I really liked Rafael's article on Strictly Come Dancing, summing up just exactly what it is I find so distasteful about the whole 'never mind the quality, feel the backstory' attitude a lot of these shows seem to have, making them cheap drama in more ways than the obvious.
"The Sergeant Doctrine appeals to the public's urge to stick two fingers up to authority for the sake of it (by rewarding stubborn ineptitude). It is the difference between democracy and populism. Sergeant is not really an underdog but a skilful renegade, appealing directly for voters to spite the judges. 'The public will save me,' he asserts. His survival depends on opposition to the principles of the programme - the worse he dances, the better he does. Like all populist rebels, his role is ultimately destructive."