The reality of reality TV

It's not exactly a secret that The Apprentice winner Bill Rancic was almost the third Bachelor (Andrew Firestone ended up being chosen), but I think the public's perception of reality TV (sorry, unscripted drama) deserves a rant.

Everybody keeps talking about what a coincidence it is that Firestone's former fianc?e, whom he chose from The Bachelor, is now dating Bill. Yeah... coincidence. Anyone who believes that a single contestant on The Apprentice went on that show for the love of the job, as opposed to seeking their own 15 minutes of fame, raise your hand.

The original season of The Bachelor featured Alex Michel, who was some kind of management consultant, as I recall. He was looking strictly for love, right? Nope, he was looking for 15 minutes too, because he tried out for Survivor Marquesas. The worst part is that he was rejected for appearing "too effeminate." D'oh!

The point I'm making is that I'm never surprised when a Bachelor couple breaks up. What else could happen when the people are there for fame and exposure rather than taking the show's subject seriously? "Cool, the show's done. I gotta get me an agent. What? She actually wants a relationship? Um, sure, whatever. What's her name again?"

In this same vein, I will be very surprised if we ever see Bill Rancic amount to anything more than flavor of the month on the talk show circuit. Sure, the doors are open for him to be an executive, but he probably won't do it. If that's what he really wanted, he never would have gone on The Apprentice. Ironically sad, but true. Even Kwame, who I figured would take advantage of his exposure on the show to achieve business success, has chosen to start an entertainment company. Ever heard of a guy named Donald Trump? He got bitten by the showbiz bug too, plus he's making more money from showbiz right now than he is from his real estate ventures.

I think the inevitable demise of the reality TV fad will occur because audiences will realize that the contestants aren't taking the shows seriously. They're after fame -- nothing more, nothing less -- and they'll basically let the show's producers determine the course of events. In that case, how can it be called "unscripted" drama? Reality TV shows are a producer's dream because they're very cheap (many of the contestants receive no pay), and lots of people like to watch them. But as with Who Wants to be a Millionaire, the fad won't last forever, and the contestants themselves will be the primary culprits for the demise.


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