What made “American Idol,” “Survivor” and “Dancing With the Stars” so successful?
These hit contest franchises have three important things in common:
First, they create an emotional tug by portraying the contestants’ personalities and individual stories.
Second, they pull us in deeper with close-up studies of how the contestants react to pressure.
Third, they inject these elements into a competitive scenario that reveals clear winners and losers in a nail-biting crescendo.
It boils down to an intense human drama involving real people that viewers have grown to care about deeply.
And it’s all totally manufactured and orchestrated, for effect.
Video contest sponsors should consider the techniques Hollywood has perfected with these hit shows.