These five stories—and two bonus stories!—offer insight into reality TV shows and how they’re produced. They’re worth your time.
Enjoy—and if you come across a must-read story, or you’ve written one, my inbox is always open!
Rebecca Nelson profiles Arie Luyendyk Jr. for GQ, and covers everything from his casting for The Bachelor to the infamous filming of the breakup. He tells the story of how that came to be, and his explanation seems very plausible—that the producers told him, according to him, ‘Then we can show you going back to Lauren, and people are going to rally behind you because you took this big risk and you did it for love. At the end of the day, people will just want to see you happy.”
That isn’t what happened, of course, and he says the allegedly unedited segment was edited, which included removing his conversations with producers when he told them he was leaving.
There are other surprises in this story, too, but I won’t say any more. Just read it.
Also of interest to Bachelor Nation (and Bachelor Nation’s enemies, I suppose):
- How To Spot A Front-Runner On The ‘Bachelor’ Or ‘Bachelorette.’ A data analysis by FiveThirtyEight.
This story is a deep dive into an early reality TV show and its history: COPS, which started on Fox and moved to Spike, which became Paramount Network earlier this year. Its history is traced in detail.
Writing for The Marshall Project and Longreads, Tim Stelloh also explores what the show “says about race and our relationship with the police,” as its subhead says.
Juliet Escoria writes for Broadly about watching all of Project Runway, and the effect that had on her, from the challenges to the villains.
She also writes about mentor and co-host Tim Gunn, who she says “needs to be mass reproduced so everyone can regularly be told what and what not to do in his perfect, soothing voice.”
This Billboard profile has some revelations about The Voice—and whether or not she’ll ever be back on the show. And the answer seems to be a strong no: “I was longing for freedom,” Christina says, adding:
“It became something that I didn’t feel was what I had signed up for in season one. You realize it’s not about music. It’s about making good TV moments and massaging a story. […] I didn’t get into this business to be a television show host and to be given all these [rules]. Especially as a female: You can’t wear this, can’t say that. I would find myself on that show desperately trying to express myself through clothing or makeup or hair. It was my only kind of outlet.”
Bonus: Reality TV in images
Two bonus stories that aren’t exactly reads since they’re mostly images