Dschungelcamp: why do you go in, why do you watch??

Isabell Kilian | 25.01.2022, 10:29

Psychology of the jungle camp: Why do you go in, why do you watch??

Photo: RTL / Stefan Menne

Germany is again in the Dschungelcamp fever! RTL is currently running the 15. Season that heats up, delights or frustrates the minds. But why do the candidates and viewers put up with the drama every year??

Currently, the 15. Season of "I am a star – get me out of here!". Especially in the 2022 Dschungelcamp somehow the drama seems not to die down: Christina Okpara was excluded from participation, Lucas Cordalis can not participate because of his positive Corona test and now Janina Youssefian was also thrown out because of racist remarks.

But that’s exactly why we watch the RTL show in the end. Or not? Why do people actually tune in? And why do you actually go there? For the sake of money alone? We took a closer look at the psychological mechanisms that work on viewers and participants..

Jungle camp: a bunch of narcissistic candidates?

The fact that the candidates will also be able to pocket tens of thousands of euros with their participation in the 2022 jungle camp is definitely one of the main reasons. The main motivation for the majority of candidates, however, is probably a narcissistic disposition: The desire and the fun of being in the spotlight and being the talk of the public.

This was also motivation for Harald Gloockler. In the interview with RTL he revealed that he actually lacked the public attention in Lockdown and that this moved him to participate.

So we also accept the risk of being put in a bad light by the broadcaster. Up to 50 cameras film the participants around the clock, from all possible perspectives. And none of them knows how the pictures will be edited together in the end to produce the drama they are hoping for.

Just think of Hanka Rackwitz from season 11: Did she urinate in the stream or not?? Only they and the RTL team know the answer to the question. After all, the images delivered to the viewer were cleverly edited together in terms of perspective..

Around 50 cameras keep an eye on the candidates 24 hours a day!

Photo: RTL / Stefan Menne

Single fight causes quarrels

The candidates change every year, but the concept remains the same: power struggles, blasphemy attacks and arguments between celebrities.

One of the reasons is the lack of a "we" feeling: the celebrities don’t appear to be a team, but rather competitors. After all, what characterizes a team? A common goal to be pursued together.

Similar to the Bachelor, where the natural principle of scarcity prevails, RTL takes a clever approach to the jungle camp: The elemental forces of existential survival and distribution competition are at work here.

Everyone fights for himself alone and the quarrels are thus pre-programmed!

Groebel: High number of highly educated viewers

What viewers also hope for from the show: they want to look behind the supposedly perfect celebrity facade! We ourselves are not perfect and want to see confirmed that the lives of the stars are also not ideal.

In addition: "Developing affection and interest for well-known personalities is as old as mankind and archaically anchored in us. Even the greatest Nobel Prize winner is not immune to this," explained the media psychologist Prof. Dr. Peter Schafer. Dr. Jo Groebel already to the past season in an interview to T-Online.

So it’s not surprising that, contrary to many assumptions, the format is well received by people with a high level of education of all The show is popular at all levels of education – from the little nerd in his quiet room to the university professor, almost everyone falls under its spell!

So Groebel also emphasizes: "The absolute number of highly educated people who watch Dschungelcamp is certainly greater than the absolute number of people who watch Phoenix, Arte or 3sat". I would be very careful about claiming that the show is an ace act or for people with a low level of education," he adds.

Photo: RTL / Stefan Menne

The Dschungelcamp connects!

To a certain extent, the jungle camp is also a projection screen for our values: We feel sympathy for the candidate who also carries our own values. And we feel triggered by those who do not act in the sense of these at all.

The fact that fans of reality shows transfer their feelings, opinions and values to certain personalities also has a very nice side effect: "The phenomenon is called social contagion and creates an actual community and a group feeling among each other. The exchange about harmless leading figures connects," says Groebel.

Jungle camp for a stronger cohesion in society – a nice thought!

Therapy lesson about TV

The last two mechanisms are almost spiteful and probably reluctant to admit: On the one hand, the world of the stars, with its dramas and intrigues that shock us or leave us stunned, is exactly what we do not want for our private lives.

,,It’s almost therapeutic to be able to say: Good thing this isn’t my life right now," Groebel said. In addition, there is the development of sympathy and antipathy for the candidates in the course of a season.

We like following celebrities because we can put ourselves in the shoes of our favorite star, who is doing something particularly well by proxy – or we can condemn the bad guy among the candidates from the couch.

According to the motto: ,,I would never have done that, how can he only? I could do better."In the next show so pay attention to their own thoughts – can be fun!

Admittedly, schadenfreude is also one of the reasons we watch! Here at the disgust: Anouschka Renzi.

Photo: RTL / Stefan Menne

Dschungelcamp 2022: broadcasting times, livestream, whole episodes and "hour after"

"I am a star – Get me out of here!" runs since the 21. January 2022 with the 15. Anniversary season on RTL.

As usual, the episodes of "Das Dschungelcamp" 2022 will also be available for streaming. You can either stream season 15 live at airtime or watch it as a rerun on RTL plus, formerly TVNow.

This year there will also be the popular jungle talk in the "hour after". The talk show is hosted by Angela Finger-Erben and jungle princess Olivia Jones. From 23.3 pm daily former jungle contestants will take a seat on the couch to take a close look at the current episode, as well as the candidates.

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