The first seeds of this idea started with a Daily Show clip about the Queen of England. They claimed that the it cost each citizen roughly one dollar per year to support the crown.
We have another sort of royalty in the US. It is celebrity, and increasingly those celebrities are thrust into the spotlight through various reality TV shows. As the viewing public we elect these celebrities. We vote with eyeball hours. We vote with our remote to watch the shows. Sometimes we text to vote in our American Idolatry. These elected celebrities find fame, infamy, and even fortune if they are fortunate.
While all the watching public is responsible for the elected celebrities, we may not like how this reflects on us. Have we really all used our collective intelligence to make Snooki famous?
These are the questions which lead me to the a new idea for a show. Let us begin with the premise that the people we select as winners for these shows get rich off of the exposure. So, why no go in with eyes open and choose somebody deserving of this celebrity, why not choose them on this basis?
Imagine a show where the final round was decided by paid voting. Audience members pay in one dollar for their final vote. The winner gets all the dollars from audience votes. Let’s assume that the total number of viewers ends up being $3M.
The contest begins with an open call. “what would you do with $3M?” Contestants submit a youtube video. The first shows revolve around highlighting the most popular online videos. Contestants should be thoughtful, but also have some creative contagion to get through the online video round.
The winners from an online video round would advance to your standard contestant zoom in. The semi-finalists would get background bios done to tell their stories. Of course the semi-final group would need to be subjected to random challenges having nothing to do with their actual missions. Perhaps most extreme elimination survivor road rules would approximate it.
Audience voting would be free, or in increasing increments, but never more than a few cents.
Who knows if such a concept would be successful. I have no interest in launching such a show. This is really just a thought experiment. As laid out, who do you think would win such a show?
Would it be the good-hearted down-trodden? Would it be a miss-america pretty type? Child prodigy? Average joe? who knows. If we were honest with ourselves about those we confer celebrity upon -who would you choose? What would you want them to do with their fame?