If you’re a fan of The Bachelor and all its spinoff series, surely you know the name “Reality Steve.” Steve Carbone, the man behind the website RealitySteve.com, makes a six-figure income spoiling the series and has been sued by ABC and the show’s producers twice—clearly an indication that his intel is primo. But how does Steve spoil the show and where does his info come from?
Steve is more of a filter than a reporter; he doesn’t do any original reporting. Rather, he analyzes info that comes to him from a variety of sources and contextualizes it based on other sources around the internet, social media included. In an interview with Reality Blurred, Steve said, “I’m only as good as what I’m told. I do have confidence in a lot of sources…I’ve never called a hotel in my life for this show. I’ve never had to; I probably never will.”
Where Does Steve Get His Info From?
According to Steve, about 95 percent just come to him. His spoilers may identify contestants, locations, or elimination order, but sometimes all he needs to do is look at the big picture and put the puzzle pieces together. The process of elimination helps him figure out what’s going to happen on the show, with social media posts filling in all the gaps.
Scouring social media offers up clues about the contestants’ whereabouts and happenings, which serves as a very public aggregator of information. In one particular case a few years ago, he sent a friend to a Las Vegas hotel to snap pictures of one of the show’s dates, his network of sources consistently proving reliable as he fills out each and every season piece by spoilerific piece.
“Social media has been huge because there are so many more dates that are spoiled publicly,” he told Andy Dehnart. Thanks to who’s posting (and who isn’t) it’s obvious which contestants made it to a certain stage in the competition and who’s been sent packing.
As his site grew, his accuracy improved. He’ll verify certain things with his sources, asking them follow-up questions and meticulously checking it against information he heard from others. A number of factors can help him weigh a source’s info, including the way they present the information and the small details of what they claim. The information that adds up goes on his site where it’s devoured by Bachelor fans hungry for spoilers.
Steve’s Been Sued…Twice
A ploy offering $2,500 to contestants for useful information blew up in his face when The Bachelor found out about his offer and sued him for $75,000 in damages. His proactive efforts for spoilers finally gave the network what they needed to sue.
“My opinion was they were just looking to see if they could put me out of business,” said Steve. “I think it was more or less the big guy going after the little guy. They’re a major corporation, they’re a network; I’m a one-man operation, or two if you count my webmaster. They finally had some evidence—which was just dumb on my part.”
Despite two lawsuits, Steve said he never owed anything besides legal fees, though those fees accrued since both cases took up a combined total of 10 months. He settled the first lawsuit, but was sued again after violating part of the settlement. He ultimately settled again.
According to The New York Times, “these settlements included an agreement that he would not contact the cast or crew of the show to solicit information.” He insists that he has never received information from people who work on the show.
While he never reveals his sources, he says they don’t include current contestants because they are “way too scared” to talk due to a $5 million penalty imposed by producers for divulging secrets.
“I can’t believe I get this much information every season,” Carbone told The Times. “I still think it’s weird that I get it.”