was at least very likeable. But my opinion changed after last night’s show. He deserves to leave the show alone. He was in way over his head being the Bachelor. I do hope they make better choices in the future. I’m so loving Joe Millionaire and hope they do more seasons. So refreshing and practically drama free.

  8. justsaying

    March 9, 2022 at 12:18 PM

    I believe even if Clayton didn’t sleep with the other two girls, Susie will still dump him. He can never live up to her dad. Remember her dad’s her gold standard. Nobody can live up to daddy.

  9. kaye

    March 9, 2022 at 1:07 PM

    I really liked Clayton until this episode. He treated Susie horribly. He wanted to F around with all the girls and got mad when she expected more from a guy who wanted to choose her in the end. Go Susie!

  10. wisewords

    March 9, 2022 at 4:48 PM

    The Bachelor/ette is like a cult. Not technically a cult but functions like one in almost every way.

    The WTA has turned into an episode of Jerry Springer.

    The latest villain, Shanae, most likely has some type of cluster B personality disorder, like Narcissistic PD or even Antisocial PD (i.e. a sociopath). That’s why she was so calm and collected, could lie effortlessly, and didn’t seem hurt by others’ opinions of her. People like that have no feelings to hurt.

    No matter what your stance is on polyamory, Clayton showed his true colors in the cold, dismissive way he treated Susie. And yes, he did gaslight her. I say, run Susie, run!

  11. grizelle

    March 10, 2022 at 9:53 PM

    The lack of empathy and compassion people have for reality stars in stressful, emotional situations is so disappointing to me. I’m so tired of the division and hatred that is ruling the world these days.

  12. grizelle

    March 10, 2022 at 10:07 PM

    After reading all of the fanmail… The person who started with “Here is my random word vomit on the WTA…” is totally on-point, and brings up some very good questions and interesting thoughts about Shanae. I, too, was really impressed and slightly terrified of her calm placidness during the WTA. You could tell the other women were frustrated that they weren’t making a dent in her tough exterior… it’s why they became more and more heated and hostile with her. Definitely did not go their way.

  13. janiel

    March 11, 2022 at 9:34 PM

    To the emailer who wrote, “The Suzie dinner/date/fight /breakup was was a total copy and paste from Hannah Brown and Luke P. The interesting thing is Hannah was praised for standing up to her guy and sleeping with whoever she wanted to, then sending home the Christian guy (because how dare he expect monogamy on a show like the Bachelorette)…”

    No, it isn’t the same. They wanted the same thing, sexual exclusivity; but what they did about it was very different.

    Luke tried to tell Hannah, “Don’t do that!” He has no right to tell her what she can and cannot do. He isn’t her partner, she hasn’t promised him anything, and so he has zero right to try and dictate whom she sleeps with.

    What he COULD have honorably done was what Susie did: tell Hannah not, “You shouldn’t do that; that isn’t okay!” but “I don’t feel comfortable dating somebody who does that, so I’m going to end this relationship now.”

    That would have been entirely *his* right, because deciding whom he does or doesn’t want to date is entirely his right just as choosing whom she does or doesn’t want to sleep with is entirely hers. But it’s not that Luke did. It is what Susie did.

    There’s no double standard here. For both man and woman, for Luke and for Susie, it’s wrong to react to somebody else’s choice by demanding that they do it your way when they don’t owe you that. But it’s not wrong to walk away from dating them anymore if you don’t care for their choices. That’s YOUR right, and they don’t get to stop you from walking away if you want to, for any reason or none at all.

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