Survivor wasn’t the first reality show, but when its first season finale was played in front of more than fifty million people, it started an arms race between networks to give the green light for so many new shows in the flourishing kind as possible. It was like the Wild Wild West at first. No one really knew what they were doing when it came to casting and setting up outlines, but over the past decade the format has been streamlined to the point that an overwhelming majority of reality shows have hyper-specific codes of conduct. that would be ridiculous in the real world.
Thus, in honor of Utopia On air twice this week, we thought it would be fun to watch some of these rules and what specific game shows they relate to and talk about why they are both so ridiculous and so necessary.
# 1) Do not put any food on the plate after the buzzer
Contrary to popular belief, Excellent chef is not about who can make the best food. It’s about who can prepare the best food, following a set of guidelines for a very strict period of time. Sometimes the competitors have hours. Sometimes we give them thirty minutes. Either way, the players have the same time and not a second longer. As soon as the buzzer rings, no one is allowed to serve anything, even if it means that the candidate cannot serve their dish.
Time and time again, people have made amazing looking dishes, only to see them thrown in the trash because they were half a second too late. Or more commonly, competitors are forced to serve their dish to the judges without any sauce or accompaniment. Brutal.
# 2) don’t sing
It’s expensive to put on a show like Big Brother. You must keep the house stocked with food. You have to design and pay for all these wacky contests, and you have to film everything. As such, producers aren’t enthusiastic about the unnecessary expense, especially toward paying royalties to anyone who owns a copyright in a song that one of the contestants sings more than a few bars.
This rule is actually used a lot since candidates are recorded all the time and people tend to sing absent-mindedly when they are bored. So even if that means interrupting the conversation with that loud, booming voice over the intercom, the producers can and will step in to tell the singer to shut his mouth (“Please STOP singing”) and start again. literally do anything else except remove their microphone or use the toilet to strategize.
# 3) you must attend every meeting
How many people do you think go to the average high school reunion? I can guarantee the percentage is not as high as those who attend reality TV meetings. Why? Because it’s actually written in their contracts. At The real world, for example, attendees are paid $ 2,500 to attend any organized reunion show, and they are given at least two weeks notice. There is no option not to attend. This is a direct breach of the contract and could result in prosecution or a fine.
Every now and then there are cast members who miss the reunion shows, but the overwhelming majority of the time it’s either because they a) weren’t invited because there was a serious argument with the producers or b) they had a gigantic life like a death in the family or a late pregnancy.
# 4) you can’t bring a cell phone
Most of us don’t go anywhere without our phones. Even though we don’t text or make phone calls, we love having the phone just in case someone else tries to call us or we want to contact us in the future. Not on reality TV shows. In fact, having a cell phone is the fastest way to get started, as one of the competitors of Utopia already found out when she was booted up for her smart phone.
When producers say they want to isolate you, they want to isolate you. Reality TV works much better when everyone is in the moment. Phones take people out of the moment. Therefore, they must go.
# 5) don’t get in an unauthorized taxi
When traveling to a foreign country, it is always a good idea to take the most professional services possible. Anything that is government sponsored or has been around for a long time is usually a safer bet than something that looks fishy. However, when traveling alone you do these things at your own risk. At Fantastic race, this is not always the case, however. In some countries there are shady taxi services. prohibited to be used under penalty of disqualification.
The Amazing Race isn’t very open about the why of this rule, but it’s pretty easy to guess. They don’t want candidates to have their things stolen, because while this is a fascinating one-off episode, it is deeply hit and miss and unfair.