I must confess I have always been a little bit skeptical about reality shows. Having nothing to do with the veracity of its content but rather being skeptical about the relationship between contestants. Right after they are kicked out of the show, and just a few weeks after their arrival, our main characters would, covered in tears, hug each other and promise eternal love….. How can anybody promise anything to another human being he or she barely knows?? Moreover, how can two or more people become real friends in such a short time?

Friendship is something that requires loyalty and loyalty requires trust. Would you trust someone that you met just a few weeks ago? This was my biggest issue… until now.

What changed in the last year?

Many things…

I was (like most of you reading this) taken away from my natural habitat and brought here to Madrid. Leaving my family, friends and everything I knew behind, I arrived to Spain alone and insecure about what was going to happen within the next 14 months. It was not just a place, but more importantly, a situation that was unfamiliar to me.
Soon I realized that my classmates were as uncertain as I was and little by little we were forced to rely on each other. Not by choice but out of necessity. There was nobody else around us.

Personally, I became more open. I learned that adversity is an opportunity and that it takes courage to ask for help. But I also learned that you can feel at home even though you are 10.000 km away from your family because home is neither a house nor a place; home is a feeling. And my classmates made me feel like I never left mine.

Just as a great meal is a consequence of mixing the right amount of condiments at exactly the right time, a recipe for a reality show follows the same pattern. Let`s take a look at the scenario: Locked together in a common building we were all being invited to be under the same “stage”. Neutral ground, diversity among participants, several different hosts, constant “tests”, competition and comradeship were the ingredients. Cameras all around us controlling every step we made and of course let`s not forget about the vending machines, providers of food… A specific beginning and a well promoted end (graduation). A wide portfolio of stories and one final goal: To be the best we can.

I do not know about you but I think I will be less judgmental the next time I watch a reality show. Nevertheless, reality or not, things did change for me from 2009 to 2010. I guess the biggest difference is that last year I had to turn to my classmates if I needed something. Now I don`t necessarily have to… I WANT TO.

This is my “takeaway”… Which one is yours…?

ANIBAL TUFRO (Current MIM Student)

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