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And THIS Is Why I Love Reality TV: If Big Brother's Watching…

The given of any reality show program is that cameras will follow the participants around almost every single second of every single day. Cameras may be strategically hidden along with microphones in the corners of ceilings and in headboards of beds. People are watching all the time.

That information may seem unnecessary and obvious. Why am I wasting my time with that explanation? Everyone who wants to be on reality television knows all that because that’s exactly why they want to be on.

I would have agreed with that sentiment maybe last year. However, this year, I beg to differ. I’m thinking that contestants on these shows are forgetting all about being watched. Welcome to the Year of the Cheaters. Technically, the cheating on reality television spans more than a year. Recently the cheating has happened rapid fire.

What the heck is wrong with people? Why are they cheating when the essence of the show they are on is that they are being taped? Are they that dumb? I’m sensing a collective head nod at computer screens ‘round the globe right now.

And now, the Parade of the Dippity Doos.

[b]Last Comic Standing[/b]
On a show about comedians, rarely is the goal to be the butt of the joke. LCS is very simple. Do a stand up routine. Make people laugh. Don’t have outside help. Enter Gabriel Iglasias, the man who suffered from such separation anxiety from his cell phone that he got caught and kicked off the show for using it. Not just once, mind you. He snuck out to make phone calls several times and the producers caught him every single time. How hard is it to stay off the phone? Seriously.

[b]Project Runway[/b]
The idea of PR is to design on the fly. From memory. Which means you can’t have design books and patterns under your mattress that you study every night in anticipation of what you’ll create next. Oh, Keith, how your arrogance and better-than-thou attitude did not pay off for you. If you weren’t such a prick to everyone, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t have gotten caught. That’s a good rule of cheating—if you don’t want to get caught, don’t piss people off and draw attention to yourself. He still claims he did nothing wrong although he clearly broke the rules. The BEST part? Tim Gunn coming into Atlas, their living quarters, sitting on the floor, and breaking the news.

Jeffery was also under suspicion when he couldn’t get all his receipts in order for the final runway show. However, he was exonerated. And won.

Now I don’t really watch Survivor; however, I do remember something about someone stealing a chicken or some licorice and people being really pissed. That’s another good rule of cheating: don’t piss off hungry people.

[b]Top Chef[/b]
This season, the cheating go so out of hand that one week they decided not to send anyone home because they couldn’t tell who cheated and who didn’t. That caused a double elimination the next week. What was the cause of all the fuss? Sugar. Yes, sugar. Betty put more sugar into her health-conscious cookies and the stainless-steel world came crashing down. And some nameless chefs had squirt-bottles of oil on the line. Not good for Camp Glucose. However, no one admitted to using the extra oil and Betty pled ignorant to the rules (which was a teary confession, much believable—I like Betty).

Before that was the Lychee Incident. Otto got a bit carried away with the competition, and after realizing that he wheeled out his shopping cart with some unpaid lychees on the bottom (by accident), he didn’t wheel them back in to pay. His teammates ratted him out even after he decided to not use them for fairness’ sake. He bowed out of the competition, so there was no Tom Colicchio sitting on the floor of the chef living space as Tim Gunn did on PR.

[b]Big Brother[/b]
How does one cheat in BB? Mostly, we don’t see cheating. The show doesn’t consider it cheating. But people who have the live feeds know that in previous seasons (not sure about the last one), production assistants have dropped hints to the players, tipping them off to shady game play. Also, while not outright cheating, the producers so obviously change the rules and make up more as they go along to try as best they can to keep the more entertaining people in the house. So this is a case not so much of contestants cheating as it is the production cheating its audience. Not only is Big Brother watching the contestants, but the world is watching you, BB. So quit fixin it.

[b]The Amazing Race[/b]
TAR has had its fair share of cheating incidents; however, they have all stemmed from dillusion, lack of sleep, and delirium. And ouch! The consequences are brutal. Remember the Yale girls who fell out of the donkey cart? They took a cab instead of walking or something to that effect and had a half-hour penalty against them, leading to their elimination. Contestants sometimes don’t read the clue all the way through or read it incorrectly. Sometimes they follow a team without completing a step and have to return to get a clue. Rules are a bitch on a tiring race around the world.

[b]Dancing With The Stars[/b]
While contestants were not exactly cheating, some ballroom sticklers are upset that Mario made it to the final having broken holds and completing other ballroom no-nos on the dance floor that would not stand in a traditional competition. I’m with these people. Sure you can be as entertaining as you want, but you do deserve low scores when you don’t do what you’re supposed to.

I’m sure tons of other incidents exist whether intentional or not. Why people think they can get away with cheating when it is intentional is beyond me. That’s the same way I think about criminals; no one would mug someone unless they really truly believed that they‘d get away with it. Still, a mugger is a bit smarter than a reality show cheater. The mugger is not applying to be on a show where cameras are all around to watch everything at all times. The reality show contestant is, yet thinks that by some miracle, getting caught is not in the cards. Dumb.

[b]And THIS is why I love reality tv[/b]: It makes us seem smarter. Even muggers. They seem smarter, too.

Any cheaters I missed? Email me (click on my envelope) or chat in the forums. You can also visit me at [url=http://christinamrau.blogspot.com]Livin The Dream (One Loser At A Time)[/url] to read all about more dumb people who I know personally.


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