Reality Steve

Reader Emails

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

Photo Credit: ABC

Hi Steve
I need to say this.
I know anyone watching Joe Millionaire probably noticed too…..
the lack of the word “like” in the conversations?
How refreshing.

So much easier to follow along with what they are saying instead of noting all the “likes” in one sentence to the point of wondering what the fuck did they just say. Makes my head explode sometimes. I can’t help but think how many beautiful, smart women I have seen on the Bachelor that blow the illusion the minute they open their mouth. Then I started to think, is this a generational thing? Is this just the vernacular style of a certain generation? Like vocal fry, valley girl, up talking has been? I don’t want to make fun of something that is just part of a generation’s lingo since each generation is guilty of some head scratching stuff. (Looking back, we all have had cringe worthy ways of speaking/dressing, etc.)

There are so many things about JM that the Bachelor needs to take into account. I seriously think the Bachelor is at a cross roads. Can’t you feel it?

I am not saying the Bachelor will be coming to end, I understand what a juggernaut it is in ratings and blah blah blah. What I am saying is (or maybe hoping?) that they need to pause and take stock of the changing environment these days. They made an attempt at having the leads be POC which was long overdue, but there is so much more they need to do and can do. Yes, I know this is a TV show first and foremost, but what is wrong with wanting to do better? The disrespect shown this season towards ADHD and the joke they made of therapy……I mean, come on! Mental health right now in this country is front and center as a result of the pandemic and the needed awareness to not stigmatize it and to not hesitate to seek help. Are they that tone deaf?

I know, I’m preaching to the choir here.

Comment: Yes, you are. It’s known they need to change these things about the show. And from what most of us can see, they’re not. Take last night for a prime example. The whole Fantasy Suite episode was put together by production to get the exact meltdown that we did. They knew Susie was struggling with it, they knew having the women come back to the same living room after each date would make her squirm even more, and they knew putting her last would have this effect. But is anyone surprised? I’m not. This is what this show does. And when they do it, part of my job is to point it out and say while you can have your opinions on Clayton v Susie, don’t forget who set all of that up. And next season they’ll do something to stir the pot, and you’ll complain. And then the season after that they’ll do it again. And again, and again, and again. Guess what? Monday’s episode got the highest ratings of the season. And I’m sure once last night’s ratings come in that’ll do well too, although Tuesday episodes usually fall of because it’s not on the regular night. But look how much discussion it’ll cause today. The show isn’t changing, so, either collectively people need to stop watching and covering it, or just accept it for what it is.

Hi Steve,

I’m excited to hear what you uncovered about the ending!

My question is about what Clayton (aka the Bachelor PR team) has been putting out there about the ending being “so dramatic.” I’ve read quotes and headlines along the lines of it’s so dramatic the finale needed to be a 2 night event and/or they added an extra time slot for it.

I get that people have really short memories when it comes to this show, but isn’t the number of episodes/hours aired the same as always? If I remember correctly, we missed an episode earlier in the season for a TV conflict (I forget what at this point), so there had to be a make up episode somewhere down the line. This isn’t the first season with a make up episode, and it’s always either with the WTA or the AFTR. Maybe the difference is that it’s airing two nights for two weeks instead of one? Is there really an “extra” episode this season, or is it just hyperbole/spin?

Thanks for everything you do! I’m a long time reader (found you during Jake Pavelka’s season). The only reason I still watch the episodes is to follow what you’re writing.

Comment: This season has one extra episode because of the 2 night finale. Usually with the Tell All, a season is 11 episodes long – 7 episodes to get us to final 4, Hometowns is episode 8 (as it was this season), Overnights/WTA episode 9, Overnights/WTA episode 10 (depending on which order they want to show it in. In the past, the Tell All was always shown before the finale. In recent seasons, they’re showing it after the Hometown date episode), and the finale night was usually episode #11 that went 3 hrs – 2 hrs to show what happened during filming, and a 1 hr ATFR. Now they’re just taking that 11th show and extending it over two nights, so that’s what makes it 12 shows now.

Hi Steve,

Not so much a question as much as an observation a friend pointed out. She noticed that on he-who-shall-not-be-named’s podcast, Clayton was asked to describe his final three women. When he described Rachel it was in a present tense “She is wonderful”, but when he spoke about Susie it was in a past tense “She was wonderful”. Obviously this may not mean anything, but it’s definitely curious. I wouldn’t have caught it though since I don’t listen to garbage. 🙂

Comment: Well, however he describes them and whatever tense he uses, he’s not with Rachel.

Hi Steve,

Long time fan! It was apparent on WTA tonight that several of the women know what went down with Clayton and his final 3. How is that possible? Aren’t the eliminated women sworn to secrecy until the finale airs? Or did Ciarra and Teddy just put their foot in their mouth by saying “they knew things”?

