The Great American Dream Vote

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
The Great American Dream Vote TV Poster Image
Game show audience makes wishes come true.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Most contestants are competing for something that would be useful to themselves or others. Some wishes include gifts for loved ones or ways to protect animals. Normal game show greed is minimal.

Violence & Scariness

Some episodes may briefly mention things like illness or family loss.

Sexy Stuff

"Dream Girls" wear short, slinky dresses and escort contestants off stage.


Occasional co-branded advertisements (Toyota) link the end of a segment with the commercial break.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this unique game show puts the audience in charge of making contestants' dreams -- which usually involve needing money -- come true. Dreams run the gamut from the selfless (starting an animal sanctuary) to the more predictable (improving one's looks or giving romantic gifts to partners). Competition is generally tame and civil but occasionally includes mild insults. In one episode, a contestant briefly mentions children with cancer dying. The "Great American Dream Girls" -- who don't speak and wear short, slinky dresses -- make brief but regular appearances to deliver voting results to the host and escort losers off stage.

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What's the story?

In THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM VOTE, contestants compete to win the resources they need to accomplish their dreams -- whether it's undergoing a hair transplant, getting pageant training, starting an animal sanctuary, or making a spouse very, very happy. Hosted by Donny Osmond, each episode features eight contestants, who are paired off by category -- such as the two moms who both want their daughters to become pageant winners. After Osmond introduces the pairs, viewers watch a short home video, then the contestants make their pitch again and answer questions from Osmond. Through a series of rounds and contestant pitches, the audience then narrows the choice down to two possible dream winners, leaving the final choice to the voters out in TV land. The winner is revealed in the next episode.

Is it any good?

As Osmond makes clear in his introduction, none of the contestants' dreams will save people's lives, but they all have the potential to change lives significantly, since the chance to open a business or help a family member is surely a dream of many real folks. For the most part, the contestants seem sincere and legitimate, rather than overly polished or exceptionally articulate. This adds a genuine feel to the competition -- but it doesn't make up for the repetitiveness of the contestants' pitches (which unfortunately ends up making the show rather boring).

Parents will find little objectionable material in Great American Dream Vote, though whether there's anything particularly valuable here either is another question. Even though folks are competing against one another, they don't tend to be nasty while doing it -- a few snide remarks is about as bad as it gets.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what sets this series apart from other game shows. Do you think the contestants on this show seem as greedy as those on other game shows? Why or why not? What would you play for if you were on the show? Speaking of which, families can also discuss their dreams. What are your dreams? What would it take to make them come true? Is money the main thing holding you back, or is it something else? Has anyone in your family made his or her dream come true?

TV details

  • Premiere date: March 27, 2007
  • Cast: Donny Osmond
  • Network: ABC
  • Genre: Game Shows
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: September 19, 2019

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