Reality TV is alive and well for the summer of 2011.
A record-breaking number of reality shows are hitting the air, and Reality Bytes will tell you about the good, the bad and the ugly.
New Summer Shows
The new season of reality shows just kicked off. Get ready for everything from Bigfoot hunters to “Glee” wannabes on the small screen.
Paris Hilton must be crying into her glass of champagne, ’cause the socialite’s new reality show had a nosedive debut. Sorry, no one’s interested in your glam lifestyle in the midst of an economy bust.
“The World According to Paris” debuted last Wednesday on Oxygen and only 409,000 viewers tuned in. That’s a big bomb for the women’s network.
Paris, your 15 minutes of fame are over.
Talent shows are the hot commodity of 2011, so Bravo joined the game with “Platinum Hit.”
Think of the show as “Big Brother” meets “American Idol” after a collision with “Project Runway.” That means 12 singer-songwriters have to live together, handcraft songs and get judged by two very tough critics.
Former “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi and singer Jewel judge the performers — and they’re out for the jugular.
“Platinum Hit” showed a coming-attractions reel, and DioGuardi told one contestant to quit music and go back to nursing. Oh yeah, she went to the Simon Cowell school of congeniality.
If you like talent shows with an overdose of drama, then check out “Platinum Hit.” The talent contest airs Mondays on Bravo.
“America’s Got Talent” is back to monopolize Tuesdays and Wednesdays on NBC. Be warned: you have to deal with the ridiculous banter judges Howie Mandel, Pierce Morgan and Sharon Osbourne dish out.
Last week’s side show featured the usual cast of misfit contestants — and a few surprises. We could have all lived without the fire-juggling unicyclist, rock ‘n’ roll burlesque queen and the guy that made fart sounds with his armpit. That’s so third grade.
Then, things got interesting. One contestant juggled high-voltage tasers while standing in water. He lived to tell the tale and got a standing ovation.
Lots of new reality shows are debuting this week. Here’s some of the programs:
“NY Ink,” Thursdays on TLC: Ami James starred in “Miami Ink” and the tattoo artist moved to NYC for his new show. If you like tats and drama, then check out “NY Ink.”
“Food Network Star,” Sundays on the Food Network. This show went from a boring food competition to an edgier contest with younger competitors. Who will be the next Guy Fiari? FYI: he won the show’s second season.
“Finding Bigfoot,” Sundays on the Animal Planet: Yes, there are people with a lot of time on their hands looking for the furry creature. ‘Nuff said.
“Freaky Eaters,” Sundays on TLC: This may be the strangest new show on the summer schedule. “Freaky Eaters” follows freaky people that only eat things such as cheesy potatoes or tartar sauce. Eew!
“The Glee Project,” Debuts Sunday on Oxygen: Gleeks unite. One lucky winner of the show gets a starring role on the TV show. Unfortunately, we’re all sick of “Glee.”