VietNamNet Bridge - Despite the growing number of television reality shows, the quality of these programs is actually inverse, standard deviation, and in contrast to the format of the foreign original shows.


Reality TV appeared in the U.S. since the 1940s. In its early days, the famous sneaky filming show at that time, called “Candid Camera” resonated and laid the foundation for the development of reality TV. The 1970s marked the development of the first modern reality show named “An American Family,” which revolved around the lives of families after divorce.

Reality TV has experienced many phases of development and the number of reality shows around the world is countless. The most famous shows are Master Chef, Got Talent, The Voice, Idol, X-Factor, Platinum Hit, The Sing Off, So you think you can dance?, Dancing with the stars ...

The attractiveness of these shows comes from the realistic situations that are not arranged in advance, which show the audience the very real emotions from participants or the interesting situation happening in real life.

2012 – The year of reality shows in Vietnam

In Vietnam, reality TV appeared in 2004 with the “Sao Mai Diem Hen” (Morning Star Rendezvous) – a music show, the first season with the victory belongs to Tung Duong and Kasim Hoang Vu.

After 8 years, the number of reality shows in Vietnam is increasing. In 2012 alone, the Vietnamese audience watched a lot of reality shows of this kind, such as Vietnam Idol, Sao Mai Diem Hen, Hop Ca Tranh Tai (choir competition), Cap Doi Hoan Hao (Just the Two of US), The Voice Vietnam, Buoc Nhay Hoan Vu (Dancing with the Star), So you think you can dance?, Vietnam Next Top Model and the newly-launched Master Chef.

Foreign-origin reality shows have become a "breath of fresh air" on local TV channels. In 2012, more than a dozen of reality shows based on foreign formats, which are mainly competitions with humor, talent, dramatic and alluring elements, were broadcasted.

The effect of these programs is so strong in society. They have created social craze for candidates of reality shows. The typical names are Uyen Linh of Vietnam Idol 2010, Huong Tram, Bui Anh Tuan, Dinh Huong and Dong Lan of The Voice 2012.

Quality uncertainty

The trainers of The Voice 2012.

The Vietnamizing of foreign reality shows is not always with good results because it depends on the material conditions as well as the professional thinking of the producers.

After the Blind round, which made strong impression on the audience, The Voice 2012 revealed poor quality of sound, which made a few performances become “stage disasters.” The visual quality also made many people unhappy.

The Vietnam Idol 2012 struggled to find ways to attract viewers by non-music factors, such as the gender or ethnic origin of candidates. Each round went through tediously because the themes were not new compared to the previous season.

The Vietnam's Next Top Model 2012, after three seasons, seemed to be "exhausted" with the tedious contents and was occupied by advertising clips for the sponsors.

The quality of competitors of the three above reality shows is also a problem. The Voice "excavated" many more “disasters” although these candidates passed thousands of other contestants. The quality of contestants of Vietnam Idol 2012 also declined compared to the previous season. Transgender contestant Huong Giang has the worst voice but she was in the top four. Other contestants were not very special and impressive.

Dinh Huong, a contestant of The Voice 2012.

But the quality of the contestants of the Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2012 is the most disappointing. Even the winner is still clumsy in posing for photos and the top 3 contestants are not confident on the catwalk.

Many reality shows in 2012 also used scandals as a form to lure viewers, making them ugly in the eyes of the audience. Many people still remember the scandals related to the Vietnam’s Got Talent, the Dancing with the Star and especially, The Voice.

The main task of talent search programs is to basically entertain the audience and it is not highly expected in the talents that are discovered from such competitions.

After all, the audience has the most power to decide the fate of any TV show. Among numerous reality shows, they are more comfortable to choose the best ones.

Compiled by T. Van