Comment: I don’t think they know any details. I think they have an idea that Clayton is single.

Hi mate,

Teddi’s comment at end of women tell all last night..

Something like..

We are all close, and know a lot of went down, I hope you are ok.

Do you think that’s another setup by producers to send viewers off on particular ending theories?

I’m assuming the women get told what they can and can’t say (producers would know some are very close to Susie Rachel gabby etc), and even if they run their mouths to much producers can edit it out

Just seemed to me to be they let it air to add to the mystery of the conclusion.

FYI, I also hope Clayton is mentally ok, he’s a good guy, maybe just not ready for all the scrutiny this role came with

Comment: Yes, producers absolutely planted that seed and told them to say those things. The show is taped, so they could’ve edited those comments out if they didn’t want it out there. Like the Salley conversation or the footage of Shanae calling Elizabeth the c-word.

And yeah, I think Clayton is just like any other dude his age, and he got completely fleeced by the show, had no idea what he was getting into, definitely wasn’t ready to deal with the toxic fanbase, and now he’s left holding the bag for it and was clueless to what this show can do to you. I don’t think he’s a bad guy. Just totally ignorant to the process and someone who wasn’t ready for this role. But again, is anyone really?

Have you heard any names other than Susie for Bachelorette? With rating bombs this season, I have to imagine they may be considering someone who could pull viewers back in (Tayshia? not sure who else – Kristina Schulman? Kendall? Someone not franchise related – Chrishell Stause?). Also, is Jesse confirmed hosting or are hopefully Kaitlyn and Tayshia coming back?

Comment: I would be very surprised if it’s not one of the final 3. As for Jesse, I expect he’s the permanent host. Isn’t Kaitlyn on the DWTS Tour has been for a couple months. I highly doubt she’s gonna jump off that and immediately go back into hosting “Bachelorette” next week for another two months. And Tayshia has basically disappeared off the face of the earth, at least publicly, since the Zac breakup announcement, so I don’t see her all the sudden coming back to this. It looks like they found their new permanent host in Jesse and I expect him to do “Bachelorette” and BIP as well.

Thank You!

That’s all….just “thank you”.

Comment: You’re welcome. Every once in a while it’s nice to feel appreciated for what you do.

Hey Steve!

Long time fan, first time emailer!

I know someone else has mentioned this before, but I, too, get slightly irritated when Rachel is on the screen. I feel like we know nothing about her ( or really any of the contestants) because she’s only ever shown whispering in Clayton’s ear, talking about her feelings for him etc.. I haven’t really seen any conversation of substance up to this point between them. I feel it would be difficult to watch her as a bachelorette, unless you feel this is just the edit she has gotten. Thoughts? I’m confused on the whispering thing. The only time I’ve heard Rachel whisper was on her hometown date and that’s because she was clearly sick and lost her voice. I watched her overnight last night and she talked like any normal person. Are people confusing, or not realizing, she was sick on her hometown and that’s why you couldn’t hear her?

Also, any chance they would reach out to contestants from other shows to consider for bachelorette? Maybe not this season but in the future? For example, Deepti from Love is Blind. I’ve seen a lot of support for her on social media since the show aired and #Deeptiforbachelorette hashtags. Do you think that’s something the show would ever consider or stick with their normal way of proceeding with previous contestants with the exception of Matt James.

Thanks for your input! You make the show much more tolerable and fun to watch for so many of us

Comment: No. This show has a formula. They don’t cast people from CBS, NBC, Fox, or cable reality shows. It just doesn’t happen. They set the standard. Those others shows will take Bachelor/ette contestants, not the other way around.


Thank you for your explanation of what happened at the end of the show. I know you don’t have all the answers but the information you do have totally makes sense to me.

I actually sent you an email guessing Clayton was single about a month ago before that guess was popular so I am proud of myself. But that being said, I am really sad for Clayton. He has really been through the ringer. I can’t even imagine. What a nightmare!

Just watching Susie and seeing who she is, I can’t imagine her falling for someone like Clayton. She just has too much going for her. Not that Clayton isn’t a good person. It is just not a good match for a social media star like her who can have any guy she wants.

I also didn’t really see her connection with Clayton. It didn’t feel genuine. She has clearly been going for Bachelorette this whole time and my guess is the producers told her she could have the gig if she stayed for the proposal.

Picking Clayton for bachelor when no one knew who he is and no one was rooting for him because we were not invested in him like we were with someone like Michael A. or Andrew S or Rodney was a terrible idea. The producers were stretching because they really wanted a white guy and with Michael A. having a child the logistics were too hard. But starting out the season by putting Clayton down and having him read all those terrible tweet was just so mean. I can’t imagine what Clayton must be going through doing all this press knowing the ending. And on top of all of that having to sit through that Women Tell All while they all piled on!!! Devastating.

