Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The top competitive reality shows on TV

I've mentioned these types of shows here occasionally--"American Idol", etc. So how about a comprehensive list of the BEST of this genre? Here we go:

1. AMERICAN IDOL. (Fox) The show does a wonderful job of allowing you to get to know the contestants on a personal level. You can judge the performances yourself, and compare your views with those of Randy, Paula, and Simon. And, perhaps most importantly, you have a role to play--you can vote for your favorite.

2. TOP CHEF. (Bravo) Great chefs with clashing personality prepare interesting foodstuffs in difficult challenges. We all do a little cooking, so we can understand some of the difficulties the chefs go through. And it has a good panel of judges.

3. DESIGN STAR. (HGTV) Fascinating designers, again with clashing personalities, design rooms and spaces with tough monetary and time limits, trying to gain their own show on HGTV. Good judges; good show.

4. PROJECT RUNWAY (Bravo). This time it's clothes designers, with often exotic and diva-like personalities (which of course clash) seeking to gain a top prize and a spot at a big fashion show.

5. AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL(CW). Tyra Banks hosts this show in which ordinary, unknown, but beautiful young models compete against each other to win the title of Next Top Model, money, and a big photo spread in a glossy mag. As always, there are weekly challenges, eliminations, and some good catfighting.

6. SO YOU WANT TO BE THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR. (Food Network) Similar to Top Chef, except these chefs don't quite have the ability of the Top Chefs, and their main goal is to win the right to host their own Food Network show. But their challenges are tough, and the judges are too.

7. SHEAR GENIUS (Bravo). This time hair stylists compete; again complete with challenges, weekly eliminations, judging, etc. We all get haircuts, so again we have some knowledge with which to judge these contestants ourselves.