Reality TV is like marmite, you either love it or you hate it. There are various types such as singing competitions, dance competitions, celebrity competitions and plain simple following individuals around with a camera. But are we really seeing true reality?
Let’s take a look at The X Factor. It’s ran on our screens for over a decade, where hopefuls are put in a room of four famous judges, Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh, to sing their hearts out for a chance to win a recording contract and prize money. Riveting. However, it has been said that this is not how the show actually works. If you’re a hopeful and want to show off your talent, you first audition in front of a different set of judges who see if you’re entertaining, rubbish or have a good chance.
They then send you to another set, who act as double-checkers. The final stage is making your way onto the show to perform in front of the famous judges. So in hindsight, you’re either rubbish and simply put through for entertainment purposes, you’re alright but could be better or you could potentially win the show.
I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is a show that makes everyone hooked to their television, and surprisingly, seems pretty much authentic. Facts show this due to celebs signing up to the show, claiming they believe they are taken out of camp at night to a five star hotel. However, when they are voted out and have time to take to presenters Ant and Dec, the celebs declare how tough jungle life is and how it has impacted them. After celebs are voted out of the jungle, they are immediately taken to a medic who weighs them and checks over them to see if they have been affected by jungle life.
Afterwards, they get to travel to a luxury hotel with their families. If they happen to hit headlines whilst in the jungle, celebrities are shown said headlines and asked their opinions on the situations. So, it’s fair to say we are watching the real deal.
One show that I have had my doubts for is Jeremy Kyle and I was fortunate enough to visit the set and be a part of the audience. At first, I was sceptical as the first guest came on and was sat in silence whilst the team re-rolled cameras. However, as the filming went on, it was safe to say the guests are real life people with real life problems. The filming lasts roughly four hours, guests come and go and Jeremy himself changes outfits several times and records beginnings and ends so that they can reuse material over several episodes. It was quite impressive to witness.
It’s problematic with reality TV. We don’t know what happens on and off screen unless we have proof of it. So the verdict of whether or not it’s authentic still stands unknown.