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Free «American Idol» Essay Sample


This paper avails a detailed description of what reality television is all about. Apart from just defining reality TV, the paper goes a step further to describe the nature of the various shows such as the Survivor Series, American Idol, the ABC Show and the Big Brother, to mention only a few. Although, some individuals may find themselves not in the mood of watching such shows, this paper clearly and in details gives a number of reasons why majority of the Americans have found themselves watching these shows almost every evening. Some of the discussed reasons include the competitiveness of the shows, desire for status, the fact that the present people like to fantasize about earning status via automatic fame and capitalizing on the short-term celebrity. As the paper draws to its conclusive remarks, various cases against reality television are brought on focus. Notably, most of these are based on the moral offensiveness of these shows. It has been noted that reality television shows have promoted deception among members of the society. Moreover, these programs have been painted as being hardly informative to grade-schoolers. They actually present some scenarios which are heartbreaking, unsettling and haunting, as in the American Idol. Moreover, there is a need to pay great attention to the time spend watching such TV, since they may take much of the time which could have otherwise been used for productive activities.



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By definition, reality television refers to a category of television programming which is ordinarily calls for humorous and/or unscripted dramatic situations. Such program makes a documentation of actual events as well as features ordinary individuals as contrasted to professional actors. Furthermore, reality TV can be termed to be a form of artificial documentary film. Undeniably, this form/genre of television programming has been in existence for quite a long period of time, with each era being characterized with a unique form of the same. On the other hand, the present day popularity outburst of reality television dates back in the millennium. Notably, reality television covers a considerably wide scope of television programming formats; ranging from questions and/or game shows (which are a resemblance of the panicky demeaning Japan-produced programs of the 1980s and 90s like Gaki no Tsukai) to voyeurism-focused or surveillance-focused productions, the likes of the Big Brother.

In the view of various critics, reality television is to a certain extent of an inaccurate term. It displays not only an altered but also an extremely prejudiced form of reality. As usual, shows take part in mysterious locations and describe abnormal situations. These critics go ahead to claim that the participants in these shows are at timed trained to act in definite mannerisms by some handlers in the background and with screened events undergoing numerous manipulations via editing among other post-production techniques. However, if we assume the views of the critics, part of them appeal that reality television is the result of its ability to position people who are essentially ordinary into situations which are extraordinary. For instance, The Bachelor, in the ABC Show, who is an eligible man, is in a position to date countless women. They travel together to amazing places throughout the world. Usually, such dates are bizarre and unforgettable. In addition, reality TV possesses the potential of turning its participants into celebrities praises. For instance, participants in the American Idol show have been able to reach a certain degree of celebrity. In these shows, competitors are being turned into stars.

There are also those individuals in society, and more especially the commentators, who have come forth claiming that the noun “reality television” is in all aspects an erroneous explanation for a considerable number of programming style included in this programming genre. In most of the programs of the reality TV which are competition-base, such as the Survivor, the producers are being blamed for designing the format of the show and taking control of all the activities as well as the environment. They create a totally fabricated world in which the competition is also fake. To illustrate this, we can consider looking at the incident format of the Survivor. In this show, tribe, which is a group of strangers, is deserted in allocation which is desolate. Thereafter, a struggle for water, fire, food and shelter arises among the members of the tribe. Besides, these individuals have to compete under various tasks which are difficult. The participants have to execute and complete the same challenges successfully for them to receive rewards or immunity from being kicked off in the succeeding votes. Medical conditions, the likes of infection and injury also equally contribute to the vacation of contestants while the show is half-way. Only two, if not three, survivors make it through to end to have a bench. However, there seems to be a twist since the bench is comprised of the last between seven to nine players to have been voted off. The jury interrogated the final few and this is closely followed by the process of voting for the winner in the game, who pockets a million dollar prize besides being the holder of the Sole Survivor title. For the above scenario, it is possible that the producers are the ones involved in the selection of the participants and at the same time employs scenarios (which are carefully designed), events, settings and challenges to promote specific behaviors and struggles.

