Interestment’s Top Four: Reality Shows

Published: 27th Jan, 2009

Not including The Farm


If one day you choose to tell your children that there was a time when reality television didn’t exist, good luck. They won’t believe you, and, in extreme cases, they might never trust you again. Why would you lie to them? What else have you lied about? Is Mummy having an affair? But, yes, we know that it didn’t really exist ten years ago. Now it’s everywhere. Of course, people who wear half-moon spectacles and prune the garden find the whole thing totally disgusting, but what they don’t realise is that some of those shows are completely fantastic. Here’s our favourite four…

1. American Idol


In every single way this is an exaggerated version of X Factor. The maniacs are even more barmy – in some cases, totally alarming – while the good singers can be absolutely phenomenal. And, unlike on the British version, the best singers tend to win. Cowell is in his element on this one, and below is a brilliant early performance from a girl who didn’t even make the final.

2. Big Brother


It’s easy to forget that before it morphed into the angry monster of recent times, Big Brother was a genuinely fascinating social experiment, that saw ten people struggling together raising chickens. The blatant lust for celebrity wasn’t apparent in those early days, but now housemates are even booed on their way in, then vilified until they finally get the boot. It’s probably only a matter of time before they’re dangled in cages and hoisted before the crowd to be pelted with fruit and veg before the show kicks off. It’s a genuine shame, because when you take away the pantomime sneering, it’s still pretty good. Our favourite contestant so far is Victor, from series five…

3. America’s Next Top Model


Astonishing television, featuring young women being berated for not giving enough “eyebrow” during a photo shoot. It works because some of the mentors are totally convincing, and Tyra Banks somehow makes the fashion industry sound like Nam. Enjoy her legendary meltdown…

4. Strictly Come Dancing


Edges out the X Factor, because Bruno is possibly the best reality judge in the business. Plus, it somehow makes unpalatable celebrities like Lisa Snowdon seem likable. A particular highlight was watching Alesha Dixon sticking it to her cheating ex with a show-stopping Cha Cha Cha. We watched that performance through a waterfall of tears. Beautiful.

Josh Burt
About the author:
Josh has been a writer and journalist for the best part of twenty years and has written for modern staples like FHM and Cosmopolitan and The Daily Telegraph and The Sun. He has also written a small handful of so-so books that you can still buy.

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