At the beginning of this incarnation of the reality TV craze, started in the main by The Real World, there was Eric Nies. He was the only one who managed to break out and keep a bit of the fame he gained by having his life taped. Fast-forward to eleven years later. There are probably 100 times more hours of reality TV programming per week than back then, a number that has been steadily increasing over the last four years, at least. And from that, who really has managed to break out? There was Puck. He went nowhere. There was Rich. He went to court and made a few appearances. That other Survivor girl did a few commercials and appeared in The Animal. Mandy from Temptation Island worked for MTV for a short while. A very short while. Shannon from that same show did a gig on Miss Teen Universe or some shit. Uh, the Big Brother people. Where are they? The Mole? Road Rules? Boot Camp? Where is O-Town? Where will Justin and Kelly and the American Idol people be in a few years? Where will Paula Abdul and Simon be, come to think of it? Where is Mark L. Walberg now? ["It's called Russian Roulette, but sadly it's not the kind where he's in real mortal danger." -- Wing Chun] Where will Joe Rogan be when people tire of watching guys eat cow dick on screen?
Yesterday I went to the Warhol exhibit at the Modern here in L.A. They had the fifteen minutes quote, and I realized, the quote was actually that everyone will be "world-famous." These people aren't even that! The quote was outside of an exhibit of Warhol's "screen tests," where he put a 16mm camera on people and ran it for two minutes or so, telling the people just to stare in the camera, with the hopes that their real personalities would come out. And watching it, you could see, it was the direct precursor to The Confessional. And really, about as interesting. Perhaps the random people who dropped by The Factory and took part, didn't assume they were going to be famous afterward, and similarly, perhaps most of the people who sign up for reality shows don't expect to be famous either. But a surprising number still reveal, once the show is over, that they've since "moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting." And then we see them on "Where Are They Now?" clips or reunion shows, discussing how difficult it has been -- and you can read the shock on their faces that their season on The Real World hasn't led casting directors to fall all over themselves to cast them.