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These young hopefuls with their five minutes of fame on national television embarrassed themselves to laughter and giggles of millions of viewers. Pet owners, gardeners and cooks, poor people and rich all made a spectacle of themselves and willingly so, just for five minutes of fame! Strangely enough this search for glamour and fame even spread to already rich and famous. Actors and politicians, famous cooks and authors, wealthy tycoons and nutty scientists suddenly felt left out as viewers tuned in to average person and sort of forgot that there was already a large vat full of famous people! So sadly, already famous people jumped on bandwagon and started to appear on gimmicky fame and fortune shows – six weeks living on a deserted island (with a full cast, helicopter support, satellite communication and nights back home in LA), cooks trying their hand at singing a Christmas Carols (resembled a nail being drawn harshly across blackboard) and groups of already famous people bickering stupidly as they pretended to live together for six weeks!
Hope all those seeking five minutes of fame got what they were looking for….!!!!!
Throughout all of this decade long turn from fun seekers to fame hopefuls BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and TV stations all over world loved it. Here they had prime-time programs with minimal content, easily stocked with poor actors who would pay to appear and no end of viewers to tune in. So with thousands of hopeful daily world was given endless showings of anything from large models having cat fights to ex-cons attempting to lift mini-coopers with their bottom lips!
All a bit sad really!
The question that should now be asked is: “do any viewers of these shows actually take them seriously and ache to be part of it one day or are they all laughing their heads off at poor ‘now famous’ people on stage”? The answer to this ultimate question may lie in asking of another question: “do these same people think that sport of wrestling is a well-staged and choreographed event, purposely acted out for television viewing or do they think that it is a sport entered into with full vigor and enthusiasm of say boxing”?
But whatever, life is currently taking a turn for worse! Fame has grown slightly boring, viewers have realized that “too many cooks spoil broth” or that nobody can really remember those famous wonders of yesterday for longer than five minutes, except those that had really terrible voices or whose mug resembled that of an escaped convict! Nowadays new prime time shows are emerging, those that involve either fun and fortune or fame and fortune! Shows with contestants, shows offering fame and all with a large cash donation to winning candidate’s purse at end of it all! So, already famous are being pushed aside once again and hopefuls of all shapes and sizes and ages enter willingly into endurance tests, assault courses and into embarrassing displays of inability in varying forms, but at least dangled carrot more than made up for viewer’s laughter.
What maybe ultimate in sadness are shows that emerge from United States. The one that I pick out, shown endlessly during prime time viewing hours on satellite channel of AXN, is called Fear Factor. This program is described by AXN on their website as:
“It's no holds barred on Fear Factor as hit reality series returns with promise of more gut-wrenching dares, more death-defying feats and more creative stunts as ordinary people face their most primal fears in another explosive season ……….…………… It's three fears to face, three stunts to complete and three steps away to a cash prize of up to US$50,000 in every episode of Fear Factor. Meet ordinary people in most extraordinary situations, where their physical and psychological limits will be tested, all in hope that they will be final one left standing at end of each challenge”.
Sound good? Here is a program that combines dangled cash prize and fame for contestants. The fun part is when one can no longer take program seriously. I have watched this program many times or flicked through upon realizing that AXN once again has nothing to offer viewers during evenings. This program is like Baywatch, watched seriously by males and females world over because of promenaded bodies that flaunt tit and bum in a very unnatural way! There was no flabby lifeguard on Baywatch, no slow-witted flat-chested female sashaying across beach to save a life! Fear Factor follows closely in this regard, all female contestants seem to have breasts that struggle to be contained within their skimpy clothing and males are all muscle-bound and short of a decent conversation. These are not ordinary people, what is served up here is a stage show that provides three elements of requirement for today, fun, fame and fortune!
What will it be next?
Author and Webmaster of Seamania. As a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Navy he has sailed the world for fifteen years. Now living in Taiwan he writes about cultures across the globe and life as he sees it.