Don’t blame the armchair critics for Masterchef attacks
In a Courier Mail article this week Karen Brooks wrote that there was a lot of cyber hate on Twitter and Facebook directed at Masterchef Australia contestants.
She alleges Masterchef nice has been turned into Masterchef nasty on social networking sites, and some of these remarks were sexist, racist and homophobic.
As prolific tweeter I must be on a different stream as the majority of tweets I see are witty, and commenting mainly on what is being shown on the screen.
TV editors/producers have hours of footage of all contestants and they decide how they want to portray that person or that “character”.
I am sure Joanne does have an expression other then pursed lips but we rarely see it. I am sure Jonathan who apparently is called smugathon (which I think is quite witty) is laid back and fun kind of guy with a penchant for fart jokes but viewers are not getting that glimpse into his personality.
By the way I am on team Jonathan because of his cocky attitude and the fact he does give the judges a bit of lip.
If the viewer only sees a certain dimension of the contestants personality how can they comment on something they have not seen.
In fact I would love to see sweet Marion have some sort of hissy fit about something just to dim the halo she is currently wearing. She must have had some meltdown over not being able to get the blender to work properly or some over cooked meat.
Chris Badenoch who was cast as last year’s grumpy bad boy, has said in interviews, that he did laugh and smile on camera but the producers just never showed any of this footage.
Social networks are not new to reality TV viewers. Savvy networks have set up official forums where fans can give their opinion on the show. The comments on these sites are no different from Twitter, ranging from sycophantic fandom, to scathing criticism.
In fact Bravo TV a US channel whose bread and butter is reality TV shows, has admitted to using research they get through social media channels to direct some of their plot lines.
Reality TV and the social media are a great symbiotic relationship, and it has been suggested that the increase in popularity of the reality TV genre in the past ten years can be contributed to the World Wide Web.
It has enabled to people to watch TV with hundred’s of like-minded individuals without leaving your lounge room and converse about it whilst wearing your pyjamas and ugg boots.
Fans have their favourites, and the ones they love to hate - that is reality TV. Some shows like So You Think You Can Dance, Australia’s Got Talent, and The X Factor all have a public voting element so difference of opinion is necessary and encouraged.
Also by showing scenes from the Masterchef house indicates the producers want to show the contestants as personalities not just competing amateur chefs, as they do in the UK version of the show.
In fact there has been debate and criticism about whether the casting of Season Two was based on cooking skills or actual personalities. Anyone remember Kate’s microwave white chicken dish? Or Callum’s hunk of beef wrapped in fresh pasta? Are they really in the top 24 amateur cooks in Australia?
Karen Brooks in the article takes tweeter @molksTVTalk to task for tweeting ``Where’s the anger between the amateurs? Too much love in that damn kitchen.’‘
@MolksTVTalk when clarifying his tweet to me said, “The key point of my comment was all we’re seeing from the contestants is love/support/encouragement. The times when they show their dislike for each other (i.e. Alvin/Jonathan early on) is some of the best bits of reality TV - we want to see REAL PEOPLE!”
And that is the point of reality TV. By real people the viewers what to see each person at their best and at their worst.
Reality TV participants should know when they are on a show they will be shown as a “character” and that the social media with people giving different views on them is part of what they sign up for.
I am sure at times this can be pretty difficult for them, but at the same time the savvier ones are using the same medium to connect with their fans and promote themselves and their product/skills to attempt to extend their allotted 15 minutes of fame.
Also it should be noted the majority of social media users know, the more extreme comments say more about the tweeter then the person they are tweeting about, and like the drunken bore at the Christmas party it is best to ignore and steer clear of them.
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