Reality Fantasy Scorecard: Reality TV Mailbag!

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I walked into Bill’s office yesterday and was all, “Hey, man, we only have one show left for the GRTFL, I was thinking about doing this thing where …” when he interrupted, “Don’t worry, I have been saving reality TV e-mails from readers for this very moment, I’ll send them to you … problem solved.” Seconds later, I had a dozen hilarious reality TV e-mails in my inbox ready for evaluation. This chain of events only has two possible explanations: (1) Bill is an extremely considerate manager with incredible foresight, looking to help those out around him at all times, or (2) Bill is a Rain Man-y psychopath who meticulously combs through his e-mails to categorize them, and everyone who works at Grantland should be concerned for their safety. I am not going to tell you which one I think is closer to the truth, but I am going to tell you that I just changed the hiding place of the spare set of keys to my house.

So, without further ado, these are either actual e-mails from actual readers or completely fabricated e-mails that Bill sent himself from dummy accounts. Who cares, anyway?

It’s become very evident to me that this season’s The Challenge: Rivals is really only fun to watch when CT is acting crazy. I mean yesterday’s episode featured very little CT and I was honestly kind of bored.

Since you clearly have a lot of pull over there with the Bunim/Murray people (I give you credit for the Rivals idea regardless of whether or not they already had it in the works), I figured I’d run my idea for next season past you: Turn it into an American Gladiators-type show where a bunch of Fresh Meat go up against the Challenge All-Stars (prominently featuring CT of course). Unlike the normal “Fresh Meat” seasons, none of the ‘gladiators’ are getting kicked off. I mean I’m sure you need to figure out ways to incent the ‘gladiators’ and keep the politics lively, but at least with this format CT is kicking the shit out of someone every episode.
—Marc, Brooklyn

First off, shout out to Brooklyn. Second, this is a little seedling of an idea, a quarter-baked idea. Let’s throw this jammy back in the oven and cook it until golden brown, shall we? (Yes, I still say jammy. I am old.)

I love the American Gladiators concept. I can already see Alton, Landon, CT, Laurel, Veronica, and Ev in their outfits. Ev has a special Under Armor visor and everything. It would essentially boil down to Iron Chef except instead of squid ink and ox balls, the secret ingredients would be Jäegermeister and emotional instability. Here is the wrinkle that you are missing, Marc in Brooklyn: They aren’t all physical challenges. The fresh meat on The Challenge: Gladiators would have to outdrink Adam Royer, outspellingbee Brad, outdance Jenn With Two Ns, outcry Robin, and outexhibitionistsex Cara Maria and Abram. Lawyers may take issue with that last one, but there are no bad ideas in a brainstorm, right? On second thought, totally untrue, brainstorms are often like 90 percent bad ideas.

The more I think about it, the less I think this is a good idea for a TV show. Why not? Because it is bigger than that, Marc in Brooklyn. THIS IS A FUCKING THEME PARK! If Disney can make billions by selling the possibility to have a picture with a dude in a Goofy suit, can’t we turn a profit selling the opportunity to wrestle CT? Have a ménage with Veronica? Get a tattoo from Abram? Over in ChallengeLand, Cara Maria runs the carnie show where she douses the audience in Devil Sex, Kenny gives self-help lectures in his auditorium, Big Easy cooks at the restaurant, Bananas is the barkeep at the Inslopsicated Saloon, and Shauvon is the house mom of the strip club. Before you ask me what about Shauvon makes her qualified to be the house mom at the strip club, ask yourself: What about Shauvon doesn’t make her qualified to be the house mom at the strip club? The more I think about it, the more this is becoming the ultimate bachelor party destination. ChallengeLand isn’t just for partying in either; you can compete with your friends in all the greatest events in the history of the show. The zip line from Rivals is at ChallengeLand, the spinning thing that makes you puke from The Inferno is at ChallengeLand, and, of course, the human catapult spelling bee thing from last season is at ChallengeLand. I can’t wait for my best friend to get engaged so I can take everyone to ChallengeLand. I may or may not have just Googled “mail order bride” to speed along the process.

