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Reality shows
Old 09-30-2013, 12:13 PM   #1
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Reality shows

One of the reasons people here seem to be motivated towards FI and ER is to get away from some of the demands placed on them by work -- policies and politics that make you grin and bear it if you had no other choice.

So once you get to a point where you don't have to answer to demands imposed by others for financial reasons, it could change your outlook on the things you're willing to do or endure for money.

On reality shows, the contestants seem very captive to the chase for prizes. On the Real World Road Rules Challenge, one of the final missions was to consume all kinds of grotesque "food." Every contestant was vomiting after every other bite, projectile vomiting.

They were competing for a grand prize of about $60-65k each before taxes. The losers in this competition would get $17.5k before taxes. Even if I didn't have money, I don't think I would have done what they did for an additional $45k before taxes.

On the Amazing Race, which started last night, several contestants repeatedly said, this is for a million bucks. Not sure if it's a million each or a million split 2 ways.

Some of this might be producers prodding the contestants to say that, or remind them what the stakes are. Amazing Race looks like fun, until the exhaustion from traveling around the world in a month takes its toll. AR has also had food missions too.

There have been a fair number of doctors teams and former pro athletes among the contestants. So good income but maybe the lure is a lump sum windfall?

Not that I'd ever have entered one of these contests but the tolerance for BS is a lot lower for these kinds of things.

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Old 09-30-2013, 12:27 PM   #2
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From everything I've read, reality shows have a narrative framework the producers edit towards. Any segments the we see on TV fit that narrative. and contestants are indeed prodded in certain directions. I would think the contestants participate to be on TV or advance their career goals of whatever, but not for the money.

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Old 09-30-2013, 01:48 PM   #3
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I love travel, and oddball adventures, but I would never be interested in things like these because I would imagine you are totally constrained by the plotline they've designed for the program. It is far better to just do the awesome things you want to do, with money you've saved, than stuff like that.

Full disclosure: I've only seen one episode of a reality show, the Race one. It was okay, but not really linear. There's a lot more downtime to travel than what they compressed into the episode.

We had a film producer travel with us for the rally this year, and having spent 50 days with a fairly low-key camera attending most of my activities, I do know you get used to it, but it is still awkward. We didn't mind because she was cool, and easy to get along with, but I cannot imagine a full crew following me everywhere.
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:45 PM   #4
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MTV billed the $125k top prize, split between two members of the winning team, as life-changing."

People do seek fame, especially on MTV, when they go on as twentysomethings.

On Amazing Race, the age range is from teens to people in their 60s. Some are definitely talking about the financial need. It's questionable that going on a reality show is the way to address that need but some contestants seem more desperate than others.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:03 PM   #5
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From the shows I see - it's about contestants/participants "building their brand". This is true from survivor contestants (who have a whole "appearance for fee" thing after they're on) to Real Housewives... they're all interested in the fame - and how to monetize that.

Some are more successful than others. Bethany Frankel is a success (financially) story - Apprentice/Martha Stewart, led to Real Housewives, led to Bethany ever after, led to her current talk show host.... all while starting her own line of margaritas (and other cocktails that she sold off for millions. She was open about building her brand... and succeeded.

Other reality stars... not so successful.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:38 PM   #6
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I get more than enough reality in real life...

Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
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