Some reality shows are a lot like trainwrecks—devastatingly awful, but you still can’t peel your eyes away. While there might be some room for debate, I’ll give shows like The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars a pass when compared to the 10 bottom-of-the-barrel reality TV shows of all time.
10) Ready for Love. Barely making it past the first two airings, Eva Longoria’s Ready for Love was simply too complicated. Get this: a lucky bachelor has 12 women chosen for him by three matchmakers. In the first round, he weeds out women by choosing three from each group of four, sight unseen. He then has a date with all nine women, and the matchmakers choose three women to be in the bottom, of which the man must choose one to cut for the week. Did I mention there were three bachelors? It was too confusing and the show was canceled, with the remaining episodes to be eventually streamed online.
9) Skating with Celebrities. Viewers love watching celebs dance, so they’d probably love watching them skate, right? Nope. After a few shows it was clear that (a) skating is really hard, (b) celebs get really injured, and (c) Todd Bridges was the only recognizable “star” on the cast. Next!
8) True Beauty. In this ill-conceived CW gem, Vanessa Minnillo gathered a group of hotties and told them they were competing for the title of “Most Beautiful Person” when they were really being judged on being nice and kind to others. The show aired two seasons, but all it really taught me was that beautiful people aren’t only mean, but dumb for actually believing there was a “Most Beautiful Person” contest.
7) Mr. Personality. Another excellent dating show, Mr. Personality tried to discover if two people could fall in love via personality alone. The men in the show were required to wear creepy masks for the entire season to conceal their identities and, shockingly enough, the end result didn’t work out.
6) Who’s Your Daddy? Nothing leaves a bad taste in your mouth quite like a reality show that puts a poor woman who doesn’t know her father’s identity in a room full of men all claiming to be her father. By some psychic connection, she was supposed to pick her real dad to win $100K. If she chose wrong, the lying impostor dad won the money. Because producers like to reward liars.
5) Joe Millionaire. Speaking of liars, this reality show convinced a slew of bachelorettes that their everyman construction worker Evan Marriott was a millionaire. With dollar signs in their eyes, the girls did pretty much anything to score his attention. In the end, he had to come clean and was offered $1,000,000 to stay with his lady friend. They gave it the old college try—until their contract was up and they could walk away with $500K in the bank.
4) Temptation Island. If you really hated your significant other, yet couldn’t figure out how to break up, Temptation Island was there for you. After all, the show separated couples and then placed them on islands filled with hot singles that were hand-picked for them. What could possibly go wrong?
3) Are You Hot? In an American Idol-esque setting, Lorenzo Lamas ogled people to decide if they were indeed hot or not. Offensive on so many levels, the show was quickly canceled, leaving the public to wonder: “Since when is Lorenzo Lamas the authority on hotness?”
2) Paris Hilton’s My New BFF. At the height of Paris Hilton’s popularity, she enjoyed a couple of reality shows, a fragrance line, and a group of people who would compete in ridiculous challenges to become her new best friend. After two seasons and the realization the she cycles through friends like she cycles through exotic pets, the show went away—and so did Paris’s “career.”
1) TIE — Bridalplasty and The Swan. Because nothing says love quite like “I had massive plastic surgery in order to conform to societal beliefs of beauty.” Cutting up your face for a reality show is never good—and competing to win a nose job? It’s downright sad.
What would you say are the worst reality TV shows of all time?
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