Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Reality of Reality TV

The “Reality” of Reality TV

My friends and I were discussing the other day about reality tv, most importantly the Bachelor/Bachelorette on ABC. When the show first came out, it was all about the glitz and glamor and finding love. Okay, okay – we hoped they would find love. Unfortunately when you wine and dine someone with the best of the best, they might continue to expect it all the time. But what truly happens after the cameras turn off?

There have been two weddings that have stemmed from this show out of the 14 seasons of the Bachelor and 6 seasons of the Bachelorette. Yet, it continues to give hope to those who are looking for love… money.. or maybe just instant celebrity status.

In the more recent seasons, however, the episodes have been riddled with drama. Why? Drama brings viewers. But how much of this drama is truly reality?

Reality Steve, probably a much hated man by networks and reality shows alike, has brought the ugly truth to reality shows. He knows some of the people that work behinds the scenes with the show and then gets the real scoop and shares it with the viewers. Initially surprising, he has always been right. Before reading about him, I had always had an inkling that more things might be going on behind the scenes then we were aware of. After reading his weekly columns, It turns out that these shows are completely scripted, skewing the portrayal of ordinary people that have “won” a spot on the show, and only showing what they want the public to see.

Reality Steve …

Okay, this makes sense, it's tv… but it gets more interesting. Anyone that is shown on the series must sign a very, VERY lengthy contract that allows the show to ruin their lives with fake representations. If they decide to tell anyone about what really happens behind the scenes, they and their family will be sued for everything they are worth. Everything. Sounds slightly sinister if you ask me.

So do the Bachelor or Bachelorette have any say with who they let go or keep around? Probably not. Recently, they haven’t even gotten to choose who they will select to get the final rose – as long as it brings ratings. This was seen with Jason Mesnick, Melissa Rycroft, and Molly Malaney. Jason told the producers within a few weeks after the show started filming that he truly was falling in love – with Molly. Knowing this, the producers coerced him to continue to pick Melissa and act like he was in love with her. In one of the biggest scandals in Bachelor history, he even proposed to Melissa while Molly knew everything. A few months later, they brought the three of them back, Jason broke up with Melissa on live television and proceeded to marry Molly a year and a half later. Did Melissa know about this before and was she paid a sum to go through with it? Perhaps. Odds are she was contracted to do everything and only got the public sympathy afterward.

If you would like to check out Reality Steve for this new season, he can be found at He has already called the winner/lack of winner for this season in addition to the two big scandals that will precede the final rose. (First scandal to air this upcoming Monday.)

So why is this relevant right now? Jake and Vienna just called it quits. Jake was the last bachelor and is remembered for picking Vienna, the one girl that was the LEAST compatible with him and was known for her over the top, ridiculous behavior. But, it was the most unexpected selection that Jake could have made so it brought in more ratings. Reality Steve called it saying the selection was an arrangement with Jake when he heard about it several months ago.

So much for finding True Love on “Reality TV”

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