Facing up to the lure of reality TV
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.