Remember the days when reality shows were principally about who had the most talent? Well, those days seem to be falling by the wayside. It’s suddenly becoming a contestant about either who is the best-looking or even who has the most pull online when it comes to celebrity fans.
Case in point — Frankie Cocozza. There’s no question that he was the worst contestant vocally on “The X Factor” for several weeks, but somehow the British singer managed to last much longer in the competition that stronger competition. He started out the season in the bottom two, and we can really only site a few reasons for his longevity.
1. Ladies love the bad boy. In a perfect world looks don’t matter, but on a reality show they do.
2. One Direction. Louis Tomlinson of the boy band (who was on “The X Factor” last year) gave Frankie a recommendation, and the One Direction fans rallied behind him.
We could pull out some further examples of this if we wanted to — Javier Colon on “The Voice” had the support of Justin Bieber, and this likely pulled him to a victory. Meanwhile, Rob Kardashian on “Dancing with the Stars” has had his entirely family tweeting about him. While both of these two guys are incredibly talented, you could argue that social media has tipped the scales in their favor.
So is there a solution to this madness? Not unless social media ultimately disappears. Having such instant access to influential people tips the scales into more of a popularity contest, and it is interesting to think what would have happened ten years ago if the Backstreet Boys had publicly endorsed Justin Guarini on “American Idol” of if voting could be done online for some of these shows in the early days.
Really, there are only a few solutions to this issue — and most of these are things the networks would not be willing to do in fear of losing high voter numbers.
1. Reduce the number of votes – Most casual fans are not going to vote 10 times — they’ll cast a couple and be done with it.
2. Ban celebrity campaigns – This would utterly be impossible, and supposedly the thinking is to begin with that celebrity support helps consumers.
3. Have the judges decide everything – If this happens, then America, Britain, or whoever is not going to feel like the champion is really “the voice of the people.”
Do you think there is really any way to even out voting, or are we stuck now in a cycle where either being an attractive male or having the right connections is almost always guaranteed success?