The RTL success show recruits its "stars" now mostly from other reality productions, thus knocking the old celebrity aristocracy on the head. Peer Schader believes: This is not bad, but changes the essence of the show.
by Peer Schader , Berlin on 30.01.2022 – 08:27
It is the year 18, after German celebrities were sent for the first time by the TV station RTL into a primary forest touched only by minimal camera installations- or as it would be called in the moving image medium of our hearts (if you would please briefly imagine the quivering voice of Daniel Hartwich on this): Day 212 in the jungle- and nothing is as it once was!
Because, without wanting to get pathetic: Almost two decades after its premiere, "I’m a Star- Get me out of here!" In the current season, the show has undergone several paradigm shifts.
(And not because the "sympathetic small theme channel on the outskirts of Cologne is gleaning more additional broadcasting slots than ever before.)
If someone- say:
After a jungle test had to be cancelled for the first time last week because it was too windy for the planned gymnastics over a slope, and the camp was then generously given the full number of stars to be acquired, host Hartwich asked: "Has this show lost its bite??"
No, worse: she has obviously discovered her moral compass.
And that’s not even the most serious change that "IBES" has made must currently come to terms with. After all, the jungle is now- mainly because of the tsunami of reality productions that are sweeping through the programming of the streaming offshoot RTL+ surrounded by formats, many of which are just as drastic or stupid as the mother of all celebrity provocations has been accused of being over many years.
This has (at least in part) also influenced the field from which "I’m a Star" has recruits its candidates. And so strongly that even the participants themselves notice it. "I know also not how you can join such people and us here. Real stars and then these social media people. I know not at all, how such a thing goes", Harald Gloockler just wondered in front of running cameras in the camp, before fellow sufferer Anouschka Renzi shortly before her tearful ADS confession in the dispute with her fellow examiners to the ultimate demarcation: "I am at least a star! You are not."
But it’s not that simple (anymore). Or as Anouschka’s counterpart Linda replied: "Nevertheless, you’re sitting here with me now [and have] done the same jungle test, you star!“
Career proof? Unnecessary
Gloockler and Renzi may be similar to throne competitor Tina Ruland, the last of their kind. You are one of those old jungle celebrities who belong on the red list because they are threatening to become extinct over the years. People who had acquired their eligibility not as a well-known actor or actress, singer or athlete, but primarily by participating in other TV shows, have always belonged to the "IBES", but they are now mostly from other reality productions-Cast. The others have also regularly claimed the crown for themselves from the very beginning. But this time the new "stars" are outnumbered for the first time.
At the start of the season, Sonja Zietlow and Daniel Hartwich flirted with the fact that in a survey, more Germans than ever before said they knew none of the current participants- and that’s not a coincidence or an accident, but: simply the course of things.
It comes to be in the "dream house of the stars" to be tipped over with slime or in the "shotto-lotto" It is no longer important for them to be able to make the acquaintance of crickets, maggots and superworms, or to have "really achieved something" beforehand in the classic sense of a career I was not prepared to have the kind of "fast" that Renzi claims for herself, but instead to shine in other TV formats with sufficient conspicuousness to subsequently generate an income like Jasmin Herren: "I can already make a living from Instagram."
This change can be ignored, regretted or lamented- but no longer changing, because after a decade and a half the format has either already successfully assimilated all the stars formerly considered prominent (and sufficiently broke) in the classic sense, or has solicited them sufficiently often in vain.
From art figure to human being
When Oliver Pocher has been boiled down to a pleasantly high sum, there won’t be too many options left to continue putting together a twelve-man (and woman) jungle ensemble every year, without filling it with a majority of people who are less interested in the money than in the two-week media presence to prove their toughness and increase the value of their brand.
This also changes the nature of the show itself. There are fewer and fewer contestants who are worth tuning in to see, in the truest sense of the word, unvarnished; there is no longer any need to rehash scandals from the past, because no one can remember where all the people claim their celebrity from anyway; most of the contestants are no longer even suitable for the classic campfire confession, because there is nothing to confess that hasn’t already been seen elsewhere.
An outdated celebrity term
Harald Gloockler is currently the exception to this rule, and at the same time a reminder of a strength that the format had for many years, because it was only possible on "Ich bin ein Star to send an art figure into the jungle that is publicly staged down to the last detail and to let her become a normal human being with strengths and weaknesses after a few days there.
In the camp, Gloockler, trembling, talked about the shadows of his childhood, proved himself to be a listener and comforter for his fellow campers, demonstrated his ability to be responsible and his will to persevere, and harmed himself in the group with his long unconditional loyalty to Renzi Whether this is congenial or not is something that everyone must decide for themselves. But one thing is certain: The Harald Gloockler in South Africa is not the Gloockler that the German public has gotten to know so far. And that is- fantastic.
For many participants it is different, and possibly some try new things like "Bachelor-Ex Linda Nobat ("I consider myself an interesting person")- that with an increased degree of to balance out its willingness to engage in conflict, while the old celebrity aristocracy is amazed at how the reality rabble is confidently beginning to mingle with them, bursting the castles in the air of an outdated concept of celebrity like soap bubbles.
"I’ve been doing this for 35 years", Gloockler has tried to complain in between- but of course that didn’t help the French king in 1789 either.
The cockroach among reality shows
In the meantime, the nobility privileges at "IBES" are all abolished, the old system has been overthrown in quiet revolution, the new order long established. In front of the monkey pooping from the palm tree in the camp, all celebrities are equal anyway- and that applies increasingly also in theoffentlichkeit beyond the Dschungelcamp, for whose participation Gloockler ("I am for many humans ‘ne Ikone"), as he told, already many years ago one requested, in order to leave itself with its acceptance afterwards so long time that he does not understand now the new rules of the game any longer.
(In this context, Renzi’s repeatedly repeated accusation that everyone else in the camp is "just for show" seems all the more absurd make- because it u.a. their buddy Harald, who is a walking personality show beyond South Africa, practices exactly the other way around.)
The format learns to deal with this paradigm shift, as with everything it has had projected onto it over all these years (enthusiastic following, disgust, irreversible rejection): by making fun of it.
And if you look at how successful the jungle continues to be, even without the big celebrity lineup, it doesn’t seem to be hurting him either. "Until the end of next week, we’ll just tune out the world around us and focus on our 250-square-meter microcosm down there", Zietlow promised in the middle of the week in her introductory remarks and that is exactly what the public- this year more than ever- wishes. Probably "I am a star simply the cockroach among reality shows: still there when all others have long since been wiped out. No matter how hard it is to find good staff for it.
And so: back to Cologne.
RTL shows "I am a star Get me out of here!" until Saturday daily after 10 p.m., and on Thursday already at 8 p.m.3 p.m.
About the author
Peer Schader works as a freelance journalist in Berlin. Wrote his first TV review in 2000 about an RTL II driving debt soap (and a few more after that). Likes television especially when it really goes out of its way to captivate its audience.