Love them or hate ‘em, reality shows are here to stay – and growing in number each year, it seems. With the good come some downright terrible ideas, where it’s tough to understand how the idea ever got greenlit. I’m guessing alcohol was involved with most of these, our list of the 15 worst reality TV shows ever made.
15. Temptation Island (2001-2003)
Here’s one horrible reality show that actually got three seasons on TV. Four unmarried couples travel to an island where various temptations lure them from their relationships. Can the couples’ love for one another stand up to the distractions of hot guys and girls? It’s hard to remember in today’s climate where an abortion like “The Moment of Truth” can be presented without anyone blinking an eye, but Temptation Island was actually pretty controversial in its time. Pretty quaint, right?
14. The Real Housewives of Orange County (2006-present)
For some reason, people can’t get enough of this one? Super rich vapid housewives… who would think anyone would care?
13. Farmer Wants A Wife (2008)
This is one of those, “can’t believe someone got this on television” kind of shows. In Farmer Wants a Wife, a Missouri farmer is looking for love among 10 city girls – looking to see which lady will fall in love with both the farmer and the country livin’.
12. My Super Sweet 16 (2005 – present)
Here’s one of the worst reality show offenders, that literally everyone seems to hate, and yet it apparently manages to pull enough viewers to stay on the air. Do overprivileged teenagers really have such blown up birthday parties? And why do their parents shell out all that cash? This is the sort of thing you want to watch if you’re looking to get annoyed enough to pop a blood vessel.
11. Britney & Kevin: Chaotic (2005)
Bad, bad, bad. All around bad. This is basically where Britney finally got all the way over that shark she’d been jumping for a couple of years. Who would have guessed these two would break up?
10. Who Wants To Marry A Multi-Millionaire (2000)
Oh wow, remember this one? Who doesn’t want to get paired up with skeevy multi-millionaire Rick Rockwell and be married on the show? Maybe Darva Conger, who was the unlucky winner of this reality flop. The marriage was later annulled. And once again, its hard to remember but this was seriously huge news at the time it was aired.
9. The Littlest Groom (2004)
The Littlest Groom was a weak attempt at a stand out among dating shows — think The Bachelor – on a smaller scale. The wannabe groom had to look for his love match among fellow little people and women of average size.
8. My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé (2003)
This one was a doozy, with school teacher Randi Coy agreeing to play along with a fake wedding to slobbish fiancé Steve for a cash prize. Randi’s unsuspecting family bit their tongues and ended up with $100,000 each. Randi was awarded $500,000 for pulling it off and learning that her fiancé was actually an actor.
7. Who Wants To Marry My Dad (2003-2004)
What if you played matchmaker for your single dad? Would it be a successful reality show? Nope, not so much in this case either. The dad’s four grown children had to shop for a step-mommy among 12 ladies in one of the creepiest things to ever hit TV.
6. Boot Camp (2001)
Boot camp is rough, as this reality show proved. Rougher still was the lawsuit Mark Burnett slapped on the series for having a format similar to “Survivor.”
5. Forever Eden (2004)
Uh, yeah. A reality show without an ending. How dumb is that? Contestants who could stay longer, would earn more money – whether a few weeks or a few years. And how about that giant apple for the eviction ceremony?
4. Mr. Personality (2003)
The fact that this show was hosted by Monica Lewinsky should have been a huge red flag. One woman chooses her perfect mate – sight unseen, courtesy of dorky masks — by personality alone.
3. The Swan (2004)
Both morally reprehensible and downright awful, contestants on The Swan underwent life changing alterations to live up to the beauty standards set by society – which meant plenty of plastic surgery and medical improvements until they became beautiful – and unrecognizable.
2. Married by America (2003)
Who wouldn’t want to call in American Idol-style and vote for their favorite love match to be married on live television? This one’s as stupid as they come.
1. Armed & Famous (2007)
One of the worst reality shows just for the sheer ridiculousness of it, Armed and Famous put semi-famous celebrities on the streets as cops in Muncie, Indiana. This show actually resulted in a lawsuit being filed after a woman claimed her home was wrongfully entered as she was questioned about people she did not know. LaToya Jackson and Jack Osbourne were named in the suit. Sadly, one of the highlights of Armed and Famous was watching LaToya Jackson get tasered. Check the video below: