Dimash Kudaibergen and Tracy Shapoff are examples of how fans can make or break careers of reality TV stars
Becoming famous in current times isn't that big of a deal. Apart from having impeccable talent, one can start on their journey to fame through a viral video, a reality TV show or competition. Through the use of social media, brand partnerships and other additional inducements, reality TV stars have easy access to a huge number of followers and fans, which helps them sustain their fame and visibility.
But what would happen if these fans stop engaging with these stars, would this affect their claim to fame?
@laurenzima @RealitySteve @AshleySpivey found these pictures on reddit (u/PostMalort) of these tweets from Tracy Shapoff- a woman from Colton’s season… what is up with these background checks pic.twitter.com/FqIh2qyZqG— BACHELOR/ETTE FAN (@bachelorfanbase) November 20, 2018
How are fans a gamechanger for a show and how major a role they play in making or breaking the career of a reality TV star?
Things have come to such a pass that without the assistance of fans and followers, they wouldn't get the traction to disseminate their fame which would eventually wither away without their patronage.
Take the example of Tracy Shapoff, a former contestant from 'The Bachelor' season 23, who was at the center of a controversy when fans found out that she had posted tweets fat shaming people and slamming dating shows, before appearing on one herself. Shapoff faced a major backlash, and even before she appeared on the show she had lost a potential fanbase, and the hatred she elicited made sure that she would be out of the fame game soon.
You voted and your favorite act of the entire competition has been chosen. Congrats, #TWBDimash! #WorldsBest pic.twitter.com/Qa6L89dAlj— The World's Best (@WorldsBestCBS) March 14, 2019
At the opposite end of the spectrum is 'The World's Best' contestant Dimash Kudaibergen. He has a major fan base not only because of his talent and impeccable character but the respect he has for his country and kids.
Even before the show premiered, fans were rooting for Kudaibergen, and it is safe to say that 'The World's Best' garnered much more eyeballs because of Kudaibergen's worldwide fan base. Even though Kudaibergen quit the show during the Championship round, his fans made sure that he was voted the favorite act of the entire competition; the fact that he won 77% of the votes made sure that he made to the next round even though he was no longer in the competition.
Who do you feel should make it to the next round? #WorldsBest— The World's Best (@WorldsBestCBS) March 14, 2019
Both these examples are stark illustrations of how fans can either make or break a star in the making.
Wanting to gain a fan's perspective on the issue, MEA WorldWide interacted with fans on Reddit, and this is what they revealed.
"Of course! You need an audience and demo for fame. As far as TV, Networks definitely cater to the audience, but they also don’t care if we love-to-hate e.g. Real Housewives. Whatever gets the most views. It can be hard to tell if a TV star has a large fan base on social media because sometimes followers are haters but it’s safe to assume most followers are fans. The more people are paying attention to a person, the more famous they are and they can ride or die! As is your example of Tracy. I don’t think she had enough to ride on for real," wrote a fan.
Another fan added to this, "People are only "famous" because other people care about their life and listen to them. If people no longer care about your life you aren't "famous" anymore."
Some fans even revealed that they had a say in who would be the bachelorette and contestants in 'The Bachelorette' season 15. "I’d also like to think we, as fans, had some sort of “say” in why some of the guys that were released for Hannah’s season didn’t even make it to night based on the tea that came out about them."
Which might be true, because recently it was revealed that two contestants from'The Bachelorette' were sent back home because of bad press about them in the past. The producers knew that there would be a huge controversy like Shapoff if they continued to keep them on the show.
Continuing, another fan said, "Invested viewers pay the bills. Sometimes a controversial figure can make viewers even more invested in a show. Which is why people like Jordan and Demi are such good characters for the Bachelor family."
Though fans do have a say in how things pan out, the way they look at a reality TV star also depends on the show, how they are framed and how the fans are primed to view them.