This original idea, its an exact copy of

This essay will be assessing and critically analyzing one or two concepts, which are the authenticity and celebrification in reality television and how it is used in the television format of Reality Television in the United Kingdom. Reality television draws from a variety of existing television formats such as documentary programs, tabloid journalism, and popular entertainment, making it one of the most widely consumed genres to date (Hill 2005:15). Originally, reality TV was defined as a genre known to be based on ‘real life’ and ‘real people’, however, the reality TV we know today has now evolved into shows that heavily rely on formatted environments, emphasizing on performance and self-display (Holmes 2004:111). This has led to an increase in the discussion concerning the ethical implications of the execution methods surrounding reality TV.    In order to achieve a desired response or outcome, TV producers and writers fabricate the events which unfold on reality shows (Holmes & Jermyn 2004). Therefore, in reference to the series, this essay will argue that reality TV programs exploit their subjects through manipulation for the sake of entertainment or is it authentic. Reality television as a transformative space is rooted in both the mythic dimensions of culture as well as the media economy which widens the transformative sphere beyond the television space. The belief in the transformative potential of television then accords it a degree of both concrete and abstract power. James Carey (1989: 87) invokes ‘reality as a scarce resource because so few command the machinery for its determination and the fundamental form of power is the power to define, allocate and display that resource. Reality television’s association with the ‘real’ further accentuates its power to negotiate boundaries in a society where these demarcate and define the relationships between entities (Ibrahim,2007:43). As expressed by Hill (2005:78), the success of reality TV is heavily dependent on the performances of the people on screen. Reality TV audiences, in spite of their skepticism, expect participants to ‘act up’ to make the program entertaining. Using The Biggest Loser UK as an example of the concept of authenticity. A show on how, people who are overweight lose weight in a span of the show, not a just small amount of weight but a way that is quick, fast and extreme. Firstly the UK version is not an original idea, its an exact copy of the American version that was aired a year before. Problem with The Biggest Loser is that the winners, as well as other members, reported about the health concerns, which they discovered only after the show went over. Some of them are really dangerous as for example diabetics the one participant from the second season has got. Reality TV is often presented as an unproblematic social phenomenon which is consumed and digested by an unthinking and unsophisticated general public. Seeing how the people lose weight actually pushed people to work out more, the methods used can questionable especially on the diets, in the show For example, the late Angie Dowds a sport guru, who soon after admitted about the pieces of advice she gave to her team to eat just fruit and vegetables, and possibly even encouraging them to starve the losers. Winner of the show Ryan Benson from Season 1, who lost 122 pounds gained back more than half of it in just five days, proving that there is no quick and easy method of losing weight. The changes are often portrayed as positive outcomes and as solutions to socially constructed problems and anxieties (Ibrahim,2007:54), but are sometimes not.Television’s mastery over time and images and the ability to narrate changes in seconds and minutes recreates it as a magical sphere where reality and make-believe fuse into new reality television formats where technical and specialist discourses are woven to transform and to instantly gratify audiences. (Ibrahim,2007:43)    In reference to Hill (2005: 65), there is a widespread assumption that if people behaved true to themselves on television, the program would not be entertaining, In production terms reality television is often seen as less scripted, with an assemblage of live coverage and pre-recordings which creates a seamless narrative misconstruing temporality and reality that the audience prefer watching.These transformation formats like The Biggest Loser embrace medical science and technology as solutions and appropriate technical and specialist discourses into personal narratives. Body makeover narratives reflect society’s anxieties and fears while the appropriation of specialist discourses reflect its attempt to portray science as a heroic discourse to resolve primitive fears with regard to nature and the wild (Ibrahim 2007:53). In spite of the widespread popularity of reality TV, the ethical implications of the genre remain questionable. It appears that the ‘realness’ of reality TV is, in fact, a carefully crafted performance, blurring the boundaries between fact and appearance (Lewis 2004, p. 289). It is safe to conclude then that reality TV today resorts to subject exploitation and manipulation in order to achieve great entertainment value.    Other than authenticity, the use of celebrification is also another way how reality Tv gains popularity. Chris Rojek defines celebrity as “the attribution of glamorous or notorious status to an individual within the public sphere” (2001: 10). Consequently, the transformation from ordinary person to celebrity can be seen as a media ritual that both confirms this separation and legitimates the ‘myth of the mediated centre’, or 6 the myth that the media are the essential gatekeepers to the imagined society’s centre (Couldry, 2003). But celebrification, also known as the”The Cinderella Story” effect of television. Shows such as The X-Factor, British Got Talents, and other reality-based talent shows and a myriad of other formats emphasize the ability of amateurs to become professionals or non-celebrities to become celebrities through the process of their television journey (Ibrahim,2007:51). A star or an icon, then, could be defined as a proper celebrity,a hero in the entertainment industry, whose most intrusive characteristics are popularity, wealth, talent and/or certain skills. This is what Rojek calls “achieved” celebrities; they “are recognized as individuals who possess rare talents or skills” (Rojek 2001: 18).  A celebrity, he explicates, “has been fabricated on purpose to satisfy our exaggerated expectations of human greatness.”( Boorstin 2006: 79), concluding that it is all about skill and talent. In the show Britain’s Got Talent, the winner of  2007 Paul Potts is a great example of the rags to riches story. Paul was working in a phone shop as a Manager. But before entering to audition in ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, he had to receive hospital treatment for a benign tumour . Shortly after this operation, he broke his collarbone in a bike accident , spending most of his savings on receiving singing lessons, including taking part in a Luciano Pavarotti master class.Even with all that was going against him , he still managed to go for the audition and In his first performance, he looked nervous and unlike a celebrity. But, his performance of Nessun Dorma was widely praised , the performance was watched over 168 million views on Youtube.(Potts,2013)Nowadays, everyone can become and/or be regarded as a celebrity, every ‘zero’ can become a hero. This, in turn, deteriorates the status or even the function of the celebrity concept. Today, no one needs to be heroic in order to be perceived as a person famous for any valid reason.

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