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marco 900

Utopia Netherlands Discussion

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Hi All,

I'am from the Netherlands and part a mod on a dutch forum for the US version of Utopia.

 

I see differnet questions on twitter, newsfeeds and now on the live discussion about the Dutch version.

So ask your questions here and I'll try to answer them. Just a few thinks to know:

- It's 9 hours later in the Netherlands,

- I'am a 40 hour working man.

- I'am almost 50 and only learn English 35 years ago ;)

 

So have a little patient.

 

And here is the first question:

marco 900 - Welcome and thanks for sharing what went on in Utopia Netherlands!  I've been curious how our Utopia: USA compared with U: Netherlands.  Not sure if this is the proper place to discuss though.

 

Have we seen/heard anything about "White Tantra"?  I'm assuming that is a Nikkie thing.

 

 

We have seen the most strange things in Utopia. Yesterday we saw an older man and woman who teaches Chinese Natural Philosophy, we have had piano sesions where visitors lay down on the ground, a Darts tournament, Sunday ther is wheelchair dansing, there was a Buddhist monk and so on but no White Tantra. Only normal yoga.

Edited by marco 900
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Ah, I'm very interested in this topic so thanks for offering!  I'm curious about the Dutch version, which I guess is currently in its second season, and how it compares to the US version which has only recently started; I'm not sure if you've seen any of the US version, or read our energetic "Live Feed" forum here. 

 

Here are some of my questions, so if you get a few minutes of spare time in the next few days to answer any of these, that would be awesome!

 

1) How did the casting work in either/both seasons?  We here at previously.tv often criticize the "stunt casting" of people on the US show, who seem more like TV fame junkies than actual "live off the grid" survivalists.

 

2) How did the show start out, and how long before the cast found its footing?  I think someone- possibly you!- mentioned in another forum that the NL version started out shakily as well, but then things settled down (and since they got a second season and a US spin-off, it must have done something right).

 

3) Given that the show spans a year, what were the challenges over time?  Did the Utopians struggle more or less during different seasons?  Did they get several people quitting, or people who missed their real lives and friends and family and couldn't last the whole year?

 

4) Was the show different in some way from the US version in terms of the goal or rewards?  I've often criticized the US version as having "no point", since there's no incentive for the Utopians to work hard if they can leave at any time, and there's no big prize tempting them to stay the whole year.

 

5) How did the Dutch version do, ratings wise and culturally?  Was it a big hit, a minor show, or... ?  I know the NL is a "testing ground" for a lot of the John de Mol shows that come to US television, but I'm not familiar with how the shows like Big Brother, The Voice, etc did back in NL.

 

6) Another criticism early on of the US version is how "fake" it is, where clearly the producers are intervening a lot, and there's a lot of people coming and going that they don't mention in the TV broadcast.  Did the NL version also try to "spice things up" with all sorts of drama, personality clashes, or engineered challenges?  Or was it more hands off, settling into a regular running farm which people watched every now and then out of idle curiosity?

 

7) What was the public reaction to the contestants in the first season once they left, after their year was up?  You probably have some idea about the craziness of American "celebrity culture", where we call people who go on these shows just to get famous- hoping they'll somehow get rich- the charming term "fame whores".  I'm assuming the Dutch culture doesn't have that same problem... :)

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Well it's still the first season and the Utopians have heard yesterday that Utopia is going to continue till ....?

 

1. The casting is the same as in the US. Most of the people without work or wannabe a tv star.

2. The Show started with an 1.5 miljoen viewers and now these days it's around 600.000. Our country has 18 miljoen people. It started on 31 december so it's was cold without heating. For the viewers it was a challenge how they managed in the cold without, food, water or electricity and no phone. So they start with building a fireplace.

iC8xf0W.png

 

A week later they suddenly get a smartphone .

 

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There was much argument about food because two athletes were among those eating more than the ordinary person.

First Utopian left the house after two weeks due to homesickness. Up on the day of today, there are still groups and there is a lot of gossip.

 

The other questions later.

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3) Given that the show spans a year, what were the challenges over time?  Did the Utopians struggle more or less during different seasons?  Did they get several people quitting, or people who missed their real lives and friends and family and couldn't last the whole year?

 

In this year the family can visit them once for a period of 3 hours. Most of them miss sex. There is one couple who has regular sex and one lesbian who does it with a female hetero. There where four people who quit this experiment. Two of them because of homesick, one because of a medical problem and the other because of a medical problem with his girlfriend.

