Friday, September 02, 2005

Poll Results - Outstanding Reality/Competition Series

Okay I confess to being a bit surprised by this result.

This time around the poll had 14 voters, which just goes to show what can happen when you have a category where most people have
at least seen some of the shows. That didn't surprise me.

We had a three way tie for third place between The Apprentice, Project: Runway, and American Idol got no votes - zero - not a one. And that didn't surprise me either.

Here's what surprised me. In second place we had The Amazing Race with five votes or 35%, and in first place we had Survivor with nine votes or 64% - I assume there's some rounding down going on.

"So why am is he surprised?" I hear you ask - well metaphorically anyway. "After all, Survivor has huge ratings, not only for a Reality show but for any show, while The Amazing Race gets fairly average numbers and doesn't improve on its lead-in show. American Idol beats Th Amazing Race in the ratings. It must be that he's a big fan." Well yeah, I am a big fan, but that's not the reason why I'm surprised by the result. The survey in the TV Times in Canada, which is distributed with most newspapers, had The Amazing Race not only winning as most popular Reality Series but also receiving more than twice as much support as its nearest competitor - Survivor - for the third year in a row. The "RATTY" Awards voted on in the newsgroup had The Amazing Race finished first four years in a row. Admittedly these are pretty open surveys and not many of them, although I'm sure you could find more, but the point seems to be that while more people watch Survivor the concensus seems to be that The Amazing Race is the better show. Well except for here.

I'm not really sure how to explain this, and would hope that people would comment about their reasons for voting as they did. I'm one of those who thinks that The Amazing Race is the better series. It is more of a contest rather than the sort of back biting antagonism that you find in Survivor and so many of the other shows in the "Reality/Competition" genre. Contestants can dislike their opponents as much as they want, and we've seen some pretty dramatic confrontations on the show over the years, but it doesn't affect the order of finish. If I want to go into depth in analyzing this year's two series (I hate using the term season for a show that runs twice in a normal TV season so I use the British equivalent) of The Amazing Race and the two series of Survivor, I will admit that there were some distasteful elements in The Amazing Race this year. The sixth series featured the rather brutish Jonathon who was at times physically abusive to his wife and partner Victoria, while the seventh series descended somewhat into Survivor territory with the inclusion of the team of Rob Mariano and his then fiance Amber Brkich. At the same time the tenth series of Survivor had one of the most charismatic competitors ever in eventual winner, New York Firefighter Tom Westman. I'm just not sure that's enough to explain why more people voting in my poll thought Survivor was better. Educate me please!

Oh yeah, who do I think is going to actually win. It will be The Amazing Race for the third time. I think it will win because it is the sort of thing that the Academy voters believe that television is good at doing and while Survivor might have an exotic locale, The Amazing Race has many.

Next poll up in the morning.

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