Reality Steve

Bachelor in Paradise 8

“Reader Emails,” Gabby & Erich, BIP Thoughts, & Your Daily Roundup

Photo Credit: ABC

Hi Steve,

How many nights were the OG women even gone? Like 3 nights??

Comment: I think it was 4 or so. I honestly don’t remember it was so long ago.

Hey, Steve! How are ya? First season watcher here. I started my journey in a dorm room and now I’m married with two kids and a mortgage. I just can’t seem to quit. Just been so interesting watching how the show has evolved over the years, both with production and contestants. So hard to believe there was a time where social media wasn’t a thing! A friend sent me your YouTube video breaking the Jason/Melissa/Molly news, and now here we are all these years later! I know this is a familiar song and dance. And let me also add: Your evolution has been awesome to witness over the years too. Thank you.

So although I’ve missed a season here or there, I always keep my finger on the pulse of the latest and greatest happenings. This year I have faithfully been tuning into BIP (mostly, that is. I fast forward through the filler), and I’ve been thinking a lot about the protected player phenomena. I’ve thought about it from time to time over the years, but seeing the negative backlash Michael A. has received has made me want to pick your brain a little bit.

Using Michael as an example, I get that he is a favored contestant among production (and fans?) and that he was likely promised Danielle would come on, but I don’t understand what is wrong with that. Don’t all the contestants give a list of who they want to meet? Don’t they all talk to each other beforehand and even spend time together? Doesn’t production continually make promises they won’t keep to get what they want out of you? Isn’t it possible they swore up and down that Danielle would be there, but then they can suddenly decide to pull the rug out, á la first night contestants who are all ready to go in the limo but then are suddenly cut? You truly don’t know who is going to walk down those steps until they do. I’m trying to understand how his situation is different from everyone else on that beach with their hopeful connections, other than the fact production adores him. Should he be hated for that? It’s not about hate for him wanting/being told/waiting for Danielle. It’s how he handled the Sierra breakup. Lets see if she dives any deeper this Friday into it at the BIP taping.

So then I think about the way things were handled with Sierra. Is that reason enough for the intense backlash? While it was painful and hurtful, was it manipulative? They could’ve had an unexpected connection, and then once things got more serious, either one could’ve realized it wasn’t going to work long term. He straight up said something was missing and then broke up with her before the rose ceremony. If he was so devious, wouldn’t he have secured her rose first? If he knew production was going to bend over backwards for him and bring Danielle on at any point so as not to lose him, why go through all that? I just think it’s interesting all this criticism because he is a protected player and gets special treatment, but wouldn’t you want to be protected? Wouldn’t you want that special treatment? I don’t think it made a difference about securing her rose first or not. Michael knew he was protected so he could’ve been told you’re not going anywhere, so do what you want with Sierra. You’re not leaving. I don’t know how intense the backlash is, but, if Sierra is still talking about it 4 months later, and alluding to things that weren’t even shown on TV, it certainly seems like Michael really played her. Of course anyone would want special treatment. But if you get it, in an environment where VERY few do, you have to expect backlash.

And this isn’t even particularly about Michael, so please don’t think I’m just some big heart-eyed fan of his. You can plug other names in instead of Michael and it’s a similar situation. Do we even know why on earth Justin is being brought back?! Bottom line: Favored players get special treatment, and I don’t believe for a second any contestant would turn that down. Why the negative backlash for it? Help me understand! Justin definitely got favored treatment as well. That’s no surprise.

I may be wrong, but reading your recaps/thoughts, seems like you want protected players to admit their special treatment, but can’t they not do that? Wouldn’t that be against their contract? What can they do, in your eyes, to absolve them of their sins? I’m so curious.

I think these kinds of conversations are so fun! It all just fascinates me. I suppose it’s why I’ve held on for so long. You have such a unique viewpoint from all that you’ve experienced over the years (Did you ever think you’d see such a fall from grace with Chris Harrison?!), and I so appreciate you taking the time to read random thoughts.

Keep up the good fight!

Comment: Can Michael ever acknowledge it? No. That’s never been my issue. It’s how he handled the Sierra situation. I’m telling you, reading between the lines of her tweets, Michael was clearly presenting and saying things to her that weren’t shown that has her all riled up still four months later. It’s not just about having a stronger connection with Danielle. We all get that. Of course Danielle can relate to him more than Sierra can considering they both had a significant other pass away in their life – Michael’s late wife and Danielle’s late fiancé (Hey! I said it right!). But he was being a lot more shady than what was let on. But after the reunion airs, no one will care anyway. It’ll be over and done with and we move on to Zach’s season. For the time being however, it was a storyline on and off screen, so we talk about it.

