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Most do, yes. But all are manipulated to create a more dramatic presentation for viewers. Every resulting episode needs multiple stories. The same principles of storytelling you learned (or should have learned) in school apply to how they are edited. Here are a few ways:

-- Contestants and participants are screened for their psychology/personality and their physical health. Smart casting agents can pre determine the kind of interpersonal drama that will happen by who they choose. Anyone on a show is there for a specific reason.


-- The situation they are in is of course contrived, and planned out way in advance to create dramatic/funny situations. Usually the situations for every episode are planned out before any cameras start rolling.


-- The vast majority of shows do NOT give participants scripts. (Shows like The Hills are an exception.) However, producers do sometimes give participants topics to talk about. For example, if they are talking about the news of the particular day when they are being recorded, that can't be used in the show, because the shows usually don't air for many months after they are taped. Producers would simply ask them to talk about what is happening right now, or to discuss what they expect in the next event they will participate in.


-- Participants are almost always manipulated in interviews to give concise answers, dramatic answers, or in some cases to say things the way producers want them to say it. Interviews work great for this since they can be sliced up into small phrases and put anywhere in the story by the editors. Sometimes editors even use "Franken-bites", which are the audio of individual words or parts of words and edited completely out of context to make it sound like someone said something they didn't. If you can't see the person saying the words, be more suspicious. If you listen carefully, you can usually hear the tone of voice change in the middle of sentences, which is a dead giveaway.


-- And of course the biggest way stories are manipulated/created is in editing. Most shows record 20 - 50 times more footage than they actually use. So producers and editors can comb through hours of footage to pull together moments to create a 2 minute scene, which may or may not give the complete story of what was happening. But of course no one would sit there and watch an hour of boring conversation, when a couple of juicy minutes gets the job done! All that said, the majority of stories in reality shows are essentially true. They're just extremely condensed and edited to make them more dramatic!


Two other points:
-- Reality participants sign long contracts that prevents them from discussing these details with a penalty of millions of dollars.
-- Any show where the contestants are competing for money or prizes are restricted by federal law from manipulating who wins, or giving them unreasonable advantages. Technically they are Game Shows and fall under strict 50 year old laws to prevent producers fixing the results.


All that said, there are some cases where producers think it necessary to direct participants what to do in a situation so they can make it more interesting in the show. Think of this as a patch. Shows that try to rely on fakery too much don't last. Fake drama just is not as good.


The bottom line is that real life is usually boring. Reality shows create or find interesting situations and extensively edit the footage to make something we like to watch!

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14y ago
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12y ago

cuz they think reality tv is just like in the real life. they want their life to be just like people on reality tv. they think reality tv is the best way to get ready for the real life. they say these people are their role models. so if they watch reality tv they think that their life is going to become great.

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12y ago

No, but they seem like it at times

^ Most can be considered "fake". Much of the supposed antagonism and many of the feuds are scripted. The final presentations are heavily edited and show only the material that the producers choose to include. Ratings factor heavily in the outcomes.

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12y ago

The shows are edited so that they have a plot.

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13y ago
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