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If he has been a contestant on a reality show it is important to ask which one. If he was on Hell’s Kitchen you cannot be interested. This is a firm rule. If he was on another show that requires a discernable skill (Project Runway (assuming he is not into other guys), Top Chef, etc.) or is based on self-improvement (Biggest Loser) then there remains a possibility that he could be a keeper.

Let’s first dispense with contestants from Hell’s Kitchen. Have you seen this show? If your answer is Hell No, then good for you. This is the one where Gordon Ramsay (who is actually a remarkably impressive guy and chef, although how he found his way onto this show remains a mystery) barks and scowls at contestants who are vying to become a chef in one of his dozen restaurants. If he screamed and carried on in his own special way with capable aspiring chefs your heart would go out to them. Who hasn’t been at the bottom of an organization and worked hard to prove to their superiors that they were worthy? It is easy to empathize with guys at the bottom. But these guys are not just hopeless, they do not even understand they are hopeless. This leads to an important rule.

When you encounter a guy who has a startling inability to look within himself, avoid him at all costs. When they have these qualities and show them off to the world on a tv show, stay far far away. There may be a temptation that you take a guy like this under your wing and transform him. Sometimes fictional characters in movies take on a challenge like this with moderate success.  Heck, each week Gordon Ramsay takes on this challenge (no doubt getting paid handsomely for the pleasure) with a dozen guys who have little ability or desire to improve. Keep in mind that even though he is one of the foremost chef in the world and is a willing and able teacher, he is unable to transform these guys into chefs.

Contestants on other reality shows who have a discernable skill are a different breed. They have a skill! They may be good at what they do or even outstanding and likely have the tools to have a normal life, and this is good. However, presumably one reason they are on tv is that they want to be famous and this can be bad. There is a chance that guys with a skill might want to be famous not just for the sake of being famous, but to make the world a better place. And this is good. You’ll have to discover their motivations yourself.

Contestants who are on shows geared toward their own self-improvement seem like a likeable bunch and are exempt from the concerns raised above.

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