Fac­ing up to the lure of re­al­ity TV

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

IKIND of don’t want to talk about Big Brother at this point, but I also don’t want to leave it so late that we wind up with a lot of dron­gos in the house. I mean, ob­vi­ously there’ll be dron­gos. I’m just talk­ing about within the frame­work of dron­gos who en­ter re­al­ity shows.

Are they all the same peo­ple still? They used to be, they’d just keep au­di­tion­ing, didn’t mat­ter what it was for.

I don’t think it’s re­ally like that any more, be­cause now there are a lot more shows, for one thing, plus they’re less of a cir­cus.

I know this sounds id­i­otic, but se­ri­ously, there will be no turkey slap on this se­ries of Big Brother. I’m al­most cer­tain of it. There is ac­tu­ally, as lu­di­crous as this state­ment feels, ca­chet at­tached to be­ing some­one who’s been on a re­al­ity show. Be­cause the na­ture of celebrity has changed since Big Brother was on the first time round.

Be­ing a con­tes­tant on a re­al­ity se­ries is a ticket to free drinks and sto­ries in mag­a­zines about health scares and lost re­la­tion­ships for years to come. It’s not nec­es­sar­ily a big in­come gen­er­a­tor (it will de­pend on the level of health scare), but I don’t think that’s the true mo­ti­va­tion here any­way.

What is the mo­ti­va­tion, I won­der? It’s more than just want­ing to be in front of a cam­era. This is a whole other level of ex­po­sure.

In their press re­lease that went out last week, with the dates for au­di­tions and blah blah, Nine said they were look­ing for — ex­act words — ‘‘ peo­ple who have warmth, in­tel­li­gence, hu­mour and no agenda. It’s the man on the street, the girl next door’’.

I don’t know what ‘‘ no agenda’’ means. Or I have a feel­ing I do. And ‘‘ man on the street’’ and ‘‘ girl next door’’ worry me. It sounds like Nine want dumb, but are too timid to ask for it.

So please, by all means go ahead and turn up at one of the call-outs. They start in a cou­ple of weeks in Perth and end in Melbourne the first week­end in May. Nine’s like, tens of thou­sands will turn out for it, but that’s just pub­lic­ity, they’re not go­ing to say a few hun­dred are go­ing to show.

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