The Encore Score: The popularity battle of the reality TV show hosts

Brooke Hemphill crunches data from the Encore Score to find out which Australian reality show has the most popular hosts and the demos they perform strongest in.

While the official 2014 television ratings period is yet to kick off, the battle of the reality shows for the year has already begun with Seven, Nine and Ten coming out the gates early with My Kitchen Rules (MKR), The Block and The Biggest Loser respectively. So far MKR can claim the bragging rights for the highest ratings hovering around the 1.6m viewer mark for each episode but the war has only just begun and the networks will be doing everything in their power to ensure the decks are loaded in their favour.

While the casting of these shows can often make or break a particular series, the hosts, who in some cases have been tied to these formats for several years, also do their part.

scott cam

Scott Cam

Of the reality series currently on air, The Block’s Scott Cam is the most recognisable and has the highest Encore Score although he skews to the older 25-to-54 demographic. And while Cam’s co-host Shelley Craft is more recognisable and better liked than The Biggest Loser’s Michelle Bridges, she is not the second most valuable commodity in this batch of shows. That honour goes to MKR presenter Manu Feildel who is well recognised and well liked with more fans in the younger demographic of 18-to-39*. His on-air partner in crime, the activated almond munching Pete Evans has not struck such a positive chord with viewers with his overall recognition and popularity considerably down across all demos in comparison.

Over on Ten, the most liked of The Biggest Loser hosts is easily Steve “The Commando” Willis who despite being less well known than trainers Bridges and Shannan Ponton is liked or loved by twice as many people as his co-hosts. While he wins fans across both the 18-to-39 and 25-to-54 demos, his real fans fall in the younger audience segment although Willis and Bridges’ highly publicised on-again off-again romance will have an impact to the duo’s popularity in future Encore Score surveys.


Encore Scores block mkr big lo


Encore demo scores reality 1

Carrie Bickmore

Carrie Bickmore

The next cab off the reality TV ranks this year will be So You Think You Can Dance which airs on Ten from the first day of the official ratings period, February 9. While host Carrie Bickmore is untested in the format, her work on The Project shows a moderate recognition score of 66 per cent with the total population – on par with The Biggest Loser’s Ponton and MKR’s Evans – her popularity skews to the older 25-to-54 demographic making her an interesting choice for the format which tends to appeal to a younger audience (the first season of the show’s original incarnation in 2008 closed with 1.83 viewers, 56 per cent in the 16-to-39 demo compared to just 47 per cent in the 25-to-54 demo). Host Natalie Bassingthwaighte helmed the series in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and the Encore Score shows she is considerably more popular with the older demographic.


Kylie Minogue

Also currently filming is Nine’s singing juggernaught The Voice which is set for a revamped judging panel with the removal of Delta Goodrem and the addition of Kylie Minogue. Surprisingly, there is not much between the two songstresses – Minogue is recognised by 100 per cent of survey respondents with Goodrem getting 98 per cent and while Goodrem has a few more haters, their scores are remarkably similar. That said, Minogue has been relatively absent from our screens in the past year so it would be reasonable to expect her score to fluctuate when the next round of Encore Score data is collected after The Voice’s return. And while Joel Madden may have picked up a Logie award last year for best new talent, a move almost as baffling as Leonardo Dicaprio’s Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts award for best actor in an Australian film last week, Ricky Martin is the real draw card for The Voice audience. His combined high levels of recognition and likability work equally across both of the key demos.


Encore Score the voice


the voice by demo

Later in the year another reality format is expected to take over our screens again – Big Brother. The third incarnation of the rebooted format is likely to see Sonia Kruger once again at the helm. Kruger’s recognition is on par with The Block talent with 89 per cent of respondents able to identify her and despite her regular gig hosting Mornings on Nine, a show with an older daytime audience, Kruger is more popular with the 18-to-39 demo.


* While the key TV demos used by the networks are 16-to-39s and 25-to-54s, the Encore Score is calculated with data from Pure Profile’s members over the age of 18.

The Encore Score is a ranking of on-air talent across TV, radio, film and the media. The project launched in 2012 with a second round of data compiled in June 2013.

The Encore Score was tabulated from a survey of 3,500 respondents who were shown a series of pictures of Australian on-air personalities and asked how they felt about them from “one of my favourites” to “I hate them”. The results chart how widely more than 1,000 Australian celebrities are recognised, as well as how positively and negatively they are perceived.

To see the full Encore Score list click on the button below.

The Encore Score


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