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Does "Being Yourself" Work on Reality TV?by Joshua Ryan -- 09/07/2002
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Remember when you were a kid and your parents always told you, "Just be yourself and you'll be successful"? Well, that may be true in real life (except in high school) but in reality TV, that motto does not work.
It seems that being yourself is almost writing yourself a ticket home. In reality TV you have to possess a certain set of cunning, craftiness, niceness, and sweetness that the normal person doesn't usually need in everyday life. You have to be nice when you normally wouldn't be, or backstab when you generally don't. You have to bend and switch your personality in order to adapt to those around you.
Keep reading and you'll see how certain reality TV players have changed themselves or stayed the same and if that's help or hindered them:
Exhibit A - The person who doesn't change and gets the boot because of it: This is the person who doesn't get the memo that you can't be yourself in a game show that has a monetary prize at stake. When money is involved, people change and you can't blame them. Money can help those around you live a more comfortable life. Still, there are those who feel that they can win it while still clinging onto there same morals they had before they applied for the game. Some people that spring to mind: Gabe of Survivor 4. He felt that he wanted to play the game with no alliances, and just being a "family." Well, at the first tribal council that "family" had, Gabe was out of there. The others felt it was selfish of him to be there playing the game even though he didn't want the money. It was almost as if he was taking the spot of someone who really did want the money and they felt it wasn't fair. Other players in reality TV history that didn't change and paid for it were Will and Jordan of Big Brother 1; BB, Stacey, and Joel of Survivor 1; Mike, Shannon, and Kent of BB2; Debb, Kel, and Kimmi of S2; Lindsey, Carl, and Linda of S3; Chiara, Amy (the first time, and maybe again) of BB3; and Peter, Patricia, and Rob of S4. Had these people just altered their personalities a little bit, their respective games may have ended up totally different. Maybe they should take some tips of the next group:
Exhibit B - The people who realized they had to change their approach or they'd be toast: This group is almost the cream of the crop of reality show contestants. They realized early on that if they didn't change something about themselves or their strategy, they would be tossed out on their ears. They may even get some insight of something they don't like about themselves and plan on changing it for good. The most notable person who changed during the course of a game is Nicole of BB2. She was up for eviction week one and managed to turn it all around to make it into the final two. She realized her loud, abrasive behavior would have to change or she would be out. She managed to manipulate it so that everyone in the house believed her at some point and she had something to do with every eviction. She was a strong woman who I wanted to win and felt she deserved to, but Will still is a good winner (who falls under Exhibit C, but I'll get to that later). Another notable mention is Kathy of S4. She too changed her aggressive ways and learned to open up to her tribe mates and managed to get herself to the final three. I think she would be the prime example of this category, but had Rotu lost any of the first three Tribal Councils (or New Marammu lost one more), she would have been gone, so that's why I chose Nicole to represent the group. Of course, Rich Hatch is the prime example - he came in with a strategy that involved pulling everybody together as a group with him as the leader. On the very first episode, he sat on a branch ordering people around, and they ignored him. Watching the show, you just knew he would be the first to go. Instead, he was the first Survivor winner. You know this is an elite group because there are so few and they all got far in their games.1 2 Next-->
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