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News of the Weird Paranormal Skepticism/critical thinking

A show in which “reality TV” is a misnomer

A “reality” television show is being developed in Israel that has to be about the biggest misnomer I’ve ever heard. You see, infamous fake “spoon bender” Uri Geller is doing a televisions show in which he seeks an “heir” to his psychic/telekinetic throne:

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – After four decades of bending spoons, halting clocks, reading minds, and penning metaphysical thrillers, Uri Geller is seeking a paranormal protege.

A reality television show being produced in Israel, where Geller grew up, will feature 10 contestants vying for the title of “heir” to the world-famous celebrity psychic.

“The format will be something like ‘American Idol’. We will keep the performances that are most riveting and amazing,” Geller told Reuters Wednesday, adding that viewers with “intuitive powers” will also be invited to call in and compete.

Geller, 59, declined to elaborate on what supernatural skills the contestants claim to have, and whether clairvoyants — who might be assumed to have an edge in predicting judges’ votes — are taking part. He described the prize, simply, as “huge.”

Oh, goody. I can hardly wait. How ridiculous can a show get? I only wish they’d pick James Randi as one of the judges. He could play the Simon Cowell role: “Really, now. That was the worst I’ve ever seen. I could tell exactly how you did it!”

Not surprisingly, Uri doesn’t seem to be that concerned about whether there are any real psychics there:

“This is not a show where people have to prove to me that they are for real,” Geller said, adding that he has no plans to retire. “I just want to be amazed.”

There’s good reason for that, given that Geller has been quite thoroughly exposed as a fraud by The Amazing Randi (includes the famous footage of Uri Geller on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson):

Any bets as to how long before this show makes it to the U.S.? Or perhaps we’ll have variants on it, with psychics like Allison DuBois seeing how well contestants can use their “psychic powers” to solve real crimes.

You know, I’d be dangerous if I were a TV producer.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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