They will leave us in 2023… She is dead the nasty reality show

You can judge it unhealthy or bad luck but here is the sad truth: the editorial staff are used to preparing obituaries of personality who are likely to leave us in the months to come. Stopping at nothing for more transparency, 20 minutes has decided to reveal some of the obituaries we have put in the fridge for 2023. Today we are revealing to you the cynical reality TV obituary.

They and they are called AmelieAurélie, Maëva, Nabilla, Jessica, Julien, Christopher, Vivian or even Vincent… Endowed with the physical characteristics commonly attributed to their respective genus – slender waist, big breasts and big buttocks for them and swollen abs and pectorals for them – they made the heyday of the reality show with clashes, gossip and a spirit of competition in sometimes memorable sequences.

Initially unknown, they have become emblematic characters of this type of show, driven by a system that recycles its candidates more and more in order to put them in situations where they must achieve professional challenges, meet love or confront to each other. But the success met by the return of the star Academy in 2022 and the benevolent approach of the format may well have relegated them to the TV closet.

From loft to the Ch’tis

It’s April 26, 2001. A golden-skinned character opens his electric blue eye on the small screen, announcing the arrival of loft story, an unprecedented television experience in France. The concept brings together 11 single people cut off from the world in a house full of cameras that film them 24 hours a day and whose swimming pool will become emblematic. At first a source of concern, the show turns into a success. Two months later, Christophe and Loana win the show and the latter becomes the first star of its kind.

In the wake of loftthe genre reproduces itself, first locking up its candidates before planting its cameras in heavenly places. star Academy, The Bachelor, temptation island and later Secret Story are appearing. Once the adventure is over, the candidates live a few more months in the specialized media before returning to anonymity.

On September 5, 2011, W9 launched The Ch’tis in Ibiza. This program relies on candidates from the North of France, landed on the island of Balearic Islands to become bartenders or dancers. They will then travel around the world in Les Ch’tis on Skis, in Mikonos, in Las Vegas, at Hollywood or in the Jet Set. One year later The Sticksthe chain launches The people of Marseilles with so many variations. With each new season, the public finds the same faces embellished with a few new ones. Reality TV is taking a new turn. It is no longer the candidates who blend into the show, but programs designed for candidates whose popularity increases with each appearance on the small screen. This movement will be definitively recorded with The angels of reality TV, launched on NRJ12 on January 10, 2011. This program, then revolutionary, is based on a cast made up of candidates from other shows. It is thus in the second season that Loana made her big comeback…

Clash Stars

The stakes change in the minds of candidates cast for reality shows. So dependent on fleeting popularity, they now have the opportunity to be true starlets. But to hope to “last” in the medium, you have to be a key player in the programs, even if it means maintaining a model that ruins the self-confidence of new candidates and makes the roles of the protagonists ever more stereotyped.

Some and some quickly understand the recipe. Chaining love stories – getting into a relationship but also being guilty of adultery – and arguments with your short-lived roommates, guarantees to be at the center of a maximum of “sequences” and not to be relegated to the rank as an extra in order to be renewed or scouted for other shows.

A system is born, based on emblematic candidates adored by reality TV fans. Because on the side of the public, we forgive ourselves for adoring the tensions between the protagonists of these programs, after all, it is only TV. “It’s a kind of loss leader”, explained Nathalie Nadaud-Albertini, doctor in sociology from the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS), specialist in reality TV. to 20 minutes. “We know that the usual candidates are there, we know roughly what they are going to do and therefore we expect a certain type of behavior from them. “On the side of the candidates too, it is far from the carelessness of the beginnings of this television genre.

Social networks in trouble

In 2011, Snapchat arrived in France. With Facebook and Instagram, this social network will then be invested by reality TV candidates. While the link with their fans was only ensured by their passages in TV shows, they can now maintain their popularity themselves. The tensions resulting from programs are now reproduced and commented on by smartphone.

With protagonists increasingly present off-camera, program productions struggle to maintain the suspense around the twists and turns that occur during filming, often several weeks before the broadcast. Thanks to specialized bloggers but also to the publications of the candidates, the public knows in advance who will be in a relationship with whom, which candidates will be “at war” in the show and sometimes even which will be the finalists as in The Fifty broadcast on W9 from September to November.

Sniffed out by Magali Berdah, the high priestess of reality TV influencers, the lucrative stakes of social networks for these candidates have fueled a real business. They can now draw a lasting income from their celebrity, even if it means multiplying product placements for fraudulent products or practices. This is certainly not the prerogative of the world of reality TV, but the practices of the candidates who come from it will fuel their image that is not very respectful of their communities of fans.

Declining audiences

For several years, reality TV shows have seen their audiences drop. Faced with declining public interest, NRJ12 for the first time decided to give up the angels in 2021 after a final season not even reaching an average of 100,000 viewers per episode. In 2014, the show nevertheless attracted a million fans on certain afternoons. In February 2022, W9 rescheduled the end of the ninth season of Princes and Princesses of Lovethe show struggling to reach only 300,000 viewers, or 1.3% audience share of the entire public.

The Marseillais, recycled in the majority of the channel’s programs, do not escape these disintegrating audiences. After peaking at 1.32 million viewers during confinement in 2020, and leaving behind the sequence of reunions between Alix and Benji, the program landed in Mexico in 2022. But this new season did not manage to exceed 500,000 daily viewers. To go up the slope, the chain has tried to innovate with The Fifty, bringing together 50 emblematic candidates of reality TV, without taking off the hearings. The program attracted an average of 456,000 viewers, according to Médiamétrie.

Kindness is trending

Faced with this decline, some might have believed in the flop of return from the star Academy mid-October on TF1. But by betting on a rather marked casting but revealing its roughness over the course of the program, Endemol has won its bet. The show was all the more refreshing, despite the use of the codes of original reality TV, as it surfed on a benevolent atmosphere with always musical learning in the background. On average, the dailies attracted 1.9 million viewers and an audience share of 32% among 15-24 year olds.

This success has finished convincing us that reality TV is not doomed to die. But its cynical declination, based on exhausted narrative arcs and on values ​​that we would have liked to bury a long time ago.

Even in Traitorsa game inspired by Werewolf of Thiercelieuxsuccessfully launched on M6 this summer, it is loyalty that has triumphed dirty tricks and manipulation strategies. In Drag Race France also, whose first season, launched in June on France television, was a hit, the spirit of solidarity has largely taken over the rivalry of the competition.

Finished, therefore, the craze for clashes, deceptions and stories of couples who come and go. It only remains for the candidates who have based their business model on this television portion to find a way to recycle themselves elsewhere, because it is hard to believe that this television will be able to rise from its ashes. The channels would do well to surf on this need for fresh air to offer viewers new faces.

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They will leave us in 2023… She is dead the nasty reality show

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