[Please note: This is from an email interview I had the honor of conducting with Kate on February 18, 2019. I'm presenting it as-is. It has not been updated to reflect current issues and events within Bachelor Nation.]
Kate Casey is the one-woman juggernaut behind the immensely popular podcast Reality Life with Kate Casey, as well as the television recap blog Love & Knuckles, and author of You Know You Are Pregnant When… Funny Quotes From Women Who Have Been There. She also happens to be a stand-up comedian and mother of five! (She hilariously calls herself a “baby hoarder.”) Kate is obviously super-busy, but I was lucky enough to grab her for an interview via email earlier this month (February of 2019). Though she covers pretty much every reality television program under the sun, I kept the focus of our exchange on The Bachelor franchise, since we’re in the thick of it with Colton Underwood’s season. I have a million more questions for this fascinating woman, so fingers crossed I get the opportunity to chat with her more in the future. In the meantime, please enjoy her insights on all things Bachelor!
What do you think of Colton’s season so far? It feels like one long extended commercial for Colton’s Instagram. We are several episodes into the season and I still feel like I don’t know anything about him. Also, are all the contestants age 23? How are they ready for marriage?
Who are your favorite contestants? I don’t have a favorite. I can barely remember anyone’s name.
What do you think of Demi’s ageism as a device to cement her reputation as this season’s villain? Has anyone explained to her that she is going to get older too?
Bachelor Colton Underwood contemplating this season’s self-appointed villain, Demi Burnett. [Later Colton will be revealed as a stalker. Ex-Cassie had to file a restraining order against him.]
Do you think Colton will actually walk down the aisle? Not with anyone from this television show.
You mentioned you wanted Jason Tartick as the Bachelor because of his interesting family. What do you think of that choice now, in light of Colton’s performance. Do you still prefer Jason? Sure, he would be a lot more interesting. Do we really believe any of these girls consider Colton a genuine love interest? It’s like watching an 8th grade dance every week.
Speaking of Jason, what do you think of his seemingly thirst-driven relationship with Kaitlyn Bristowe? Are they together for love or because it’s mutually beneficial for social media? Is Kaitlyn still in love with Shawn? I have so many questions! Why do they all have to date each other? Can’t they find someone from Temptation Island or The Challenge?
As far as Bachelor picks, Peter Kraus was obviously wildly popular. What is your opinion of him, as well as why the producers allegedly passed him over? I got the sense Peter passed on the opportunity. He seemed to have a hard time buying into the idea that he could propose to someone after a few weeks. I will tell you this, I have met countless women from Madison, Wisconsin who harbor some hope they will meet him in an aerobics class and fall deeply in love. He doesn’t need a television show to find a lady partner.
Peter Kraus, looking fly!
Can you recount your role in “spoiling” Arie Luyendyk’s season? I got a tip that Arie proposed to Lauren at the St. Regis a week before the show’s finale and After the Rose ceremony. (For more details behind this story, listen to Reality Steve’s interview with Kate on his podcast. It’s a great episode! – JZ)
Why do you think Arie bothered choosing Becca Kufrin in the first place? It’s obvious Lauren Burnham was more his speed, personality-wise. Your interview with Bekah Martinez also sheds some light on his decision – when she said Lauren was willing to relocated to Arizona and be content walking his dogs. Color me dead – she nailed it. I think Bekah was right; Arie wanted someone who could fit into his life. Lauren was willing to uproot her life for him.
Who do you think have been the best Bachelor and Bachelorette leads? Charlie O’Connell was my absolute favorite Bachelor. I loved Trista Sutter as the Bachelorette.
Former Bachelor Charlie O’Connell and his chosen one (at least for that moment), Sarah Brice, are joined by intrepid host Chris Harrison. Interestingly, Chris recently revealed the Bachelor he got along with the least was Charlie. Read about the tea here.
