Why I Watch Reality Television With My Kids

After “Putting the X in the X Factor,” I got some mail suggesting that I just turn the television off instead of watching these reality-television shows with my kids. But there I sat on Monday night, watching The Sing Off, and we witnessed a touching, redemptive moment.

My oldest two kids — who are all about-Africa ever since we traveled there to adopt a little girl — were excited to see a group of singers called Messiah’s Men from Liberia.  I guess you can tell by their name that they are a gospel group, specifically an “Afro-centric” gospel group.  Following a group that sang Katy Perry’s “Extraterrestrial,” they sang about faith –  a topic they knew a great deal about. These men met in Liberia and left Africa to make a better life for themselves in America. They’ve been together for eight years, made two albums, toured the United States, and received numerous awards in the gospel world.

Of course, they got voted off.

However, this is just one of many great moments on these shows that I’m not ready to give up. They are stories I want my children to see.

We’re moved by their tear-jerking stories and jaw-dropping talent. They are just normal people who are able to touch us with their melodies and inspire us with their stories. As Rebecca Cusey wrote, describing last season’s auditioners on American Idol, these are “people who make us realize that although Hollywood makes great stories, fiction can never match the beauty and heroism of reality.”

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