Elizabeth Hasselbeck achieved fame on the second Survivor reality TV show, and went on to become a leading voice for conservatives for 10 years on The View. Rachel Campos-Duffy met her husband Sean Duffy on a spin-off of MTV’s Real World, where they’d both done stints. After achieving fame on the show, Sean Duffy became a Republican U.S. Congressman and Campos-Duffy became a prominent conservative spokeswoman.
Since winning the sixth season of American Idol at age 17, Jordin Sparks has used her fame to speak up for evangelical Christian values. A modern version of the show, The Voice, which also features up-and-coming vocal talent, frequently showcases contestants who proudly profess their Christian faith and sing Christian songs. The Voice has given country artist Blake Shelton - and by extension, his wife Miranda Lambert - the opportunity to cross-over into the mainstream where their Christian values are prominently on display. Ironically, Shelton was initially reluctant about reality shows, but now says his favorite reality TV show is Realtree Road Trips, a show about deer hunting.
While reality TV stars are derided for lacking the classical training of traditional actors or musicians, this doesn’t reflect the whole picture. Many actors got to where they’re at based on the “casting couch,” money or connections, not talent. Reality TV provides a way up for those who have talent but lack the resources to become an actor or singer the traditional way. Outspoken conservatives and Christians who would be turned down for Hollywood roles based on their viewpoints are welcomed onto reality TV. When Rachel Campos-Duffy was selected to be on MTV’s Real World, the show blatantly promoted her in trailers as a passionate Republican and Catholic.
Many reality shows are better suited to conservatives and traditional values than a lot of the most popular TV shows today. The late and great conservative Andrew Breitbart made significant inroads into exposing the deception of the left through instantaneous video interactions, arguably a form of reality TV. We should be smart enough to see the opportunity that reality TV can be to help us win the war for the culture.