The reality TV industry is built on humiliation. No duh. Come on, Gabe, these guys aren’t idiots. They know. Some shows are structured entirely on the embarrassment and public ridicule of their stars. And in the case of VH1, an entire network. But most of that humiliation is fabricated. With the proper selection of un-self-conscious exhibitionists, an unhealthy amount of free liquor for breakfast, and preposterous elimination games, the process of generating human shame is as automated and streamlined as Henry Ford’s revolutionary Model T assembly line plants. Not to mention the heavy orchestration of most of reality TV’s “captured” moments, which are often written by a team of writers, produced by a team of producers, and edited by a team of editors to get the exact, pre-determined, desired scene.
So it’s actually rare these days to catch a genuinely awkward moment. Like, the moment where all of a sudden a group of self-involved narcissists with a burning desire for attention at any cost wish that maybe they weren’t so self-involved and narcissistic and had a more tempered desire for attention if it would mean that a camera crew were not there to capture this disaster.
For two weeks, DeShawn Snow has been hyping up the big charity event for her Foundation, insisting that she would raise $1,000,000 in one night. There was already a lot of grumbling from the other ladies about how overly ambitious that figure was and how DeShawn was in for some disappointment, but those ladies are dream-eating nightmares of status envy and low self-esteem! I was holding out hope. Go big or go home (to your massive, disgustingly decorated mansion), you guys. But it was even worse than anyone predicted, and the “auction,” which was supposed to be one of the main donation generators at the event, was so embarrassing that I almost felt bad for DeShawn. Almost!
Yikes. Double yikes. There’s not even any schadenfreude involved in this particular moment. It’s just sad. I mean, not sad enough that DeShawn Snow realized maybe she didn’t need to have five outfit changes in a night dedicated to helping out underprivileged youth. Not sad enough that DeShawn Snow took it upon herself to examine how perhaps her priorities and goal setting had been more about building up the DeShawn Snow name and that perhaps next time she would refocus her energy on actually motivating people to give back to their community rather throwing a fabulous party and hoping it trickled down. Not that sad. DeShawn still found a way to blame it on everyone else and ignore her own culpability in the situation.
But still, pretty fucking sad.