Reality tricks echo UnREAL satire
Sleep deprived contestants and constructs that elicit emotional reactions -all part of Reality TV manipulation.
The claims are nothing new -US satire UnREAL, which screens on Stan is built around the genre’s fabrication- but News Corp details further examples today in an article quoting ‘insiders.’
Former My Kitchen Rules contestant Emily Cheung says she and her sister were cast as the ‘token Asians’ and pushed into cooking Asian dishes, which are not their speciality.
She claims the night before their instant restaurant they were told to cook smoked quail, which landed them a 2 out of 10 score.
“Manu asked me: “What happened? What went wrong?’” recalls Cheung. “I said ‘We’ve never cooked quail before’. He said: ‘Why would you choose it?’ I said: ‘We didn’t’.
“’They (producers) said ‘We can’t air that, we’ll have to do it again.”
On the topic of diverse casting, an insider says, “Are there rules? Absolutely.
“Does the network hate to break them? Absolutely. If we do we have to go in really hard at the network about why we want to break them.
“Look how many people who are cast are not white, Anglo Saxon.”
However Reality as a genre usually includes more diversity -consider MasterChef or So You Think You Can Dance– because it by-passes traditional casting routes followed by Drama. The Block producers have previously said cooking shows usually attract more Asian applicants than renovation shows.
An Apprentice participant says producers had already decided who they wanted to win when he was eliminated.
“I had all the answers in the boardroom so then they’d have to rewrite the scripts for (Mark) Bouris to reply” he says. “I found it a little bit disappointing that they’d already come up with an outcome and kept rewriting the boardroom scenes to suit themselves. They were just trying to make me look like an arse.”
Former Apprentice participant Brian Mannix previously slammed producer tactics.
“They would deliberately lie to stall or distract you. None of my fellow contestants gave me the shits. But the crew did. The food did, too,” he said.
“We didn’t even have anything to do. We stood around doing sweet f… all. They wear everybody out, so they crack.”
You can read more here.