Nigerians were mesmerized as they sat glued to their TV sets and watched the debut of the Gulder Ultimate Search (“GUS”) on Snake Island in Lagos, which was powered by Nigerian Breweries Plc in 2004. The essence was to fish out the last man standing among the ten competitors (five young men and five ladies), who would be crowned as the “Ultimate Man”, become an ambassador of the “Gulder brand”, and of course have fame and fortune as his loyal bodyguards. The “GUS” was viewed across the Nation and watched enthusiastically by millions of Nigerians courtesy of the A-list TV stations. Besides, the Gulder brand during and after the reality show, received higher patronage from customers, boosting the sales output.
The “GUS” has become an annual competition in the programmes calendar Nigerian Music as thousands of males and females troop to various test camps, with the hope of earning a spot among the last ten who would compete for the ultimate prize. The reality TV show gives the winner a monetary sum of N 7 million( the highest so far in all the reality TV shows in Nigeria) and a branded jeep, above the 2nd and 3rd positions. In April 2010, the maiden edition of the “GUS” celebrities show down was birthed, where ten celebrities ( Princess, Funke Akindele, Weird MC, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Dare Art Alade, Daddy Showkey, Emeka Ike, Muma Gee, Obesere, Chioma akpota) following the rules of the “GUS” were chosen to battle it out. Rita Dominic, Omowunmi, Ramsey Nouah had initially made the list, but it was rumoured that a controversy surrounding Genevieve Nnaji’s role as the host might have been one of the factors responsible for their backing out.
A reality TV programme simply means one that is void of ‘acting out’ unfolding events. Everything that happens is unplanned, real, documented for viewers to see ongoing happenings with every passing moment. There are no actors, just competitors (young men and women who live next door, down the street) giving their best to win the star prize. The setting varies based on the theme of the reality show. Apart from a few like the GUS and the Desert warriors, most competitors are housed in comfortable, exotic locations.
Over the years, following the success recorded with the “GUS” hit, other reality tv shows have sprung up, with some being competed for on annual basis while a few have crashed out, perhaps, due to lack of sponsors. The reality TV shows have discovered, harnessed the potentials of young people majorly in the entertainment spheres while Business, oratory, conservation of the environment have also conceived and brought forth same. The under listed reflects the various reality TV programmes that have hit our screens after the debut of the GUS:
The Intern – Business
Star Quest – Music
Big brother Nigeria – Social
Amstel Malta box office (AMBO) – Movies
The Next movie star – Movies
Idols West Africa – Music
Nokia first chance – Music
MTN project fame west Africa – Music
MTN Nig /Ghana soccer academy – Football
The Apprentice – Business
Celebrity takes two – Dance
Football with Fash – Football
Football with Okocha – Football
Kids alone – social (for children)
The 12 Ambassadors – Movies
Koko Mansion – Social
Maltina family dance al – Dance
Quest Nigeria – Tourism
Desert warriors – Conservation of Environment
The Deabaters – Oratory
Praise Him Idol west Africa (music), Titans Nigeria (embracing different fields) and Styleogenic (Fashion) are set to make their debut as well into the reality TV fold.
Nigerians now look forward to some of these reality TV shows, and to those that are about to emerge or are presently simply ideas, we proudly await your debut.