Nothing like projectile vomit to really get ratings

So, this week has been filled with season premieres of some of my favorite reality shows– America’s Next Top Model, Survivor, Beauty and the Geek–and nearly all of them contained one thing. Any guesses as to what that one thing was?

Dumb blondes? Sure, there were plenty of those (seriously, you’re going on Survivor…why would you not wear a bra?), but that’s not exactly what I was thinking.

Eye rolling? Well, come on, you’ve got beauties and geeks in the same house…of course there’s bound to be some eye rolling. But again, not quite what I was thinking.

Any more guesses? Really? None? Not even based on the title? Well, okay, I’ll give you a hint: VOMITING! ANTM and Survivor both featured the tossing of cookies and it really made me wonder, what is it about vomiting that seems to attract producers?

In all of my reality TV experience I’ve seen chunks blown on the following shows:

  • Survivor (nearly every season)
  • America’s Next Top Model
  • Rock of Love
  • The Next Pussycat Doll
  • The Real World
  • Amazing Race

This is by no means a complete list–I only have so many hours in my day people, I’m sure I’ve missed some yakking along the way. Also, I’m hugely vomit-phobic (or emetophobic for those who happen to know these things…or look them up) so I tend to just not look when I sense a projectile puking scene approaching.

But I’m still at a complete loss. What is it about vomit that makes producers think, “You know what will really get the numbers for us this season? A good barfing scene…yeah, that’ll do it.” Nobody that I know likes vomiting and I can’t say that I know anyone who likes being around other people vomiting. Sure, everyone I know has had to deal with it at some point (I just graduated…from a party school…there was bound to be an upchuck encounter at some point), but no one that I know actually likes their vomit involvement.

So how is it that retching makes it onto the screen every chance it gets? Are audiences writing in? Saying things like “I really enjoy the show but I thought it would have been better if someone had thrown up and you guys had filmed it…that would have been really great!” I kind of doubt that that’s the case.

There’s nothing I can do about it now–the fall lineup is already on the air– but here is my plea for next season: (Are you paying attention Hollywood? This concerns you too) skip the gagging. Americans do not like to watch other people vomit. If we did, we would hang around bars during senior week and would host case races with cheap liquor. All we want when we tune in to our favorite reality shows is some backstabbing, some tears and some cheap and fabricated romance.

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