12 interesting but shocking facts related to reality shows on television that you so keenly watch!

Reality TV seems to have taken the world by storm these days. These are supposedly unscripted and deal with real-life situations of the contestants on the show. The cast comprises of usually non-professional actors or those who are just trying to get a foothold in the industry. The viewers find the show engaging and hence it is popular. The focus of the show is not education but drama, conflicts, and hence entertainment and higher TV ratings.

The earliest show was the 1991 Dutch series called Number 28. In the US, Survivor (31 May 2000) could be said to be the first of its kind which was a franchise of the Swedish show called Exploration Robinson.

Source: GoldDerby (Survivor show logo)
Source: GoldDerby (Survivor show logo)

There is a general awareness that the reality shows are fake, but not many are aware of the many other points that characterize these shows. Today we will be discussing this aspect of the reality shows!

  1. The participants are not well-paid-The people who take part in the show are not paid as much as we think. Their earnings from it are more from magazine interviews, production placements, and clothing lines which come their way due to their participation in the show. Many shows also make the participants sign a contract in which they pledge that a certain amount (15-20%) of their earnings post-show would go back to the show. Reason: It was their show that made them famous! Queer thing!
  2. Editing does the trick! –The show is edited as regards its sound, voice, interviews and the likes to make it saucier and bitchier. After-effects are put in to give it a twist and create drama and suspense!
  3. Production House has the last word! –Though all these shows have Judges on the panel, they do not decide the eliminations and winners. These are decided by the show producers and Judges have to follow the orders and make it appear true!
  4. The time limit may not be true!-The DIY show appears to take 30 minutes to 1 hour. But in actual life, it may take as long as 2 weeks and there may be other professionals involved as well in the making!

    Source: YouTube (Reality TV encashes on created fights)
    Source: YouTube (Reality TV encashes on created fights)

  5. The relationships are not true-The relationships which are shown developing on the show are not necessarily true and only to make the show most-watched one.
  6. Weaknesses of people are worth lot-The show producers usually recruit flawed and controversial people in reality shows. They are made to speak or act their weaknesses; sometimes these are exaggerated for drama and fun!

    Source: The Reel Network (Reality TV shows)
    Source: The Reel Network (Reality TV shows)

  7. Scheming-is noticeable at contestant level as well.
  8. Background tests of the participants-These are done extensively. This is later utilized to the advantage of the show and the producers.
  9. People’s actions and speech-is scripted by the producers of the show. They are told to be rude and high-toned to produce an effect. Soft-speaking people are shown as villains and vice versa. Such personality transformations are often liked by the show viewers.
  10. The shows usually work on a low budget, especially those which are filmed on the parks, roads, or public places.
  11. The prizes are not free-The prizes which the contestants get are not totally free for them since they have to pay the taxes on it.
  12. Promised money is paid in installments- The show often quotes prize money in millions. It might be true but what they do not say is that the money is given over time and not at once. America’s Got Talent winner is paid $ 1000000 as prize money. But this money is paid over 40 years to the contestant and not in one go!

    Source: M,onicareneta (Reality TV)
    Source: Monicareneta (Reality TV)

So what is projected as an unscripted real-life show turns out to be a very much scripted biased and more of a reel-life show! Reason: Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment! The producers are the ultimate deciders while others just work as ‘puppets’. So next time you watch a reality TV show, remember that they are not actually ‘reality’-based!