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The Reality of Reality TV

OPB | Feb. 5, 2010 9 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 9:14 p.m.

Turn on the television any night and it is likely that there will be at least one — if not several — reality tv shows to watch. You may love them, or you may hate them, but do you realize how many Oregonians are a part of this entertainment craze?

A couple of weeks ago Ax Men started up its third season profiling loggers in the Pacific Northwest. Little People, Big World follows a family on their farm in Hillsboro. And next month Comcast launches its new show, Wanted, which was shot in Bend. In it, eager contestants compete to become the host of a new adventure television show.

And then, of course, there are the many people from here who have enjoyed stardom in shows shot elsewhere. Oregonians have had starring roles on Design Star, American Idol, Project Runway, Girls Next Door, and this list continues.

Many years ago critics proclaimed the end of reality television, but in fact there are more shows than ever. What’s it like being on one? How has it changed these people’s lives? How do these stars change because of the experience?

Do you love, or hate, reality tv? What would you like to ask people who participate in it?

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