Reality Steve

Reader Emails

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

Photo Credit: ABC


As much as I disagree with Chris Harrison’s political beliefs, I don’t think he would have let this ending happens No one wants to see an ending where a woman rejects the Bachelor’s proposal.

We needed the host to take charge here and warn Clayton that Susie wanted to self-eliminate. He could do all this behind the scenes and then let Susie leave.

Clayton could then choose another woman and either become engaged or date her. But at least he could save face. I personally think Serene would have been a good choice for him.

I think Harrison did more behind the scenes than we realized. This season was just out of control with no one taking the reins.

Comment: Totally disagree. Chris was an executive producer on the show. Anything that gets people talking and makes the show relevant, he’s all for. He would’ve loved it just as much as the next person because people will be talking about the ending when it happens. It’s when people stop talking about your show and become indifferent that you’re in trouble. Do you see indifference from people online after last night’s episode? I sure don’t. EVERYONE’S got an opinion. They win.

Hi Steve! Since you broke the news today, I have a theory: I really think that production has been grooming Susie to be the Bachelorette since she was cast, which includes this updated story arc. If this is true, wouldn’t it make sense for production to find out that Clayton of course has her as his top 1, then after she “self-eliminates”, they convince her to come back and say no to him (since they know he’s going to propose) to make a dramatic season ending and perfectly set her up for a Bachelorette run? Crazy theory, but you know what producers are capable of. This also reeeally depends on if the audience either loves her or hates her for saying no. Let me know your thoughts!

Comment: Well as we saw, she didn’t self eliminate. But sure, Susie is clearly a production favorite and someone on their radar. She’s the name I’ve heard, but that’s nothing solid. As I said earlier, I’d be shocked if it wasn’t one of Clayton’s final 3. Each one of them has a fanbase to build on. And I think moreso Susie after last night because people feel sorry for her. But just like anything, if they choose Susie, Gabby and Rachel fans will bitch and say they won’t watch – and they will. If they choose Gabby, Rachel and Susie fans will bitch and say they won’t watch – and they will. And if they choose Rachel, Gabby and Susie fans will bitch and say they won’t watch – and they will. It’s the same thing every season.

Hi Steve! I just read your latest column…great job! Very interesting for sure. Of course now I’m dying to know what would have happened had Susie had her fantasy suite date first. I need to go back and watch the promo they showed at the end of last night’s tell all. There was a shot of Susie where it looked like she was at the Rose ceremony with Gabby and Rachel. I thought Rachel would be the next bachelorette because they love having pilots in the lead role, but Susie would be great as well. She’s so similar looking to Hannah Brown that she just seems to fit the role! I can’t blame her at all for wanting to be bachelorette rather than giving Clayton a second chance, after he slept with Rachel and Gabby. Oh Clayton! His dad is right when he tells him he’s really messed things up! Clayton to me is like a Disney prince character in real life. Thanks for all you do!

Comment: I mean, it’s a hypothetical that was never going to happen. The whole point of last nights episode and how it was framed was made by a production company that was looking to get the most dramatic effect possible to draw the most conversation from their show. Susie going last was a calculated move by production done on purpose to achieve the most dramatic outcome. Bingo.

Hi Steve,

Here is my random word vomit on the WTA…

Cassidy’s back home fuck boy story was not a big deal. Having FWB is very common, hence the term. Her only mistake was verbalizing it so it was caught on camera and they could run with it and use it against her. I am sure producers are just listening and waiting in the wings for someone to say something, anything that could be misconstrued into a narrative the show is creating. Gotta have some shit on someone just in case a natural villain doesn’t emerge. Villain = viewer$.

Throughout the years I have always been reminded that once u resort to name calling and/or cursing, the point you are trying to make (no matter how valid) is lost. You have poisoned the possibility of credibility. That is what made watching the WTA so painful.

Shanae’s comment to Genevieve about how when Genevieve was sent home, she hung out with Bachelor Nation. Shanae implied that if Genevieve was truly into Clayton that she would have been so heartbroken that she would not have been up to going out; and that hanging out with Bachelor Nation somehow means u are looking to immediately hook up. (How long did Shanae practice that little speech to lay on Genevieve, thinking she had some kind of scoop?) Seriously? Of course Genevieve sought to commiserate with fellow Bachelor Nation folk after coming home. I would too! Who better than them to understand how u are feeling and what you just went through? Duh.

Sierra needed to pump the brakes. She made some worthy points at the start, but then she needed to STOP. Less is more in this case. It became overkill and eye rolling. Not the best look. (However, not knowing how much alcohol plays into it, wanting to get on BIP, being on TV, or just being plain torked over the bullshit, I can see how it’s hard to stop once u are on a roll. We have all been there in life, just not on TV.)

