“Reality [TV] is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

August 3, 2009

Lauren Conrad [formerly] of The Hills: $75,000 per episode
Jon & Kate [currently] of Jon Minus Kate Still Have 8: $75,000 per episode
Dancing with the Stars contestants: $200,000 for the entire season
The average reality star: $0

I’ve been on the reality TV wave for awhile now, and although it can hardly be considered quality programming, I love me some “real” fake drama. VH1’s Daisy of Love, Bravo’s Top Chef & Real Housewive franchise, Fox’s American Idol, MTV’s The Real World, E!’s Kendra; my Sundays are spent watching marathons of the aforementioned programs (awkward). Although I realize that being on the show probably isn’t as enjoyable as watching the weekly carnage, I had no idea of the conditions endured by the vast majority of reality TV contestants until reading Edward Wyatt of the New York Times piece “For TV Contestants, A Harsh Reality.”

Unscripted reality series make up a quarter of television programming, and it’s not hard to ascertain why; they are wildly popular, cheap to produce, and relatively easy to recruit for. Although participants are warned of the stress of production in their contracts, many have no idea of what they are actually signing up for. Days typically start at 6/7 am, and last through to 1/2 in the morning so that each participant can film their confessionals. They have no access to television or their cell phones or laptops, and become little more than lifeforms subsisting in the fishbowl…if that fishbowl was filled with vodka. Contestants on shows from The Bachelor to Hell’s Kitchen to Project Runway all attest to the limited food but unlimited booze present on set. On VH1’s dating shows the drinking is always out in the open, but former contestants want it to be known that this was the rule on other shows too. I’m a college student; I’m all for free flowing liquor and good times, but even I know that Spring Break doesn’t last forever for a reason, and the conditions endured by these contestants could quickly devolve into hell.

People are willing to do a lot for a little (re: every season of The Real World ever made), but reality show producers are not making it clear enough just what you’re going to be up against as soon as you sign on the dotted line. For many of them, the conditions are worth the risk, but it does beg the question, how far are we willing to go for our 15 minutes of fame.

“If you sang like that 2,000 years ago, you would have been stoned.”

June 23, 2009

Great news for reality TV: 2 new awesomely awful shows will soon be arriving to our television’s. Fox’s “More to Love” comes out July 28th, and VH1’s “Megan Wants a Millionaire” on Sunday August 2nd of that week.

Fox exec Mike Fleiss who created The Bachelor describes More to ❤ as:

“…a dating show that sends the right message about embracing and loving yourself no matter your shape or size,” Fleiss added in the show’s initial announcement. “When you are comfortable with your own body, you can really allow yourself to be open to the possibility of finding the right person to love.”

Right. Rumors allege that the girls on the show are hardly tipping the scales, rather they’re average women looking for love. Speaking on behalf of average women everywhere…FML.

“Megan Wants a Millionaire” promises to deliver more of the same antics that we’ve all come to know, hate, and expect from Beauty & the Geek/Rock of Love/I Love Money alum Megan Hauserman. VH1’s blog says:

Blonde bombshell and “celebreality” vixen, Megan Hauserman is looking for love — but not with any average Joe. Megan has her eye, mind and heart set on one type of man…a millionaire! Unfortunately, Megan’s had her heart broken by Bret Michaels in Rock of Love 2 and lost out on the $250,000 check in I Love Money. But now she’s back with vengeance to find both love and money with the goal of becoming the ultimate trophy wife. This summer, Megan will put 18 millionaires to the test as they compete for her affection in Megan Wants a Millionaire, premiering Sunday, August 2, 2009. One by one, Megan will eliminate the guys who can’t shell out the dough, until the ultimate millionaire is left.

Sounds enthralling. Which will bomb first?

“Well Chi Chi sounds like a weiner.”

June 16, 2009

Another bites the dust on Daisy of Love. Fox is a goner after Daisy manned up and told him to get the f*ck out at the end of the last episode. Poor dumbass hairdresser. I can’t say that I’m sad to see him go – he was so stupid – but his unintentionally hilarious one-liners and perpetual drunkenness will be missed.

“Who is Marilyn Monroe?” – Fox

“Make it look as dark and bright as possible” – Fox during photo shoot

“And then Cage just got all furiated!” – Fox

“I’m out like sauerkraut. I’m just so sorry that it had to end this way, knowing the fact that, this situation had to occur.” – Fox’s exit interview

Daisy of Love is easily the best reality show on VH1 in recent memory. The hot but busted girl and horny meathead/emo combo makes for seriously good bad television. Daisy is completely overdone, vamped up, and perfectly stupid. She just may be the funniest “personality” VH1 has had in awhile.

“This is called Daisy of Love, not Daisy of Kill.” – Daisy

“6 Gauge rips his pants off and starts shaking his banana hammock like I’ve never seen someone shake his banana hammock before.” – Daisy

Stupid as she is, the girl’s got nothing on Real Chance of Love/Charm School’s Bubbles (or “retarded child” as Ashley calls her)

Ashley: Shut the f*ck up Bubbles. Why don’t you go swim or something?!

Bubbles: I was planning on going swimming in the pool later anyways.

SERIOUSLY?! Clueless, you have a call on line one. Clueless, call line one.