Category: reality shows

American Idol – I’m Hooked

It happens every year. American Idol is one of those so-called reality shows, and is almost always in the number one spot among all television shows. Talent shows have always been popular television shows, and one of the most famous was Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour.

The Original Amateur Hour had its beginnings in radio, and was a smash hit in that medium for about a decade from 1934 to 1945. Ted Mack brought the show to television in 1948. The biggest talent to become famous from the radio era was Frank Sinatra, one of the most popular male entertainers and vocalists of the twentieth century.

The television era produced Pat Boone, Gladys Knight, and Ann-Margaret. A man named  Louis Wolcott played the violin on the show in 1949. Wolcott would later become known as Louis Farrakhan, leader of the militant Nation of Islam.

American Idol has proven to be even more popular, producing talented recording artists like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson, and Chris Daughtry. There are other successful Idol alumni, but these seem to have top spots in the American music scene.

American Idol is different from any other talent show because they start the process with raw, sometimes embarrassing auditions. Sometimes the talent of the applicant jumps out during the initial audition, and sometimes the judges will invite someone to continue when I don’t think they can sing their way out of a wet paper bag.

The process is what gets you hooked. They start with the raw, amateur talent. Through weeks and months the applicants receive coaching, wardrobe, practice with bands and orchestras, and they perform. Idol uses this process to gradually weed out the less promising over the length of the season.

By the time the season is half through, the audience is voting on contestants along with the judges. The process seems dynamic and participatory. In the past there have been some scandals over audience voting by texting their votes. Voting services have sprung up so people can dial/text hundreds of votes for their favorites.

I don’t know who are the best talents this year. There seem to be lots of talented people in the competition, most of whom make good music.

Have fun watching Idol. Vote early, and vote often for you favorite talents. That’s what makes the show so popular.

Tired Of Politics? Try A Reality Show

This political season started the morning after the last election, and will not end until November of this year. We have had non-stop political coverage on the cable news channels for the last year or more, and it has become really tiresome. It is even worse now that the primary season has started.

Picture of Rick Santorum
You Are All Sinners!

Now, I like politics almost as much as the next person, and my opinions are more correct than most others. Why should I waste my time giving others a chance to convince me of something for which I have no respect? I can find better ways to spend my valuable time than watching Rick Santorum explaining why condoms are bad. A lot of people think that way.

In my search for other pursuits, I have stumbled on even more entertaining, and sometimes stupid, television productions. Oh, yes, bring more of those Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with all their trivial concerns and parties. We all know the whole thing is staged. Even so, the girls do a credible job with their acting.

Kyle Richard, Actress And Beverly Hills Housewife
Kyle Richards, Actress And Beverly Hills Housewife

The Real Housewives of Atlanta is a real kick, too, with all those lovely, big-busted ladies pretending to be relevant. One of them recently said that they make their living with their  , uhmm, somethings.

On this Saturday afternoon before football starts, I am watching that hugely popular reality show, Ax Men on the History Channel. This is one of the best productions since Ice Road Truckers and The Most Dangerous Catch. Logging is a dangerous job, and these guys demand respect for the chances they take everyday on the job.

The newest, and most entertaining reality show this season is on the Discovery channel, The Moonshiners! In this series, Tim, and his little brother, Tickle, make moonshine literally by the light of the moon. Tim is trying to make enough money to go legit and make whiskey legally, but the law is after his kind, using infrared imagers, airplanes, helicopters, and the usual set of informants. Plus, little brother, Tickle, seems to drink a good bit of what they make, staying drunk most of the time.

In one scene, Tickle got all patriotic and exclaimed, “If you love your country, you’ve got to love moonshine!”

Tim, Lead Moonshiner On Discovery Channel Reality Show

You know, I kind of agree with Tickle. Our country was built by famous whiskey makers and whiskey drinkers. George Washington was one of the largest whisker distillers in the young country, and, certainly, Ben Franklin was no slacker in his consumption of that product.

Tickle, Tim's Little Brother

Tim and Tickle are the primary stars of the show, but there is a really good segment on the most famous moonshiner of all, Popcorn Sutton.

Old Popcorn is not with us anymore. He was caught by the revenuers, and committed suicide because he didn’t want to go to prison. Do not dispair because Popcorn left his recipe with a protege, who later went legit and is legally marketing their moonshine.

Popcorn Sutton
Popcorn Sutton

Life is great, ain’t it?

The message is clear. Whenever you get tired of all the political mumbo-jumbo on cable news, take heart. There is reality show on a channel near you.

Vote Somebody Off The Island?

I have always been curious why reality show writers and producers stage the action around voting somebody off the island. I think it gives the show a negative flavor, and the writers and producers seem to delight in all the negative ebb and flow generated.

It makes so much more sense to vote for those whom YOU WANT TO STAY ON THE ISLAND TO HELP YOU SURVIVE! It is more realistic, and you would still get people voting AGAINST other people, but I think this method would give these shows a positive flavor, and would make them more realistic.

But then, I am a positive person.

If I were in a do or die situation where others can help me survive, I will be looking for the people who can help me do just that. I would be willing to pay less attention to my dislike of a person who is skilled at, say, hunting or nursing than I would their sour personalities. You can always murder them, later.

So, how do you feel about it? Live or die, how would you approach keeping good folks, or just throwing out those you don’t like? How would it work?