Back in 1992, Music Television (or MTV) stopped playing its music videos and started showing The Real World, the first reality show ever created. People were tired of watching boring dramas, and the incessant drones of laugh tracks created just for the sitcoms were becoming incredibly annoying. People wanted something they could relate to, and the barrage of reality shows have not stopped ever since the first episode was released.
Unfortunately, not all reality shows are as real as we may think. Sometimes when you see a show such as Dancing with the Stars, you may wonder if it isn’t staged, or if they might already know the outcome before the show even starts? Or what about some of the stars who have a lot more dancing experience than others? The same goes for just about all of the other ones that are out there, and it’s difficult to find out just which ones are real and which ones, well, are fake. If someone hasn’t come straight out and admitted that the show isn’t real, then we will just go on believing that it is.
13. Crossing Over With John Edward
In 1999, John Edward was the host of his own show called Crossing Over with John Edward. This television series was based on the idea of a psychic medium (John) who could allegedly speak with the dead. For five years, John would look over the audience, searching for people who knew someone who died that was close to them and the deceased would act as if they were trying to contact their living loved one.
Many skeptics had joined the show to try to prove that John was a fraud and a fake. John would go around the audience, and then start calling out random letters that may (or may not) have belonged to people; such as, “I am seeing the letter M…Is there someone here that knows somebody that has passed with the name Mandy, or maybe, Mabel or Melinda?” This would usually get someone to say that they knew a person with that name who had passed on, and eventually John’s show ended in 2004.
12. Urban Tarzan
Apparently this was a show that was on Spike TV back in 2013, but there is no record of it onDemand through the cable company, but there are a few “episodes” available on YouTube. It is a show about a few guys who go around trying to catch wild animals from residential homes, and releasing them back into the wild. They catch snakes, cougars, crocodiles, and even claimed to see Chupacabra. Yes, that is Chupacabra, the goat-sucking, four-legged creature that really doesn’t exist.
11. The A-List: New York
The A-List: New York is a reality television series on cable that focuses primarily on gay men. It seems so predictable and scripted, and basically shows the “typical” gay man when showing the men on screen. There really is no reason to believe that this show would be real whatsoever. The show barely lasted a few years, and was cancelled in June 2012.
10. Mob Wives
If you think about what it’s like to be married to a man that kills people for a living, wouldn’t you want to be on your own television show? Apparently that is what VH1 was thinking when they developed Mob Wives, which aired from April 2011 until March 2016. It really is hard to determine whether this show is real or not; doesn’t every hit man want his wife or daughter to be aired on television to tell everyone about their lives? Surely everyone who is involved with the mob certainly looks just as good as the women on the show, as well, right?
9. House Hunters
This one on the list shouldn’t really come as too much of a shock to most people who have ever bought a house. Most people that have purchased a home know that it’s not that easy to just narrow down three houses, go take a looksee, then immediately decide which one they are going to buy; let alone be able to purchase it right away at the price that they need. It has been said that a lot of the people on this show have already bought their house, and the other two are just homes that belong to their friends in the area. As long as it makes for great television, that’s all that matters, right?
8. Breaking Amish
The people who “broke out” of the Amish community to live a life free of the restrictions of their upbringing may not be completely real, according to Jeremiah Raber. Jeremiah is the 34 year-old main character of the show, Amish, and made a statement regarding the producer of TLC; who Jeremiah said he had been friends with for 22 years. If Jeremiah really is Amish, how would he have been friends with a producer of a Hollywood-produced television show when he was just twelve years old? It just doesn’t make a lot of sense.
7. Mystery Diners
When a restaurant has not been operating properly or there are bizarre acts going on inside, something needs to be done about it. That is where the show Mystery Diners, comes into play. They have one or two people show up to eat at the establishment, or to basically become a “mystery diner,” and have them try to determine exactly what is going on in the restaurant.
According to several different sources, Mystery Diners was not a “real” reality show at all. Apparently, actors are paid to show up at the restaurant and be filmed. They also are told to “beef up the drama,” whether anything is going on in the establishment or not.
6. Hell’s Kitchen
This one, in particular, is personally upsetting since the host of the show Gordon Ramsay, is such a famous and entertaining icon. According to a previous contestant on the show, Jen Yemola, she states that she went on the show thinking that it was a real contest for chefs. She states that there was rarely a time when the contestants were able to eat, they got barely any sleep and Gordon was not actually saying what we heard on television. He was “fed lines through an earpiece,” and the show itself was rigged so the winner was who they wanted it to be.
5. The Pick-Up Artist
The Pick-Up Artist was a television “reality” show that only appeared for a year or two before people figured out that it wasn’t a reality show at all. The show was supposed to be based on a man who was too nerdy, excessively shy, or too much of an introvert to get a date. This was supposed to bring him out of his shell by transforming him into an outgoing, extroverted “player” who feels completely worthy of getting himself a date with just about anyone. The problem is that one woman had actually run into one of the contestants before the show aired. She met up with this man, and had passionately kissed him before he told her that he was going to be on the show. She then interviewed him, proving that the show was completely staged.
4. American Idol
Even though the singers on this show are real, according to a former member of the staff, the winners are already chosen before the show’s finale. The show has denied the allegations, but after the four contestants were mentioned, one of those had been immediately voted off of the show. TV Guide had even chosen those four, as well, to be voted off of the show at the time. This is one show that has not been proven to be ‘not real’, but the final episode airs in 2016, so chances are that we will never know for sure.
3. Storage Wars
At one point, A&E had the most popular reality show on television, Storage Wars, where people would bid on storage units in an auction-style fashion, in hopes of getting something worth a lot of money. The contestants would not know what was in the unit until it was paid for, and they rifled through the contents. Eventually, a former star of the show filed a lawsuit stating that it was all completely fake. David Hester stated that items were placed inside the units before buyers bid on the units, in order to make the show much more interesting. A&E denied the claims, but the show is apparently still on the air.
2. Jersey Shore
According to those who have witnessed filming of the series Jersey Shore, it is completely staged and about as far from reality that a reality show can get. Scripts are given to the stars on the show, and re-takes can be seen when they are walking down the street. If the directors don’t like the reactions of the girls, they will be told to do it again. Even the scenes inside different buildings are re-shot again and again, just to make sure that everything looks “perfect” once the show goes on air. During a filming in Italy, bodyguards were used to keep away people who were allegedly fighting in the streets, and Snooki wore a fake neck brace after an accident that she had caused. It is difficult to determine what, exactly, is real in this show and what isn’t.
1. Man vs Wild
Bear Grylls starred in the hit television show, Man vs Wild, where he would be “dropped” into a remote area, such as the middle of the woods, and then have to fend for himself, with limited supplies. Bear is known for surviving in various places; such as the rainforest and areas with extremely cold temperatures. In one episode, he was flown to Hawaii, and we later found out that Bear had actually stayed in a hotel during the show. He apologized, but the damage was already done. The show just wasn’t the same after the truth came out.