Are Reality Competition Shows There To Make Unknowns Famous Or To Try And Make The Once Famous, Famous Again?

Has America’s Next Top Model made a top model? Sure it’s made some working models but to the best of my knowledge, no Super Model has been produced from the six billion seasons that have been on. Still at least on this show the focus seems to continue to be on the hopefuls most of the time (when Tyra Banks isn’t trying to fashion herself a music video star, author or whatever else she’s trying to be other than what she is, a model who just should go ahead and do that because from her efforts in the other areas, she’s best suited as a model and now former model). Yet the other “talent” competition shows seem to have taken their focus off the actual contestants and rather on the “celebrity” judges. Take American Idol (I’ll admit I haven’t watched this show, not even the goofy bad first hours of auditions in something like four seasons). Idol is all about Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez trying to stay in the spotlight, not about the kids trying to make careers. So I have to ask, are reality competition shows there to make unknowns famous or try and make the once famous, famous again? – Don’t Get Me Started!

I laughed out loud when I heard that Howard Stern was being considered for a spot as a judge on X Factor. Never mind that I (like most) didn’t watch season one of the show but now they were luring a waning celebrity who has no idea about the music profession as a judge/mentor. Excuse me Mr. Cowell do you not remember how well that worked out when you and the brain trust at Idol brought Ellen Degeneres on? But by all means, give millions to someone who knows nothing about the task at hand whose career has been built on being one of the most outrageous shock jocks in the world, belittling women in his studio to the amusement of forty-something executives as they drive to work grabbing their crotch imagining two women with their tops off kissing in Stern’s studio at his whim, deluding themselves that they’re still young and cool, just like Stern does.

Bad enough we now live in a culture where being a contestant on a reality talent show seems like a better career path than an education. I blame this not only on Hollywood but the economy, big business and our government who over many years (yes, years way before Mr. Obama came into office) sent all of our industries over to other countries by selling the American dream to China and everywhere else by letting them create cheaper, inferior goods and ship them over here with their lead and substandard quality while Americans lost jobs and more and more of their souls, money and freedoms. (I’ve ranted about this before so I’ll spare you for now going on and on about it here.)

My point is that if these competition shows are really supposed to be supplying Americans with hope and their own American Dream perhaps it would be better if the producers took a step back and realized that Jennifer Lopez will still have a career (and fragrance line and clothing line, etc.) without a show like Idol, she doesn’t need this show other than to try and extend her 15 minutes of fame. But the kids you’re trying to make us care about with their hard luck stories do need this platform (and the time you dedicate to showing off the judges and not the contestants).

Recently I went and saw the movie, “Hunger Games” (like everyone else) and I have to wonder how soon it will be before reality talent competition shows become like that or are they all ready there? Entertainment will become where we sort of focus on the people killing themselves to entertain and get food for their family but it’s really more about the people wearing ridiculous clothes and hair keeping the “have nots” at a good distance from the “have more.” (Kardashians are you listening?) Maybe what we really need is a show, “Occupy Television” where working class citizens show us how hard working and successful Americans can be when given an opportunity?

Nah, let’s continue to let people think they’ll be “stars” and show CEOs from big companies going “undercover” to help four people in the company when what we see is that their company has working conditions similar to third world countries in its treatment of its employees. But bring on a host with an accent from a foreign land, give one person their wish (hello, anyone remember Eva Peron) and make the masses think they’re all getting that dream because you televise it and a once famous person is telling you, “this is what this show is all about” when you sing “Imagine” by John Lennon, not even understanding the lyrics you’re singing. This may sound bitter but as my parents used to say to me that really got to me, “I’m just disappointed” that’s all. Time for me to change the channel.

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randy360 profile image

randy360 4 years ago from Greeley, Co.

I hate reality tv shows, why give them ratings when they're not worth it. Jersey Shore, Kardashians, all that gobbledy gook, lol. I don't care about your fake tans and your weird hair, someone tell me why they're getting paid to be fake? It's not reality, who has the money to go to clubs every night and hardly work a day in their life, actors, so unless this tv show is ment for actors to watch their reality then this show is obviosly not ment for me. I don't care for any of it, MTV is music televion, now there's hardly any music from the flood of reality shows, they should change their name to SOT (sell outs televion), I missed the good days when I could change it to that channel and listen to a song, now I have to wait til 3-4 in the morning. Why have you forsaken me gods of the network, looking down from your skyscrapers in the sky, teasing me with your lies, you unholy SOB'S lol

somelikeitscott profile image

somelikeitscott 4 years ago from Las Vegas Author

randy360 - Thanks for the comments. Obviously, I agree with you. The other thing that I think people don't realize is that reality television isn't just turning a camera on and watching what people do. Situations are created by producers, scripted and there are re-takes done all the time. You're right, it is NOT reality...even for the people who are creating it!

gabgirl12 profile image

gabgirl12 4 years ago

Without the 'celebrities' who would notice the unknowns? It's supposed to appear as a team effort. In the past, persons like Rodney Dangerfield and Penny Marshall as actors were always looking for 'unknowns'. But they still had to work hard to gain exposure.

On the flip side, I have to agree on the scripting. And all to make it look interesting. 'Occupy Television' sounds like a great idea, like a certain someone from AI would say 'a breath of fresh air'. But wouldn't you say that these shows are also giving people an opportunity they may not have had?

somelikeitscott profile image

somelikeitscott 4 years ago from Las Vegas Author

gabgirl - yes, absolutely they give people opportunities they wouldn't have had otherwise. I just wonder how much good it's doing anyone in the end? It gives them their 15 minutes? Look at those who have been "winners" and then look at them a year or so after that and let me know how that opportunity panned out. What is the percentage of those who use it for good and those who end up even more unknown and miserable.

gabgirl12 profile image

gabgirl12 4 years ago

That is true. But the point is, is that they had their chance. Some have done wonders with the opportunity. I'm sure all of them in some way have gone through the 'fire' so to speak with the fame and ended up as you have said, unknown and miserable. Some survive it and some don't. It kind of makes you wonder if 'maturity' really is necessary as opposed to just getting a shot at stardom.

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