Reality TV Top 10 Highlights Of 2013
These are my reality TV top 10 most memorable moments of 2013. Obviously people will disagree with some or all, but I am also wanting to know what were your reality TV highlights of 2013. This article was first published in Mediaweek Australia.
- Casting of My Kitchen Rules – Channel Seven were more concerned about casting then cooking ability on this season of MKR and it worked judging by the ratings. They created a balance between villains and heroes and cleverly signalled who those baddies were in carefully created promos to hook the viewer in. The show attracted much criticism by portraying the two non-anglo teams as villains with contestant’s Ashlee and Sophia and Jessie and Biswa receiving a huge social media backlash. Sophia and Ashlee were polarising with their cutting sense of humour and could be compared to Warldorf and Statler from The Muppets.
- Networks Backing In Their Shows – House Rules the new reality show on SEVEN premiered to poor ratings and chatter it would be dumped to a digital channel. SEVEN showed confidence and stuck with it and it slowly gained a fanbase and on a few nights beat The Block. Expect House Rules to do even better in 2014. Network TEN also had a shaky start with The Bachelor Australia. They to stuck with it and it became the most talked about show and the finale gave TEN one of their highest rating shows of the year. It also reaped big numbers in viewings online.
- The Block Sky High – Lysandra and Alisa, two policewomen from South Australia, showed that an all female team with no tradesperson could win a renovation show. The girls attracted criticism for their take-no-prisoners attitude but they were also doing it tough as they were renovating the worst apartment, as it was on the first floor of a six story sky-rise. The Block producers also showed they handled the death of contestant Bec’s mother sensitively and did not exploit it too much.
- Big Brother Australia Was Back To Its Best – The second season of Big Brother on NINE gave the fan one of the best seasons ever. Good casting, a fake marriage, and two romances, one which saw a lesbian turn back to boys. Also mixing it up was when fan favourite Ben was eliminated half way through the season. It was also interesting to see how the housemates were conscience of their storylines and were even trying to manipulate them and the viewer. Eventual winner Tim Dormer was particularly skilled at driving plot lines and appeared to pick a fight with the person he wanted eliminated that week.
- Commando and Michelle Bridges romance – Who needed reality TV on our screens when a dramality show was occurring in real life between The Biggest Loser trainers, Commando and Michelle Bridges. It kicked off with news that Commando had left his wife and kids for his work colleague, then he slunk home for a reconciliation. After Michelle put a stream of swimsuit shots of herself on social media the pair reunited fans are eagerly awaiting the next episode in this reality TV romance.
- Reality TV Romances – It was the year of reality romances that may actually continue once the cameras stop. The Bachelor’s Tim Robards and Anna Hendricks, the bachelorette he chose appear to be all loved up, as do Drew and Tully from Big Brother. Whether Jade and Ed also from Big Brother will go the distance is unclear however all them will realise the chances of them extending their 15 minutes of fame will increase if they stick together.
- Diversity In Casting On Reality TV – One of the highlights of reality TV is the diversity of casting. With the exception of MKR where the non-anglo contestants were shown in a non-favourable light, reality shows led the way in showing the real Australia on screen and we embraced it. Korean Dami Im win The X Factor, Ben who is gay being accepted by the alpha males in Big Brother as well as being the most loved housemate and Duckie and Shonalli making the finale of Australia’s Next Top Model albeit neither of them won.
- Lifestyle Channel Making High Quality And High Rating TV – The Australian content on the Lifestyle Channels were some of the highest rating shows on Pay TV. It was well made television which included the Australian version of River Cottage, Embarrassing Bodies Australia, Paddock To Plate, Celebrity Come Dine With Me Australia, Grand Designs, Selling Houses Australia, and Location, Location, Location.
- Masterchef Australia Casting and International Popularity –Masterchef Australia may have fallen in the ratings in Australia but it is extremely popular overseas. This year it was a very multicultural cast including three Indian contestants in a nod to the popularity of the show in India. Rishi Desai originally from Kolhapur showed he was the complete package. The producers kept on showcasing personal Trainer Dan’s six pack but it was Rishi’s biceps along with his personality and cooking skills that made him the favourite contestant of the season. When he was eliminated there was a social media meltdown which still continues as the show airs throughout the world.
10. The VoiceHad A Strong Second Season – The second season of The Voice was one of the highest rating of the year. This year Harrison Craig won. His crooning voice along with his compelling back story of a debilitating stutter and a father who deserted the family resonated with a lot of viewers along with him being promoted heavily both on the show and in the mainstream media throughout the series. The drama continued off camera when Joel Madden was caught with a small amount of cannabis in his hotel room. However it was not him that caused the kerfuffle it was fellow judge Seal who had a meltdown on Twitter about it saying he could not wait to leave Australia. He apologised later but it was all too late and he was not signed for The Voice 2014.
Tell me what were your most memorable moments of 2013 in reality TV?