By Hans Ebert

When does a reality show become an unreality show? Guess when one of those appearing in one is popular young race caller Anthony Manton.

How does a race caller become part of a reality show called “Married At First Sight”? Guess when the race caller is Anthony Manton.

What the likeable Anthony Manton is doing playing against type by appearing on the Australian version of this reality show where hand picked couples decide to stay together or go their separate ways ways after a “honeymoon period” is anyone’s guess.

All we know from a couple who were on the Danish version of the series, and where the concept for the show originated, is that it’s all very much choreographed with various casting sessions before the final group of regulars are decided. It’s really no different from “The Bachelor”, “The Bachelorette” etc etc where fairly good looking men and women display apparent no shyness in checking out different bedfellows and talking and talking and talking about it. Well, that’s the illusion, anyway.

As for dear Anthony, he’s been portrayed as the “villain” with some viewers describing him as a bit of a dickhead (We’re being kind) and even labeled “The Most Hated Man In Australia”. Anthony Manton? The race caller who came so close to getting a gig in Hong Kong with the HKJC Trackside team? The Most Hated Man In Australia? Say it ain’t so.

With his Twitter account closed, we have no idea what’s going on other than he’s still calling races in places like Taree while the episodes of “Married At First Sight” that have been already filmed are aired- dirty laundry et al.

Having worked behind the scenes on a few reality shows, those who sign on know what they’re in for: being bound by iron clad contracts, where the producers basically own your life until the finale is aired. Air tight Confidentiality Clauses are included.

We also wouldn’t put too much credence on anything that goes on in these shows- all heavily edited and scripted- the plots and sub-plots, the dramas, the make-ups and breakups and the usual “surprise ending” plus the obligatory Reunion Show where everyone screams all over each other. It’s trash television. It’s where The Big Orange Julius sprang from. And we know how that’s turning out.

The more important question is why Anthony Manton agreed to sign on for this series knowing how they work, and where he goes from here? Where, indeed.