Which brings me to my next point: Do u think the women who chose to remain calm, poised and articulate regret it? Um no. Those women looked classy and smart. Immediately have credibility. It reminds me of Sharleen Joynt (my hero, love her) on Juan Pablo season’s WTA. He said a lot of insensitive things on the show and in the media after the show. The women were (rightfully) going after him. Sharleen remained quiet until asked for her opinion where she spoke calmly and fairly, her words had a much bigger impact with the delivery and people listened.

I know the WTA is the usual dumpster fire, but this one was embarrassing. Who would have thought that Cassidy would be one of the least aggravating women? And Lyndsay’s “…from the bottom of my heart, fuck you…” to Shanae was cringe worthy. She could have left that part off her statement. Not necessary.

Are these women looking back at their WTA “performance” patting themselves on the back, thinking the viewers are giving them props like “Wow, she brought the heat, What a bad ass?” When the dust settles and the smoke clears, you made yourself look just as crazy. Do not get me wrong, I think Shanae’s behavior was horrible, just horrible. She is scary. She is responsible for her own behavior. I didn’t like seeing the other women fall victim to licking the spoon from the bowl of crazy Shanae whipped up. You could just tell by looking at Shanae when all that vitriol was being slung her way that she was LOVING it; look everyone, I have the power to create chaos. She loved lighting the match over and over again; and then shrugging it off with her zero fucks given demeanor.

Which (finally) brings me to my final thoughts on Shanae. I am not a fan, but I am amazed she withstood all that without so much as a tear or softened statement. She is a true enigma, which may be on purpose, who knows. She has balls of steel, refuses to show weakness, but did she cry by herself when it was all over? Is she really that unfeeling that she cannot show empathy or compassion? Is she incapable of reading the room? Was this all planned out ahead of time? Was she in with the producers? Was all of this an act and the joke is on us? How do u watch urself back on TV and not feel bad about the hurt u caused or that ur behavior was despicable? Can u imagine the amount of confidence (delusion) and hubris it takes to pull off what she did? She NEVER wavered. Even Courtney Robertson was able to be contrite and self reflective at her season’s WTA.

I like to think women like Shanae are the exception, not the rule. I think that is why everyone is so shocked by her. However, she would make the perfect soldier, her impenetrable bravado would serve Ukraine well. (No, I am not wishing anything to happen to her, what I mean is that she reminds me of someone who would kick ass and take names and should use that demeanor of hers for the good….so don’t come at me for that, u have to admit she is brave. Crazy brave. Feels infallible.)

Ok I’m done.

Comment: Thanks for sharing.

Hi again Steve – while watching your live last night, I remembered that you said someone posted something on Instagram that could’ve possibly been a spoiler to the end of the season. What was this now that you know the end? Thanks!

Comment: It was a video of Rachel with her dad and family at a dinner “cheersing” each other and someone congratulates her filmed a couple weeks after filming ended. I believe it’s still on her highlights on IG. It’s why I said at the time could mean something, could mean nothing. Ended up meaning nothing. Probably was a congratulations for dodging a giant bullet looking back now.

Do you think the show is OK with there being no real love story coming out of this season? No engagement, no dating post-filming, Clayton not being in contact with any of the final 3 women (supposedly)? If all of that is true, I feel like the show wouldn’t want viewers to think the season was a waste, so they might try to force some sort of reconciliation and dating attempt at After the Final Rose, similar to Madi and Peter. Thoughts?

Comment: Whatever attempt they try, if they even do, will be futile at this point. I just don’t see any lasting relationship coming out of this season after what we saw last night. Clayton should just cut his losses and move on.

To be perfectly honest, if this is how the season ends with the Susie situation, why would the franchise want her to be the bachelorette? It just seems weird and almost cruel to Clayton? There’s something that just doesn’t sit right with me hearing she is most likely to be the bachelorette after hearing she rejects his proposal. They always promote the lead choice as that person getting a “second chance at love” and it’s like she was given that and rejected it. Especially if what we see on during the finale is raw and emotional at times for either or both of them I just think she being the bachelorette is cringy. Thanks for your time.

Comment: I look at it completely different. She may reject her chance, because it wasn’t on her terms. I mean, the storyline is there for a setup to have her season. Whether they choose to go with her is a different story. It’s their decision and they have made some random ones in the past based on whatever the hell their own criteria is. But to me, Susie seems to have a stronger built-in storyline heading into a “Bachelorette” season now that Gabby or Rachel. But that’s just my opinion. If either one of them got it, I’d be fine with them as well.

I’ve been late to the F Boy Island game but I just finished binge watching the season and was addicted. Do you have any updates on any of the cast members?

Comment: None of the final 3 couples lasted very long.

Should be an interesting ATFR. Any thoughts on if the final 3 will all confront Clayton?

Comment: I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t. I expect all 3 of them to be there.

