IN THE ROUGH
“damaging” any of these other shows. In fact, it enhanced them and gave viewers a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes.
Through elevating a type of pseudocalamity that is no real crisis – similar to a Real Housewife from Beverly Hills throwing a glass of wine into another’s face – Presenter Search on 3 delivered tears, anguish and drama as contestants struggled to master the art of having a professional on-air appearance while constantly wading through this Willy Wonka-type TV factory.
Something as simple as a script with deliberate spelling mistakes, for instance, caused wonderful heightened reality drama.
The most brilliant part was Top Billing’s Ursula Chikane, who popped up as a mentor in one of the earlier episodes. She should have been an overall mentor and judge. It was breathtaking watching her give real advice about being on TV, wanting the contestants to succeed, watching her scold, cajole, berate, encourage and teach. This is what a reality TV judge should be like, and even ordinary viewers who will never be on TV were made to feel like Ursula was helping them.
Obviously, SABC3 and the SABC as a whole can’t just keep adding new TV presenters, hence the hiatus between seasons. But here’s an idea: why not detach the show from the competition element and continue to bring viewers the drama? Cleverly positioned and planned, something like “Presenters” could be a weekly fly on the wall behind an SABC show.
Cameras can easily film presenters and producers in point of view shots in glorious cinéma vérité style, dealing with no-show guests, technical problems and other TV calamities.
There is so much opportunity in Presenter Search on 3, and SABC would do well to run with it.