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Top TEN Reality TV Highlights Of 2012

This is an article I wrote late last year for Media Week Australia. It is my Top Ten Reality TV highlights of the year.

Obviously readers will agree with some and not others but let me know what were the highlights of the reality TV for you in 2012.

Top Ten Reality TV Highlights for 2012 From Reality Ravings

1.    The Big Brother Proposal At The Finale

When Big Brother winner Benjamin Norris proposed to his partner Ben on live TV, it was not just a grand gesture of romance but a political statement. It made the revamped Big Brother Australia finale memorable and got the country talking.

2.    Keith Urban On The Voice

The Voice was a monster hit for Channel NINE, and viewers fell in love with expat Aussie Keith Urban and his Calvin’s. Unfortunately his stella reality TV presence did not go unnoticed and American Idol snapped him up.

3.    Disabled Contestants Break Through

Stunt casting or not reality TV is doing for the disabled what it has done for gays and people from different ethnic backgrounds – giving them a profile. Blind Rachel Leahcar made it to the final of The Voice, Sticky who was born without his left forearm showed he was more competent than his partner Sam on The Amazing Race Australia, and a blind woman won Masterchef US. The trend appears set to continue with a deaf chef cast in Masterchef: The Professionals.

4.    My Kitchen Rules Casting

My Kitchen Rules was the highest rating cooking show in 2012 and a reason for this was because of the cast. There was villain Peter who had strong opinions on other peoples meals but had to chop up beans individually. There was Princess Jen, Tom and Carly and bringing in a team from New Zealand Meg and Simon was inspired – just as long as they did not win of course.

5.    High Production Values on Australian Shows On Foxtel

Foxtel showed even though their ratings were much lower than free to air stations they were not going to skimp on production values. Project Runway Australia, Grand Designs, and Selling Houses Australia are just a few examples slick shows filled with quality content.

6.    Masterchef Australia Proves It Is Still A Strong Brand

Shine Australia took Masterchef Australia back to its roots and showed the franchise is still strong and is the backbone of TEN programming. It continues to produce spin-offs with the All Stars and next year the resurgence of the brand will continue with Masterchef: The Professionals.

7.    The Year Of Social Media

Reality shows continued to embrace the use of the social media. Most of the big shows had viewers tweets flash up on screen and were promoting hashtags to use.  The conversations moved from the Network’s websites to their official Facebook pages. Also for the first time fans were able to vote via Facebook.

8.    International Emmy To The Amazing Race Australia

The Amazing Race Australia beat other international shows to win a prestigious Emmy award. It is slightly ironic the reality show can be critically acclaimed but at this stage the future of the show is unknown.

9.    Brynne: My Bedazzled Life Showed How To Do Scripted Reality

Networks struggled with semi scripted reality  TV this year However Brynne: My Bedazzled Life was a diamond amongst the rough. The drama with her and her husband occurred both on and off screen, and Brynne again proved she is likeable, “real”, and entertaining.

10.The Year Of The Villain

This year the villain broke through and not only had starring roles in reality shows but also won them! Ben who played a bitchy and manipulative game won Big Brother. Also Princess Jen was a worthy winner on My Kitchen Rules. Reality TV viewers showed increasing sophistication wanting the most entertaining to win rather than the nicest. In fact All Stars series, like Masterchef and The Block deliberately cast popular villains from previous seasons to attract viewers.


1 brain dead dave { 01.02.13 at 8:33 am }

Throwing a glass of water over someone half his age was a political statement, too.

Ben Norris was a devious, backstabbing cockhead.

2 Georgie { 01.02.13 at 9:35 am }

The deaf chef on MC Pro will have an advantage if he/she doesn’t have to listen to Marco shouting. It would be amusing to watch the gesticulations without the sound. Gordon Ramsay would be even funnier.

For me, most of the highlights of 2012 RTV took place on this blog. 😀

3 Darryl { 01.02.13 at 10:58 am }

Have to admit, I watched a lot of Channel 9 last year with the Block, Big Brother. In previous years, not so much. I think this is why Ten is struggling now. 90 mins in prime time of these shows means lots of stuff not being watched on Ten

4 Daisy { 01.02.13 at 1:05 pm }

Highlight for me was watching BB and discovering this blog. What’s reality TV without a rant?
My interest in the ‘talent’ shows has completely gone.
Darryl I only said to hubby last night that 9(win) is far more steady with the progs. Ten has some of my favs but they are reruns of reruns of reruns …….of reruns….
BDD And on Ben he was all that and he had plenty of company.

5 A.P { 01.02.13 at 3:13 pm }

RR, that was the lowlight of the year for me watching Ben win BB and proposing to his boyfriend.
It was obviously planned all along for him to win and the producers knew he was going to propose at the end.
They didn’t realise just how popular Estelle was going to be.
Even at the end Ben was bullying her and to me it was all wrong for him to win and celebrate the way he did after being so vindictive to her. All our votes were a waste of time as far as I’m concerned.

6 brain dead dave { 01.02.13 at 3:41 pm }

Yes, at the time I wrote that Ben’s “victory” was a new low in Australian popular culture. I turned the schlock finale off tout de suite…that’s how memorable it was.