 

4) Was the show different in some way from the US version in terms of the goal or rewards?  I've often criticized the US version as having "no point", since there's no incentive for the Utopians to work hard if they can leave at any time, and there's no big prize tempting them to stay the whole year.

 

 

The participants have to pay a sum of money which depends on their ability to pay. They say that this varied between 2500 and 25 000 euro's per person. If you voluntarily leave Utopia then you lose your money. The Utopians may leave at the end of the year and then their investment repaid in three installments. The dutch Utopians don't care about he price money. They care about there tv carriere. If they didn't spent so much on the wrong items the price money could be about €100.000,- euro. They now have €17.000,- to spend after a market and a concert. Also there is now an discussion about the reward for hard working Utopians.

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5)

I think the mean reason for a bigger succes in the Netherlands then in the US is the fact that we didn't have Big Brother for a long time. So most viewers where glad to see some sort of a Big Brother back on the screen. Also this is the only show with live streams at the moment. The show is an average succes but with die hard fans who visit Utopia when they can. If there is an event there are between the 100 and 400 visitors and they all bring cash. A lot of John de Molls tv experiment are hugh successes but his own tv network was a disaster for him. You can buy all the famous host around the world but not the viewers.

 

6) the same. On the live stream we know when a tv moment happens. Out of the blue some Utopians start a conversation and we know it's a tv moment. Also the reality on tv is different then on the live streams.

 

7) Well thats where all the streamers waiting for. Some Utopians think they are a star when they left the farm. But they just have to find a job because they aren't famous (maybe one).

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marco 900- Thank you so much! This is all very interesting.

 

Did you have anyone on the Dutch version that was a former prison inmate?

Did you have anyone on the Dutch version that you suspected was mentally ill?

Were the animals treated humanely on your country's version, or were people not caring for the animals the way they should?

 

I appreciate your answers to our questions.

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"The participants have to pay a sum of money which depends on their ability to pay. They say that this varied between 2500 and 25 000 euro's per person. If you voluntarily leave Utopia then you lose your money. The Utopians may leave at the end of the year and then their investment repaid in three installments. The dutch Utopians don't care about he price money. They care about there tv carriere. If they didn't spent so much on the wrong items the price money could be about €100.000,- euro. They now have €17.000,- to spend after a market and a concert."

************************************

Welcome, Marco.  Terrific that you are here!

 

I saw photos of the buildings, near Amsterdam, in December.  Brrrrrr!  No skinny dipping or naked yoga for you.  Sorry.  : )

 

So the people cooperated and immediately built a fireplace--excellent.  Our bunch would have banged on the production door until delivery trucks lined up at the front gates with space heaters.

 

Are you saying, above, that each person will receive an amount of money at the end based on what the group buys (and earns) during the show?  

 

Was the startup money supposed to be connected to the money the candidates paid out of their own pockets to join the show?  

 

Obviously we would have an entirely different situation here in the US if spending money involved a personal sacrifice.  Even these yahoos can figure out blowing all their money on filtration systems and Doritos only means production will have to give them more.

 

How could they have eliminated such a critical element in Utopia 2.0?

 

 

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Are you saying, above, that each person will receive an amount of money at the end based on what the group buys (and earns) during the show?

 

 

Y'know, if this were true of the US show (which it's not, AFAIK), it would make things much more interesting.  Start the year with a set pool of money to cover all costs including food and maintenance of the place, and at the end of the year the utopians who've lasted the whole year get a share of what's left.  Late-comers get a smaller share.  Quitters would get zilch.  

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Hahaha, talking about space heathers. They had one but one of the funnie guys (he thinks he is) put some confetti in it. When they had a meeting the blower started to heat and they had a little fire in the house.

The winner of the program (they now call it Utopian of the year) wil received the cash what they have urned minus the bills they get. That's only for one person, the rest gets nothing excepts there own deposit.

Also the Dutch Utopians spend there money like they are kings. The biggest spendings are for cigarettes. When they are out of there smokes on a Sunday the call a courier to bring the cigarettes. In the Netherlands you pay around €7,- euro for a box of 25 cigarettes ($9,-) and for the courier they pay $25,- dollar. 

This week someone ordered some shoes for €30,- and call a courier for €20,- euro. Normal they get €15,- euro each week to buy stuff for themselves but they have always enough money for cigarettes (we think some fraud with the groceries).

Another spending: They rent a jacuzzi, bouncy castle, fireworks, remote controlled helikopters etc.

 

Utopia 2.0 it's an Utopia ;)

Edited by marco 900

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Got it!  It sounds like the money situation could have been better thought out for the Nederlanders as well. 

 

If only one person is going to walk away with the leftover cash, why NOT order up a hot tub and a million dollar pack of smokes??  Chances are good some other guy will be paying the bill in the end.

 

Do the people know about "Utopian of the Year"?  Are the people who think they might win the title suddenly very conservative about spending money?  "We don't need to order fireworks!  Let's just talk."

Edited by candall
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In this year the family can visit them once for a period of 3 hours. Most of them miss sex. There is one couple who has regular sex and one lesbian who does it with a female hetero. There where four people who quit this experiment. Two of them because of homesick, one because of a medical problem and the other because of a medical problem with his girlfriend.
 
The participants have to pay a sum of money which depends on their ability to pay. They say that this varied between 2500 and 25 000 euro's per person. If you voluntarily leave Utopia then you lose your money. The Utopians may leave at the end of the year and then their investment repaid in three installments. The dutch Utopians don't care about he price money. They care about there tv carriere. If they didn't spent so much on the wrong items the price money could be about €100.000,- euro. They now have €17.000,- to spend after a market and a concert. Also there is now an discussion about the reward for hard working Utopians.

 

 

Y'know, if this were true of the US show (which it's not, AFAIK), it would make things much more interesting.  Start the year with a set pool of money to cover all costs including food and maintenance of the place, and at the end of the year the utopians who've lasted the whole year get a share of what's left.  Late-comers get a smaller share.  Quitters would get zilch.  

 

This is interesting stuff; the idea of the contestants paying some proportional amount that they'd lose radically changes the willingness to at least try to get along, especially if they received financial rewards for completing survival tasks or just getting through the year; it sounds like they made a mid-season change (or are considering) actual payouts for people who last. 

 

Plus, by thrusting them into a place with less of a "turnkey" set up than our Myopians have, they were immediately forced to worked together for a core necessity like warmth; the US version has them basically at summer camp with all their needs met (for now).  It also sounds like the Utopia 1.0 resulted in some fascinating social experiments, such as people having apparently "Utopians with Benefits" sex, regardless of past relationships or even sexual identity.

 

It is both disheartening and a relief to know that the Utopia 1.0 crew still had infighting and laughably poor money management; I guess our homegrown fame whores aren't a special breed of stupid or narcissistic when compared to the global fame whore industry.  USA!  USA! USA! :)

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Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions Marco 900 - very much appreciated.

 

 

I guess our homegrown fame whores aren't a special breed of stupid or narcissistic when compared to the global fame whore industry.  USA!  USA! USA! :)

"They're idiots, but they are our idiots" - paraphrasing a line ffrom the commercial for This is Where I leave you.

 

So now when we weep, we can weep for all humanity and not just the future of the USA.

Edited by DeLurker
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Well not everyone can order things. They have one Utopian in charge of the money and since several days a real accountant with a business plan. The Utopians know about the "Utopian for a year" since two days and most of them are busy with the question "what to do" Each Utopian gets one hour to discuss with their family what to do. Some have said they leave at the end but know they regret to speak this out loud. It makes them a potential voting victim.  

A positive point for continuing is the planning for the future.  

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Since the US version is mirroring the Netherlands one I predict the next production intervention will be the accountant intervention.  What idiots they cast in both countries.

 

I do like the look of the fireplace above.  I can't see them building one here and so look forward to frozen bodies in the US.  Not that southern California gets that cold by comparison.

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Hi Marco, I have two questions for you.

 

  1. Does the outside world phone your Utopians at will?  Our Utopians seem to be chatting up people constantly - not only for repairs and business making matters.  Someone called up the other day and told the person answering the phone, that two others were stealing food and embezzling the food money.  They also had a visitor who called back and stated he was going to come the next weekend, hang out with them, and help them build things
  2. I know European culture is more laid back than American, but are there any issues of nudity or sex?  We have several women who like to go naked, but a few men who are uncomfortable with that.  There is also a lack of private areas to have sex.  When Bri and Chris took off their microphones and went off to have sex, they were told not to do it again.  That seems to leave the hayloft - replete with cameras - and the common sleeping area, while others are sleeping. 

