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All’s fair in Love, War and Reality TV

13 June 2013, 11:36

Idols.  Survivor.  The Amazing Race.  Master Chef.  The Voice.  The Biggest Loser.  The Bachelor.  The list is endless, all “reality” competitions where the general public is invited to mostly make an arse of themselves on international television.  Can you sing?  Do you (or your misguided friends and family) think you can sing? Then enter “Idols”.  Do you fancy yourself the next Gordon Ramsay or Nigella Lawson? Masterchef it is.  Are you really fat and not scared of showing it all off on television?  Try The Biggest Loser. Are you so desperate for a man that you will subjugate yourself in public? Go for “The Bachelor”. Or are you just an egotistical jerk who likes to be mean to complete strangers in the vain attempt of winning a million smackeroos? Survivor’s the show for you!

Do you watch Reality Shows?  I have to confess a weakness for “The Amazing Race” and “Masterchef”.  I used to be a die-hard “Idols” fan but my ardour has cooled since the first seasons. 

In every show a cry of “It’s unfair!!” is raised, mostly when people see the results not going their way.  This indignant cry has already reared it’s head in the latest instalment of “Masterchef SA” (It’s only the SECOND episode!)   On Social Media (where else?) a few people are bemoaning the fact that Karmini Pather, an established Food Blogger, has been permitted to enter claiming that she has an unfair advantage over her fellow contestants.  Really?  How exactly? Because the lady knows how to cook?  One would hope that ANYONE entering “Masterchef” would have more than a rudimentary knowledge of the science of cooking.  Can the lady in question beat the guy who cooked a Sole in five minutes flat in front of the judges? Can she cook a better stir-fry than I can? I’m the Queen of stir-fries! (Hey, it’s my blog, my story and I’m sticking to it!)  No doubt if the lady in question wins Masterchef SA there will be all kinds of wild allegations made.  In the last season, nearly every week was marred by some-one whining about the show being “unfair”.

People.  If reality shows were fair then the fastest couple would win “The Amazing Race”, the best dancers would win “Strictly Come Dancing” and the best singer would win “Idols” (and we all know how THAT usually turns out!)  “Fair” does not exist in reality shows.  “Fair” is what the producers want the public to see.  Take the last season of “Idols SA”.  The question is not, “Was it fair?” but “Was it controversial?” Everyone was talking about it, posting about it and tweeting about it. People (including yours truly) were blogging about it.  Idols SA S8 reportedly boasted (not that they released any figures!) the highest number of votes ever recorded.  Why? Because the controversy and “Unfairness” (yes, I know it’s not a word) made people tune in and vote.

So stop moaning about “Fair” in reality shows.  Heck, “reality” shows aren’t even reality! In “Survivor”, there are rumours of the contestants spending time in hotels.  Some scenes are re-shot for “entertainment value”.  That’s not reality, it’s just television and if you’re going to be morally outraged about a tv show, then your priorities are all screwed up.

There are those who will say that I’m selling out.  I was one of a few militant groups last year who spear-headed the “Anti-Idols” movement.  There were letters written to the media, tempers were frayed and friends lost in a vain attempt to see justice on a reality tv show.  What an epic waste of my time and energy.  (Sorry guys!)

This year I’ve resolved to just watch “reality” shows and take them as what they are, mindless entertainment. 

I could have written an entire blog on WHY the ‘reality television’ industry is so corrupt and I haven’t even discussed the dubious morality of “reality” shows like the poxy Kardashians, Kendra’s and Honey Boo-boo’s but if I did that, I’d actually have to what them and quite frankly, I’d rather stick needles in my eyes.

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