Reality tv is everywhere. We all watch it. But as an actor, I hate the majority of this crap. Despite the fact they are generally just boring and mind-numbingly stupid, these cheaply produced freak shows replace scripted tv and literally take jobs away from real actors, writers, directors, crew and so on. But that’s another bitch session. Most of the reality shows I’ll watch are some sort of competition like “American Idol” or “So You Think You Can Dance” or “Iron Chef”. You know, things that require, what do you call it? Oh yeah, TALENT! Damn, how I love Iron Chef.
(Today’s secret ingredient is…hotness!)
I almost never watch shows that just follow idiots around for no damn reason or shows where people are proclaiming to be trying to find love, when in truth the most they find is a brand new case of underpants critters. But regardless of the genre of reality craptitude, there are a few key phrases you hear on every one of them. And each time I hear some desperate loser utter these words, I just laugh more and more. And also start channel surfing for reruns of “Married…With Children” or some other similar show that has more intelligence than the Real Housewives of I Don’t Give a Damn.
I’m the Best (Designer, Singer, Pole Dancer). I’m Going to Win.
For all of these shows, the producers will do a pre-interview with the contestants and edit in clips from the interview during the actual show. At this time, before these people have met the competition or even realized what will be expected of them, they are happy to proclaim they are the best at their chosen profession or talent. Nobody can touch them. They’re making negative $35k a year doing this in Dogpatch, Nebraska and it is so damn obvious they are the master of their domain. They have got this. No competition. Everybody else go home. We hear Wayne Jake “Bud” Smeggledon (of the Earwig County Smeggledons, naturally) tell us it’s all over and he is going to take home the big prize. Then we get to see Bud in action. He’s a moron. He’s freaking out, unable to find his tools or even remember which end of the tractor he has to fix before he can race it to the corral where they keep the pig he has to put in a tire and roll to the finish line. Or however they do these things on TLC. The evil and awesome editors intersperse Bud’s bragging and speechifying about his untouchable tractor skills with camera shots of him chasing his runaway tractor across a wheat field. Reality show gold. And, surprise! Bud loses. Believe me, as soon as you hear some ass talking about how he is the winner and there’s no possible way he could lose, call your bookie and bet on the other guy.
(Sumbitch. I ain’t never…hm, must be one of them Commie tractors.)
Personal Sob Story
Another very important part of these tool-o-ramas is the personal sob story. Nobody can just go on one of these shows and say, “I’m here for the money and/or exposure. I’ve tried every other avenue and failed. You are my last resort to make my dreams of fame and fortune come true.” Nobody wants to hear that shit, no matter how honest it may be. If you are on a reality competition show, you better be doing it for some sort of tragedy. Sick/dying/dead old people or kids is the best reason, followed by wanting to use your prize to do something nice for your mom or grandma who sacrificed so much to get you to where you are today. Making a testicle of yourself on national television. At the far end of the spectrum, doing the show for revenge against bullies or ex-lovers is an acceptable, though a less sympathetic story.
(When I win that $500 grand prize, Lurlene’ll be sorry she walked out on me, leaving me nothing but Rufus and this sweet ass bandana.)
To share a story with you, I tried out for a show called “Rupaul’s Drag U”. It’s a show where Rupaul and her protegees take regular (read “unfortunate looking”) women and make them up to look like amazingly beautiful drag queens. I had no reason for doing it other than it sounded like fun. The producer asked me if I wanted to show off a weight loss or deal with a weight gain or if I was having a mid-life crisis, or if I was a tomboy who never wore dresses or if there was a man in my life I wanted to see what he was missing. My answers were all no. I just wanted to dress up and be fabulous. Surprisingly, I didn’t get on the show. Rupaul even said, “She’s not really in need of a makeover.” Which I think means I’m not woman enough to be a drag queen. Dammit. Jeez, can’t I at least get a gallon of glitter as a parting gift?
