Reality TV: Fat Models, Pointless Saves and Deaf Attacks
Reality TV: Fat Models, Pointless Saves and Deaf Attacks
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Editor's Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, American Idol and America's Next Top Model.

By Susan Young, Film.com

What reality?

You don't even need to get out of the A-list - The Amazing Race, America's Next Top Model or American Idol - to realize the competition aspect comes in second to the goal of getting the most viewers to the set by exploiting personality over deserving choice.



So chubby Christian girl gets the boot over models whose photos were never as good, a guy who consistently lands in the bottom of the voter barrel gets a second chance and the race and disability cards are played in a contentious and much hyped episode of the globe-galloping Amazing Race.

Creepy Margaret Keane model Allison has only one look - a blank stare that allows you to look all the way to the back of her head. We get it, she's got big eyes. Move on already, ANTM. Aminat wasted time in the challenge and took truly horrendous photos. But everyone knew that the minute London started talking about gaining weight and pondering God's purpose in having her on the show, she might as well have started packing that bag.

Because, really, London wasn't going to bring anyone to the show, especially once she packed on 15 pounds. The producers would rather have Aminat's bad behavior and her constant stirring up the poop pot than go with the girl who looked better in her photographs. What do we think this is, a modeling competition?

Over at American Idol, it's time to wake up to the fact that certain changes just aren't working out.  Having four judges can work, but you have to knock off the silly antics of Simon and Paula and Simon and Randy. Only Kara seems immune to playing the "Simon Says" game. Paula and Randy continue their pathetic attempts to horn in on the Simon spotlight by doing ridiculous things to get their time in the Simon-shine.

How else do you explain that wacky chair humping deal Randy had going on last week with Simon?

But the worst idea was the "save" vote. If voters want to boot a Daughtry for a Hicks, then so be it.  Let the rabble have their say. Instead, the judges try to juggle the deck and what do we get? Matt gets to hang around for another week before he gets sent home.

Come on. Does anyone out there think he has a chance to stick around when the bottom two get sent to the streets? But that's not the point. The point is to make this more than just a singing competition. You gotta have a gimmick, even if it's caustic Simon, or the fourth judge controversy or the contentious  judges' save.

The Amazing Race
went for the down and dirty this week, which was probably good because the dead fish cormorant challenge ranks as the most boring TV event since Rosie tried the variety show.

No wonder the hype relied on letting everyone know the deaf guy and the black chick mix it up. We felt the pain when Tammy and Victor awkwardly stood in between the teams of Margie and her deaf son Luke and angry sisters Kisha and Jen as the four experienced a nuclear meltdown.

It almost made us forget how ugly cheerleader Cara gets when she discovers that people in other countries don't speak English.

The promised showdown was incredibly uncomfortable for everyone. Was Jen smirking at Luke for being deaf, or just wondering what kind of young man elbows a woman out of the way so he can gain a three second advantage? And should Margie have told the two they should be more compassionate since they were black and knew about dealing with prejudice?

As it turned out, it was just bad behavior all the way around. Which as we all know makes for controversial TV, the real winner in these competitions.


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