She didn't make the finals, to the shock of the nation (and Rolling Stone as they declared "a star is born"). The point that jumped out at me after the first few minutes of talking to Amanda was the concept of a risk-taker. In this, I discovered a new take on "Americana."
Why are Americans obsessed with lots of mindless shows? Because following September 11th, the world got way too serious. I believe the popularity of reality television is directly related to terrorism.
Survivor and I have been together for 12 years, or half of my life. Twelve years of blood, sweat, tears, emotional breakdowns, immunity idols, blindsides, monsoons, torch-snuffing, and vaguely symbolic close-ups of exotic animals.
For the duration of our relationship, Patrick and I had no siblings, parents, or offspring; we were each other's only family. And I grew up as an only child. Now I am starting over at the age of 62. I will feel this, all of it.
"Own who you are: the good, the bad, the ugly, the different. Nobody's perfect. Gay, in my opinion, is beautiful. Love is beautiful. And we should celebrate it all. My husband and I don't care about who's bonking who. We care about kindness."
'What has Oprah got that you don't got?' The answer would be, her own TV network. But now you know you don't need one. And you don't need $315 million either. What do you need? Well, a camera. A living room. A personality. And YouTube... or something like that.
It felt like I was struck by a ton of bricks when I viewed the Oxygen Media pilot of their offensively titled All My Babies' Mamas. Now erased from the Internet, the 'show' depicted the most egregious stereotypes of black families.
ABC knows what you're thinking: You want to see a sopping wet Louie Anderson struggle to find his way out of a pool on a weekly basis while Detroit Lion Ndamukong Suh looks on, lying supine on a towel.
Over the past several years, "Wars" and rumors of war have erupted in the strangest places. A reality series about the banality of the DMV becomes "Parking Wars." Scrounge artists bidding on abandoned lockers wage "Storage Wars." Interior decorators declare "Design Wars."
When I'm traveling, I'm working. I find that as much as I might want to be a tourist in some of the fascinating locales where we shoot, I have very little downtime for any kind of fancy meals or nights on the town.
Are reality/crime hybrids the wave of the future now that reality television has carved out space on our screens? Or is there something troubling about programs that merge true stories with disturbing situations?
As several of the folks interviewed on the show indicate, the Amish people are held up by many as a stereotype of humble, innocent simplicity. And while this is true in many cases, there are also darker sides to the culture.