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Ray Pooch Wrote:
However, if something else catches fire, they will run with it. E.g. if someone else is a surprisingly charismatic entrant, if two players fall in love, etc, they will milk it for all that it is worth.
That is part of the formula in most reality shows, they allow things to happen naturally between people, and alter their plans accordingly. Often they have multiple backup ideas\plans because they do cast people who are unpredictable and create good TV.
While The Apprentice has a predetermined winner (or a couple of options), the winner of Survivor is not controlled by the producers. What happens on survivor is that they profile the hell out of people in advance, and select about 4 people who have the winning skills\personalities, and the rest of the cast are entertaining personalities that will either help or hurt the ultimate winner. It always possible one of 4 does not win, and someone unexpected wins, which has happened at least a couple of times. After 18 years, the producers have refined their casting skills, so they rarely are wrong anymore.
Also, shows like The Apprentice and Survivor are edited after all filming is completed, thus they can even further increase the entertainment value focusing on key people and event that foreshadow things to come. Reality TV is not a documentary. If the winner is major sexist asshole that loves to grab boobs, and constantly hitting on women, the producers can decide to include that side of his personality, or drop it completely. Each episode is about 42 minutes long, thus only a small percentage of footage gets on air, and most of what is filmed lays on the cutting room floor.