In a Label Online Exclusive, we've got the extended edition of 'The Reality TV Factor' from Issue 2 of Label Magazine. Read more thoughts from our writers in this, the third of a three part special, right here on Label Online.


From “You’ve been evicted from the {insert show title here} house” and “You’ve got the {insert show title here}” to “You are {insert show title here}. Goodbye” and “Keeeeeep dancing” there are tons of reality shows that play on our screens every year without fail- some every day.

Big Brother plays to people who love the…ahem…cattiness of some of the contestants, X Factor to those who love watching talent or laughing at those without, The Weakest Link to people who love screaming answers at the TV (aka me), and Strictly Come Dancing to appeal to our more…feminine sides.

Personally, my brain cringes every time certain reality TV shows are mentioned. The X Factor; I stopped watching a while ago, and I only watch Strictly Come Dancing to bond with my mum.

But I would be lying if I said that I have completely wiped them from my selection of TV listings. Sometimes the fact that it’s such cheap entertainment is too appealing, and it’s relaxing. And most of us have slightly enjoyed the sadistic appeal of someone wailing to a Celine Dion song and embarrassing themselves on stage. I hate to admit it, but I know I have.

But then you have the predictable swelling of “And then a hero comes along” to accompany a decent singer or “You raise me upppp”. Not that I don’t love a bit of Mariah Carey or Westlife, but I kind of prefer to be singing them drunk on a karaoke bar than listening to someone else performing them every week…

Ok, I know I’m sitting here being a cynic or maybe over-analysing what is just meant to be a good hour lounging in front of the TV and switching off, but I just think there’s better ways to spend the time. For me it’s switching over to BBC and watching Merlin. I know- I’m a traitor to ITV, but I just enjoy the dialogue in Merlin, more than the expected staging of reality TV shows.

Then again, I’m still in a tug of war between wanting to watch and wanting to hate them. I have to say I will still probably watch random clips from X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing on YouTube, because old habits seriously die hard, and who doesn’t love a bit of a cha-cha-cha on a Saturday night.


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