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1) No. They are not allowed to share their phone number. Also their internet on the smartphone, tablet and notebook are all monitored and they are not allowed to google themselves, go on facebook and so on. Email and regular post is checked as well like in a prison.All visitor have to sign a contract and are not allowed to carry any cigarettes or phones in Utopia.

 

2) Funny but there is less nudity in the Dutch version then in the US. Some times you see a woman in her underwear but nothing more. I think it's to regular for us. There was sex on the stream and they even mount a camera above the showers and toilets but we don't care about that. If there is sex it's in bed or under the showers.

 

Ruud-douche.jpg

 

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marco 900 - the USA U-Dopians seem to have a disproportionate share of psychological and/or mental health problems.  What started out as infighting and typical cool kids cliques has escalated in a couple of cases.  We've got Aaron who is doing his best to starve Bella and Nikki and we've got Bri's treatment of the animals plus saying how she could "break" Bella as the most outrageous examples. 

 

Then we have Bella, who is incredibly annoying, but also seems to be in such a fragile emotional/mental state that it is actually worrisome.  As a semi-professional mocker of tv characters, reality tv included, it sucks the joy out of snarking on someone who appears to have a serious underlying issue.

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Hi Marco!

 

Was Utopia-N originally set up to vote out one person per month? 

 

Did several people leave and get replaced in the beginning, before they all settled down?

 

Did it take two or three months for your group to start working together?

 

We already have three new people who didn't come in with the original cast.  I don't think the US show will last long enough to get rid of all the nuts and have a proper set of stable participants. 

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In the Netherlands, the most active 1000 streamers can vote who must leave. This first three Utopians are nominated by the Elite. The Utopians give the votes and the elite vote are just counting as one vote divided over three Utopians. So the streamers influence is almost zero.

 

Yep, al the Utopians that leave where replaced by the television makers.

 

Well i believe they never worked together as a group. Hahaha. It are still small groups with their own ideas.

 

In the Netherlands the same. After 9 months there is still one person who never worked.

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Thanks as always fot the insight, marco. It sounds like the original version had/has some of the same structural issues as the US version, and still cast fame whores... but while they've still mostly succeeded on balance in the Dutch version, we seem to have a far more toxic blend of famewhores in the US version.

It all comes down to casting, then: the producers must think we'd find functional people boring, so they cast only the horrible dysfunctional ones (and somehow a couple of sane people slipped through). I think the show would have done better in the ratings if it was a twice weekly show about normal, healthy people from all walks of life learning to live off the grid.

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Yes, thanks for the response, Marco.  I hope the lazy one is not planning to collect the big reward? 

 

It makes me feel better to hear that Utopia Netherlands operates at the same level of dysfunction as Utopia US.  : )

 

I think our show will be canceled soon, but I would actually be very interested to see what happened to our people ten months from now.  (Don't tell anyone I said that!)

 

 

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But how is voting in the US? In the Netherlands the Utopians vote on each other and the new Utopian determined which of the three nominees has to leaf. But here the Utopians vote twice?

Also the Utopians must tell their vote in the transmitter room before so they can not change their vote on the last moment. The same in the US?

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They keep changing it... currently, it seems they all voted on two people to nominate for eviction (just sitting around the barn, apparently), then were notified somehow of the America's Vote nominee collected on the website, which was the third nominee.

There was some weirdness during that house vote; Bella was the top nominee among the Utopians, with Bri and Red tied for the 2nd slot. So they did a tiebreaker vote between the two (Bri and Red left the room), and picked Bri. Red and Bri came back, found out Bri was the 2nd nominee, so Red for some reason chose to take Bri's place voluntarily. The producers then announced who America's vote was for, which was... Bri, so she was back in danger as the third nominee. Had Red not done that, it would have been Bella and Bri, with America's vote then likely falling to Aaron, so instead Aaron is safe and it's Bella, Red, and Bri.

Sometime today I think (if it hasn't happened already, as ive not caught up on the live feed thread) they take a final house vote on which of the 3 to send home, no idea yet how. America allegedly has the tiebreaker vote there, too, but I doubt it will be needed. Then at some point we'll get replacements, or something. Or cancelled, in all likelihood.

I think it was originally how you described it, but they keep the rules very fluid and mysterious with this show. :)

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