If you’re going to be manipulative at least try and be sneaky about it.
Listen, we all know reality TV is staged, rigged, scripted, and the furthest thing from reality. But competition shows have something that sets them apart from shows like Dance Moms and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Competition.
That is, that the results of the show are determined based on the rules of the game. Break the rules, fail the challenge, and you’re eliminated. Poor performance equals the boot.
So what happens when a production company poorly manipulates the challenges and eliminations in order to steer a show in their preferred direction? You get Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Ya’ll know how much I love this show, but Tiarala and I had this sinking feeling there was some sort of conspiracy going on this season. There were too many acting challenges, which are apparently easier for producers to manipulate than sewing/creativity challenges. Queens were eliminated for minor mistakes, while others seemed to skate by. The first elimination of Trixie Mattel was the biggest indication that something was fishy over at World of Wonder (the production company that produces RuPaul’s Drag Race).
Recently, an article over at Beamly confirmed what fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race have thought this entire season. The results are rigged.
While fans are thinking the queens are being judged based on their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent, what they’re actually being judged on is how well they fit into the producers’ storyline. The World of Wonder insider revealed this on Reddit by saying,
“Katya exited when she did for a storyline. Fifth place, historically, is what I refer to as the springboard slot. It creates a storyline or sets one up to get to the top three. We had a storyline for top four. Katya didn’t fit.”
Really? She didn’t fit? Because I think a top four with Katya would have given us a more interesting final episode. There were just too many attempts at cattiness this week, and after watching Untucked it became obvious how forced and edited it was, at least on the part of Ginger. Sure, she said why Violet and Pearl should be eliminated, but that was also answering the question asked by RuPaul. What we saw later during Untucked was how terrible Ginger felt for the way her speech made the others feel. Watching that left me with a sick feeling in my stomach.
I wonder how different this season would have been if the producers had just left well enough alone and followed the same formula as previous seasons. Granted, we all know reality TV is rigged to a certain degree. But this season it was so obvious the producers may as well have just announced the top three during the first episode then aired the season backwards.
Fans have clearly been disappointed with this season of Drag Race and have voiced their concern all over social media. Of course, any buzz is good buzz for production companies, but what happens when these fans stop watching next season? Any sci-fi show will tell you the number one rule is “don’t piss off the fans.”
The fans are the ones who make or break your show. You need them. And while it’s okay to get them riled up occasionally, you generally want to keep them happy. Finding out their favorite competition reality show is rigged to this extent puts a bitter taste in their mouths.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy with the top three. I adore Ginger and think she’s incredibly talented. Pearl got her butt kicked and worked hard to advance on the show. Violet may be young, but you can’t deny she’s got that special something. I just wonder how things would be different if the show was left to its old devices. Would the same queens still be here if there were more sewing challenges? If Trixie Mattel wasn’t sent home prematurely for ratings and another queen was brought back, how would that change things?
I think the bottom line is the show’s integrity. When you find out a competition is so heavily manipulated when it hasn’t been in the past, there’s a sense of disappointment. The fans have been let down and some may not be watching next season.
There is a ray of sunshine dear fanboys and fangirls! Hopefully all of the internet buzz will make World of Wonder rethink their manipulation of the competition. They still have the opportunity to take the fans’ reactions to heart and change things for the better next season. Let’s just hope it’s not a wasted opportunity.
You can read more about this Reddit insider over at Realityblurred.com.