We’re all adults here. So let’s be honest. I don’t think I would be crushing any dreams when I say that there is little about reality television that is actually… well, reality. Since the inception of the first huge reality show, Real World, on MTV back in May of 1992, producers and show runners have been trying to stir up as much drama as possible behind-the-scenes to get viewers to tune in every week and sometimes multiple days a week. This might have worked at first, before the audiences became hip to the idea that we were being drawn to reality television as if it were a dangling carrot in front of us. Still, the fake drama often turned real as reality stars might have gotten way too into whatever type of character they were assigned to play.
On top of that, it’s been said that producers will often ask certain questions to get a drama-starting comment out of a cast member during their confessional interviews. Show runners also don’t hesitate to put co-stars in certain positions just to make sure the cameras are there to catch their natural reaction, which is rarely ever a good one. In fact many times it has led to the stars reaching their breaking point and getting physical with their friend-turned-enemy. If we see all of this play out in front of the camera, I can only imagine what it’s like when the cameras stop rolling. Let’s take a look at 15 behind-the-scenes reality TV bombshells.
15. Kristin Cavallari vs. Lauren Conrad?
When producers had their way, viewers were convinced there was this ongoing feud between Kristen Cavallari and Lauren “LC” Conrad on The Hills that dated back to their high school days on Laguna Beach. And it seemed like the drama was just as fresh when Cavallari made an intense debut on The Hills at Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag’s infamous wedding. But now, producers and both of the ladies made it clear that wasn’t really the case. Cavallari revealed that producers kept her locked away in a room until the cameras were ready to get her entrance. LC said they did the same thing to her, which she was not happy about and admitted that she threw a fit. Cameras didn’t catch that but they did catch a moment that made it seem the two were giving each other the evil eye as it also marked Conrad’s last episode on The Hills. Cavallari said she didn’t mind coming back to reality television as the snob and that the money was all worth it.
14. Mess Hit The Fan For Strippergate on RHONJ
It looks like Teresa Giudice was the scapegoat after a producer sparked rumors that her sister-in-law Melissa Gorga was an exotic dancer back in the day; this incident became known as “strippergate” on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey. The man, who made the claims that Gorga used to dance in his club, was heard saying that he was told to make that statement on camera, possibly forgetting he was still wearing a microphone. Word also spread that a producer who clearly didn’t get along with Giudice warned Jacqueline Laurita that something was going to go down the night that a man told the women about Gorga’s alleged past at a fashion show. Giudice was accused of starting the drama because the man told her about Gorga’s supposed dancing history before he told any of the other ladies earlier in the episode. Still, the producers knew that Giudice was getting the heat for the rumor, and rumor is they didn’t care.
13. Is It Really Worth It To Keep Up With The Kardashians?
Keeping Up With The Kardashians has received countless attacks that it is completely fake, yet viewers keep tuning in every season. One of the biggest behind-the-scenes horror stories is the way the Kardashians and Jenners reportedly treat their production team, who has been with them since the show first started back in 2007. “Now they treat them like personal servants,” one insider told Radar Online. Kris Jenner is said to have to approve every second that goes on the show, and while she might seem like the biggest diva, Kim Kardashian is the one who got nicer to everyone as her level of fame increased. And while Khloe Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian seem to be fun on set, Jenner will fire a crew member in a heartbeat. She and Kim are said to be, “The best actors in the business” as they tape the same scene several times. And even though the production team pretty much lives at their house, their compensation makes up for it.
12. Did NeNe Leakes’ Off-Camera Drama With This Producer Threaten Her Spot On RHOA?
NeNe Leakes might have battled it out with her now former co-stars on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta, but there have been ongoing rumors that she also feuded with one of the show’s main producers, Carlos King. In fact, it’s been said that that beef is what got Leakes booted off of the show. She was arguably the most popular cast member but it looks like that didn’t matter when it came to giving her a peach for seasons eight and nine. Still, she did make appearances at the end of season eight when she showed up to a cast trip in Jamaica, without King’s knowledge. He reportedly “freaked out” so bad that Leakes refused to return full-time. On a side note, he’s also reportedly the reason Kenya Moore and Porsha Williams continue to have boyfriends on the show. The ladies, who were at one point the only single women, were told they had to have a love interest to stay on the series.
11. Judge Judy Not Real?!
Okay, so I know I said in the beginning of this post that reality television is clearly fake. But I always thought that the infamous Judge Judy show was an exception. Apparently it’s not. One former litigant who made an appearance on the show told their shocking story to Reddit. They said that while their case was very real, the decision made from the judge was already picked before they stepped into the courtroom. Either Judge Judy is really good at what she does, or she’s just giving in to the drama that we all love to see. “[The] judge was wearing jeans and slippers under her robe. Also, she’s incredibly quiet in real life. As in, I had to really strain to hear her. All in all, I got a paid three day vacation to LA and stayed in a decent hotel. I also got paid to be on the show AND when I ‘lost’ the show paid the other guy for me.”
