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November 26, 2015



Great piece.
I feel like there is an extra layer worth mentioning.

In Dragon's Den, Apprentice, X-Factor and Bake Off (as with Masterchef) there is a spoken (in DD, A, XF) and unspoken (BO/MC) awareness that the winner is going to get a life-changing opportunity. I think this has contributed to a shift away from the genre because the overtone of "They Shoot Horses, Don't They" are too strong in these stagnant times. We shift from the moral and aesthetic judgement of losers to a reminder of how desperate the contestants are.

Perhaps also the harsher environment and continued failure of DD, Apprentice and X-Factor winners has taken a shine off these tournaments. Bake Off straddles the line by never being overt about the value of winning.

In that vein, perhaps some of the success of the Strictly Come Dancing genre is that these celebrities are never overtly desperate (although sometimes they are in reality.) They've already made it in some way, so we can retreat back to moral and aesthetic judgements.

I also wonder if we are doomed to go to behaviourism, or if it's early enough in the transition that we might yet go in another direction...

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