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Reality TV Summer Preview

Published July 10, 2006 in Television
By J Rodgers | Image property of NBC.
America's Got Talent America's Got Talent
I am a reality showaholic. Normally in summer there is nothing to watch, so you either rent movies or stay outdoors later. This summer couldn’t be more the opposite. Last night I found myself 'flipping' among America’s Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance and Rock Star Supernova.

Summer Reality Line-Up

NBC’s America’s Got Talent (Simon Cowell executive producer) is part Ed Sullivan Show; part Gong Show meets Let’s Make A Deal. The incomparable Regis Philbin calls contestants from the audience and like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates you never know what you’re going to get. There are singers, dancers, contortionists, magicians, musicians; any of which can be good or horrible. In the last episode a guy put a scorpion down his pants – how can you not watch that? The judges each have a buzzer. When all three have given you the X you’re done. The judges are not too different from the American Idol judges. We have the token Brit Piers Morgan (who is way too serious for such a fun show, but I guess that is what happens when you start out as a newspaper editor). The almost always sweet judge Brandy (yes, the pop singer/Kobe Bryant prom date/ Moesha) who like Paula Abdul, often stands while singers are performing. The departure from Idol is the wacky David Hasselhoff (the man wanted to let the oldest male stripper keep going just to see how much he would take off - Yikes!). The contestants that have made it through these first four rounds will be meeting in semi-finals. I can’t wait.

So You Think You Can Dance (Fox) also operates on the three judge system. Once again the token Brit, executive producer Nigel Lithgoe, with his dance background his pointed criticisms are often loudly booed. The other two judging positions are rotated with dance choreographers. The contestants are paired for the season, although in a given week one of the pair could be voted off (one guy and one girl leaves each week) then the next week you would be paired with a different partner. The dancers are amazing! The costumes and the bodies on these kids – may I just say wow! The host, British TV personality, Cat Deeley is great eye candy for the guys. What’s not to love?

CBS’ Rock Star Supernova is nirvana to the true hard rocker. This is not my favorite genre, but I was blown away by the talent of the fifteen contestants. I don’t know short of an episode of Miami Ink where one could see more tattoos and piercings. Watching Dave Navarro, Tommy Lee et al. rocking out to the performances are most entertaining.
For those who are squeamish or small children some performances bordered on demonic, but isn’t that what hard rock is? On the other hand some seemed so sweet I worry for their safety. I think touring with Tommy Lee could be life changing for them to say the least. I can’t wait to see who they choose.

The best part is this is only reality TV for Wednesday nights. How many more reality shows can I let into my life? They are a commitment. But they are so much fun and soooo addictive. So for now may I say, “Ladies and Gentlemen start your Tivos”?

Stay tuned for updates.

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J Rodgers
Sources: Image property of NBC.

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