So as last night’s premiere episode of The Bachelor was coming to a close, I realized that I was getting that same feeling I get after each season premiere of all iterations of this trainwreck — it will never get better than the initial cocktail party. So I got to thinking, why can’t they create a series called “The Cocktail Party”? They’ve come close with the Bachelor Pad, High School Reunion, etc., but I’m talking about a series focused solely on an alcohol-fueled cocktail party and the drunken shenanigans that would necessarily follow. Chris could greet them, let them loose in the house, and let the liquor do its handy work. They could recruit from the same pool of fame whores and douchebags used for the Bachelor/Bachelorette series, perhaps with a specific tilt towards the hard core alcoholics and drug addicts, narcissists, exhibitionists, sex addicts, and similarly psychologically damaged people (oh wait, I guess this is the same pool). I’m not sure where the series goes from the initial cocktail party, but if enough booze flows and the right people are cast it has to be good, right?
—Jeff, Dallas

For those of you unfamiliar with how The Bachelor works, a couple dozen hussies all compete for the love of a handsome, but really dumb, manhussy. Each week before the elimination ceremony they have a “cocktail party” where the ladies throw on cheap prom dresses, jockey for attention of said dummy, and try to drag him off to a corner to forcibly French him. Jeff is referring to the very first cocktail party in which the ladies have all just met. The interesting social experiment of watching the ladies size each other up is made even more interesting as the intake of the cocktails is increased due to nerves and the fact they all have been dieting for a month leading up to their TV appearance. Someone always cries, someone always yells at the prettiest girl in the room for no reason, and someone always makes a fool of themselves by getting slammered. The question that Jeff poses is, how do we maintain that magic in the following cocktail parties once they have all met? The answer is simple: Breathalyzer tests.

Reality TV needs more Breathalyzer tests. What would be more exciting than Chris Harrison walking into a room of 25 women vying for the attention of The Bachelor and announcing, “Ladies, in this room there are 25 women and a full bar. In the next room is The Bachelor. Only the three women with the highest blood-alcohol level will be allowed in the next room. I’ll be back in an hour”? I can’t decide if I would be more excited for the part where they try to outdrink each other, the part where the drunkest of the bunch gets her time with The Bachelor, or the part where the police come and arrest Chris Harrison for deadly assault with zinfandel.

I have an idea for a reality show, and I think you are the person to make it happen.

How many times have you been watching reality TV and thought, “I hope this person doesn’t reproduce?” That’s my show. Put a bunch of these useless pinheads together and have them think they are competing for cash, cosmetic surgery, drugs, their own show, whatever motivates these people, but the actual prize is for the rest of the world, when viewers get to vote for a “winner” who gets sterilized at the end of the show.  Weekly challenges determine which contestants have the least of offer society. It might not save the world from turning into Idiocracy, but it’s a start.
—Tom, Houston

This idea is disgusting, rude, inconsiderate, insensitive, and offensive. In other words, not bad. Even though this could never happen in real life, it did spark an idea for a show that could actually happen and would get American Idol ratings. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Battle for the Baby.

Four sterile young couples compete in various parenting challenges for custody of a baby. Not just any baby, a super baby, a baby so damn cute you have to stop looking at it to keep yourself from kidnapping it. This super baby makes the E*TRADE baby look like a 3-day-old dumpling. This intelligent, adorable little fucker was created using a combination of the DNA of Steve McQueen, Antonio Banderas, Barack Obama, and Tom Brady, and was carried by Padma Lakshmi. (I’m not sure how Gwyneth Paltrow was involved, but she was.) Anyway, imagine the intensity with which these couples would approach the parenting challenges for a shot at the super baby. Every week when someone is voted off, the host, Pauly Shore, drops his catchphrase, “You will never be a parent, you aren’t good enough.” [Ed. note: “… buuuuddy.”] Who isn’t watching Battle for the Baby? See, Tom in Houston, this is the level of disgusting, rude, inconsiderate, insensitive, and offensive that you have to be willing to stoop to to create a successful reality show.

