Advice for Reality Show Contestants

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Are you or is someone you know about to make the leap onto a reality show? Before you do, I encourage you to read and carefully follow the directions below.

These instructions were collected from a distinguished group of social scientists who visited Cockeyed.com on October 13-15, 2005. Enjoy!

  • The first key is to either be extremely attractive or extremely disgusting. To magnify the interest from your visual appearance and promote the typecasting that will make you a memorable character, it is very important to also display distinctive personal habits or characteristics such as stupidity, paranoia, overconfidence and/or a propensity for swimming naked. Any combination of such characteristics is even better. Finally, to ultimately succeed you must have a touching personal story to create a following amongst the viewing public, e.g. "I'm a working mom going for my dream" or "I'm a former Navy Seal" or "Nobody thought a one-armed bipolar diabetic could make it on this show, but I've proven that if you just believe, anything is possible."
  • Drop dead !
  • Elimination by strangulation!
  • Get in GOOD physical shape before hand, then hide it from other contestants (bum knee, bad back, etc.) Oh, and learn how to go 3 months without JOing.
  • Let a dramamine tablet dissolve in your mouth before you do an eating challenge, it numbs your mouth to the point you can't taste anything
  • The goal of the game is not to make friends. The goal is to win!
  • You must perfect the eye roll. It's not enough to just roll the eyes, you must also have a facial expression that shows your disdain for the person it's aimed at, as well as demonstrating the level of superiority you feel for yourself.
  • Build deep emotional relationships with all the women.
  • Learn to read minds, say out loud what the audience are thinking, but don't pick on anyone unless they're completely out of public favour. Ah telepathy, how we need you.
  • Never, ever say anything bad about anyone because they will get to hear it when the show airs. also be sure to get the addresses of other contestants so you can hunt them down and get them back for all the bad things they say about you.
  • starving? eat the cameraman.
  • Never ever ever try to be teammates with a girlfriend-on-the-outs
  • Take the red pill!!! - Rupert
  • make the decision to nude up or not early and stick to it, at all times not just the shower. this goes for all reality tv too, not just big brother type shows, i think even donald trump would have a hard time firing a naked person.
  • Plunge a steak knife into your ear to spare the rest of the world from your obnoxious behavior.
  • The best bet is to look for the alpha male/female and ignite a relationship that borders on sexual. This will keep viewers intrigued with the old "will they, won't they" scenario. Of course you could also keep up strange activities at strange hours, for example, washing face at 3 am, spinning round 6 times just before bed etc etc etc. In order to get voted off the show, best thing is to have a chip on ones shoulder and spurn any attempt at civility.
  • Immediately declare yourself the polar opposite of the most attractive person on the show. the resulting tension and back-stabbing will keep you on until the finals.
  • Make diplomatic relations with as many people as possible: the more friends the better.
  • Lastly, if there's something you're good at, feign ignorance/incompetence until right before it matters most. the resulting surprise will throw your compatriots for a loop.
  • even more lastly, just close your eyes, plug your nose and swallow. no chewing. they pretty much have to give you the Heimlich if you start choking.
  • First and foremost, don't think that this is your first step towards a career in legitimate television or movies. It's not.
  • Second, just try not to be too douchey.
  • Don't get naked, or play with your ding dong on camera.
  • In Britain, on the ones where the public vote you off (the most common form of elimination), it seems to pay to be i) physically attractive (OK, not a lot you can do on that one) and ii) a basically good person (so minimise the bitchiness and double-dealing, and be supportive to other contestants). You might run the risk of being regarded as boring, so occasional comedy bitching or self-deprecation is fine, but whining a lot and being constantly nasty or argumentative means you'll go.
  • Keep it real! And by "real", i mean follow the script you're given.
  • Pick a stereo-type, ratchet it up to an 11 on a 1-10 scale, and stick with it: The dumb hillbilly, the loud African American woman, the flamboyant gay man, the spicy Latina, the agressive punk-rocker, the ultra-conservative Bible-thumper, the used car salesman, the person with lyme disease, the potential serial killer, the super-fat funny guy, the plumbers apprentice, the Roman soldier, the futuristic robot, the Mennonite, the gator-wrestling Australian, the 12th century Scottish tribesman, the Bull-fighter, the South American drug-lord...I could go on
  • Being drop dead gorgeous.
  • The best advice that I can give reality show contestants is: watch the previous seasons. Study them. Learn from them. Figure out what the losers have in common. What the winners have in common. For example, I am constantly amazed by the ways in which the candidates on The Apprentice make the exact same mistakes -- and I mean the EXACT same mistakes -- as fired candidates on previous seasons. It's always amazing to watch these boneheads seal their own doom by letting history repeat itself.
  • Work hard, no matter if you agree with the project or not. DON'T COMPLAIN. Whiners are always sent home.
