Single page view By Kieran Darcy
Page 2

I never thought I'd say this. Never. Ever. But, alas, here I go:

Reality TV has jumped the shark.

I know, I know ... many of you think it did a long time ago. But you've got to understand. I'm a junkie. This summer I'm watching "The Real World: Austin," "Laguna Beach" and "Big Brother 6." And that's a pretty light schedule for me.

I've seen every season of "The Real World." Every season of "The Apprentice." Every season of "Big Brother." Every season of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." Not to mention multiple seasons of "Survivor" and "High School Reunion," "Joe Millionaire," "For Love or Money," "The Restaurant," and "Sorority Life" and ... I better stop there.

Evan Marriott
Was it the fake millionaire sighting that had our author wishing for the end of reality TV?

But now, they've gone too far. Now, they've made me physically sick.

What show has prompted this utter disgust?

"Battle of the Network Reality Stars."

First, a disclaimer: I caught only about 20 minutes of the show's premiere on Bravo Wednesday night.

But I'll tell you what ... that was plenty.

The show, a takeoff of the original "Battle of the Network Stars" from the '70s and '80s, bills itself as "the single biggest gathering of reality stars in a competition-based show, encompassing 16 different series from eight networks." There are 31 contestants in all, plus three "roving reporters." By my count, I watched 21 of them on their original shows.

Told you I was a junkie.

Anyway, when I first heard about the concept of this show, I thought it could be a home run. After all, I've watched all the various editions of MTV's "Real World vs. Road Rules Challenge."

And when I saw who was going to be on the show, I still thought I might like it. Sure, there are some contestants I can't stand (like Coral from "The Real World" and Richard Hatch from "Survivor"), but there are also some contestants I really like, such as Theo from "Road Rules" and Tina Fabulous from "The Bachelor."

I missed the first half of the episode, which apparently involved an obstacle course and a dunk tank. During the segments I saw, contestants competed in a jousting contest, and then the two losing teams had to vote off one of their members.

And then I just couldn't take it anymore.

But there was one saving grace in all this. First, I heard his voice, from off-camera, instructing the contestants during the jousting. It sounded awfully familiar. Soon, I thought I had placed it. "No ... could it really be him?"

Then he appeared on camera, talking to the contestants about the voting process.

Mike Adamle! The host of "American Gladiators"!

I hope you remember "American Gladiators." Those of you who don't -- shame on you. Go Google it, immediately.

Nevertheless, I still turned off my TV, and started contemplating why I was so disgusted with this new show. I found myself fondly reminiscing about those carefree Saturday mornings watching "American Gladiators." The Human Cannonball. Hang Tough. Breakthrough & Conquer. What wonderful events.

And then it all made sense -- why "Battle of the Network Reality Stars" just doesn't cut it. I'm tired of watching nonathletes attempting to compete in athletic events. And I'm really tired of watching people deliberating about who to vote off of television shows.

Continued...

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REALITY BURNOUT