Reality television has grown to be one of the biggest sectors in the television industry, and each of the big broadcasters have their hands in the money jar. I myself am addicted to reality TV, my dad has warned me numerous times it will melt my brain but yet I continue to indulge, my absolute favourite is Made in Chelsea, and this week I was really surprised to see cast member Olivia Bentley up to no good with people she didn’t even appear to know, which made me question, how do these reality stars not realise when they have it made and when to leave it alone!
Reality TV originated in the US, with shows like “The Real World” and “American Idol”, when the idea transitioned to the UK we were blessed with the TV icons such as “Big Brother”, “The X Factor”, and “Britain’s Got Talent”. In more recent years shows like “Made in Chelsea”, “The Only Way is Essex”, and “Geordie Shore” have been consistent cash cows for their broadcasters, MTV has produced the most shows all based on similar concepts aided by alcohol. However, these shows have made overnight reality starts who are not always prepared for the spotlight. Even before the harsh reality of today’s social media culture, the press behaved like vultures and attacked whenever possible. The rise and fall and rise again of Daniella Westbrook shows how the press documented the ugly and got creative to crucify.
After the News of World was exposed for phone hacking, celebrities regained confidence in their private relationships, knowing the leaks they thought were in their circle were actually digital hacks, now celebrities have the power of their level of contact with their audience, who and how they engage, and focus more directly on their target demographics, build a following and furthermore develop a brand.
So how as they build and develop their own brands and as the face of multi-million pound companies, do these reality celebrities still fall so easily. Spencer Matthews, Vicky Pattison, Mario Falcone, James Lock, Olivia Bentley was not the first star to lose it all because of pure decision making and she won’t be last, but how do their management teams justify their fees, when they do not educate their clients on how to survive in the industry, surely that’s day 1 in the reality celebrity crash course! It’s sad to think that agencies may be endangering the lives of the clients for the theory “all publicity is good publicity”, hopefully they’ll get their act together and end up like Whitney or Anna Nicole.