Ian Fernando Voted Off Top Affiliate Challenge – Winner of the Week

July 7, 2008 - Written by Gyutae Park  

ian fernando top affiliate challengeIan Fernando is an affiliate marketing buddy of mine who, like me, represents New Jersey. He was recently selected as a contestant for the Top Affiliate Challenge (TAC) reality show in Lincoln, Nebraska. In theory, the show seems very interesting – 12 Internet marketers compete in 3 teams led by high profile gurus Shoemoney, John Chow, and Ken McArthur and hope to be the last man standing.

However, despite receiving a lot of exposure and being sponsored by many of the top affiliate networks, TAC is on such a low budget that it skimps out on a lot of important aspects that make a reality show successful. For example, introductions are cheesy, transitions are choppy, and the business model is ineffective. For more on that, check out Paul Borque’s analysis of why TAC sucks at Uberaffiliate.

(warning: spoiler)
Ian Fernando voted himself off the TAC show in the latest episode 4, and for good reason. In reality, Ian is a winner for being a loser. Why? Because the show lacks focus and isn’t really fair to contestants who are taking precious time away from their real life businesses to be in Nebraska.  Why should affiliates spend money out of their own pockets to earn money for an unstable show that can vote them off at any moment?  The twists and turns are a bit over the top and mostly unnecessary – even for the dramatic effect.

I don’t blame Ian for being frustrated with the show – I would feel the same way. The TAC production crew needs to realize that the contestants are their biggest assets. They need to take care of them and accommodate them as best as possible. Without their full support and cooperation, the show would be in shambles. This is especially true for affiliate marketers who putting a lot on the line to be a part of someone else’s venture. Props to Ian for sticking up for himself. Affiliate marketing in real life is more important than affiliate marketing on some program letting someone else benefit from your hard work.

top affiliate challenge

A reality show is no easy task, and I think Thor Schrock is doing an honest job for his first time producing. However, there’s a lot that can be improved and I hope they get their act together for future episodes and maybe even seasons.

What are your thoughts on Top Affiliate Challenge so far?

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13 Responses to “Ian Fernando Voted Off Top Affiliate Challenge – Winner of the Week”

Tom - StandOutBlogger.com on July 7th, 2008

Ian is a great guy. I am happy that he is out of it since he wasnt enjoying it.

Melvin on July 7th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I think the challenge will get more intresting…

Gyutae Park on July 10th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Yeah, I think you’re right as well. The latter episodes 7-9 are a lot more interesting that the beginning ones.

Joe on July 7th, 2008

I won’t beat this point too much more as Thor seems like a good guy, but the show needs help. They’re produced unprofessionally and simply not informative. They need to actually follow what the contestants and gurus are doing, not just interview them after it’s all done.

I also don’t understand what the hurry is to get the episodes online. I would want more time spent on editing.

But, like you and Ian say, it’s not built on a solid foundation to begin with (the vague and nonsensical rules: “make as much money as possible” with no budget or guidelines). That should probably be the first thing they change.

Anyway, that’s my Monday morning quarterbacking. I wish them luck with it. I’ll be watching.

Gyutae Park on July 10th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I think you hit the nail on the head. They tried too hard to work the “real-time” angle. They should have taken their time and worked to produce a quality show.

Affiliate Marketing on July 7th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Yea. It was kinda sad to see Ian go off the show but it’s true that it was smart. I was going to apply for the show but my girlfriend said she would miss me too much… Now I am glad I listened 😉

Gyutae Park on July 10th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Haha, that’s sweet of you Jonathan… I was actually going to be on the show as well, but I’m glad I passed this time around.

Adam McKerlie on July 8th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

This is the worst show I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It’s a waste of my time to watch it. The host can’t talk without reading off her notes ever few seconds. The camera work looks like its being done by a 10 year old and the editing is awful.

I watched 3 episodes and had to stop.

Gyutae Park on July 10th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

lol, very blunt but probably true. I like the part where the camera pans out and shows all the host’s notes on the ground.


Thanks for the review, I was thinking to check this out after seeing it everywhere. I’ll save myself the time.

Thor Schrock on July 10th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Gyutae, thanks for taking the time to watch some of the episodes. I know you have been really busy lately so it means a lot to me that you made time for them.

I am not going to make excuses because I think everyone agrees there are multiple areas the show could improve next season. I do however want to address the educational component of the show.

The education was scripted to be top-down from the gurus. Shoe had some family emergencies that forced him out of the show. Ken pulled through big time, but John Chow did not.

We then turned to the contestants themselves for educational content. Keeping in mind that this is a reality show and not a seminar, we tried to strike a balance between drama, content and a compelling story. Not an easy task!

At any rate, if you have the time check out episodes 8 and 9 and I think a lot of what I am talking about will become clear.

Gyutae Park on July 10th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Thanks for stopping by Thor. I did check out the latter episodes and I think they are a lot better content-wise than the beginning ones. Pretty interesting twist voting John Chow off the show.

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