It was fascinating to get confirmation from your interview with producer Jon Collins that the level of manipulation seen on UnREAL actually exists within the Bachelor franchise. Who knows what we’re “really” seeing, but it sure makes for fun/interesting TV! I am endlessly fascinated by the isolation of the contestants and how that creates an unrealistic attachment to someone they’ve been told would make an ideal spouse. I thought Jon Collin’s insight was spectacular. I loved that episode!
Do you think we’ll ever see any glimpses of the old-school Bachelor-vibe again, now that viewers are hip to the fact that things are more “produced” than we initially perceived? I think a show must evolve in order for it to remain interesting. Instagram has certainly changed the way they cast the show. It’s nearly impossible for the producers to keep the identity of the winner a secret until the finale. They can only embrace change.
Some Bachelor and Bachelorette love connections are more successful than others!
You have a massively popular podcast, “Reality Life with Kate Casey,” but you started with your blog, “Love & Knuckles.” Do you prefer podcasting to blogging? I absolutely love being the host of a podcast. I feel a much richer connection to the people who listen to my show than I think I could have ever achieved with my blog. I am grateful for the relationships I have made with talent and television executives too as a result. I could see two and a half years ago that podcasts were the new media platform. I think people would rather listen to an interview or a conversation about a show versus sitting and reading a post from a blog.
You have major Bachelor Nation “stars” on your podcast. How do you get people on the show? I book everyone myself.
Who are your dream interviews? I’d love to interview Mike Fleiss, Chris Harrison, and Andrew Firestone.
Who have your favorite Bachelor franchise interviews been with and why? Melissa Rycroft Strickland is one of my all-time favorites. I loved Jen Schefft and Trista Sutter too, both whom were incredibly forthcoming and sincere. I loved the fact I was able to speak to them so many years after their experience, which has given them a much more interesting perspective. Oh, I also loved DeAnna Stagliano. I talked to DeAnna from her car in the parking lot of a Target on a Saturday morning!
The OG Bachelorette, Trista Sutter (née Rehn), with winner turned husband Ryan Sutter.
What are your plans as your profile and podcast grow? I’d love to host show reunions, develop a sitcom, and grow my show.
Do you cover reality television in your stand-up comedy? What is the reception from the crowd when the topic comes up, given that not everyone is as well-versed in that world as we are? I always include some part about reality television in my stand-up act. Most people watch reality television, they just don’t want to admit it!
You unabashedly love reality television. As a mother of 5, how do you explain screen time to your kids? There can be a lot of judgement associated with TV viewing habits, and I love that you embrace this openly as your passion. Do you share it as a positive activity with your children as such? We watch reality TV competition shows together. For example, they love America’s Got Talent, Nailed It, American Ninja Warrior, and Survivor. Did you know American Ninja Warrior Junior has a competition for kids to develop an obstacle course?
Would you “let” one of your kids appear on any of the Bachelor franchise shows? I think my husband would be mortified, but I would say yes if I could be a supervising producer. I am still hoping they call me and offer me a spot as a mole.
Kate Casey with her adorable kiddos!
What do you think of Chris Harrison as the one constant in The Bachelor universe? Do you think he’ll ever retire? It seems like they “groom” certain contestants over others as favorites. I feel Sean Lowe or Ben Higgins are potentials as future hosts. Why would Chris Harrison leave this job? He’d be crazy to do so. Sean is pretty funny, but I think the lack of contestant morals would bug him. I think Ben is too invested in his charitable work.
Do you think The Bachelor will continue like Saturday Night Live – countless seasons, with no end in sight? The culture continues to shift under The Bachelor and they’re often late to the game in addressing important issues – racism, sexual assault, and so on. Will it continue to thrive, regardless? I would hope they would diversify the casts, but it does seem like every season is basically the same show.
Anything else you’d like to add? My absolute favorite part of the show is when contestants with dysfunctional families have hometown dates. I appreciate that those contestants are willing to expose their odd families, because that is authentic. It’s abnormal to host a guy you barely know and have your family act as if this is in your best interest. Throw in a relative that is off-center (i.e. Dean’s father in the wizard costume) and I am one happy lady.
Bachelorette contestant (Rachel Lindsay’s season) Dean Unglert with his wizard father.