The Jahvel Johnson Tragedy and the Alleged “Curse” of Reality TV Winners

They exist in show business -Mexican and from everywhere – a series of superstitions that people, both in the middle and in the public, They tend to take them as true and repeat them as urban legends.

These include the so-called ‘curses’ that are often attributed to various aspects of the show – they are those believed to have fallen on the casts and staff of various horror films, such as ‘Poltergeist’ (1982) or ‘The Exorcist’ (1973), olWhat are they supposed to ruin the careers of Oscar winners?, What Renée zellweger or Cuba Gooding Jr.

Too there is said to be a “curse” on reality TV winners which have been issued with increasing relish for a couple of decades.

Personally, and having seen show franchises like ‘Big Brother’, ‘The Academy’, ‘Operation Triumph’ (which is rather ‘Operation Trunco’: one of the biggest failures Televisa had in its history, lasting only one season, while TV Azteca triumphed with its pirate version, which had many more), ‘La Voz ‘,’ Dancing for a dream ‘, etc., that come and go, I’ve always had the impression in the long run that participants / winners of reality shows are more disadvantaged than benefited.

On October 18 the winner of ‘Mexico has talent‘, a man that the producers took from living on the streets to win the contest, They exploded throughout the broadcast and left him to hell, causing him to return to poverty.

This one, more tragic than usual, is one of many stories about the risks posed by these kinds of programs that, in my opinion, abuse people’s illusions who participates in them seeking fame, fortune or, with desperation fueled by the screen, a better life, than the become the kind of instant celebrities who are pointed out on the street, stared with awe and envy, and end up on the covers of all magazines, even if the price of kink is exorbitant.

It’s honestly a shame to death from Pablo Lopez Morales —And the story of how it came to this. The Mexican singer, artistically known as Jahvel johnson, died with only 51 years of age of what is estimated was a fulminant heart attack, as reported in various media, including international.

The example of Jahvel is the most recent of a rosary of ‘winners’ who end up in oblivion, poverty, addictions, doing the impossible to appear in a magazine or a program to have a little validity (some of these figures respond to nicknames and not names: ‘Lapicito’, ‘Gomita’, ‘Bebeshita’ …)

Born in Torreón, López (or Johnson) was known thanks to his participation in the first edition of ‘Mexico has talent’ (2014), the adaptation made by TV Azteca of the ‘Got Talent’ franchise, in which not only drew the attention of the jury (Ximena Sariñana was moved to tears) that sent him straight to the semifinals, but also from viewers who were captivated by what looked like genuine charm devoid of glamor, leading to him being the show’s winner, taking with him the prize of one million pesos (about $ 500,000).

According to some Mexican media, López achieved the empathy of the viewers when recounting the story of his life during his participation in the reality show. As a child, at five years old, He left his home in Torreón, Coahuila, and never returned because he did not know the way to return and he did not know whether his parents sought him out or not.

The authorities took him off the street and instead of taking him to an orphanage, for an absurd reason, ended up in a juvenile hall (what was then called “Juvenile Correctional Facility”) where he lived for a few years until he was adopted by a family who lived on the border and took him there, but the adoption was not so sweet, he said.

“I took the tricks I had learned in the reformatory for the United States, which they did not like … they got tired of my excesses and rudeness and sent me back to the Federal District”, He pointed to the reality cameras and upon his return, after various circumstances, he lived on the street for eight years, singing in the subway mass transit system to survive.

After winning the talent show (which has not been produced again on the Ajusco television station), Jahvel Johnson (the stage name he chose for himself) he invested the money in creating a performance tour that ultimately never took place. As part of your award, an album was recorded with the Sony Music label, although the truth is that four musical works were signed by contract. It could be said that his career was practically cut short from the start. In less than a year he lost his popularity, money and contract.

This exploitation (to call it somehow) was described in this way by Jorge Ávila, marketing coordinator of the label in question, in a Facebook post: “Sad to say, but we take a homeless person off the street and return him to the samebut it’s even sadder because we are excited “.

“They asked my boss and I to support him,” Ávila added. “My boss told him ‘You can no longer return to the Metro, with the fame you made, you can find accommodation somewhere and with one or two presentations a week, you can earn what the people there gave you in a month “, and I saw that as feasible. Between a producer and I we supported him for little more than a month, casting several singers who had even participated in ‘La Voz’. [El productor] I had the idea of ​​making a group and choirs as for a singer of Soul and Blues, which was Jahvel’s specialty, but time won us over, we had another project at the door that took us over, and Jahvel was a bit more difficult than we thought “.

Between differences of character, what some call “creative”, in the middle, and a refusal of him to be more commercial, the point of breaking with the label came, being abandoned by the television station and, having wasted his money, he decided to go to Veracruz with his partner and a little girl they had adopted (apparently informally) that He was only nine when he died last September 11 (the circumstances are not known), something that adds a more dramatic tint.

It was my little angel. […]”He wrote in a message published precisely as a result of the death of the little girl” She was the only one. I was left empty. I am very grateful to God that he took her when she was going to stop being a child. I think that she is already waiting for me and it would be my turn to reach her... “

This tragedy, ironically, brings Johnson back to fame I was looking for, although the price is, as usually happens in these cases, very high.

There are the numerous winners of ‘The Academy ‘or’ The voice ‘or’ Singing for a dream ‘ or even ‘Little gigants‘, –excited children who are driven by their parents—Every time the programs are over that week after week they are taken to the spectators’ rooms, they return to an altered reality and they realize that there is hostile competition and that not all can be Vicente Fernández, or Pedro Fernández, or Alejandro Fernández, or Carlos Rivera, or Yahir (the “champion without a crown” of the Azteca reality show) or Alejandra Guzmán (who for years was accused of being the daughter of celebrities) or Gloria Trevi, who knew how to rise from the ashes of the scandal that almost killed his career.

What is more, even Myriam Montemayor, who won the first broadcast of ‘La Academia’ in 2002, has shown her dissatisfaction at not having obtained what she was promised.: or Yuridia, which has been successful, but recently revealed some humiliating circumstances that forced him to star in during the recordings of his participation in that program; fake things, exacerbate your own personal problems, make up a romance, etc., all to satisfy to an audience that today is hungry for blackmailing and cheap melodrama more than talent.

Who is to blame for this? Do the television companies that they exploit these dupes? Or the public that asks more and more and more and he does not mind loading humanity from the characters to the that rises and then tosses aside when a newer toy arrives? Maybe it’s also responsibility of those who seek fame at any cost. Or a cruel game of fate.

The only certain thing is that the triumph in a reality (whether singing, cooking, or survival, like the equally sad case of Steph gomez, from ‘Exatlon‘, which merits its own text) it guarantees neither fame, nor wealth, nor public love, nor happiness.


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The Jahvel Johnson Tragedy and the Alleged “Curse” of Reality TV Winners