PT I: INTERVIEW WITH
- ABC’s NEXT BACHELOR!
(Totally kidding people, that was a joke!)
Amidst all the drama of the last week once he revealed his big Bachelor Jason bombshell (That Jason "picks" Melissa, dumps her and then goes back to Molly-and that this was all planned from the get go!), he took a little time out of his busy day and hanging with his adorable dog Maddie to answer some pretty AMAZING questions about himself, his Blog, and his fascination with Reality TV and of course ABC's The Bachelor!
JENN: Tell us a little about yourself--outside of the whole Blog/Reality TV side. And what is your background in either writing or radio?
STEVE: I pretty much grew up in Orange County, California. Had lived in Southern California my whole life until July of 2006 when I moved to Frisco, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. It was a job opportunity that I couldn't pass up, and I had nothing keeping me in LA anymore. My background is sports talk radio and the opportunities were dying out there, so I decided it was time for a change. Don't regret it one bit.
No real writing background other than having a weekly sports column at my college newspaper. My background is sports talk radio. Did that on and off for 8 years after graduating college in 1997.
JENN: What did you get your degree in? And what are your hobbies outside of this Blog?
STEVE: I was a communications major. I like laying around with Maddie, going to comedy clubs, going to the movies, golfing, going to the gym, and just relaxing. I don't have much stress in my life at all, so I don't do well when it comes to drama. This is about the biggest drama in my life since I moved here 2 1/2 years ago.
JENN: How did you come to start Blogging about Reality TV shows? Have you watched The Bachelor since the beginning of the show?
STEVE: It started with "Joe Millionaire." I remember watching the previews going, "Wow, I wonder if these women fall for this." So I watched it, was amazed at the stupidity of it, so the next day I emailed three friends giving my review of the show with my humor thrown in, and they thought it was funny. So I kept doing it for every episode. By the end of the season, unbeknownst to me, they were forwarding it on to their friends, and I had people emailing me asking if they could be on my "Joe Millionaire mailing list." When I asked who they heard about it from, they'd tell me, and I didn't recognize that persons name. So by then, I knew it had circulated around the internet.
The next "dating" reality show to start after "JM" was the "Bachelorette" - Tristas season. So I started in on that one, and I've covered every Bachelor and Bachelorette season since.
JENN: What attracts you to Reality TV?
STEVE: The ridiculousness of it all. I've always had a fascination with other people's relationships, and what better way to feed that fascination than with these shows? They are pure crap and easy to make fun of. So I do.
JENN: You do a reality roundup column from time to time and I've noticed you mention Survivor before in it. I've never followed the fan community online for that show, but I do watch the show. Do you think Survivor is as bad as The Bachelor as far as the "reality" of it goes or do you think it's closer to being more real in the way that it is set up?
STEVE: Survivor is a hell of a lot more real than The Bachelor and is one of the most interesting reality shows ever created, because it's definitely a great social experiment to watch.
JENN: Aside from The Bachelor, what is your favorite reality show?
STEVE: If I had to pick just one, I'd say Survivor. I've watched it the longest. But American Idol is catching up.
JENN: Have you ever watched an episode of The Bachelor looking to see a real love story? In other words, from the beginning of your watching this series, did you believe in it? What were the red flags that clued you into the fact that it's not as real as they'd like us to believe?
STEVE: In the beginning I was intrigued by it. But the minute they cast Bob Guiney, and then I heard stories about comments he made about Estella (the woman he chose) while at Trista and Ryan's wedding, I pretty much knew this was all for show. The fact they cast him was a joke. And then when I heard what I heard, I figured, "Yeah, this isn't real." And the phoniness hasn't stopped since. Well, except for a couple seasons that I really enjoyed.
JENN: Do you have a favorite Bachelor? Bachelorette? If so, why?
STEVE: Tie for my favorite Bachelors. Charlie O'Connell and Brad Womack. Charlie for the sole reason his season was the most real. No extravagant dates. They filmed the whole thing in his hometown, and they did a live finale. Why they haven't done this since is beyond me. Probably should since they're the longest running couple in the shows history outside of Trista and Ryan. I don't count Byron and Mary because she likes to use his face as a punching bag when she's sloshed.
Brad Womack for the sole reason he was the only Bachelor who legitimately did not give in to the manipulation that this show brings. The guy didn't like any of the 25 women, so he didn't choose any. When everyone was crucifying him for not picking Jenni or DeAnna, I was on my hands applauding with tears in my eyes like David Hasselhoff at the American Idol 5 finale….ha ha. Brad is a stand up guy, we keep in contact occasionally through email, and I really respected what he did on the show.
JENN: I liked Brad as well, I was shocked he didn't pick anyone but I thought that was ok. I too am amazed at how quickly people jump to making someone they've been raving about as fabulous into a villain just like that. Will the Brad interview you wanted to have at some point, ever happen?
STEVE: Nope. Doesn't look like it. He's put it all behind him now and doesn't really want to talk about it.
JENN: Who was the worst ever Bachelor and Bachelorette and why do you feel this way?
