Heyyy! It's Wednesday, which means another edition of Alex's Reality Rant. This week, since I didn't watch Monday's Dancing with the Stars until last night, I ended up marathoning all of this week's reality goodness (both of this week's Dancing with the Stars episodes plus American Idol) in one junky TiVo'd heap. As a result, I found myself in a sort of tweaky competition show overdose (yes, it's possible) and just kind of in a foul, irritated mood. So instead of stewing in my testy brain-fried misery, I've decided to transform that annoyance towards some of the shows' lowest points into productive energy & create a list of the top 5 reasons I'd quit each of America's favorite reality shows of the moment. Of course, it's all just for the sake of complaining -- I'd never actually quit reality TV (puh-lease!) -- after all, it's not called my Reality Rant for nothing! Then, once I'm done, I fully intend to go drink my annoyance away in the form of margaritas & salsa (happy Cinco de Mayo)!
Without further ado...
#5: The contrived Ryan-Simon conflicts
Look, I don't know (or care) if Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell hate each other, are secret lovers, or are completely indifferent towards one another in real life. All I know is that their on-TV bickering is annoying, unnecessary, and a complete waste of precious airtime (see #1). Ryan feels the need to analyze every critique Simon gives in the futile attempt to expose him as wrong for once (haven't you learned by now that Simon is always right?), while Simon's overt disgust towards Ryan's entire presence comes off as more put-on for the sake of perpetuating his mean-judge persona. Those 5 or so minutes they waste bickering probably costs Fox thousands of dollars!
#4: Crystal Bowersox's 'tude
I know, Crystal, the judges are super annoying. I totally agree! I'm thinking much of the same snappy things you are. The difference is my back-talking is what makes me lovable, while yours might be costing you the precious votes you deserve, not to mention respect. If you don't want to hear what the judges have to say (keep in mind, they put you there on that stage), you always have the option of going back to singing on the sidewalk with your open guitar case collecting stray dollar bills. There's a pretty sweet folk band that plays at the San Francisco BART station I frequent -- they could probably use your dual harmonica-guitar skills.
So it's not actually that particular site that bugs me (which, if you're not familiar with it, quite clearly chooses the worst contestant of the time & recruits people to vote for them) -- it's the very concept of "people's choice" audience voting. It's what keeps subpar, irritating people like Tim Urban, Bucky Covington, and Sanjaya in the competition for an aggravating extended length of time. So if lamb-voiced Casey James stays in the competition for another round tonight, you know whom to thank!
#2: Sponsored music videos
You know those "music videos" (aka advertisements) they air every results show featuring the remaining contestants? Sometimes it's for something lame like Burger King, more often something like a Ford Focus. They are the dumbest things I've ever seen. Enough said.
#1: Running overtime
Whether it's due to Ryan asking awkward personal questions of the contestants, malfunctions with the behind-the-scenes videos, or Kara's incessant rambling, American Idol loves to run over its scheduled time slot. & anything that cuts into my Glee time is NOT OKAY in my book!
#5: Ill-placed commercial breaks
I realize that the placement of commercial breaks within the context of a show is completely thought-out and strategic, but that doesn't mean I support the decisions. Sometimes it will be right after a couple performs and before the judges speak to them, or after the judges speak to them but before they receive their scores, or after the intro practice video but before they perform... Can we just get some consistency up in here? Luckily for TiVo, commercial breaks don't often slow me down anymore, but these erratic segments of time between breaks really messes with my system of fast-forwarding through the unimportant stuff (ie: everything except the actual dances & the score reveal).
#4: The live music
Is it just me, or has the "Dancing with the Stars" band (who performs all of the dancers' accompanying music live) gone significantly downhill? I'm not saying I could do a better job singing near-to-exact renditions of hit dance music, but I'm not paid to do so on live television. Sometimes it's so bad that I'm distracted while trying to watch the dances. I actually find myself more worried about whether or not that one chick who wears a crown all the time will actually hit her high note, instead of focusing on what's important -- whether or not the dancer will trip.
#3: Judges complaining about audience booing
Everyone knows that when the judges give a negative critique, the audience boos. The judges, Len especially, proceed to get all butt-hurt & defend themselves saying something along the lines of "Why are you booing me? I'm trying to give them advice!" Well, judges, maybe it's because the audience is specifically TRAINED to boo you. If you've ever been to a live taping of a show, you know that the stage manager comes out & instructs you how to behave, including when to applaud, when to stand up, & when to make sound effects. They make you boo. Do the judges not know that or something?
#2: Carrie Ann Inaba's nonsensical sayings
Sometimes Carrie gets a little too excited... & doesn't make sense. Her latest "helpful" critique? To Niecy Nash she exclaimed "Girl, you hit it & quit it!!" ...Excuse me? Carrie Ann, you do know what that means, don't you? While Niecy's quickstep was undoubtedly sharp & impressive, I'm pretty sure there was no "hitting" nor "quitting" it (or any sort of lewd combination) happening on the dance floor. Maybe she shouldn't be allowed to speak first, just so she has time to sort out her thoughts before the word-vomit spews out of her mouth...
#1: Brooke freakin' Burke
I honestly never imagined that anyone could possibly be worse than Samantha Harris. I was wrong. I know it's Brooke's first season as Tom Bergeron's sidekick, but she really is awful. Awkward, uncomfortable, not personable, can't remember her questions without frantically looking back and forth to her flash cards, can't stop referencing her own "Dancing" days whenever she interviews ex-partner Derek Hough. Samantha with her freakishly long forearms (did you ever notice those things?) needs to come back!
Alright, you've heard my rant. What annoys you most about reality TV?