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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