• Reality shows including X Factor and Big Brother come under fire
  • Contestants are given brutal introduction to the world of celebrity
  • Very few escape public mauling – many compare it to bear baiting

The public’s appetite for celebrity is ever increasing with the media and the likes of social media channels including Facebook and Twitter feeding the hunger for the latest news. A rising concern that reoccurs every time a reality programme starts is the way in which contestants handle the overnight fame that comes with being in front of the camera. TV producers and executives have had to start putting support teams in place for these budding stars after some very emotional public breakdowns.


Reality contestant’s that struggled with fame

Michelle McManus – Pop Idol winner (2003)

Lardy Scot Michelle McManus was continually pressured into losing weight throughout the Pop Idol talent process. Michelle soon became the nation’s champion for the bigger lady and was quickly snapped up to front high-street fashion retailer Evans clothing range.

Paul Akister – X Factor current contestant (2014)

Some including this year’s contestant Paul Akister on the X Factor, used public rejection to help lose 3 stone of flab and have a second stab of success after 2013 failed X Factor venture. In 2013 the singer got as far as judges houses, but was rejected from making it to the live shows. Paul has since overcome rejection, slimming down and back on X Factor and through to the live shows.

Susan Boyle – Britain’s Got Talent runner up (2009)

The talented Susan Boyle physically moved audiences throughout her journey on Britain’s Got Talent with her renditions of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables. Concern arose around the Scottish singer after some erratic behaviour and shortly afterwards was checked in to celebrity haunt The Priory. Susan has since gone on to become one of the biggest reality TV successes in recent times.

Rick Waller – Pop Idol live show finalist (2001)

Roly Poly Rick Waller appeared on the first series of Pop Idol and instantly shot to fame for his voice and frame. The singer appeared in the live shows but was forced to pull out after illness. Rick has since struggled to cement his place in showbiz having also failing on Celebrity Fit Club, the TV show for fat celebrities looking to lose weight.

Paul Potts – Britain’s Got Talent winner

The warbler Paul Potts shot to fame on series one of Britain’s Got Talent with his rendition of Nessun dorma. The former Carphone Warehouse salesman has bucked some media criticism to record several number one albums and even have a film adapted of his life. 

White Dee – Benefits Street

Benefits Street star White Dee rose to fame after appearing on the Channel 4 documentary. Dee received media backlash after the programme but having then featured on Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year, has managed to build her profile as a straight talking member of society.

Jesy Nelson – Little Mix X Factor winner (2011)

Popstar Jesy Nelson, one quarter of Little Mix has continually received criticism over her weight. From her first audition on X Factor, the singer has battled negative trolling on social media for her size 12 frame. On a more positive note, Jesy has shown that there is space for a curvier member in a US conquering girl group.

Cher Lloyd – X Factor live show finalist (2010)

Little Cher experienced a rollercoaster ride of emotion on X Factor in 2010. Her constant comparisons to mentor Cheryl were a contributor to her rebelling after the show. The star has since calmed down and made her name in the US, having failed to get UK audiences to like her.

FORZA supports the need for reality TV contestants to be given access to an experienced support network to handle their first 6 months in front of camera. Without the necessary experience in place, raw talent will struggle to flourish.