Hey reality TV fans, take a look at this link. It's got thirteen secrets reality TV producers won't tell you.
This article touches on some key things, like the fact that it takes a ton of footage to bring an hourlong episode to television, and the fact that producers can cut and splice footage as they please, so what you're hearing may not even correlate with the images you see on a screen.
You can read the article to learn what it has to say, but this got me thinking about some things I've seen with reality television.
I know of someone who was on a competition style show where the same competitors participated each week, with one or two being kicked off with each episode. Viewers played a role in who stayed and who was eliminated. The person I am talking about was given no introduction in the audition episode of the show, whereas every other finalist was given screen time. The audience never got a chance to connect with this person, and even though she did great on the show, I think the audience's lack of connection to her became a part of her downfall. It was surprising that she was denied her introduction, given that she has had a difficult past - and people love hearing about that - but she wasn't given the chance to tell her story.
Producers do not promise honesty to contestants. Do some research into the show I Wanna Marry Harry. Remember that disaster that was cancelled before it even finished airing? I remember reading that people thought the contestants were morons for thinking they were actually dating Prince Harry, but what they don't know is that producers and other staffers were whispering behind the scenes to plant these ideas in the ladies' heads. Seriously, look it up. I read about this online, you can too. I tried to find the article where I read this and can't at the moment, but if I do, I'll edit this to add it.
Things are not always as happy as they seem. I wrote a post a while back about all of the damage done by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Families were torn apart, people were forced out of their homes due to increased tax burdens and more. It's not all as pretty as it looks.
I've also read about home renovation shows where projects are left half finished and the décor is purely for the show and not permanent. I can't verify if that's true or not (we read lots of things on the internet!) but if the show has a deadline and budget that it can't meet, it's got to do something, and this option seems plausible.
These are just some things to think about as you watch your next reality TV show.