Stephen Carbone is known by hardcore fans of “The Bachelor” franchise as “Reality Steve.”
Reality Steve has become the go-to blogger of the dating shows, and public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of the shows’ producers and network ABC, who have sued him twice.
Why? Reality Steve has been spoiling “The Bachelor” and its spin-offs for the past four years with amazing accuracy. He’s become so infamous, The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica just wrote a long profile about how he’s turned his intel into a full-time, revenue generating business without having any other real employees.
Not only does Carbone often name who has been chosen by ABC’s bachelor or bachelorette months in advance, he has mapped out entire seasons of the show.
“I can’t believe I get this much information, every season. I still think it’s weird that I get it,” Carbone, 40, told the New York Times in an article published today all about his life as Reality Steve.
Carbone told the newspaper that he makes a “comfortable” six-figure income from his site, RealitySteve.com, presumably from ad sales. The site actually covers the entire reality TV genre, not just “The Bachelor” franchise.
Here are some insights into how Stephen “Reality Steve” Carbone does it:
Aside from hiring a webmaster to maintain the website, the majority of the work falls to him. The New York Times detailed Carbone's career, which started from a newsletter and then turned into the website in 2003.
He didn't make any money until after receiving his first 'Bachelor' tip that season 13 bachelor Jason Mesnick had broken up with Melissa Rycroft and reunited with his second-choice gal, Molly Malaney. After that, Carbone became a 'Bachelor' expert.
His spoilers are a combination of his own online research of 'Bachelor' sightings and information along with tips from his many sources. 'Bachelor' producers have sued Carbone twice. In 2011, he was sued for contacting eliminated cast members and offering to pay for information. The second time, soon after the first in 2012, he was sued after spoiling the next season. Both lawsuits were settled, with Carbone promising not to contact cast members or people who work on the show.
Carbone's information is usually pretty accurate, but he rushes to make things right when he's wrong. On the last season of 'The Bachelorette,' for example, Kaitlyn Bristowe posted a video of herself with the winner, Shawn Booth, to Snapchat before the finale aired. He had been told she ended up alone, so he was forced to quickly update the site.
Though it may have put him on the map, Carbone doesn't get most of his audience now from divulging scoops ahead of time. Web traffic to RealitySteve.com is 80-90 per cent lower while he's tracking the 'The Bachelor's' production, before it airs,' Carbone tells The New York Times. His big numbers arrive while the season is actually on TV. Even still, the amount of Bachelor fans who actually want to read spoilers seems small with only a few hundred thousand people typically reading big scoops, despite 8 million people tuning into the show.
The next season arrives on Monday, January 4, to ABC.
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