STEVE: That's easy. Lorenzo. Just look at all 13 Bachelors they've cast. Tell me which one would stick out like a sore thumb if you lined them up all in a row? Just a bizarre casting. Some guy with royalty in his genes if you go back a billion years who sells dog products. And oh yeah, he was shorter than Chris Harrison. Speaking of Chris Harrison, even he admits Lorenzo was the worst Bachelor they've ever had.
JENN: Any favorites among the contestants vying for The Bachelor or The Bachelorette?
STEVE: Oh yeah. Lisa from Lorenzo's season. The girl who finished 3rd behind Sadie and Jen. There's something about her I've always liked, plus she helped me out with a "Dr. Reality Steve" column back in the day. Michele, from Brad's season. She also helped out, but we've kept in touch for a couple years now and I actually plan on meeting her when I'm in NY on business next month. And hopefully we'll make out…ha ha. Alexis and Amanda from Andy Baldwin's season as well are really cool girls. This season, I've always been attracted to Molly and Megan, two girls who probably couldn't be any more different. Which proves I don't discriminate in what I like.
JENN: Do you keep in contact with any of the past show contestants? Have they ever contacted you about your Blog or what you've written about them--either to set the record straight, give praise, or even critique you?
STEVE: Yeah, the ones mentioned above outside of the girls from this season. Jeremy, as I've written about, I talk to on occasion. He did an interview for the website after his season ended. He's a really good guy. I've had a few former contestants contact me saying they really like the column and don't take it too seriously, and I appreciate that. Look, I'm having fun with it. If anybody takes what I say seriously, they're reading too much into it. But I do realize the column isn't for everybody.
JENN: You reference the Jeremy interview. How were you able to do an interview with him and not with Chelsea since they both were under contract--elaborate on this as best you can.
STEVE: Kinda goes back to my answer above. I got in contact with Jeremy through the radio station I worked for. They were doing their show from the Dallas Boat Show at a convention center downtown. Well, the host called me the night before knowing I had a reality TV website and said they're having Jeremy Anderson on the next day and when they brought up my name to him, Jeremy was familiar with the site, so he said he'd talk to me. I went down there, met Jeremy and talked with him for an hour or so, and we've kept in touch on and off since.
Chelsea I just found on MySpace. Asked her if I could do an interview, we spoke on the phone for over an hour and she was furious at ABC for what she perceived they did to her, I was all set to record the interview a few days later, but I guess they got to her and told her she probably shouldn't do any interviews with me. I never really got an explanation from her, but I could read between the lines. She spoke to me in anger without thinking too much about the trouble she was in, so that's why I didn't run with the stuff she told me.
JENN: Everyone seems to have sources online. I confess, I have none! Who are your sources for current or past shows? (If you cannot reveal names and I don't expect you to, how are they associated with the show?) And how to you even begin to know if a source is real?
STEVE: Can't really answer that. I'll never reveal my sources, which is why they're sources. I know they're real because, well, they are.
JENN: Aside from Jason's show, B13, do you have any inside information on past shows as to something that wasn't real or something shocking or gossipy that viewers might be interested in knowing. There have been rumors online for ages about the various shows. Can you shed any light on any rumors, reveal any to be the truth, etc.? Something along the lines of--for example--Shayne Lamas was a plant and Chelsea was taken to the F2 unbeknownst to her to be the dumpee? Any truth to that?
STEVE: I can confirm that one. All true. And that Matt Grant had $15k of dental work done before his season because he's a Brit and their teeth are bad. I have lots of other stuff but for the sake of the people who really like this show and want to believe in fairytales, I probably shouldn't ruin it.
JENN: What is your goal in writing your Blog? I can see entertainment as an aspect--it's snarky and funny. But is there a deeper meaning, say to reveal to the naive out there that this show is not as real as they would like us to believe? Something else?
STEVE: Yeah, Id say that's it. I've been saying for years that what you're seeing is not real. It's all editing. It's all manipulation. I think this season, when I found out what I did, something just sent me over the top. That's why I spilled the beans. But here's the tricky part: ABC will never admit it, and there's no way I can prove it. So basically, it'll be a he said/she said thing til the end of time.
JENN: Has your Blog ever led to any exciting friendships or dates? Stalkers or other crazies? Elaborate on this for us.
STEVE: Friendships, yes. But strictly on an email level. I'd say I have quite a few email relationships that were started from people on the Blog. Stalkers or crazies? There have been a couple, but nothing that ever had me worried to the point of changing my number or calling the cops. Dates? A few here and there, but nothing ever got serious. I understand there are a lot of women who enjoy my writing, this its funny, and maybe think they could see dating me, but I'm telling you, I'm not all that exciting really. Plus, I'm already spoken for with my dog, Maddie. Ha ha.
JENN: Just for fun because we can't forget Maddie. What does your dog Maddie really think of all this hoopla? She's very cute by the way!
STEVE: Thank you. She's the best. The funny thing is, I was never a dog person growing up. Never had a dog in the house, and I was pretty indifferent on them. But my sister has two dogs, so I got used to them, and I realized I wanted my own one day. Saw Maddie at the kennel last year, and knew I had to have her. Kinda corny, but its true. She is perfect for me.
WITH REALITY STEVE:
THE MOST DRAMATIC
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS EVER!
(Sorry had to throw in a cheesy Bachelor
drama moment! Gotta love it! Or not…)