From my point of view it doesn't look as if Susan rose to stardom as a result of her singing talent (though it cannot be disputed that she really possesses that awesome vocal prowess) in the show, but rather because Britain's Got Talent made out of her a human curiosity to gather huge audience. The reality show got a considerable worldwide harvest, but not without exploiting Susan Boyle and her unsuspecting asset waiting to be utilized in some ways other than intense exposure to the excitement of the program (for instance by just recommending her to a recording producer), considering Susan's different condition.
On Larry King Live, The Wrap Editor-in-Chief Sharon Waxman said there have been reported eleven suicides connected to reality shows, and Dr. Drew Pinsky said emotional and mental breakdowns, suicide attempts and Truman Show Syndromes do arise not only from being rejected or defeated in such, but even from winning in reality shows.
Now that's how reality show producers take much advantage over people who desire their fifteen seconds to fame. In showbusiness there are predators who care less on who they are using than on the potentials of higher ratings. And worse, they kill. Remember that Bulgarian contestant who died while taping Survivor here in the Philippines just days ago?
The only thing wherein reality tv gets useful is -- advocacy and muckraking!