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Forgive Me, Father, For I Have Sinned

It’s amazing how the internet can connect two people in ways unimaginable just a decade ago. I recently blogged about the television show “Popularity Contest” (where city folk go to a small town in Texas and live with the locals until a popularity contest is held every three days and the least popular person is escorted out of town by the sheriff). In my posting, I displayed a trait that I accused the citizens of that town of having: ignorance.

Not only did I have some of my facts wrong* (only one African-American was kicked out within the first 3 episodes, and people don’t vote out the least popular, they vote for the most popular and the person with the least votes leaves town), but I stopped following one of my major rules of television viewing: don’t always believe what you see.

As an avid reality TV fan (going back to the original Real World, the first seasons of Survivor, all of the Big Brother series’, the Biggest Loser and the Surreal Life), I should know by now that what you see on the screen is what the producers and editing crew want you to see. Reality TV is not reality. Still, I based my opinion of the entire population of Vega, TX, on the behavior of a few people and at the discretion of the editing room staff.

It took a really sweet woman’s comment on my blog to realize this. This comment has eventually developed into a very interesting email exchange. You see, she’s a resident of Vega, TX. In fact, she was one of the host families to some of the contestants. So, if anybody knows what was really going on in that town – it would be her. She also brought to my attention that the show was actually filmed during election season (in G.W.’s Texas, no less!). Yet even the liberal northern contestants were treated with respect and even guided in ways to help them win the show.

So, I stand corrected. Although I’m sure there are residents of that town with small minds, I can rattle off a list of residents  from Boston with similar mentalities. I mean, it’s no proud fact that Boston was host to some of the worst racial tension of the 1970’s when bussing was required to desegregate schools.

Unfortunately, this means that I’m going to have to continue watching Popularity Contest because, as with all reality shows (which I love), bad television makes for great conversation! Besides, that whole cowboy look of tight jeans and cowboy boots always does something for me (I’m so jealous of Rory, one of the candidates, who has befriended quite a few).

Oh, and my new Vegan friend (that’s what they call themselves…I like it!) is encouraging me to visit Vega! How cool is that? It’s like the Six Degrees of Separation of the reality TV world. I think this makes me a 2nd degree reality star! Autographs will be mailed to you if you provide self-addressed stamped envelopes.



*In my defense, I had only watched a few episodes and posted about it many days later


  1. Comment by Will on May 3, 2005 11:50 am

    I always thought that group names like vegans or Ephesians (a group St. Paul wrote to in the Bible) sounded like alien peoples from the original Star Trek: “The Vegans have requested standard orbit, Captain” or “I’m just an old country doctor, Jim, and I can’t deal with the Ephesians’ magnesium-based blood!”

  2. Comment by deb on May 3, 2005 1:13 pm

    Ok… Vegaian, Vegaite, Vegaies, Vegonians,Vegaish, Vegaese,….would any of these suit you better? In all actuality, we are just a bunch of decent human beings from a small little country town called Vega. LOL

  3. Comment by rory on May 10, 2005 7:19 pm

    Its true there is just something about those cowboys! I’m glad you are watching!

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