Don’t lie to me; you are not on TV “for your kids”

I saw it again on America’s Next Best Greatest Chef/Dancer/Model/Designer/Whatever.

They’re talking to one of the people behind the scenes and they’re saying, “The last sniff eight week have been really hard sniff being away from my kids. But we’ve been having a hard time since I lost my job, my [SO] left us, sniff the dog ran away, I need new jeans, and our favorite show got cancelled. I just need to remember that I’m doing this for them; so we can have a better life.”

Bull shit. If you wanted to help your kids you would be at home with them. I don’t care if they simply flip a coin instead of having a talent contest, the odds of wining aren’t worth being away from your kids for the 3 months the show lasts. Then if you did win you would still spend **more **time away with the contract obligations. Working three jobs you will see your family more and still have real money versus coming in 3rd and not getting anything. If your life goal includes winning on a television show you need a new plan. If you’re too stubborn to change that plan at least make it something like *Jeopardy *where you’re gone two days and not two months.

Hey, I could win a hell of a lot more money in Vegas than I could on Survivor. “Bye guys, I’ll be in Nevada for a month. Don’t worry; I’m doing it for you.”

A corollary: You do not “deserve” to be there and/or win more than the contestants who didn’t abandon their kids for three months.

It’s a gameshow, not a lifeplan.

I can get behind this Pitting. People like to twist their motivations for their (typically self-centered) behavior toward a “lofty cause” - curing cancer, helping your kids and family. I just wish they’d say, “Fuck, I like being on TV, it beats a nine-to-five, and I’m riding this horse until it keels over.”

I instantly hate any reality show contestant who cries when asked why they’re on the show. Which is why I can’t watch America’s Silliest Dancers, or American Idolatry.

PS, Gedd - you forget that Jeopardy, et al require knowledge and some talent. Reality TV is pretty much where the talentless entertain fantasies of competence. (Of course a lot of people on these shows have talent, but many do not - at all.)

Just curious - do you also pit people like soldiers who are away from their kids more than three months also? How about people assigned to overseas duty by their company?

I think it’s pretty plausible if someone says “I joined the army because it was the best way to build a life for my kids” or even “I took a job as a management consultant because I thought it was the best way to build a life for my kids”. It’s less plausible that being on a reality TV show is motivated by a desire to improve your kids’ lives.

It’s also not wrong to say “I joined the military/became a management consultant/went on reality TV because I thought it has been a life long dream, and though there are consequences for my family, we manage them”. Everyone does that to some degree, and you can be a good parent without always sacrificing every single thing for the sake of your kids.

The OP is pitting the combination: leaving your kids for inherently selfish reasons and then trying to claim that you are doing it solely for them.

I don’t necessarily think they are all lying about it. It sure is a dumb decision but we see those every day, I think there are probably people that really do believe this is the best opportunity they have of changing their families life.

That said - good lord people if you’re already in financial trouble quitting your job to be on a reality TV show is not good financial planning.

If they think they can build a better career, then they’re doing it “for the kids” the same way as making any kind of career decision is “for the kids.”

Does anyone know whether these contestants receive pay for giving up their life for three months and doing the show? I mean, aside from whatever they might ultimately win.

In that case I can absolutely see her doing it as a more or less temp job if it was the only offer she had.

OTOH, there is an ad running for a home carbon monoxide alarm, and the woman (a teacher) is so grateful the alarm woke her and saved her, because her school kids really need her and it would have been a tragedy for them. Sheesh!

It is only marginally related but I love this week’s The Onion news video segment.,20401/

A friend of mine tried out for “The Biggest Loser” a while back. I can’t remember how much they were going to pay him while filming was going on, but IIRC it was more than he was making at his regular job.

He didn’t make it, but his boss was willing to grant him a leave of absence if he had.

I always enjoy the ones who proclaim how much they want it - I’m always reminded of Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton in a Saturday Night Live sketch - “Oh yeah, that’s why I didn’t get the nomination - because I didn’t WANT IT ENOUGH!” as her eye starts twitching.

If your career decision is a three month job interview away from home that has a high likelihood of very little payoff and no job at the end of it, then yes, they are the same.

Hey, you don’t get nothing if you don’t take chances.

If you’re out of work, or in a dead end job, and have some chance of winning, it’s reasonable to try, and it has a better chance of doing something for your kids than doing nothing, which is the position a lot of people find themselves in these days.

That said, I don’t believe their kids are high on the priority list when they make the decision. The motivation is more questionable then the action.

I think it depends a lot on the show. Top Chef, for instance, seems to be at least reasonably well-respected in the cooking community… Someone who is a good enough chef to have some chance of winning it (usually 6 or 7 of the competitors each season) who isn’t going to get fired from their current job for going on Top Chef seems to have a quite reasonable justification for saying that doing so is likely to have a net positive effect on their career, even if they don’t actually win.

Hmm. You get one free appearance before you have to join SAG or AFTRA, assuming reality show contestants qualify as eligible actors (unlike game show contestants.) I wonder if they do. The last time I read the SAG rules was way before these things became popular. if so, the pay isn’t bad.

Jersey Shore for the kids? Nah. But a professional show. I can see it. And anyway, even if the real motivation were at least 50% career advancement, these people are acting, and saying it is for the kids might build sympathy.

Yeah, getting paid AFTRA scale with a shot at more is a step up for a lot of people in this country. That’s how they get hamsters on these shows, after all.

I suspect most career decisions don’t involve giving up thirteen weeks’ earnings to attend the tapings of a reality show that might never make it onto the air.

As a member of Pacific Chorale, I used up my free AFTRA pass appearing on an album with YoYo Ma. Some twelve years later, I appeared in a reality show, When I asked about that issue, they told me that the show was a non-union operation.

Don’t know if the more high-profile shows would have a similar thing going on.

How do you keep from bringing this up every week or two? I’d be casually insterting YoYoMa into most of my conversations.

Unfortunately, I never got to meet him. He recorded his parts separately in a studio.*

And when we premiered it live, they had a ringer in the cello chair.

But this is the recording.

*And to tell you the truth, doing the reality show was more fun, Especially because I got Joey Fantone to call my daughter on the phone. Making me the best dad in town that day.