March 10, 2008 07:40 AM by Jennifer_Brown
Reality shows almost always come equipped with controversy. And this season’s American Idol has been no exception by any means. Whether it’s Carly Smithson’s previousrecord deal, Amanda Overmyer’s DUI, or David Hernandez’s dancing history, the stories just keep coming one after another.
What do we think of controversies in reality shows? Should the contestants be given time on-air to explain themselves or address the accusations against them?Reality TV Magazine’s Jen and Joe sound off on the subject:
Is the media going too far in digging into the backgrounds of American Idol contestants? Scandals and controversies are just a part of American Idol. Perhaps in the first season of American Idol, it might have caught contestants off guard by just how much scrutiny they received from the media. However, anybody who tried out for American Idol 7 should have been well aware how closely the media follows the show. If a contestant had a skeleton in their closet that they couldn’t bear to have exposed, then they shouldn’t have tried out for the show.
Should these controversies and scandals play a part in the actual shows? It’s a tough call in whether the scandals should be acknowledged on the shows. On the one hand, it might be unfair to contestants to talk about scandals and possibly affect the voting outcome. On the other hand, American Idol is such a big show that most viewers probably already know all about the scandals.
In my opinion, it should be left up to the contestants if they want to address any scandal or controversy surrounding them during the show. If they want to ignore it, then they should. However, if they would like to tell their side of the story, then let them explain in the intro segments that air before their performances.
Usually I’ll be the first to say if you don’t want your dirty laundry aired out for all to see, don’t become a celebrity. It’s part of the price you pay, is it not, for getting all that spotlight?
But as a mom I can’t help but wonder…wouldn’t it be nice if just once we could let our kids “Idol”ize someone without having to explain stuff that our young audiences may not be mature enough yet to hear? Can we just watch a “family show” with our families without having to explain what a man would be doing dancing nude at a men’s-only bar? Wouldn’t it be great to not have to have to field questions about a nurse who once was arrested for a DUI?
On Thursday I was speaking to a class of first-graders. I asked the class, “Who here watches American Idol?” Every hand in the room shot up. That’s a lot of 6 and 7-year old minds who are absorbing this stuff two, three times a week. Does it begin to look to them like controversy is that being a star is all about (like they don’t have enough fallen Hollywood idols to make it look that way already)?
So do I think, in that light, that the shows should let the contestants address their controversies on air? No way! The less it’s talked about, the more our kids can look up to a star without needing a grown-up lesson about life when they’re not yet grown up.
So to the media hounds who’re doing the digging: Enough with the controversy already! Just let these people sing! And let us enjoy them, without being swayed by some nonsense that’s honestly none of our business.
Photo Courtesy: Reality TV Magazine