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The big question that arises is why reality television has become a favorite of many Americans. Even when one might not be compelled to watch reality TV, this genre of television programming is becoming quite inescapable. Can the popularity of the shows such as the American Idol and the Survivor among others an indication that America has degenerated to a voyeur’s nation? Seemingly, a great percentage of the Americans have become hooked on reality television programs. Most of them have been compelled to watching such programs simply because they would want to participate in discussions concerning the same with coworkers and friends. Others also want to prove that they are hardly as smart compared to other viewers. It is worth noting at this point in time that all shows on the reality TV are competitive in nature; contenders are all through rivaling with one another for monetary prizes and at the same time taking active parts in constructing alliances and/or divulging buddies. For example, in the first series of the Survivor, Susan Hawk (one of the contestants) climaxes the show by inaugurating into an implacable outburst against a one-time ally and friend prior vote casting that stole from her the million dollar prize. It is sensible, therefore, in this show that fans equally get to be competitive as well as being so predisposed to revenge as compared to other individuals. The Survivor Series show with its formula of voting and challenges would perfectly symbolize the two qualities: the spirit of competition intertwined with the chance for payback.

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However, the attitude that perfectly avails a separation between the regular viewers of the various show aired in the reality television from every other person is their craving for status. Enthusiasts of these shows are in the offing of agreeing with such statement that prestige in imperative to them or even making claims implying their satisfaction with a clothes’ designer, which might not be the case with others who hardly watch such shows. To the addicts of these shows, more attention amounts to increased sense of importance of an individual; in the event that others pay attention to them, they consider themselves important and vice versa. One more thing that makes a majority of the American become almost all-the-time viewers of reality TV shows is the fact that these shows have made them to be able to visualize about achieving status via involuntary fame. Ordinary people are in a position of watching these shows, seeing people in their own perspectives and, thereafter, imagining that they equally could become personages by being on the TV. The challengers are often shown in situations which are unfavorable; the shocking truth is that majority of the Americans are clinging to the belief that these participants are significant.

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It is not shocking that some of the participants have ended up capitalizing on their interim celebrity. Colleen Haskell from the Survivor Series, for example, assumes a principal role in the movie The Animal as well as Richard Hatch, the scheming contender to win the game, has been hired for reasons of hosting a game show of his own. The plain message here is that reality television in the offing of making ordinary persons to become so significant that a million others will want to watch him or her. Besides, the secret ecstasy of majority of the viewer’s is the perception that probably the participants in these reality TV shows may become the new celebrities in the nation or the globe.

Setting asides the reasons as to why reality TV has become each one’s favorite, let us now address the case against this genre of television programming. Notably, the greater percentage of the case against reality television programming sits of morality. It is quite hard to defend some of the moral vices displayed by principal participants of these shows. For instance, most of them prove to be all through deceptive to the extent it is challenging to defend them. Moreover, some shows are not morally informative for grade-schoolers; but they have a tendency of floundering in the failings and weaknesses of humanity. Reality television is real satire boiled down to one life-threatening gesticulation. For a reality television concept to be qualified as great, it has to have taken some commonplace virtue of courteous society and avail a wedge to it. Most of the organizations do value team spirit. It is thus worth noting that in the event that a reality TV show displays an unwelcoming behavior, it becomes distrustful, immoral and sick. It is thus notable that these shows offer something else. For instance, in the show, American Idol, a single mum (who happened to be a boxer by profession) narrates her story of how she ended up being a professional boxer. Following the murder of her husband, who was a correction officer; this lady leaves her former job of being a waitress and becomes a boxer so as to be in a position of bringing up her son. From defiance, as she narrates, she is ushered into despair but later to a dignified resolve for the sake of her son. More than being authentic, this episode is quite haunting, unsettling and heartbreaking. To sum it up, thanks to the reality television ordinary persons can become celebrities. They have the possibility to live other lives. Those who watch such shows do not often have bright events in their lives, or they think that they do not have them.  


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