The somewhat tired "Top Chef" formula is getting a fresh new update thanks to Bravo's newest reality series "Life After Top Chef." This new series lets viewers see how former "Top Chef" contestants are getting on after their time in the limelight. "Life After Top Chef" follows all-star chefs Richard Blais, Fabio Vivani, Spike Mendelsohn, and Jennifer Carroll. These four chefs are some of the most liked and most respected competitors in the show's history, and fans are overjoyed to have an update on their lives.
But "Top Chef" isn't the only reality show that could benefit from this "life after" approach to building the franchise. A number of other reality competition series would be greatly enhanced by the creation of a follow-up series that would let fans follow the personal and professional lives of their favorite competitors. Here are some prime examples of reality competitions that deserve a spin-off series to follow past competitors.
While there have been some TV shows that explore life after "Runway," none have gone into much detail about the competitors. Shows like "On the Road with Austin and Santino" focused more on the designs and the clients than the personal lives of the designers themselves. How cool would it be to have a camera crew document the losing finalists from each season of "Project Runway"? This kind of show could expose the kind of adoration, hatred, and job struggles that the contestants experience in the months and years after their time on the show. It's pretty likely that many former "Project Runway" contestants would have a hard time shaking the preconceptions about their work and their personalities after being on the show.
While there is one series ("Bachelor Pad") that lets fans get another look at past contestants, what fans would love to see is a series that follows the couples that emerge at the end of each season. Trista and Ryan are still together, and a reality series about them would be very interesting. Even more interesting would be a show about the pairings that didn't work out, such as Byron Velvick and Mary Delgado, who were together for five years before splitting. What is it like to return to the real world after being on one of these dating shows?
Why do some "Idol" contestants become household names while others are utterly forgotten? A TV series that followed "Idol" contestants after the show would attempt to answer that question. This series could follow contestants as they try to score record deals, reinvent themselves, and record a chart-topping single. At the very least, we could learn whether Sanjaya still has that ridiculous hair.