Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm a contestant in the greatest reality game of all!

My remaining favorites for reality shows are as follows (again, click on the link for more info):

The Amazing Race.This may be my favorite reality show of all time. It began in 2001 and is currently in its 17th season. 

The typical format of the game features eleven teams of two or four people each who compete with each other to race around the world for a grand prize of $1,000,000. The eleven teams that feature on the show come from a wide mix of ages, races and orientations. There are siblings, couples, parent and child, friends and colleagues. The show also focuses on the emotions and stress that the relationship comes under during the competition. 

Competing teams in the competition use a variety of transportation and travel modes for their travel within and through countries, including trucks, bicycles, taxis, trains, buses, boats, planes, hot air balloons, helicopters, etc. The race usually begins in a US city. 

Teams receive clues in each leg of the race that leads them to perform a task or directs them to the next destination. Challenges are related sometimes to the country or culture they visit and good knowledge of local customs, places and vital details provide the difference between winning and losing. The last team to arrive at a given leg of the competition is sent away. Elimination of teams progresses through until there are only three teams left; in the final leg the team that arrives first at the destination ends up with a purse of $1 Million.

The Amazing Race will test any marriage or relationship-it will either draw you closer or expose weaknesses. I've thought that maybe my daughter, Sarah, and I could enter TAR since she is in great shape and I'm in fairly good shape as well. But, on second thought, we'd probably be at each other's throats. In the Amazing Race, if you have poor communication skills, that's one of the first things to throw a wrench in your performance. Renee and I are avid fans because we like seeing the rest of the world and the ways that Americans handle themselves in other countries and cultures. 

Question: What show is about to make it's big return to television on Dec. 12. It starts off like this: "The stunts you are about to see were all designed and supervised by trained professionals. They are extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone, anywhere, anytime!"
We're talking FEAR FACTOR, hosted by Joe Rogan (who else could do this show justice?).
The normal format involves three men and three women, or four teams of two people with a pre-existing relationship, who had to complete three professional stunts to win $50,000.

If a contestant/team is too scared to attempt a stunt, fails to complete a stunt, or (in some cases) has the worst performance on a stunt, they are eliminated from the competition.

If only one contestant/team successfully completes the first or the second stunt, they automatically win $25,000, and the other contestants eliminated in the stunt along with the winner of the stunt return for the next stunt to compete for the remaining $25,000. 

Fear Factor is all about conquering your fears of heights, water, speed, falling, scaling down a Las Vegas hotel, creepy crawling things, cow's intestines, everything you thought was inedible can become a shake that you have to down as quickly as possible, etc.

I love this show. It's a total gross-out, but NO, I would never want to be a contestant on FF. I think I would attempt most of the stunts, but I would bail when it came to drinking a milkshake of cow's intestines and other such gross stuff!

The Apprentice is a truly "American" reality television show hosted by real estate magnate, businessman and television personality Donald Trump and created by Survivor's Mark Burnett.

Billed as "The Ultimate Job Interview", the show stars sixteen to eighteen business people competing in an elimination-style competition for a one-year, $250,000 starting contract of running one of business magnate Trump's companies. The show typically ends with Trump eliminating one of the contestants with the words, "You're Fired".

The show first aired in January 2004 and has run for eleven seasons, with the seventh, eighth, ninth, eleventh and twelfth seasons featuring celebrities competing for charity.

I love the Apprentice and it's fun watching the various teams compete to create ad campaigns and sell various products. This show celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit which has helped make the U.S. so strong as an innovator of new businesses.

CMT's Next Country Superstar. Each episode will be one hour-long episode. Contestants, mainly undiscovered singer-songwriters in the country genre compete while living together in a Nashville mansion. 

Celebrity guests guide them each week and on each episode, one finalist is eliminated with the viewing audience voting to determine who will win the title. 

I happen to have acquired a taste for country music in recent years so for me, this is a fun outing each week, and I trying to figure out early on if I can pick the next CMT Superstar. On the first season's outing, I did pick the winner, Matt Mason. For me, it was so obvious. One other thing about CMT's Next Country Superstar--it's not as commercial and jaded as American Idol or the X-Factor. There's something "grounded" and "down-to-earth" about this show, and it's not full of all the phony hype and commercialized glamor that other shows like AI and X-Factor display to the nth degree.

For now, I will be content with the greatest reality show of all--living life as a child of God. There are days when it's full of surprises. There are days when it's full of pain and uncertainty. There are days when it's a mystery and I don't know what's up or down, but at least I know the One who has created me has everything under control. I know what the rules are, since they've been set down in God's Word and they are unchanging as is God Himself. That becomes my anchor in this game of life. 

The future unfolds before me daily and it's full of unknowns, but the Good News is that in this game, I am not alone and God is at work to assure that I come through as a winner. I'm not always good at games...but this is one game where I will prevail, thanks to Jesus Christ who is the author and finisher of my faith. He will bring me victoriously across the finish line of LIFE. 

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