Big deal that he gave his ring to his boyfriend .He’d obviously been doing that for some time.

7 Mahlia { 01.02.13 at 4:25 pm }

As far as social media is concerned – stupid and cringe-worthy twitter & facebook comments flashed across the screen was a low light in my opinion.

I hope that in time networks might choose some comments that add more to the program for viewers than @bieberluva “Lolz Josh is so hawt and crazee nom noms” et al

8 Georgie { 01.02.13 at 4:25 pm }

Lol bdd – maybe Ben had been lobotomised before entering the house too?

9 A.P { 01.02.13 at 5:28 pm }

Totally agree BDD and Mahlia and I hope there is a much more deserving winner in the next series.
Even the proposal thing had been done before in series 4 with Trevor and he was the most undeserving winner ever ( after Ben maybe ) as he was dull and slipped under the radar all the time and still won $1ooo,000, an obscene amount even though the other housemates said he was the funniest person in the house he didn’t deserve that much.

10 Lisa { 01.02.13 at 5:46 pm }

Ben, still provoking lots of emotion from the commenters to RR’s blog

11 Daisy { 01.02.13 at 8:37 pm }

Agree low point was Ben winning, in fact I didn’t watch as impatience got to me and I satyed blogging and found out here that he’d won and I couldn’t put myself through it.
Another low point …watching the Ginger Cockroach playing Estelle.

12 brain dead dave { 01.02.13 at 8:45 pm }

It was a highlight to see Estelle survive week after week after week while the baying pack of ingrates in the house tried to shaft her.

13 Daisy { 01.02.13 at 9:01 pm }

BDD YES!!!! And to watch the Ginger squirm when he discovered Estelle has seen his nomination.

14 Daisy { 01.02.13 at 9:14 pm }

Two of my most cringeworthy moments
**Seal (the Gloved One- I guess that might be the danger of being married to a supermodel …”you look cool in that Darling” )kissing his v young protege and only just missing a full lip pash. She forgot to look left.
*Everytime Michael touched, stroked, petted or cuddled Estelle.

And a bit cringeworhty: Everytime Delta struck a pose with one arm in the air.

15 Daisy { 01.02.13 at 9:30 pm }

BDD Loud laughter coming from the loungeroom. It’s hubby ready your comments. He enjoyed your crack about Ben’s ring.

16 Gabby { 01.02.13 at 10:04 pm }

Couldn’t have said it better myself, thank you.

17 A.P { 01.02.13 at 11:02 pm }

Its lovely that we all still defend our Estelle, hope she reads our comments some time.

18 Daisy { 01.02.13 at 11:12 pm }

Yes AP Has anyone heard what she’s been doing? The twitterers and Face bookers will know. I hope that someone gives her a good job.

19 Gabby { 01.02.13 at 11:51 pm }

Thanks Izobel2 for the info. I will keep my eyes open for it. As a rule I enjoy English comedies, I am surprised I haven’t heard of this one.
Daisy, that’s amazing about your son and his memory, was he able to remember his school work like that? I just can’t get over some of the stuff you come up with, I think how on earth can she remember that?
AP, yes I wonder about Estelle too, when I read these posts about Ben winning, my blood started to boil again at the injustice of it all. I was so angry about that. I still reckon he got the gay vote! I wonder if I will get any angry backlash from writing that, I used to! Anyway that was my opinion then and it still is. Hope all is well with you, will catch you soon.

20 Izobel2 { 01.02.13 at 11:53 pm }

Mahlia@7 ~totally agree with u.

Daisy ~ and watching Michael and Ben squirm when trying to work out what footage everyone would soon be seeing when they were having their feast.

And AP ~ yeah hope Estelle reads this blog one day, like when Fillipo Steve Buscemi dropped in for a chat. That was cool.

21 A.P { 01.03.13 at 12:00 am }

It was so cool Izobel2, Fillipo seemed like a really great guy and nice of him to talk to us, Ben could learn a thing or too from him, like how to be humble and gracious!

22 Daisy { 01.03.13 at 12:03 am }

YES, Estelle dropping in for a chat!!!! RR might be able to arrange it.
Some of the other hms wouldn’t want to.
Or Frizy/Fitzy. Love him

23 Daisy { 01.03.13 at 12:06 am }

Yes AP I was amazed how cool he (Fillipo) stayed when he was teamed with Amina and she kept saying the fish supplier isn’t down there and she nearly cost him the comp. He WAS a gentelman.

24 Daisy { 01.03.13 at 12:10 am }

Inbetweeners just started here. You girls are up late.

25 Trent { 01.03.13 at 3:53 pm }

I think i am the only one on here who found Estelle extremely Boring yet also very irritating, and i am normally all for the underdog/quirky girl.

Can’t wait for Big Brother again!

26 Izobel2 { 01.03.13 at 4:27 pm }

I can’t wait for BB again either Trent!
And I hope that they cast COMPLETELY different castmates than this year.
When you think about it, most of them were really quite boring.
I remember watching previous years up late and wondering how they were all going, but this year it was really so manufactured and no live footage so it was like scripted reality tv.

