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About This Site

Hello there! I’m Eric Ascher. I am the Communications Associate at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of society. You might have seen my work before at RespectAbility, The RespectAbility Report, or The Mighty.

I also love to write, blog, and podcast about Reality Competition TV Shows. I’ve written liveblogs, recaps and predictions for some of my favorite shows at MjsBigBlog. I also am the cohost and producer of Reality Hour, a podcast about some of these shows.

This website serves as my personal collection of some of my favorite things I’ve worked on, including blog posts, podcasts, videos, and more.


Contact Me

If you want to get in touch with me, fill out the form below!

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Podcasts

A Note About Reality Hour's Audio Edition

Next month, Adam and I will celebrate the second anniversary of Reality Hour! We have interviewed 2 American Idol finalists, one American Idol champion, and covered all kinds of shows – the good, the bad, and The X Factor Celebrity.

It’s a new year, and I’ve been thinking about some ideas to make Reality Hour a better show going forward. More defined segments, higher production value, more clips and titles. I edit the show as a labor of love and I have no plans to stop. But looking through statistics, the audio edition is taking too much work for me for what it is.

So, at least for now, Reality Hour is going to be exclusively on YouTube. If we start to build a bigger audience and gain more subscribers, I might re-evaluate this decision. But I want to put out the best show I possibly can. For now, that requires prioritization. I am genuinely sorry to anyone who has been listening to the audio feed of the show, but it will no longer be maintained.

I hope that you will subscribe to us on YouTube and continue to listen to us there. I speak for Adam and myself in saying that we are genuinely looking forward to the future of Reality Hour.

Categories
Podcasts

Nick Fradiani Reality Hour Interview

Nick Fradiani was the third “Idol” Alumni to appear on Reality Hour, and the first “Idol” winner. As you’ll discover if you watch the interview, Nick is quite possibly the reason Reality Hour exists in the first place. So there was no title I could go with except for “Full Circle”. Watch the episode below.

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Work

Ryan O’Connell: Special Creator Breaks New Ground for Disability and LGBTQ+ Representation

According to GLAAD’s 2018-2019 Where We Are on TV Report, while the 2018-19 television season includes 18 characters with disabilities, versus 16 in 2017-18, that number still vastly underrepresents the actual number of people with disabilities, representing less than one-sixth. Furthermore, while more than one-third of LGBTQ+ adults have a disability, GLAAD’s report found only four LGBTQ+ characters with disabilities.

Ryan O’Connell is helping to change that. His new Netflix series Special premiered earlier this year and broke new ground for representation of LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities. For Pride Month 2019, RespectAbility asked O’Connell a few questions about his life, intersectionality, and where he hopes Special will go in the future.

Read more at RespectAbility

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Work

Comedian Ryan Niemiller Wows America’s Got Talent Judges, Uses Platform to Push for More Disability Representation on Television

This season on America’s Got Talent, we already have seen two acts with disabilities audition. On the season premiere, autistic blind singer Kodi Lee earned the golden buzzerfrom Gabrielle Union, skipping straight to the live shows. In the second audition episode, Ryan Niemiller, a comedian with a disability in both arms, made it through to the next round with a standing ovation and four enthusiastic yeses. Both acts were extremely talented, but the differences in how they were presented is a great case study in how to accurately and positively portray people with disabilities.

Read more at RespectAbility

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Work

Blind Autistic Singer Earns Season’s First Golden Buzzer on America’s Got Talent

On the season premiere of America’s Got Talent, a 22-year-old blind autistic man sang for the judges and earned the golden buzzer, advancing straight to the live shows. Kodi Lee’s voice and piano skills were exceptional, and it is wonderful to see people with disabilities succeed and be represented on reality television. But unfortunately, the way America’s Got Talent portrayed Lee could have been better.

Read more at RespectAbility

Categories
Podcasts

Melinda Doolittle Reality Hour Interview

For Top 8 Week on American Idol 2019, Adam and I welcomed American Idol Season 6 standout and Idol recapping legend Melinda Doolittle to the show! Watch the episode that Adam and I have dreamed about since the podcast started below.

Categories
Blogs

The Slow Death of the Live Show

If you couldn’t tell from everything else on this blog, I love Reality Singing Competitions because I enjoy finding new artists to follow and hopefully see live. My favorite part of each show is the live rounds, for three reasons:

  1. Limited editing means I get a feel for how each artist would fare in concert
  2. New performances from each contestant every week means I have time to get invested in my favorites
  3. I get music to listen to from my favorites while I wait for a full album

Lately, however, American Idol, The Voice, The X Factor, and the Got Talent franchise have been gradually weakening my interest by cutting back on the number of live shows.

Categories
Work

America’s Got Talent: The Champions Showcases People with Disabilities for Their Talents

This week on NBC, America’s Got Talent: The Champions crowned Shin Lim as the winner of the title “Best In The World.” But there were plenty of other winners on the show, including several talented acts with disabilities who returned to the Got Talent stage to perform for the world once again.

Read more at RespectAbility

Categories
Blogs

The Last Perfect Winning Moment on Reality Competition TV

Ever since The Voice season 15 ended and I watched the winning moment out of curiosity, I’ve been thinking about winning moments on these shows. And frankly, it’s been a long time since we’ve had a perfect one. And that was in 2008, when David Cook won American Idol.

Why is it perfect? Several reasons.