This season of RW San Diego has been boring. What I am proposing is the Adam Royer solution! Bring in Adam Royer from RW Back to Las Vegas and put him in the San Diego house. This would immediately increase ratings for the show. How great would it be to watch him say inappropriate things to Sam and Frank? Watch him get drunk and pick fights with Zach and try to hit on Ashley and Alexandra. Tell me why this couldn’t work.

P.S The Adam Royer solution could work with any reality show with poor ratings. 
—Andan, Chicago

Adam Royer is the hot sauce of reality TV shows. Everything you put him on would get better. Except Battle for the Baby. He would try to crush up and snort the baby or something.

I had a groundbreaking idea while watching the season finale of The Bachelorette. As you know, ~75% of the show revolves around the concept of the contestants participating for the “right reasons.”  Determining this is most important when it comes down to choosing between two guys.  Here is my proposed solution:

The final 2 pick their respective engagement rings. However — before they part ways with the jeweler, they are offered a counter proposal. If they agree to leave the show — and, in turn, the Bachelorette — at that exact moment, they will be awarded a brand new Ferrari (let’s say its worth $250k-ish).

If you’re one of the final two contestants, you’re already (relatively) famous. The Ferrari all but guarantees that you will get laid by a sizable amount of women; in addition, it’s worth a few hundred thousand if sold. I would also argue that it would make you somewhat of a hero among guys — probably leading to free beers if you are at a bar. All in all, a compelling offer.

Thoughts?
—Brian, New York, New York

Of course, I love this twist. But we need something less valuable than a $250K Ferrari. There isn’t a contestant in the history of the show who would choose The Bachelor or The Bachelorette over the Ferrari. Not one. Let’s say the ring is valued at $50K; why not just offer him that? Do you think that Ben the Bachelor Who I Have Never Seen in the Room At the Same Time as Rafa Nadal gives the ring to Courtney? Not sure.

They should incorporate this into next season, no question. Seriously, I just stared at my Word doc, thought about it for 10 minutes, and can’t think of anything else to punch this up. Imagine how amazing it would be to have The Bachelorette standing in a field of wild flowers at an altar in Galapagos or wherever, waiting for her suitors, only to see Chris Harrison come around the corner alone to break the news to her: “I know that you have spent the last seven weeks falling in love with both of these men. I know that you did unspeakable things to both them in the fantasy suite. I also know that you have had a lot of trouble deciding between them. I am here to let you know that they both had no trouble deciding between your eternal companionship and $50,000 … they took the money. Sorry, no husband for you, but you can keep the dress.” This is one of those ideas that I love so much I start to resent it because I didn’t think of it. Well done, Brian in New York.

How is there not a RW/RR Challenge style show with former athletes who’ve squandered their millions as contestants? That show would have EVERYTHING.
—Andrew, Portland, Oregon

This idea is fully baked. And genius. The only thing left to do is to cast it. Please do so in the comments.

How incredible would this TV show be? Big Brother style house, only centered around fantasy football. 12 contestants live in the house, and after the draft, the two lowest scores each week are on the chopping block for eviction. Eventually, there will be one left standing in the house. Like Big Brother does challenges to get Head of Household, this show will have football related challenges for immunity, bonus points, etc. Contestants will also face temptations and other obstacles, such as prize money if they bench or release one of their players. With constant trade talk and bashing other players’ teams, this show would be the best reality show out there. I love this idea so much that I already copyrighted it.
—Jack, Maine

See, I told you there are bad ideas in a brainstorm.

This has been a hoot and all, but let’s not forget the ladies of Basketball Wives, who put in quite a performance this week. Most notably Evelyn, who calmly removed her earrings and took a long sip of her drink before attempting to murder Kenya.

Basketball Wives Scoring:

Evelyn (Basketball Wives, Kang), 35 points: Let me catch up on the goings-on in the world of the women-who-were-once-romantically-linked-to-NBA-players-and-are-now-followed-by-cameras. HBIC and future Mrs. Ochocinco Evelyn was sitting back and enjoying a squabble between the two rookies Kesha (left at the alter by Richard Jefferson) and Kenya (wife of Charlie Bell) when Kesha accused Kenya of calling Evelyn “loose.” Here is a life lesson: Don’t call Evelyn “loose.” Evelyn does not play. The majority of the next two episodes were spent confirming this accusation via phone records, witnesses, and fingerprints. It was like CSI: NBA Jump-off. Once everyone had decided that Kenya was guilty as charged, they decided to get together and “clear the air.” In Basketball Wives, “clear the air” translates into “go Hunger Games.”

