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Tips for Not Getting Kicked Off a Reality Show First

Weekend Reading: How Not to Get Sent Home First

I got a kick this week out of a piece Slate did on the doomed reality show contestants who have been voted or kicked off in the first episode, complete with tips on how to avoid their fate. At first I struggled to remember a single first contestant, but then this piece reminded me of Jerry and Nimma from Bravo's Project Runway and Top Chef.

If you are planning on competing on one of these reality shows, these are some pretty good tips for sticking around for more than one episode. If not, you'll probably find them as fascinating as I do and will watch to see if they hold true for shows like The Amazing Race, which premieres tonight.

Here are some of the tips and excerpts from the article:

  • Lesson 9: Everyone loves a comeback story: "A bad first episode doesn't mean a contestant can't make a comeback. But if you want a shot at post-reality fame, you first have to make it past Week 1."

  • Lesson 8: Know your demographic: "VH1 understands the ratings power of the loudmouth; who among the channel's viewers wouldn't want to watch a plus-sized Omarosa gone ghetto?"
  • Lesson 6: Know your eliminator: "On a reality show, it's almost always good to be memorable. But if your fate is in a single person's hands, you'd better be indelible for the right reasons."

To see some more, just


  • Lesson 5: Don't clam up: "With so little time to break through the clutter, no one has the luxury of opening-night jitters."
  • Lesson 3: Don't be chicken: "Sometimes, a reality contestant signs up for adventure but winds up looking sorry she didn't stay home."
  • Lesson 2: Nice guys finish last. Same with nice ladies: "This was an island of snakes and rats, and Sonja's guileless personality made her seem impossibly weak."

Do you agree with these? Do you remember any reality contestants who went home first?


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