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Is Social Media Ruining Reality TV Shows?

The Independant
Viewers are always likely to speculate on social media as to the decisions and outcomes made on reality TV shows. However, Apprentice contestant Selina Waterman-Smith is the latest in a string of reality show contestants themselves who are taking to social sites in order to undermine their shows and make rigging claims, leaving the programs with unwanted PR messes to clean up.

Selina took to Twitter to condemn the show for mindful editing that purposely made her come off badly and subsequently unpopular. She said that the finalists were 'picked from the start' and that 'whole show' is 'set up'. The contestant has over 35k followers and various news sites picked up on the claims, meaning that the story spread like wildfire. This meant that various Apprentice advocates had to speak out in defense of the show in order to try and scrape back some integrity. Similarly, Ola Jordan also threw Strictly Come Dancing into controversy lately with claims in The Sun newspaper that performers were deliberately under or over marked. However, she conversely didn't use social media to perpetuate her claims, but instead gave a heartfelt explanation as to her decision to leave the show. Irregardless, the claims sent social media into another storm.


The whole Olly Murs situation - where he accidentally said the wrong person was being eliminated from the X-factor, only for them to then be defeated later in the show - caused mass accusations of the show being fixed in the favour of particular contestants. Social media was rife with the claims, which some believed would lose Olly the job. However, like most social media rumours, the claims were short-lived, and 2 weeks on hardly anyone remembers what the fuss was about.

So is social media ruining reality TV? I think to the contrary. Even if the social media hype around a show is negative, the buzz is making wouldn't-be viewers take an interest in the controversy. I'm sure there were plenty of non-X-Factor viewers who found themselves on YouTube searching for a clip of Olly Murs' slip-up, and I can vouch for taking in an interest in The Apprentice (something I naively haven't done before) amid the claims. After all, they say all publicity is good publicity.



SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF


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Is Social Media Ruining Reality TV Shows? Reviewed by Katie Gascoyne on Friday, December 04, 2015 Rating: 5

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