27 A.P { 01.03.13 at 5:27 pm }

I agree @26, lets hope for better housemates next time.
Daisy @24, I was up late but we are an hour behind that time here in Qld so its not as late as it looks .

28 Stacey { 01.03.13 at 9:50 pm }

Trent – I’m with you re Estelle.

As much as I enjoy twitter, those stupid tweets from 14 year olds on all of the mentioned shows were awful and distracting. I really wish they wouldn’t show them on TV, they kind of add nothing to it. Most people check in on twitter anyhow. We don’t need to see it on TV.

2012 was a great year for reality TV. I can’t decide whether my favourite show of the year was Big Brother or My Kitchen Rules. Ill say both for different reasons. But yeh, we need some seriously better HMs for next year on BB. And definately needs up-late!

Still no word on TARA?

Also, I would like to share with my RR friends, that I became engaged over Christmas! 😀

29 Daisy { 01.03.13 at 10:23 pm }

CONRATULATIONS STACEY. Thankyou for letting us know. I hope he’s kind and generous and funny and tidy, or at least most of these things. All the best for your future.

30 Daisy { 01.03.13 at 10:30 pm }

AP I gave Alex the brochures tonight and she loved them. She especially liked the tattoos, bookmark and stickers. She said thankyou very much. Your coastline looks similar to ours. Our shop faces a bay which overlooks the Dolphin Discovery Centre.

31 Gabby { 01.03.13 at 11:16 pm }

Congratulations Stacey! That is wonderful news to start the New Year. I hope you both will be very happy. Does he enjoy all the same television shows as you do? It’s not a deal breaker, but it would be nice in the early days of the relationship! Keep us posted on the upcoming nuptials.

32 brain dead dave { 01.03.13 at 11:16 pm }

Congratulations, Stacey. Best wishes from me.

33 Reality Raver { 01.04.13 at 8:18 am }

Hey Stacey congratulations what an exciting time for you. Are you going to turn all bridezilla? Please keep us informed on how the wedding plans are going.

34 Stacey { 01.04.13 at 9:33 pm }

Aww thanks lovelies! I’d like to say I wouldn’t turn bridezilla but I’m sure it will happen! I’m trying not to think about it too much yet as we are moving house (possibly, waiting to hear back from realtor). This definately beats this time last year, as I was holed up in hospital with a broken ankle!

Gabby – for the most part we do like the same shows. I guess I didn’t realise how much I control the remote because I always seem to get my way in the living room! He’s kind of an impartial kind of guy, so if I want to watch MKR or BB hes just like ‘meh’, but will really tune in once it gets dramatic haha.

35 Daisy { 01.04.13 at 9:38 pm }

Stacey that is so Rolf and me with the remote. I rule it and he ends up watching, and sometimes getting into my shows. Now he enjoys reading these blogs too. Probably checking if I have a boyfriend.

36 Stacey { 01.04.13 at 9:55 pm }

Haha, yeh Jake would be on here in a second looking for my other bf if he could be bothered! Fortunately, he’d read ‘Reality Ravings’ and be like ‘pft too much reading’ and then go do something productive. So BDD, sleep easy!

Watching all the cooking shows has made him more interested, and a better cook too. Although now when I’m trying to cook something quickly he makes fun of me like ‘Oh no you wont have time to plate up! We’re not going to make it to kitchen HQ!’


37 Daisy { 01.04.13 at 10:29 pm }

Yes we have all lifted our game since MKR. The MKR/Masterchef jargon gets thrown around by everyone. And the grandkids score us. Rolf has become quite a good chef and yes a culinary snob if I throw ingredients in instead of carefully following recipes as he does.
I think our favourite line is “Step awaaaaaay from the benches”.
I did enjoy Julia Morris’s plating up the snags.

38 Gabby { 01.04.13 at 10:45 pm }

Stacey @ 34 good on you for holding the remote early in the relationship, you keep holding on nice and tight and don’t let go!
That’s great if he watches whatever you like, he sounds like the perfect guy.
Good luck with the house move. Are you moving far? Hope it goes smoothly for you.

39 Stacey { 01.05.13 at 1:36 am }

He’s quite perfect actually. Even works on offshore fishing boats, so we usually have a complete abundance of scallops, gummies and oysters. Sorry. I had to be a bit mean with that one :)

Gabby- We’re moving about 5 mins away from my mum haha. If your familiar with Victoria, we’re in the Bairnsdale area. Or Lakes Entrance, which is the biggest tourist attraction this side of Melbs. But yes it will be thr first place that we have lived in that is just the two of us :)

Daisy- I actually make fun of Jake when he cooks too because he does exactly that – he looks up a recipe and follows it to the T, whereas I’m an ‘add ingredients as you go’ kind of cook as I barely ever use the recipe (unless I am making it for the first time, or it involves baking), and never measure anything (again, unless its baking).

40 A.P { 01.05.13 at 9:42 am }

Stacey, better late than never Congratulations on your engagement, such exciting news for you!

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