  • wander around after everyone else was asleep with a carving knife and a grin
  • Maybe it's just the US not showing it, but Sex Sells, Baby! In UK Big Brother shows people are always having sex and that would keep you on the show!
  • Attempt to sleep with other contestants as often and controversially as possible. Don’t worry, in case you have moral objections to this you don’t actually have to follow through, just seem like you have. This shouldn’t be hard since the others will probably be doing the same thing, just make sure you come off better than they do. This will help to maintain the audience’s interest, and this endear you to the producers.
  • Appear to have some sort of disability which should hinder your “survival”, but not really. E.g. if you have poor eyesight you might “accidentally” break your glasses, but surreptitiously wear contacts, or you might limp around like you have an injured leg. Be creative, the idea is to make it obvious that you are overcoming greater odds than the others, but that you’re such a stalwart trooper you would never complain about it (everyone hates a whiner). If you’re lucky enough to actually have some problem which you have overcome you’re golden, look at Lance. Not meaning to mock the afflicted in any way here, but overcoming great odds or personal tragedies, or just seeming to, is always a crowd pleaser.
  • For shows like Big Brother where it's every man for himself, just be everyone's friend for the first half of the season. Don't scheme, plot, or form really tight bonds with people in the first half of the show. It's too early. Just lay low, go with the flow, and be buddies with everyone. It's always the people who stick out who get eliminated first in shows like Big Brother.
  • This would require a bit of money, go shopping at a "Spy" store, and get some listening "Bugs" to plant on your competitors apparell or person. That way you would have the advantage of knowing their plans and strategies, and secret alliances. Knowledge is power. I fear it would be a bit distasteful to describe an appropriate hiding location of this equipment, just use a little prison inmate ingenuity. (Idea from: Kenneth Erstad SSgt. U.S.A.F.)
  • Don't be dishonest; remember, everything you say and do is being recorded.
  • Be the person who's never around. On MTV's The Real World, the person who always came out looking least like the total moron was the one who was always out of the house. So never be seen. You won't look like an asshole at the end of the show.
  • Here's my advice: Don't. Then maybe they'll stop putting that crap on the air.
  • Are we all not star's in our own reality ? Whoa... were did that come from...
  • Get naked (female) or have sex with another contestant. You may still be eliminated for being a ho, but it makes for good TV.
  • I would hold a private meeting one at a time with each opponet/contestant, and offer the following: If you dont vote me off, I wont vote you off. (Not everyone will agree, but thoes who do = less vote(s) for you. Not a gaurantee to win, but it increases your odds. (Idea by: Kenneth Erstad)
  • Make sure you are always on camera. Don't go sulk in the corner somewhere. And always storm out of the room in a huff, even if you're just going to get a sandwich.
  • Talk about your own gamesmanship obsessively. Make lots of 'confessional' references to your own strategy; make little sneering comments about your 'friends' and 'allies,' stuff along the lines of "He'll never know what hit him," or "She's expendable." There's nothing that the home audience likes more than arrogance, unless it's arrogance about game strategy; there's nothing better than arrogance about game strategy, unless it's arrogance about strategy in a game that is less chess, poker, or bridge than it is full-contact-australian-rules-high-school-cliques.
  • Don't be the lazy one! The lazy ones always go first.
  • Do not bring an instrument as your luxury item. Especially a lute. And don't become known as the person that always sings.
  • Do not be a woman over the age of 50.
  • Hang out with my wang out---D-Man
  • When I was in college I was a big fan of MTV's The Real World. I always thought it would be great if once one of the men did the following once they got on the show. First, never talk to anyone, ever. Second, never wear clothes (this was before Richard Hatch on Survivor). Third, wear one of those leather gimp masks with the zipper over the mouth all of the time. Fourth, never shower (this was before Puck). Fifth, and most importantly, ******** in the common areas of the house CONSTANTLY. Finally, never leave the house, even if you get kicked/voted out.
  • It might ruin that person's life, but it would make for great TV!
  • Eliminate your competition before they eliminate you. Smothering with a pillow is very effective.
  • Kill the opposition and hide the bodies when noone is looking.
  • Men need to inflate (or create) Military experience. Women need to inflate (or create) bossoms.
  • Bring a loaded shotgun as your personal item. It's useful for starting fires, gathering food, and settling inner-tribal disputes. It will also grant you unofficial immunity at Tribal Council and instantly make you the most charismatic, respected, and beloved member of the tribe.
  • Be gay, or punch someone in the face. Both are sure to make you a polarizing figure, and so the powers that be will keep you on longer to draw ratings. Nobody wants to tune in to see that quiet guy who wins all the contests while at the same time not saying "Oh no you di-int!"
  • Don't yell at everyone for everything.
  • Jedi powers, jedi powers, or jedi powers.

Please continue reading page two of Reality Show Contestant Advice.

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