If Satan had a son – he would be would be called Satan Jr…but that’s beside the point. John Edward calls himself a ‘medium’ when we all know he is a bit of an ‘extra small’. Again beside the point. The man is an idiot who manipulates and should be burnt at the stake – okay perhaps that’s a bit too dramatic – maybe just a lashing of sorts. Check out this parody that sums up what he’s up to.
It’s Sunday morning and there is a hint of closterphobia in the air – I open a window, much better. It is now replaced with excitement! I pack a bag filled with my oversized Woolies, 100%, cotton pyjamas, my hot water bottle, make a stop at the golden arches for my super sized – ‘buy in bulk and save’ – meal and ring the doorbell of my friend Jennie’s parent’s home. They have PVR and have recorded all my programmes of the week and I am ready for a marathon of TV watching. On the playlist: Keeping up with the Kardashians, Kourtney and Khloe take Miami, Girls of the Playboy Mansion, Holly’s World, Kendra, Survivor Micronesia and Idols – I have instructed them not to tape Big Brother All Stars anymore – too boring, not enough sex, violence and strong language- it’s a waste of my precious time. I settle into the couch, disappearing every now and again between the pillows, Jennie’s mom checks my vitals and concludes that I am still breathing. I confirm this by managing to lift my arm and eat a chip that had landed between the crevices of the couch – I’m still alive, but she will need to check again in an hour or so. Inside I am bubbling with excitement. I want to be a Kardashian. I want to have a pool party at the Playboy Mansion. I want to outwit, outlast, outplay on a beautiful island in a mystical land called Micronesia (never heard of it, but I am learning new things as the day progresses. In The Kardashians – I learnt all about the dangers of being late for a photo shoot and how it could compromise your career – I am learning fast but I have a long way to go).
Something unexpected suddenly happens- my phone rings. I am confused. The last time I was interrupted like this was during an episode of The Amazing Race Asia a few months earlier. My vision became impaired, suddenly the characters I had gotten to know so well, started becoming blurry. I was convinced my eye-sight had been permanently affected and that I would have to start listening to the radio instead, or worse – go for walks. I let out a blood curdling scream and Jennie’s mom came running to my assistance. She hugged me and told me it was the sun shining through the windows and reflecting on the television, as I hadn’t closed the curtains. I was not convinced. She closed the curtains and she was right, I will never make that mistake twice! I had hoped that one of these interruptions would not happen again soon, I was wrong- my phone is ringing and I can’t hear Kendra talking about her pole dancing. What will I do? I start becoming increasingly emotional when suddenly the ringing stops. Thank God, it was too close though and Jennie’s brother, who is so tall I have never had the energy to look up to his face, so I have no way of telling if it actually was him, helps me by switching my phone to silent. Idols is about to start and I can barely contain myself. I attempt to let out a ‘whoohoo’ but all that I can manage is a ‘who’. Jennie’s mom comes running into the room again, ‘who what?’ she asks. I am too tired to reply. She hands me an energy drink and holds it up to my mouth, I manage a sip and my strength is immediately replenished and I am ready for my last programme of the day.
They are slowly fazing out Liezl van der Westhuizen and a man named Proverb (I tell Jennie’s mom that I think he is from the Bible- she grunts at me and cleans up the energy drink I spilled) introduces the show. Something is going terribly wrong. As the show progresses, I find myself going trough a myriad of emotions. A smorgasbord of feelings if you will and I will- I did! I feel different than I did watching the American reality shows, I am more invested. I really feel for these would-be, fledgling Idols. One of the Idols, a young woman in a wheelchair suddenly collapses. The camera shows her passed out backstage being resuscitated by a team of medics. She is rushed off in an ambulance. I am in tears, which I know is dangerous as I have not taken in enough fluids and am worried that I myself will pass out. Next they show a young man who hopes to win the show as it would mean a way out of poverty for him and his family. They show pictures of his baby daughter. I sense how the show is manipulating me and I am playing along, but it is different to other talent searches. It’s geographical. There is so much more at stake in South Africa. I gather my last bit of energy and explain to Jennie’s mom that in South Africa where we only have the very rich and the very poor, with very little in-between a show like this is morally questionable. Jennie’s mom is not in the room when I say this but I know I am right. The show ends with one of the judges handing a contestant R20 to buy food as he is hungry. I realise I too am hungry. Jennie’s mom hands me R20 and encourages me to leave. I am exhausted. I go home and decide to unwind by watching Ultimate Survival- Bear Grills teaches me how to drink my own pee out of a snake’s skin if I am thirsty. I make a mental note to remember that next Sunday.