Hi Steve!

Not sure if anyone else sent this yet or not, but I was Listening to Wells and Brandi’s podcast from this week earlier today and thought it was interesting he said he had to head over to the Bachelor mansion tonight to film some pick ups AND that they were building him a bar to do it. I knew They filmed things like this post season, but hilarious they are building a bar to connect the dots on a story. Can’t wait to see if it will be obvious that it wasn’t filmed in paradise when it airs.

Thanks for all you do!! I love Starting my day with the daily round up!!

Comment: Didn’t listen to that podcast, but not surprising in the least bit. It’s no different than recreating the background for any ITMs during filming then using the same background post season for pickups.

Hi Steve,

Long time fan. I really enjoy listening to your podcasts and reading your column. Your interview with Taylor was excellent. You are quite a good interviewer, your questions are always spot on and your respect for your guests really comes through.

I’m sure you’ve probably looked into it but if not you should really considering Patreon. With your large following, I’m guessing you would do quite well. Just a thought!

Anyway, keep up the great work.

Comment: I have no problem with anyone wanting to make money starting a Patreon. I get it. People want to monetize their time. There’s different ways to do it. Some do it through Patreon. Some do it through ads on their podcast, which is my way to go. I’ve never charged for my website or podcast and I don’t see ever going that route. Everything I offer is free to the readers and listeners. When you’ve done that for over 18 years, all the sudden charging is going to ruffle some feathers. The people who are charging now are more newer to the game, so yeah, it makes sense that’s a route they may want to tap into. I get it. Just not for me.

Hi Steve,

I just watched the Hailey Bieber/Deux Moi clip and I am so happy that you both posted that and that you are an outlet that doesn’t just run to press as soon as you hear a rumor. I agree with what Hailey said about the site being “Gossip Girly ” and mean spirited and it’s great that you don’t play into that stuff.

This kind of leads into my question which is about a recently deleted Instagram story that Brandon put up about Olu, alluding to him possibly disrespecting Serene during the split. The social media “cryptic post – and then delete with zero context” messes with everyone and I have seen theories out there about Olu, which unless we hear something direct from anyone that was at that resort, I chose not to believe. Have you heard anything about what happened? Do you think production asked Brandon to remove the post given the reunion films next week for them to hash out there?


Comment: No. But considering Brandon posted what he did, clearly he did something or said something that upset Serene and/or other women in that villa, Serene went back and told Brandon either on the beach or post-filming, and that’s what has Brandon heated. But until someone gives an example, it’s all just speculation at this point as to what it was.

I read your blog and listen to the daily podcast. Sometimes I agree with you other times not so much, but I always appreciate what you do. Here I am writing about a non – bachelor event because kind of over it for a minute.

You may or may not care or have a thought, but what is your take on the U of M/State Hall brawl that went on Saturday. (And no it was not a Challenge reference on purpose) I have been to that rivalry game a hundred years ago and things can get heated, but for the life of me I can’t figure how that Michigan player got in that hall with the State players. I have read reports that there was a second player but it seems to all be hushed behind the scenes – first reports were that it was not a big deal, no one got hurt and now the narrative is changing – just wondering your thoughts.

Comment: Well, we have now 8 MSU players that have been suspended. If it was he said/he said, I’d say that was extreme, but these suspensions were made after video footage was shown. So clearly those players did something that warranted Coach Tucker suspending 8 guys. You don’t suspend players that did nothing. I haven’t seen the footage, so I don’t know what they did, but apparently it wasn’t good.

Hey Steve,

I only ever watch the Bach franchise through the lens of having read your spoilers first, and that very much included keeping up with the Victoria spoilers way back in Peter’s season. In the past few years I think we’ve all witnessed the shift in production actually acknowledging outside reporting/things happening after filming wraps and having to incorporate it into their AFTR/ even into the season.

When I saw Victoria would be coming to Paradise, I was not sold on her having finally found The One, and given her past reputation, I have to believe production also wouldn’t expect anything to last.
Do you think there’s a chance that they brought her on with the anticipation of a juicy post show breakup, knowing that would hook people and keep them buzzing even after the final episode airs? Maybe trying to get out in front of the narrative for once? It’s possible but I could never say with certainty that’s absolutely what happened. I just don’t know.

