Reality shows, these days, are omnipresent. Take a look at any TV channel, at any time, in any language and in any country, you are sure to come across some form of a reality show in there.
Reality shows are more popular than news programs and serials! Yes, they have more viewers than popular serials. You can judge this by simply looking at the on-going rates for advertising during these reality shows. Even senior citizens, earlier known as ‘serial’ citizens, are now switching over to view reality shows!
One can see reality shows in any conceivable format and form. We have comedy reality shows (which sometimes makes you cry!), singing reality shows (contestants often cry remembering their mother, father, siblings or pets), dance reality shows (every episode will have some sob story of a contestant) and adventure reality shows (where contestants cry when they do not succeed and also when they succeed!). They cry even in reality shows testing one’s general awareness.
So what’s the main qualification to be a judge of a reality show? Yes! You guessed it right! One should be an expert in listening to sob stories and then shed tears at the appropriate time! While this is the main one, there are some additional requirements too!
One’s name should have wide recognition, either she should be famous or notorious. It is not necessary that she knows what’s going on in the show. A famous author, who never shook his feet for dancing in his whole life, was a judge in a dance reality show of a well-known channel. Whenever he opened his mouth to give comments, it used to either irrelevant or confusing. But it was great fun watching him commenting on finer aspects of dancing, without knowing a thing!
Then these judges should have their brand of gimmicks! It may be use of a particular phrase or asking for a ladder to climb while applauding or gesturing in a peculiar way! This ‘unique’ differentiator is a must to extend one’s longevity as a judge.
There are huge positives in judging reality shows. The first one is that your neck is never on the line. It’s always the neck of the contestant which is on the line. Contestants who provide the content of the reality shows are never sure whether they will be featuring in the next episode. But a judge is there in every episode!
Second huge attraction is that you make big money as a judge! While the winner may take certain amount in prize money after toiling hard for many episodes, judges take multiples of this prize money for judging just one episode! Entire show with multiple episodes makes judges really rich and famous too! Just ‘Google’ and you will be wonderstruck by the amount paid to some of the reality show judges.
As a judge, you have more camera presence than the best of the contestants! This makes those failing artists and forgotten actors to bounce back into reckoning! We know how a failing superstar of Bollywood was resurrected by a general knowledge reality show!
Winning contestants rarely make a name in their field after the show is over. There are only a handful of them who made it big (after the show was finished) and most of them are forgotten before long! But judges make it to their seats every season!
Is it difficult to judge a reality show? My better-half, a keen follower of reality shows, knows more about judging than those judges themselves. She can easily come out with a list of positives and negatives, the moment a contestant’s performance over. And her analysis, many a time, is much more accurate than that of judges!
It is true that her analytical skill is rubbing off on me too and you must have observed this while I get opportunity to evaluate speeches in our Club!
(This write-up was prepared for the House Magazine of Doha Toastmasters Club)