You know that it was going to be a memorable dinner when Suzie walked in, noticed all of the wine bottles lining the walls and remarked, “There are way too many weapons in this room.” You see, Basketball Wives are like Jason Bourne. Remember that scene when Jason Bourne was sitting in the restaurant and instinctually knew where all the exits were, what angles he was vulnerable from and who was most likely to attack him? That is exactly what Basketball Wives do when they enter an establishment. What the Basketball Wives lack in training and violent proficiency, they more than make up for with passion and bitchocity. This week’s GRTFL Top Five List is the Top Five Meanest Things That Evelyn Said to Kenya (5 points) this week, listed from “That wasn’t nice” to “If Kenya killed herself, I wonder if Evelyn could be convicted of manslaughter”:

(5) “Don’t smile in my motherbleeping face and be fake. That is all I am sayin’.”

(4) “Let me tell you something that is the difference between me and most bitches. I admit to the bleep that I have done. I admit to the bleep I done. I admit to the motherbleepers that I bleeped with and it is what it is. If you don’t like me, too bad, bitch.”

(3) “I want you to look in my bleeping face and tell me that. Because you are going to get two to the motherbleeping dome. Tell me you said that!”

(2) “I don’t want to be around her ass, and I’m mad at her kitten heels. You ain’t 95, bitch, why you wearing a kitten heel?” (A kitten heel is just a heel that is shorter than normal. I asked my wife. This insult still doesn’t make sense to me, either.)

(1) “You fake, you look crazy as hell, you try to walk around looking like motherbleeping Jennifer, your weave is starting to look like bleeping Tami’s, you upgraded those motherbleeping kitten heels to Louboutins … you wack, bitch.” (Evelyn REALLY doesn’t like kitten heels.)

After berating Kenya for 10 or 15 minutes, Evelyn calmly removed her earrings, stood up, took a long sip of her mojito and launched her assault on Kenya. Unfortunately for her, Tami got between them before she could do any real damage. Fortunately for her, her Jason Bourne instincts reminded her that the room they were in had walls lined with wine bottles. She grabbed a wine bottle, hurled it at Kenya (5 points), then grabbed a plate and flung that at Kenya as well.  When security came in and yoked her up (25 points), she dropped an instant classic of a line. One hundred percent serious, after attempting to murder Kenya with a wine bottle and an appetizer plate, she looked the security guard in the eye and said, “Why you always stop me all the time?” Seriously, security guy, why? We were trending in a good direction there.

Royce (Basketball Wives, Jacoby), 20 points: Royce is a former dancer for the Orlando Magic who may or may not have a child with an NBA player whose name rhymes with “Bright Coward.” Royce has decided that she is going to parlay her über-stardom from Basketball Wives into a “hip-hop fitness video” (20 points). When I put “hip-hop fitness video” in Google, 18.2 million results came back. I am sure Royce’s unique approach is going to stand out in this cluttered market. What is her unique approach, you ask? “I want it to be sexy and fun, more urban, has a little bit of booty in it, you know?” Groundbreaking. I am sure the 18.2 million other hip-hop fitness videos weren’t sexy, fun, urban, or with a little bit of booty. At some point someone is going to have to pull her aside and explain, “Royce, the best way to capitalize on your newfound fame with a video is to remove all the other elements in your little recipe and go hard on the “booty” part. Have you ever met Ray J?”

Kenya (Basketball Wives, Kang), 5 points: Kenya scored 5 points for … what? I have to finish the column? I still have more jokes. WHY YOU ALWAYS STOP ME ALL THE TIME!?!?

Filed Under: Basketball Wives, Reality TV Fantasy League, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Challenge

Jacoby

David Jacoby is an ESPN producer who somehow became a writer and editor for Grantland.

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