The whole situation is just very sad. I feel for Clayton. Ouch. This has to be so hard- a lead’s worst nightmare. Who will want to be the next bachelor now? Michael Allio’s Tik Tok today says it all.

Comment: I didn’t see Michael’s TikTok, but I can assure you, plenty of guys would take the gig in a heartbeat. Too many perks and opportunities that can come from it to turn it down.

Shenae said it was because after the show Genevieve hung out /slept with BN people. The problem with that is that she called her an actress while still on the show before any of that even happened. That didn’t answer the actual question.

Comment: Very true.

Hi Steve,

I have been a long time reader of your column (first time writer) and really appreciate all that you do. It makes the bachelor/bachelorette way more tolerable.

At the end of the Women Tell All last night, a few of the girls said they know what happened at the end (I don’t ever remember the girls or even the guys, ever saying they know what happened at the end before), and asked how he is doing and hope he is ok. It made me think that Clayton was single and it confirms what you just reported about he and Susie not being together. Seems strange that the girls were directed to NOT mention what, if anything, they know about the ending.

I CAN NOT wait for the Joe Millionaire finale!!! I really hope they both find love and that Kurt chose Amanda over Carolyn. Steven and Annie seem so cute together!! This show is so much better than the Bachelor/Bachelorette!!

Thank you again!

Comment: I will have on Joe Millionaire people in my next two podcasts. This weeks drops on Friday. Next week will drop on Tuesday night/early Wed morning before I leave for Vegas.

Hi Steve

Not sure if I missed this or not but are you hearing anything about Kaitlyn or Tayshia hosting bachelorette? It still feels like they have been positioning Jesse as the host of “the bachelor” but figured I’d ask. My guess is that they are out but curious on your thoughts/what you’re hearing.


Comment: I’d be shocked if Jesse isn’t the permanent host of this show.

Hi Steve!

After reading your post today, I felt like I should weigh in. After Jake Pavelka’s season, I stopped watching the franchise. I was sick of investing my time only for couples to breakup soon after. LOL

I watched Matt James’ season, because I had a bit of a crush on the guy. Living in the St. Louis area, I wanted to watch Clayton’s season and cheer on a former St. Louisan (and Columbia, MO/Mizzou connection).

I have had a feeling for awhile that Clayton ends up single. I noticed he moved to Scottsdale during the airing of his season, which to me was a sign he didn’t end the season with someone. Watching last night’s WTA (which I was so disappointed in the women for mocking Shanae’s butt and mocking her for fake crying. We can be better than that. Otherwise yes, she got everything she deserved), at the end of the episode, I could see hurt in Clayton’s face. To me that confirmed what I had a hunch about.

Assuming what happens with Susie truly happens, I have to admit, that makes me a bit mad. Yes, I would probably be upset too if I found out that a man who decided to be with me, or hell propose, had just told other women he was in love with them and also slept with them. But this is not how things normally play out in real life. Nothing about The Bachelor/Bachelorette is normal. People wanting to find a husband/wife don’t usually date multiple people at once, kissing multiple people in a short timespan, finding “the one” only to have to be separated from them for months at a time (which after some thinking, of course people don’t last on this show….you date for a short time only to be apart, people will fall out of love/lust). I feel like if you go on this show, you have to truly understand that in the end, there is a big possibility that how you are treated by someone is also how someone else is being treated on the show. Which begs the question, there HAS to have been other instances where a Bachelor/Bachelorette slept with more than one contestant on the overnight dates. Why is it a big deal now? I don’t think Clayton meant to fall in love with more than one person. I don’t think he meant to “play” anyone. My heart hurts for him, and I hope this is a teachable moment for him (if he does go on the Bachelor again!) 🙂 I also hope he truly finds love.

Comment: Clayton is playing by the show rules. Susie is playing by real life rules. By doing that, you’re going to have major conflict, which is what we saw last night.

So I am absolutely disgusted after watching the WTA. My main concern is how they completely swept Shanae’s ableism under the rug and didn’t acknowledge Elizabeth. Was this edited out? Like Clayton didn’t apologize to Elizabeth, we all know Shanae didn’t. Why wasn’t it addressed? The way production and Clayton for that matter are manipulating and trying to excuse themselves for allowing Shanae’s harassment makes me want to boycott the franchise. Sierra said she was edited to seem like she was talking a lot more than she was and I feel like they were doing that to make the other girls look bad instead of focusing on how toxic Shanae was. They’re acting like her throwing the trophy was the worst thing she did as if she didn’t mock and harass Elizabeth for having ADHD. This season was terrible smh.

Comment: Probably because the show didn’t want to address it. It wasn’t a major topic, but, it was brought up. I guess just not enough for them to focus on it. Another missed opportunity by the show. I guess that answers any question of where there priorities lie.

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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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