Are Reality Contestants Entitled to Any Privacy?

When someone decides to become a contestant on a reality show, does that mean that they give up all rights to their privacy?

Sure when people sign up for shows like Moment of Truth or Amnesia they are asking for the personal lives to be delved into.  But what about other shows?

Let’s take American Idol as an example.  I think it’s reasonable for the audience to wonder about the past singing experience of any American Idol contender.

I myself did some searching to find out the past experience of the Top 12 men and the Top 12 women when the Top 24 was announced.  I checked for evidence of their skills in music, theater and modeling because I thought those were the things that could impact their success on the show.

But where is the line of what is relevant and what is just gossip?

Does it matter that David Archuleta had already done the arrangement of John Lennon’s “Imagine” that won him accolades from the judges in ‘70s week?  I would say yes, to some that changes the opinion of his abilities.

Does it matter that wannabe rocker Robbie Carrico’s hair might not be real?  For some people, the artist’s image has an impact on their opinion of his/her music.

But then we have the stories that clearly have no impact on the contestants singing ability.  Does it matter that David Hernedez might have worked at as a striper in a gay club or that Ramiele Malubay has some “racy” photos on a Facebook page?

Do you care that Amanda Overmyer was once convicted of a DUI?  I mean it would be different if she had skipped bail or it happened during the contest.  Don’t get me wrong, I think DUIs are a serious offense.  But Overmyer committed this offense two years ago, she plead guilty and took her punishment.

I learned in Journalism Law that once you step in the spotlight for your 15 minutes of fame you pretty much open your life to the media. 

I personally wouldn’t want anyone delving into my life like that.  But apparently the invasion has discouraged people from signing up for reality shows.

But as fans of the shows, how much is too much?  Do you really care this much about the contestants’ personal lives?


11 Responses to Are Reality Contestants Entitled to Any Privacy?

  1. rachel says:

    This is a very refreshing take on things! I am from the UK and it is pretty obvious to me that if you go on one of these reality shows, you have to allow for what will come with it. If you are despearate to be a singer and go on Pop Idol or X-factor you have to face up to the fact it will be a part and parcel of the territory that your life will be out under a micro-scope.

    The media is very frenzied in recent times and thirves off pepole with a shady past. The media woll look into every nook and cranny to find something ‘bad’ about your past so contestants of these types of shows should really expect this to happen- if you want something that badly, you should not let this stop you! If you are interested in realtiy shows check out that offers live tv form around the world. I watch reality TV from Japan and its style is very different

  2. vacelts says:

    Rachel, thanks for the comment. It’s amazing what the media digs up to find something “shady.” Seems like we are making a big deal out of nothing most of the time just so they have some hype.

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