Hey Steve –

Any interest in the upcoming CBS reality show Beyond the Edge? I think they are trying to make it look like Celebrity Survivor, but, from what I read, it is a totally different structure. Despite Colton being in it, I’ll check it out. Isn’t it airing right after “Survivor” on Wed nights? I think I’ll give it a look to see how it is.

I thought Joe Millionaire was, again, more real/entertaining then Bachelor last week when Kala (spelling?) It’s Calah friendzoned Kurt and Steven gently dumped 2 women for sound reasons. I still want to know how Amanda’s grandfather made his money and if we are talking about the kind of money her mother hinted at. Did I mention I have podcasts coming out on Friday and Tuesday with Joe Millionaire contestants?

WTA – I felt bad for Clayton as I believe he was being a good soldier instead of yelling “Of course I should have gotten rid of Shanae much earlier but this is a TV show and the producers pushed me to keep her instead of filler women!” Pretty sure most of the women know it is the truth and they are also playing a part by criticizing him on the show. I also get annoyed when unmemorable early exits try to be a presence on the WTA to audition for BIP. Prediction – no redemption on BIP for Shanae. Jesse montage was fun. Think about how short the blooper segments would be without insects. Ha ha good point. I think you can pull up blooper reels from every MTA on YouTube. Go do it. And report back with how much time in each one is someone fending off a bug, or screaming at a spider, or swiping something that flys in front of their face while running away screaming.

I read an article in the past couple weeks where “Pilot Pete” predicted Clayton would end up alone. My guess was someone leaked that to him vs brilliant analysis. I’d say you’d be correct. Not to mention the guy literally told a story of how he met a relative of Rachel’s & they spoke about the show and now all the sudden he’s Nostradamus about the season.
2 + 2 = 4.

Given all the people pressuring you for the ending spoiler, it got me thinking – why do they care so much? For me, I just like to see if a lone investigative reporter can crack a corporation’s attempt to keep a secret. Ultimately, I don’t particularly care whom he picks. Do you have a sense why people want the spoiler so much? They are so excited about the love story and can’t stand the suspense? They want to “predict” the end to non RS readers and look like Bachelor Nation geniuses? Something else?

Comment: I think it’s a combo of those things. Some people like reading the end of books first. Some people hate surprises. Some people do wanna pretend they’re “guessing” to impress others. Don’t forget the faction out there that wants me to be wrong because, I don’t know, they get pleasure in that since they’re perfect in their lives. There’s definitely that group.

I mentioned it briefly on yesterday’s live, but it’s gone now since I deleted it, but it bears repeating bc it truly is confusing. To get mad at me for taking so long to get this seasons spoilers makes absolutely no sense when all season in the same breath those same people tell me I know nothing, I’m useless, and I have no spoilers anymore. Huh? Whaaaa? Then nothing I say should matter, yet, everything I post is discussed ad nauseum. It’s literally the 9th Wonder of the World how people can do nothing but say all day long how irrelevant I am, then get mad at me for not posting spoilers at their convenience. If anyone could explain that to me, I’d love to hear it. Hint: You can’t, because it’s impossible.

Hey Steve ~

Thoughts of all the NFL news lately?
Aarons anticipated massive Green Bay contract, Russell going to Denver, Ridley betting on games (his rebuttal/response).
Excited for the draft and also the trades that will begin.
It made no sense for Rodgers to leave the Packers. They’ve boat raced that division for the last 4 years. They could go 11-6/12-5 in their sleep, win that division, and guarantee themselves a home game, if not home field advantage throughout the playoffs every year. The AFC has a bunch of young, good talented QB’s. Would you rather have played in a division (AFC West) with Mahomes, Herbert, and Carr? Or would rather play with who your familiar with, and 6 games a year you get Goff, Fields/Dalton, and Cousins? It’s a no brainer. It never made sense for him to leave there. Russell Wilson on the other hand has his work cut out for him.

And as much as I like gambling, it’s pretty clear in the NFL: you can’t bet on games if you’re a player/owner. Period.

Comments regarding Joe Millionaire:

I’m glad I listened to your initial podcast with Steven and Kurt because I wasn’t planning on tuning in. I just had it in my mind it would be so gimmicky and I didn’t watch the original because I was 17 when that came out.

It really is so good and more enjoyable than Bachelor/ette. Maybe that’s because Bach is 20 years in and there are no longer “exciting” or original themes any season.

My comment is simply that I hope you will be able to have on many if not all of the final six women (and obviously Steven and Kurt which I know you will). They all have such different stories and seem interesting in their own respects.

I don’t know how another season of JM would look, but certainly would love to watch it again.

Looking forward to TI as well.

Have a good evening

Comment: I’m not gonna get all final 6 women, but I’m going to have people on from the finale this Friday and next Tuesday, so stay tuned.

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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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