Sunday, April 19, 2009

A new twist to reality TV shows.

Ever since Survivor first aired dozens of “Reality TV” shows have sprung up using the same formula; Contestants are placed in to two teams and made to compete, the losing team has to vote off one of their members. The teams get narrowed down until they merge and start competing individually.

The drama in these shows comes in watching the group decide how to vote. It was a great concept when Survivor first did it but it has been repeated so many times that it is now just putting new faces into the same roles. All the “Reality TV” shows have tried to throw little twists into the game to add variety but none have tried to change the basic formula so the psychology remains the same, which is why these shows have gotten stale.

A new twist to these shows would be to add a forfeit vote. Any member could forfeit their vote at the cost of half their earnings. If every member on the team forfeits their vote no one gets sent home that week.

In the extreme example if there are 18 contestants divided into teams of 9 and one team totally dominated the other for the first 8 challenges before they merged and they all voted to forfeit each time, the winning team’s members would be competing for $1,000,000 and the losing team’s members would take home $7,875 if someone from that team won. If the first person voted off once they merged was from the winning team they would take home $2,000 but if they were from the losing team they’d make a whopping $15.62.

Of course it would never come to that, human nature wouldn’t allow 9 individuals to sacrifice a fortune in order to save someone they just met, but it would add a little spice in the otherwise boring middle section of the game.

When a team is down to four, it would be in everyone’s best interest to all forfeit the vote and still have numbers to compete for the $500,000. But if one sneaky bastard decided to vote off his biggest competitor on his team he would gain an advantage in cutting down the number of competitors he would be going up against in the individual rounds.

Throwing this curve in would really make the people who say, “I’m not here for the money just the experience” have a chance to show the world if they really mean it.

There would also be some great moments when everyone tells every one else that they will forfeit and no one does, and everyone votes individually showing people their true rankings in the team.

If a “Reality TV” show were to add this twist, it would throw in a whole new level to the stale formula for a couple of seasons, until it got stale as well.


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