Sorry, I can’t tell you who won


Anonymous
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An article from The Straits Times April 16th 2008

A gag order on the winner of Contender Asia after the finale in this Internet age makes everybody look stupid

Tay Yek Keak
I WENT to watch a very exciting Muay Thai boxing match last Saturday night and I am dying to tell you who won. But I simply cannot reveal the winner in the final of The Contender Asia, the reality TV series shot in Singapore.

The show is a take-off from The Contender in the United States, the reality boxing series created by Mark Burnett, and there’s a gag order from the producers imposed on me as a member of the media.

I signed a non-disclosure form, and if I were to reveal the winner, I think I might be sued until my trousers are reduced to boxer shorts.

The media is embargoed for 12 eternal days until April 24, after the final show of the series – meaning the battle I saw – is shown to TV audiences the night before.

The series is currently running weekly on cable’s AXN channel and will reach its final episode only next Wednesday.

Here’s the ridiculous thing: I wasn’t the only one privy to this super secret because there were about 6,000 other people around me, all presumably fight fans, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

And since Saturday, they’d probably have told their pals, their colleagues, their families, basically anybody interested to know, until that result is now ancient history.

And if people want to see the bout with their own eyes, versions of it from multiple angles, are probably available on YouTube, blogs, chat rooms, or whatever nook, cranny and hole in the Internet anyone feels compelled to log on to.

A friend of mine shot a minute’s footage of that grand final between Thailand’s Yodsanklai Fairtex and Australia’s John Wayne Parr (I can tell you who fought who, but not who won) and posted it on YouTube. She received six hits in a jiffy, with some begging for more action.

I’m guessing here but I believe somebody somewhere is bound to have shot the entire thing with his camera phone and may already have turned it into a personal music video.

Here’s the point of my grouse regarding this silly act of non-disclosure.

In today’s free-wheeling, no-control, anyone-can-shoot circus of the new media this day and age, where even distant wars can be filmed and uploaded into cyberspace for instant broadcast, gagging the traditional old media is like Adam covering up Eve with a fig leaf. It’ll drop off the minute he turns away.

In journalism, there are two great unchained wolves – the truth and the result – which people just want to know immediately right now, ideally yesterday.

Now, I can understand the anxiety of The Contender Asia people to keep their grand final result under wraps until the absolute last episode for ratings purposes.

But this condition they’ve imposed is just plain dumb and clumsy.

To satisfy my curiosity, I checked and found out that in the US, the big finals of The Contender series were apparently staged at arenas and shown live on TV there.

People, it would seem, weren’t told to shut up over there.

I didn’t see it but I was informed that the finale of the second season was shown live by AXN here.

I also learnt that in the taping of the pre-recorded shows of The Contender Asia, where elimination bouts were held to smaller groups of spectators here who were later seen on TV, those folks were committed to non-disclosure agreements too.

So, okay, there is a consistency to the method. But here’s the big difference. About 250 people in a warehouse is not the same as a gathering of 6,000 people in a stadium.

You can’t ignore the fact that the elephant is infinitely bigger than the mouse and has space for more camera phones, video cameras and mouths that just talk and talk.

Here’s the problem of the concept of the reality show which relies on the result being kept secret until screening day – it has a schedule to follow but it also wants to have a live audience to rev up the excitement.

So it makes the media take an unworkable vow when the producers want to have its cake and eat it too.

Telecasting “live” would burst the budget and kill crucial editing time which would make the show slicker. I realise that. But my thinking is that it’s better to let everybody know and build up the anticipation and mileage for the series in a different way instead of hoping nobody notices that everybody knows.

One cannot turn away from or imagine the speed, efficiency and the uncontrollable wreck which is the express train of today’s news.

It is instantaneous and it doesn’t stop. It can stop wars, start conflicts, bring down dictators and end tyranny.

What’s a little fight between two fellows to this information onslaught?

Asking a guy with a pen to censor himself in the face of the obvious and the already known is like the ostrich sticking its head into the sand.

It makes everybody look stupid.

stlife@sph.com.sg

 

 




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That IS hilarious! Doesn't make sense they get a HANDFUL of media people to sign an NDA when there are 6,000 plus spectactors at the same event !

I was also surprised the organisers didn't stop people from photographing or filmming the fights. Actually I was hoping to see them TRY to do this .. (wrestling hundreds of mobile phones away from people! There would be more action in the stands than in the ring!)

 




sam
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Actually there was more action in the stands in the beginning when sistic people were fighting the paypal people for the seats HAHAHA




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Talking about the whole deal, everytime I am talking with friends about the contender finale they are always asking me how the hell does this work- finals were on saturday and when do we gonna see them on the internet or on axn? well two weeks later. And then they started to ask what about fans? what about amatour cameras? etc. It doesn't make sense. But I am very patient and I'll wait for the last episode, also today I will pretend that I don't know nothing about Dzhabar's fight result with JWP ;)




sam
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Don't forget to act surprised




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ooh! episode 14 is on in a few hours! Can't wait!! Wonder who will win!!  JWP has nice tattoos, i think he'll do well tonight. But Jabba has a nice haircut - so that could work in his favour!!




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sam wrote:

Actually there was more action in the stands in the beginning when sistic people were fighting the paypal people for the seats HAHAHA

darn missed it, but i caught the drunk incident up front when "security" had to "sweep in" to restore order! HAHA.




jwp
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I hope I win tonight!!




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jwp wrote:

I hope I win tonight!!

Wahahaaa...




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mojo wrote:

ooh! episode 14 is on in a few hours! Can't wait!! Wonder who will win!!  JWP has nice tattoos, i think he'll do well tonight. But Jabba has a nice haircut - so that could work in his favour!!

l0lx... I hope JWP will win... Can't wait to see more of him in this episode & hopefully it will be as xciting as his fight against Zidov... Very very very entertaining... 1 more hour... =) Cant wait!!!




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so now we know how jwp won... haha

Interesting match=) now i wonder who *will* win the finals. lol

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wth is this guy problem




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Im guessing that the one who made this post was someone respected in this  forum and decided to be discreet oh well just a thought of mine  im sorry i havn't been visiting and posting lately but i couldn't bear seeing the results before hand Thanks For All of YOU for being supportive!!!! Make sure to tune in for Season2

 




sam
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Well, it was the jurnalist who actually wrote that, not a member of our forum...




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did he also post it?




sam
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Dunno :P