19 People Reveal What Life Was Actually Like After Losing A Major Televised Show.
1/. I was supposed to lose in this small Swiss TV show on which I was when I was 12, but there was a bug in the computer system which automatically showed the correct answer to me. Instead of making us record it again, they just let me win. Went home with a 100 bucks and a Wii. Awesome.
2/. I was on Ghost Hunters and my home was declared "haunted" so I got to be freaked out by that for a little while after. Does that count as "losing"?
3/. I was on College Jeopardy! in 2013, and placed 3rd. Since it was a tournament and not a normal-style game, I won $25,000 for coming in third (instead of the normal $1000 3rd place participants get). I don't know if that still qualifies as losing, but I didn't win (and still kick myself a bit for wagering stupidly in the last final Jeopardy...) first place.
When I got back home, my life initially was a little odd. People I hadn't spoken to in years were contacting me and seeing how I'd been and such, which was pretty nice! Since I didn't win the lottery or become famous or anything, it's not like they'd have ulterior motives to getting in touch with me. I had a couple of random people stop me on campus (since I went representing my institution and there was a LOT of social media coverage by the school) and ask me if I was "that Jeopardy girl." But that was about it as far as abnormal things.
I got to pay off some of my college loans and all of my friends and family were really proud of me. Overall, 10/10 would recommend to anyone.
4/. I have a friend who was on "Who wants to be a millionaire" back when that show was big-time popular. He went on the show, answered two questions correctly, and missed on the third question, something very simple he should've gotten correctly. He was so embarrassed, it practically devastated him. Though hardly anyone knew he had been to the taping, he came home and was depressed for months, knowing it would be airing soon. He was inconsolable, wouldn't socialize with anyone for a while, and went into a deep depression. He eventually got over it, but it really took a toll on him for a while. Oddly, he wanted to go back on the show for another chance. Thankfully he didn't do that.
5/. I randomly shared a 10 hour flight from Europe with a girl who just got kicked off The Bachelor (she was in the top 3). She seemed super embarrassed most of the flight. Of course I ended up watching the series when it aired and she was the one in the group that none of the girls liked. She's from my home city and lo and behold years later my sister ended up working with her at a corporate office and she said everything was just business as usual. Small god damn world BTW.
6/. I lost on an old Canadian game show called Uh-Oh. My life was precisely the same as it had been before.
7/. Finally a question I can be of some use with...although we didn't lose... My ex-girlfriend and I were on a television show on HGTV called "Flipping the Block" and we ended up winning it. I'll leave it to you guys to discuss whether or not it is a "major show", but I guess most would say it is not.
From my experience, during the "post-production", when the commercials are all over, and through the airing of every episode, there is a lot of attention from EVERYONE, and then after the show is over the attention falls off almost completely aside from an interview here and there.
It can become quite addicting, and having even a minute taste of it makes me infinitely more understanding of how people could do anything to stay in the limelight.
The feeling is weird. You suddenly aren't being followed by cameras 24/7, you aren't hooked up to a mic 24/7. What people need to realize is that even though you rarely to never see a camera when you watch a TV show, my Ex and I had a crew of 7-9 following us at any given moment, literally unless we were sleeping.
All of that being said, we did feel like losers on our show, because although we emerged victorious, a TV show offer was extended to another couple from our show, even though they lost, had a bigger budget than us, had more prep time for the show than we had, and are currently in construction management and run a very popular design blog. It just would not have looked good to give the "amateurs" (us) a show because we just went out and won this one a whim.
My opinion is that the network hands down expected that couple to win, and this show was simply a vetting process for them to see how they would do on-camera. And when they didn't, the feeling in the room was very much "ohhhh sh*t....what do we do now?"
Your "fame" eventually fades away; people stop asking to take a picture with you at Costco or Albertsons or Home Depot, people stop asking you for money and favors, and you have to make a conscious effort to move forward and pursue other avenues.
8/. "Cowboy" from Season 5 of Big Brother is from my home town in Oklahoma. I didn't really know who he was until he was pointed out to me. As our server. At Chili's.
9/. I have lost on many reality shows.
I lost in round 2 of this season of Americas Got Talent, I lost on Wipeout, Solitary, Ninja Warrior, Rock Band 2 - The Stars etc.
Being on reality TV is weird, and hard for many people to handle. You get a taste of the celebrity life, people running up to you for photos, tons of people adding you on social media, lots of chatter about you, its awesome!
However a week or two after it airs, you are replaced by new people, and the drop off is fast, and if you aren't ready for it, its a bit shocking.
