In order to be nominated on Avi’s TV Ramblings blog there are some simple criteria – I had to have watched the show at least twice over the course of the season.
So, here are the nominations for the Best Reality Show of 2006:
- The Amazing Race (CBS)
- American Idol (Fox)
- Big Brother All Stars (CBS)
- Canadian Idol (CTV)
- Rockstar: Supernova (CBS)
- Survivor (CBS)
As the panel of one responsible for the decision I’m going to deliberate in real time. Let me first say that 2006 is the year I’ve dropped almost all reality shows from my viewing list. When reality TV first started there was something novel and interesting in watching how human dynamics played out within what essentially is a game show. As the years have gone on, they have started to fall into comfortable patterns where they are not only no longer novel but the human dynamics part also seems to have fallen by the wayside.
Let’s start from the top. I like The Amazing Race as a concept with its race around the world through exotic locations that most people can only dream of visiting. Of all the reality shows this is the only one I could ever see myself competing in. Maybe twice a year is too often to air the show because watching the second round that started in September I just felt like I’ve seen it all before and decided to stop midway through this most reason season.
For both American Idol and Canadian Idol I’ve stopped watching the audition parts of the season. Talk about repetition – finding the worst singers who just want to be TV and then giving them that gift in exchange for being able to berate them and embarrass them. Sure I laughed the first couple of times but now it’s as painful for me to watch as it is for them to be on it. For American Idol I think it was one of the worst crops of singers in the shows history and there is almost nothing that could get me to buy a Taylor Hicks album. For Canadian Idol there were a few great singers but as the show progressed I seemed to lose interest.
Big Brother: All Stars was perhaps the best season of the show since the 2nd one. How could anyone not root for Will who truly is the master of this game. You only had to see his speech telling the other housemates how much he loathed them while they kept him in the game to see how great he is. I also loved Janelle and how she can dominate a game and make it as far as she did when every person in the house was gunning for her from the beginning. My one complaint was Boogie winning over either of them. It’s not that he didn’t play well but he rode Will’s coattails. Still better him than Erika.
This season of Rockstar: Supernova wasn’t as good as the first one. The talent was a mixed bag especially compared to the stellar first season (Jordis I want to buy your album). The band, let’s face it, isn’t a real band and won’t likely last through 2007. The show also suffered from the same repetition of song choices that the Idols shows do, it’s just better music. Finally Lukas winning – maybe a good fit but he just wasn’t that good compared to some of the alternatives. Hopefully next year they’ll find a better band choice.
Finally, Survivor started off the last round with a renewed focus on the human dynamics of the show but after 6 weeks it returned to 40 minutes of reward and immunity challenges that were repetitive and uninspiring compared to 20 minutes of interaction. Too out of balance for me.
And the winner is:
Big Brother: All Stars (CBS)