Friday, July 2, 2010
Should Rawsrvnt get a spin-off reality show?
On last night’s episode of The Ultimate Merger, Christian rapper Rawsrvnt (aka Eddy Puyol) was told by Omarosa that he “could not close the deal” and was asked to check out of Vegas’ Trump International Hotel along with Sterling, the only other non-Black cast member. (The show’s lame visual metaphor for the dismissal: Shredding each guy’s mandatory pre-nup.) Many were surprised Raw even lasted this long.
The question now is: What’s next?
No Ordinary Contestant
As any VH1 channel lineup will reveal, it’s not uncommon for reality shows (particularly in the dating subgenre) to grant spin-offs to cast-offs like Eddy. But could or should that happen?
While The Ultimate Merger’s editing may indicate otherwise, my interactions with and research about Rawsrvnt reveal definite charisma. TV One’s website for TUM also supports this in that Eddy has been leading their “Which Bachelor is Your Ultimate Fantasy?” poll since the show premiered. I think that illustrates his popularity, draw, and audience mobilization skills.
And Raw didn’t disappoint his Christian fans. While skepticism greeted his initial announcement of participation in this production, most online commenters seemed to have turned a corner. Now there’s overwhelming support for Eddy representing his faith well in spite of the Sin City temptations provided by TUM’s assorted “challenges.”
His one-on-one interaction with Lady O (as the show is wont to call its headliner) earned particularly high marks from Christians who saw him proudly proclaim he was “in love with Jesus” and avoid the manufactured drama that ultimately creates memorable “characters” who receive exponentially more screen time.
Should a spin-off opportunity be presented to Raw, my suggestions would be two-fold:
1. Open up more
While he admirably proved he was serious about his goal of representing a true man of God, Eddy’s conversation with Omarosa also seemed a bit cold. Perhaps being unsure of how his character would be crafted in the editing room, Eddy chose to make sure he talked about Christ just about every time he opened his mouth so that cutting any mention of Jesus from his dialogue would be near impossible. But still, it seemed to limit the amount of his personality that could shine through.
I’d coach him to relax a bit and simply be himself. If Christ truly resides within him (which I do not doubt), then He’ll naturally reveal Himself through word and deed.
2. Try to step away from the dating sub-genre
Let’s be honest, this is not the best entertainment – morally or artistically. These type of shows seem overly dramatic with situations painfully manipulated to create conflict. Shoot, the producers might as well be shown on-screen directing the action.
But the reality television genre can work when it’s done more documentary style or as part of a legitimate search for new talent.
I think Rawsrvnt would be great hosting a Sunday’s Best type affair that looks for the next Christian hip hop star or as part of a show that explores his life as an urban music minister. This close examination of a unique personality/situation/career works very well on Discovery with Deadliest Catch and on TLC via Little People, Big World and 19 Kids and Counting.
These shows can be both interesting and uplifting and are often very open to portraying their main subjects’ personal faith. As a bonus for the networks: They also heavily draw viewers from the same sort of crowd.
As for me and my house, I guess I’ll let my DVR catch the rest of TUM and only occasionally peep in to see one of television’s worst trainwrecks. However, I know I’d be paying much closer attention if there were more guys like Rawsrvnt on my screen.
What about you? Do you think Rawsrvnt could handle a reality show spinoff? Would you watch? Would it matter what type of show it was?