Last week, eight of the top twenty television programs were reality TV programs. America’s Got Talent, MasterChef, So You Think You Can Dance, The X Factor, and the Spring’s smash new hit – The Voice – all showcase everyday people pursuing their passions in a competitive environment. Why does Generation Z and America love reality TV? A brief breakdown of The Voice begins to unravel this phenomenon.
- Celebrity coaches mentoring top contestants resonated with the dreams of the audience. America witnessed country music star Blake Shelton transform Xenia’s raw talent into a marketable career. Xenia emerged as a star because of Blake’s coaching, and Blake even referred to her as “a singer of her generation.” Shockingly, Xenia admitted that even though her ultimate goal is to become a recording artist, her best friend did not know she could sing prior to The Voice.
- The Voice recognized that Generation Z watches reality TV for inspiration. The clips of train wreck auditions helped make American Idol a hit, but people watched The Voice to be amazed and ultimately be part of a contestant’s success.
- Raising the bar for other reality shows in terms of viewer interaction, The Voice engaged its at-home audience with social media components. The Voice connected with viewers beyond merely voting, and also included Twitter feeds panning across the bottom of the screen and a “sideline” reporter announcing trending topics.
While Javier received $100,000 and signed a recording contract (and The Voice won a second season!), the formula does not have to be limited to reality TV, music or a select few. Finding a coach to develop a talent, creating a platform for an audience to witness an individual’s path towards success and intertwining social media for motivation are elements we are very familiar with at Afterschool.me. Beginning soon, kids will Connect + Achieve + Promote at www.afterschool.me.