I recently received an email from Channel 7 that read: Are you single and adventurous enough to step out of your comfort zone for true love? We are looking for single people who are willing to travel the most romantic parts of the world for love and happiness. If that is you, APPLY now.
It was a casting call for yet another reality TV show and it got me thinking about who would want to appear on one. Where do they come from? How many audition?
Well it turns out a lot of people; last year Australian Survivor had over 15,000 applicants.
I’m not sure if people are applying because they are genuinely passionate about cooking or singing or painting walls – maybe they just want their 15 minutes of fame, but the fact is they are applying in huge numbers and reality TV is still a ratings winner.
Yes, we love a good reality TV series. We love to see who is the villain and who is the hero. And sometimes, only sometimes, those “real people” we have taken a shine to on-screen go on to carve out a successful “celebrity” career.
Look at Fitzy, Rachel Corbett and Chrissie Swan who all graced our screens on Big Brother and who all went on to bigger and better things on radio and TV. Dr Andrew Rochford appeared on The Block in 2004 and Sophie Monk who first appeared on Popstars in 1999 (who has now gone full circle back appearing as the next Australian Bachelorette).
But when it comes to those villains and heroes, or who gets the attention on-screen, or what stories are shown, surely it is the producers who are in control, and not the contestants?
An Australian reality TV producer who has talked to Mamamia anonymously (of course, he’s a producer) says: “When people say something is taken out of context it’s usually BS, we can’t manipulate something that’s not there. Being on a reality TV show is nothing like you think, it’s long days, with a camera constantly in your face. A lot of people go on expecting one thing and when they don’t get that experience they get pissed off. You can’t go on one of these shows hoping to fix your marriage or meet your soulmate without being in the limelight.”