I know some people who hold on to their brief experience with fame and can't move on. I did an episode of MTV - True Life back in 2000, and when people quickly stopped caring about it, it was awkward. I didn't know how to deal with it at first.
So for all the shows I do now, I know I'm just going out there to be an idiot, make for some entertaining tv, and then move on with my next thing. However since this year, I moved on to the next round in AGT, and it made me feel great. I felt like I was on borrowed time during that second episode because moving forward was never the plan.
It was awesome though, tons of people reached out to me on Facebook and Twitter, lots of people I haven't talked to in years were sharing my posts and saying words on encouragement, and it was great!
Then I got eliminated in a montage in round 2, and all that fanfare and craziness is gone. While I wish I was there with all those super talented people doing the live shows, I have to remind myself that I got some great footage out of the show, more followers to check out all my performances, and tons of great memories.
11/. I know a girl that was on the Bachelor.
Reality TV comes and goes quickly so no one really recognizes her anymore. When it aired she'd get the occasional, "umm are you on the bachelor?" and that's about it.
I'd imagine for most, once your season is done, life returns to normal barring you not having total meltdown on national TV.
12/. A couple of years ago when I was 13 years old, I was chosen to pitch my "science for kids" company on Shark Tank Season 5. I was SO excited. I had already been on every local news channel numerous times here in Phoenix and had published 5 science books for kids on Amazon.
I went on there to ask for $10,000 to do a fun science DVD series for elementary schools. All I wanted in the world was to be the next Bill Nye the Science Guy and show millions of kids how awesome science is.
Anyway, there I was, 13 years old standing all by myself in front of Mark Cuban, Kevin O'Leary, Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, and Lori Griener. I dressed up as a mad scientist and did a couple of really cool science demos while I was saying my pitch. I was SO nervous and my pie tin hit the floor really hard and made the loudest noise ever. I did everything I could to mentally recover from it...
They started peppering me with questions and I thought for a moment "yes, I'm so walking out of here with a deal and all the kids in my school are going to wish they never made fun of me for being a science geek!". Anyway, Mark was the first one out. Then Kevin told me that I was dead to him (he never even offered me a deal so I'm not sure why he said that to me). Barbara said no. Robert and Lori were still onboard with me.
Then Robert asked me "how many Youtube subscribers do you have?". Ugh, I couldn't lie. I only had like a 100. That's when Lori said no because she didn't know how to build up a Youtube channel (which I wasn't asking for) and Robert said no because no one uses DVD's anymore. I walked out of there so humiliated. A few months later I got an email from the producers letting me know that my segment wasn't even going to be aired. I pretty much gave up after that. It was too much of an uphill climb trying to get anyone to care about getting kids to love science.
13/. I wasn't on anything but a kid that was in my grade at high school was!! He went on American Idol and juggled while singing horribly, when the judges didn't like it he broke out a dance. After the the negative reactions from the judges he burst into the hallway crying and making a big scene.
Prior to the airing of the episode he was telling everyone to watch it. When we came back to school the next day he got made fun of pretty mercilessly but he was quick to tell everyone that it was all staged. He was socially never able to recover from that one though. I felt really bad for him and he ended up switching schools.
15/. I was on The Biggest Loser...
Family and friends seemed a lot more bummed out and depressed that I did not win any money.
For me - I was happy for the experience, knowledge, networking, and it was great for my kids who got to be little movie stars for a few months.
16/. A girl from my high school came in second place on American Idol last year. It was funny watching everyone get so hyped up even though nobody had cared about that show for years. They fixed up our school to make it look good on camera, hung a giant two story poster on the front of the build, and held two concerts- one for the public and another private one for students. The private one was really awkward, it was clearly just for the camera and not for us, they would stop the show a restart parts so they could re-film it and a producer would come out to tell her what to do next. After she lost everyone forgot it happened. She came to our prom with the winner as her date for a half hour - I got to pee next to him which was pretty much the highlight of the prom for me. When I went to college nobody had ever heard of her, it would have been interesting to see her on when it was at it's height of popularity. I think she released a new album but I've heard it's pretty bad.
19/. Last year I was on Wheel of Fortune. I got to the final puzzle round but didn't get the puzzle correct; the envelope revealed I would have won $30,000. It was shot a month previously and basically everyone just congratulated me for what I did win when it aired. Except Bob.
Bob: So you missed out on $30,000.
Me: Yeah. I went in with nothing though and had a great time and won those trips!
Bob: Still though. $30,000 would've been nice. What a shame.
Also, f*ck taxes.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.