Infernal Ramblings
A Malaysian Perspective on Politics, Society and Economics

Reality Show Season Winds Down

Written by johnleemk on 10:40:13 am May 27, 2005.

Well, the Apprentice 3 and American Idol 4 have wrapped; Kendra Todd gets to do some crap for Donald Trump down in Florida, while Carrie Underwood gets some sort of record deal. Neither of these surprises me; from the start, I predicted the third Apprentice would have book smarts, and Underwood's win was a no-brainer.

The Apprentice was childishly simple to predict: out of the past finalists in seasons one and two, only two were without a college degree. Last season, 75% of the final four (yeah, fancy way of saying three out of four) held post-graduate degrees. And now you tell me Donald Trump might actually hire somebody with no more than a high school diploma? Give me a break.

Street smart folk make savvy entrepreneurs, but when it comes to the corporate environment, degree holders have an edge thanks to the exposure and connections gained from the college experience. In addition, it is unlikely that the street smart folk are subordinates in their businesses, so asking them to adjust to taking orders would be, well, a tall order. On the other hand, college graduates tend to be employees instead of employers, but not just any employees; the college degree entitles them to some higher level job, which gives them experience in not only taking orders, but giving them, too. Ironically, for once, not owning your own company might actually give you an edge.

The American Idol result was even easier to predict. Voters have never, ever chosen a rocker to be the next Idol, and for sure, they weren't about to start now. Carrie Underwood's wholesome image and country music won her a lot of fans in the crucial South, and her music which is more easy on the ears enabled her to reach more people than Bo Bice. Bo, of course, had a lot of support, but as we saw in the 2004 US Presidential Election, when it comes to voting in America, it's the hicks who rule the day.

That said, there were plenty of other reasons to forecast Carrie from the start; country music has never been a forte of serious contenders for the title before, but being the first actually gave Carrie somewhat of an edge, because most country singers never made it past the first few rounds; rockers, on the other hand, have existed, but most of them have gone down the tubes because rock is a genre that reaches out to a limited audience. I think Carrie's weight might have played a factor too; who would you vote for, a stick-thin unrealistic malnourished singer, or someone who actually looks like she came from somewhere resembling real life? To her credit, Carrie never actually looked fat when she was on-stage, but in the videos of her family, etc....

Defection of voters from other camps also handed Carrie victory. If you look at the final five, only Bo was the rocker. Therefore, he had the whole rock-loving portion of the electorate in his hands. The easy listening vote, on the other hand, was divided between Carrie, Vonzell Solomon, Anthony Fedorov and Scott Savol. As the number of contestants dwindled, the Idol addicts had to find someone new to vote for. I just can't see an Anthony Fedorov-lover voting for Bo Bice. It's possible, but only as a real long shot.

P.S. Oh, and speaking of (un)predictable victories, what the hell was up with Liverpool beating AC Milan in the Champions' League? The bookies must be crying bloody murder!

P.P.S. I'm using a keyboard with malfunctioning letter "a". It's very annoying.

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