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Even on Television Actions Have Consequences

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I don't quite know why, but I'm constantly amazed at the insanity of reality show contestants. I particularly enjoy moments on reality shows where a contestant speaks one-on-one to the camera about something that happened previously, and the show instantly cuts to the person doing the exact opposite of what they claim to have done or the contestant being shown to be completely and totally wrong. It's amazing. It's as though people on reality shows don't realize that they're being filmed. They think that they can just lie and misdirect and get huffy when they're clearly and obviously wrong and there's videotape to prove it.

Look at Nicole last night on The Mole. There she was, telling the camera how she was upset that the men ignored her during one of the missions. She had been tasked with going and counting up a variety of things to come up with a number to be keyed into a computer. She returned to the group and insisted that the number she had, 227, was right. She was hugely displeased that the rest of the group (all men) ignored her number. She was insistent that she was right. It made absolutely no difference that the group had been informed that the first digit in the number was "2" but that the second most definitely was not. Nicole knew that prior to heading out to do her counting, but was perturbed that the group didn't accept her answer anyway.

Okay, so this is The Mole and there's a chance that she is the mole and was therefore purposely giving the wrong answer. In that case, she might be the worst mole ever because she gave a wrong answer that had to be the wrong answer, it couldn't possibly have been the right answer. I'm betting she's not the mole anyway, so the point is a little moot.

But, even if you don't want to give me that, how about Nicole stating later in the episode that she was tired of being left out of the group? She implied that she was left out because she was the last woman standing. It apparently never entered her mind that her original strategy in the game (as professed to the camera early on) was to be obnoxious. If that was her goal, she succeeded and now that she was reaping the benefits of that goal, she was all upset.

Is the basic problem here that reality show contestants have no idea about how their actions have consequences, or have we, as a society, lost that knowledge ourselves? Did Nicole not realize that threatening, even in jest, to kill another contestant may make the rest of the contestants more wary of her? Did she think that despite clearly delivering a wrong answer last night the group ought to accept what she said? Why would they do that? Out of a sense of loyalty to someone who want to take what would otherwise be their money? Out of a desire to have the group remain harmonious at the expense of the group winning money?

I'm not going to accept a "well, it's just edited to make it look that way" argument here as the instances have been all too frequent with Nicole. So, what could it be? I hope it's just a problem with reality show contestants and not society as a whole, because if it's all of us, we could be in real trouble down the line.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.