Thanks for all you do! And regarding your original coverage of VF, I think it’s admirable that you are growing in terms of how carefully you report things, but I don’t think you should beat yourself up over that story. You gave facts, protected vulnerable parties, and told readers repeatedly to exercise kindness, and that is something people should appreciate in your reporting every time!

Comment: I think most do appreciate it. But there’s a faction out there that absolutely tries to find a fault in every single thing I do and will always bring it back to that or the Jenna story. And they don’t realize how foolish they sound when they do that. This site is not what it once was. You’re never going to please everybody, but, when you see the same things being said over and over about you when you know you’ve changed, it just gets annoying because they’re continuing to perpetuate a narrative that just isn’t the case anymore, and they’re backing it up with instances that are years old.

Hey Steve –

I have no idea who the host/singer for the most recent SNL was but he did a nice job. When I saw David S. Pumpkins, I knew you would be happy. It was good to see Jeff Probst even if it was part of an SNL “tradition” I call “We have a funny sketch concept but don’t know how to end it.” Sadly, Drunk Uncle reminds me of my uncle who does not have alcohol to blame for his abhorrent views. Drunk Uncle is an all-time Weekend Update Character for me. Top 5. Sooooo underrated.

Enjoyed the Taylor interview. Thank God she did BB and not Bachelor. If she and Joseph are a couple when they are casting the next Amazing Race, I have to believe they will be on. I was happy to see Rex Ryan on this season but I think his weight (after a 50 pound loss) and lack of Race skillset led to his early leg elimination. Oh so Rex is gone. Guess I have my answer. I still haven’t watched and probably won’t. But yes, if Taylor and Joseph last, they absolutely will be on a future season of AR.

Speaking of weight – and I don’t mean to body shame here – Aneesa looks heavier than ever on The Challenge. I view the MTV version as a pro sport and know the elite players train their bodies, minds, and relationships. Aneesa reminds me of a pro who shows up to training camp out of shape. I predict she will avoid The Zone for a while based on social game unless Jordan pisses people off. She may even win a daily. She is not and don’t believe she has ever been in condition to place in a final. It’s been talked about by others a lot. So it’s definitely a topic for sure. Conditioning plays a major role in the finals.

I dozed off watching BIP on my DVR but I have a simple theory on Justin’s return. The producers felt enough of the original women were into him to create triangles/drama and he would last long. They could then bring in Eliza and have a new triangle. When the OG women realized Justin is not that great and goofy facial reactions are not enough to build a relationship on, it screwed up the storyboard so they are taking another shot at it. Yeah, I guess my question would just be why him? Seems like there are others who are better TV. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me.

After you get back to the gym, do you anticipate fear of re-injury / “PTSD”?

Comment: I’m sure I’m gonna be freaked out when I do my first mountain climber again or run for the first time. Hell, taking my first walking step in a few weeks will probably have me really hesitant. Just because you haven’t done the basic motion of stepping and pushing off the ball of your foot, yeah, I feel like “Well, what if it tears again.” When clearly this injury has happened to numerous people in the world and they’ve recovered from it. It’s just getting over that mental hurdle of it it’ll happen again. I don’t know when that’ll kick in. But the therapist did tell me today there WILL be a point where I’m walking/running again and you’re just not thinking about it.

Hi Steve,

What are your thoughts on The Real Love Boat? Are you going to continue watching it now that it’s moving to Paramount+?

Comment: My thoughts? The second I saw it lasted 3 episodes on CBS before getting relegated to Paramount +, I’m out. Wasn’t interesting enough to keep me following it on streaming.

Hi Steve,

Thanks for all your hard work and I love your podcast!

A very bizarre question for reader emails:

There was a clip of Aaron swimming the Butterfly in last night’s episode of BIP. I was a serious swimmer growing up and his form was excellent and he looked really smooth in the water. Have you heard anything about his swimming background? I’m now curious about this.

Comment: Ha ha, I have no idea about Aaron’s swimming prowess, but yes, he certainly looks like he knew what he was doing. Very well could have a swimming background. Especially since he’s got the back that’s shaped for it as well. Wouldn’t be surprised if you’re on to something there.

Send all links and emails to: To follow me on Twitter, it’s: Instagram name is RealitySteve, or join my Reality Steve Facebook Fan Page. Talk to you tomorrow.

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