Reality Rocks convention in L.A. this weekend: will 15,000 people attend?

This Saturday and Sunday is the debut of Reality Rocks, a convention that bills itself as “the ultimate reality TV fan experience.” It will hold its events in Los Angeles at the convention center, and for a $35 to $150 ticket, you can interact with reality show cast members such as Audrina Patridge, Mischa Barton, Nick Cannon, and Joey Greco, the guy who was fake-stabbed on Cheaters.

Besides workshops about how to become a reality star and panels with cast members from some shows, there’s also an awards ceremony, which a press release said will feature “Nick Cannon, Bruce Jenner, Jack and Sharon Osbourne, Eric Roberts, Karina Smirnoff, Alison Sweeney, Stars of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, American Idol, Big Brother, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad, Flava of Love and Millionaire Matchmaker’s Destin Pfaff and Rachel Federoff.”

Considering the “stars” they do name, the cast members from named shows can’t be all that big if they’re not worthy of mention by name. However, the rather weak list of attending stars improved over the last month, thanks to performances and dancing with actually recognizable So You Think You Can Dance stars.

In a Los Angeles Times story, in which I have a super-bitchy quote, one of the event’s organizers admitted that “like anything else, it can always be bigger, it can always be better,” and he said, “We’re just getting started. Even Comic-Con wasn’t the powerhouse it is now when it first started.” Fair enough. However, they also expect 15,000 people, and I am not sure there are that many famewhore fans in Los Angeles, which I suspect is primarily who this year’s event will draw. Otherwise, it’ll be reality stars talking to each other.

In the interest of full disclosure, organizers approached me about being a partner last fall, but since that seemed to involve free advertising in exchange for a table behind which I’d pathetically stand, that went nowhere. Also, I may be jealous and bitter that Survivor Gabon winner Bob Crowley will present the made-up “Special Achievement In Reality Reporting Award” to someone who is not me.

Speaking of made-up awards, Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss will receive the “humanitarian award.” Apparently he gives to charity, which is nice, but the announcement says he’s getting it because he “has also shown foresight, vision and creativity in series that have motivated and entertained people around the world.” And yes, that sentence references his creation of The Bachelor.

I’m making up my own award and giving that made-up award the prize.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.