January is just around the corner, which means we'll soon be thrust headlong into 'awards season'. Two long months of self-congratulatory back-slapping, as the great and the good of the creative arts gather together in order to pay homage to themselves. But as all those talented and immaculately presented performers start pressing the creases out of their best party frocks, spare a thought for the also-rans. There's a whole world of entertainers out there, who show up week after week, learn their lines and give their all for the camera - but aren't likely to be trampling the shag on any red carpets over the next eight weeks. I'm talking about all the reality TV stars who keep us glued to our sets in a heavily medicated stupor. Isn't it time they received awards for excellence in their line of work too? With that in mind, here's my shortlist of winners for the first Reality TV Awards...
The Emergency Numbers Are On The Fridge Award goes to Simon Cowell, who left his precious firstborn to its own devices, while he focused on launching the X-Factor USA. At first, the novelty of three new judges, alongside safe-pair-of-jazz-hands Louis Walsh, seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately, this was televisual equivalent of giving the housekeys to a gang of joyriders and hoping your child will still be breathing when you get home from dinner.
The Future's Shite, The Future's Orange Award goes to the cast of TOWIE, who have managed to inspire a whole generation to paint themselves the colour of Etruscan ceramics. An honorable mention also goes to TOWIE star Chloe Sims, who refused to stop at spraying herself with Sadolin One-Coat, and has undergone a series of unnecessary cosmetic procedures that have made her a dead ringer for Daffy Duck when he inexplicably shows off a full set of teeth.
The Out of the Frying Pan Into The Deep Fat Fryer Award goes to the cast of Desperate Scousewives. With a name that boasts more wit than anything else in the entire series, the show managed to achieve the impossible by making viewers long for the authenticity and like-ability of the Essex crew. Despite its desire to show Liverpool's finest living the glamorous life, Scousewives ended up making most of the bedsits in Albert Square look like the model of aspirational living.
The Marquee Mark Award goes to surprise ratings winner The Great British Bake-Off, which attempted to distract us from the woeful state of the economy by telling us we'd all be happier if we knew how to make a mille-feuille from scratch. Millions tuned in every week to see Mel and Sue providing a running commentary to endless scenes of amateur bakers trying to perfect a shortcrust pastry. Along with Kirstie's Handmade Britain, The Great British Bake-Off was like porn for Daily Mail readers, full of explicit shots of sturdy women wiping their chipolata fingers down a striped apron. These shows provided a tantalising glimpse into a bunting-strewn fantasy world, as imaginary as Narnia or Middle Earth, where every day is the Summer Fete and everyone walks away with a rosette pinned to their blouse.
The Great British Bake-Off, which attempted to distract us from the woeful state of the economy by telling us we'd all be happier if we knew how to make a mille-feuille from scratch...
The Enough About You Let's Talk About Me Award goes to Nicole Scherzinger. She's an attractive woman and a talented vocalist, but as an X-Factor judge, she managed to make the certifiably insane Paula Abdul seem well-adjusted by comparison. When she wasn't busy hallucinating or telling sub-par performers that they were destined to change the world, she made everything in the show about her. The highpoint of her stint on the judging panel came when she wimped out of voting to save thirteen year old Rachel Crow. As the irritating moppet dropped to the floor in hysterics, Nicole rushed to the stage to show off her own photogenic tears, ensuring that Rachel barely got a look-in.
The Sorbet To Freshen The Palate Award goes to The Devil's Dinner Party, a lame attempt at fusing several successful TV formats into one giant Eton Mess. In each show, six strangers are invited to a dinner hosted by Pip Torrens, who conducts himself like the creepy emcee at an S&M club. Since no real mention is made of the food, we're stuck listening to the tedious conversations instead, as the contestants attempt to win votes as the most popular guest. The format had potential, but Pip's ridiculous voiceover made it seem as though we were witnessing a battle of Machiavellian wits. In fact, all anyone had to do to be in with a chance of winning, was smile agreeably and avoid calling anyone else at the table a cunt.
The Bullshitting Bride Award goes to Kim Kardashian and the rest of her ghastly klan, for their collective assault on the sanctity of marriage. Despite the fact that gays are being accused of tearing at the fabric of society for wanting to walk up the aisle in matching suits, Kim and her mother (the Lady Macbeth of Beverly Hills) saw the chance to make a quick buck off that most sacred of unions. Kim managed to squeeze a courtship, proposal, engagement and wedding into a single season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The resulting two-part special edition of the show wasn't just a ratings winner - it also netted the temporarily happy couple $18 million. Just ten weeks later, the newlyweds were officially separated, with Kim announcing "After careful consideration, I have decided to end my marriage. I hope everyone understands this was not an easy decision. I had hoped this marriage was forever, but sometimes things don't work out as planned." She has a point - look what happened when Ross married Emily. TV show marriages never work out if the suitor is just a guest star.
McFly, who according to reports are still a fully functioning boyband, but spent most of 2011 racking up the phone votes to win two separate TV contests
The Does Your Mother Know Award goes to Steven Tyler, who brought his own sleazy brand of rock-star swagger to American Idol this year. The craggy-chopped Aerosmith frontman was unwilling to let his uniquely weathered countenance get in the way of some age-inappropriate flirting with a barely legal contestant, commenting on 16 year-old Victoria Huggins' skirt "Ooh, yeah. Just the right amount showing. That's nice." Any ordinary pensioner would be added to the sex offender's register, Steven just added another couple of years to his contract as an Idol judge.
The Why Bother Keeping Up The Day Job Award goes to McFly, who according to reports are still a fully functioning boyband, but spent most of 2011 racking up the phone votes to win two separate TV contests. Just days after bandmate Dougie swigged a blended emu liver to be crowned King of the Jungle, Harry Judd swivelled his hips in an Argentine Tango and ended up raising the glitter ball of victory. Dont be surprised next year if the other two show up on Celebrity Coach Trip or visit Mel and Sue's marquee to show off their sausage plait.
In conclusion, our final award goes to this year's breakout reality TV star - Hilary Devey. With a voice that makes Christian Bale's Batman sound like Katherine Jenkins, and shoulder pads that could dislodge a door frame, the fearsome business woman made an indelible impression on every would-be investor who tiptoed nervously into the Dragon's Den. Finally, here was a fire breathing titan worthy of the title.
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