Nobody Wants This More Than Me
You have got to be freaking kidding me. This is such a stupid and selfish statement. These people that say there’s nobody in the whole world who wants to win this dumb show more than them. Even though they’re in the same room with anywhere from 3 to 3,000 people who feel the exact same way. And this is because you know how everyone thinks? Because you’re just so damn special that your dreams are more important than anyone else’s? Because you’re willing to do anything to win? You don’t know what’s in somebody else’s mind and heart and you certainly don’t know that they’re not prepared to go farther than you to win. There’s always someone younger, prettier, smarter, faster and willing to do more to get what they want. I used to think I wanted to be a professional actor in L.A. more than anyone in the world. Until I got offered a recurring featured role as a whore on the HBO series “Deadwood”…if I’d be willing to go topless. Would they still be willing to take me when I showed up on set without any teeth because my parents knocked them down my throat for even considering such a thing? Hm. Guess I didn’t want it that badly after all because after much thought of the aftermath of such a decision, I realized my girls are not for sale. But of course, there were women who did want it badly enough to show their ta-ta’s. And kudos to them for doing it. They wanted it more than me. So saying something as empty and banal as “Nobody wants this more than me” is idiotic and just emphasizes the slowly fizzling brain cells that brought you to reality tv in the first place. So just stop saying that because chances are, there is someone who wants to win more than you.
(Like Anna Nicole. She really, really, really must’ve wanted it. Really…yeesh!)
Thank You For the Opportunity.
So as we get to the end of the episode or finale of this reality competition we’re watching, our pompous, arrogant, self-proclaimed number one contestant who is the best at everything and wants to win this more than anyone, loses. Looking stunned because (a) he really did think he was going to win despite his pathetic lack of talent or skill, (b) he gave the producers that private, nude audition they requested, even doing the doggie barks they asked for and everything, and (c) his mom told him he was the handsomest, smartest and most talented special guy she ever knew. And moms are never wrong! But they’re trying not to burn bridges. Like maybe after publicly getting the boot on the show, one judge or producer will find them next week and beg to offer them their own show. You gotta play nice, right? So as our loser gets ready to leave, he smiles at the judges, who are already halfway out of their seats to get to the after-party, and says “Thank you for the opportunity.” This always cracks me up because the look on the loser’s face is always very strained, like a cross between some severe constipation and the urge to bitch slap the judges for denying them their dream. “Thank you for the opportunity” is reality show code talk for “Fuck you”. I would love to see some loser actually say that to the judges one time. It would be epic!
Heidi Klum: I’m sorry, Sven. You’re out. Auf Wiedersehen.
Sven: What?! I’m out? Are you fucking kidding me? Screw you, Heidi. I have more designing talent in my pinky nail than you have Botox in your face. And that’s saying something. You know what? Fuck you. I’m outta here. And don’t try to kiss me. Keep your filth-spewing, no-talent mouth off of me. They ought to call this show Project Dumb-way.
But the losing contestants don’t say those awesome things. And that’s because…
You Haven’t Heard the Last of Me!
You gotta hand it to some of them though. They don’t give up easily. After being soundly rejected on national television, they get their exit interviews with the producers, at which time they will let us know, “I’ll be back. You’ll be hearing my name again!” Guess what, bobo? No, we won’t. I cannot name a single singer, dancer, model, designer, chef, actor, gator wrangler, drunk or desperate-for-love gutter slut that I saw again after they got tossed off the show they embarrassed themselves on. If you can’t play the reality show game of making yourself memorable with either your amazing talent, your sob story or how very badly you want this more than anyone, then I thank you for the opportunity to watch your public humiliation but your time is up. I will not be hearing from you again. Because if you can’t make it in lowest ranks of depravity on reality tv, you have very little to zero chance of making it through the beast itself that is the true entertainment industry. So yes, I actually have heard the last of you. And I am glad. Now, I can invest myself in the next crop of hopefuls as they whine, cry, rage, fail spectacularly and make glorious asses out of themselves for my viewing pleasure.
(Now shante’ and get the hell out. Can I get an “Amen” up in here?!)