10. Tyra Banks Makes Sure She’s The Only Queen Bee on America’s Next Top Model
So we all know Tyra Banks is credited for being the brains behind the hit series America’s Next Top Model. But one model has spoken out about her experience on the show. Lisa D’Amato, who competed for the title in 2005’s cycle five and went on to win the All-Stars competition in 2011, didn’t hold back when speaking with Too Fab about Banks’ demeanor on the show. “I do think Tyra kinda likes to keep everybody down a little bit so everyone knows she’s like the Queen Bee. There’s certain things they could do to help, little things, even if it is an e-mail, forwarding pictures… and that does not happen at all. It does seem, when you leave the show, that it is very cold, because they’re just on to the next cycle.” She also spoke about one contestant who wanted to sleep with any celebrity guy who made an appearance on All-Stars but then later said she and her fiancé had been together for three years.
9. Drama On The Bachelor Is Inevitable
You can’t expect anything but drama when it comes to shows like ABC’s The Bachelor. It doesn’t just follow their everyday life but women are really competing for something and it’s supposed to be love. There are countless behind-the-scenes horror stories about this show, but here are just a few: all of the contestants have to have a psychological exam before going on the show. They have to fend for themselves when it comes to the day-to-day beauty. And they have to steer clear of stripes, small checkered patterns, and even solid white. Couples who do get engaged have to stay together for at least two years in order to keep the infamous Neil Diamond ring. Contestants can’t have cell phones, computers, magazines, books, but are told to drink lots of alcohol. On top of all of that, they can’t say the word “process” but instead are encouraged to use the word “journey.”
8. Is The Reality TV Curse Real?
Reality television might not always be real, but it certainly has an impact on real life. In fact, there’s a title for it now as many refer to splits from TV couples as the “reality TV curse.” One of the first couples to allegedly suffer from this was Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. They let cameras into their lives just after they tied the knot. Their show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica debuted in 2003 and if you ask Lachey, it played a part in their split. “It was just so invasive that it became a problem,” Lachey said of the cameras. Interestingly enough, his video for his hit song What’s Left Of Me almost told the story about the demise of his relationship. It featured star Vanessa Minnillo, who he went on to remarry. Simpson also found love.
7. MTV’s Teen Mom Not Exempt From Off-Camera Drama
Teen Mom debuted on MTV in the early 2000s and sparked lots of controversy as many concerned parents claimed that the show glorified motherhood for juveniles. Still, there was lots of drama that didn’t air on the show to go around as rumors swirled that stars Amber Portwood and Farrah Abraham got physical while they taped a reunion special for the show. Apparently things got ugly when Abraham dissed Portwood’s fiancé Matt. It didn’t take long for Portwood to lunge on the stage to confront her. Abraham’s father tried to step in and then Matt stormed onto the stage as well. Portwood tried to hit Abraham, at her request, but missed. Matt and Portwood were finally removed from the stage. Portwood later claimed that Farrah’s dad choked Matt and Matt knocked him down. I don’t know if it gets more disrespectful than hitting someone’s dad, even if they are out of line.
6. Moniece Slaughter vs. Brandi Burnside on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop Hollywood
The drama for VH1’s Love & Hip Hop franchise clearly doesn’t end when the cameras stop rolling. Thanks to Hollywood star Moniece Slaughter’s Instagram, we know what really went down between her and her arch nemesis Brandi Burnside that we didn’t see on the show. She first said that she and Burnside have known one another since they were teenagers, despite Burnside’s claim that they didn’t know one another before the show. She then accused Burnside of “running” her mouth at a reunion taping, which caused Slaughter to burst out of her seat. She said Burnside “initiated” the drama and she even tried to make amends with Burnside’s husband, Max. But clearly the extended olive branch didn’t last long because Slaughter then sparked more off-camera drama and ousted Burnside for spying on her husband amid cheating rumors. This is just one of many horror stories that happen when the cameras are off for Love & Hip Hop.
5. The Real World: Where It All Began
The Real World was the first ever reality show. And even back then producers sparked drama for more interesting scenes and episodes. Producer Jonathan Murray found out the hard way that it wouldn’t be as easy as they thought. “We had no idea what we were getting into,” he said. “We foolishly thought everyone would go to bed at the same time. That didn’t happen. We had this meager little crew trying to cover seven individuals who were all over the place.” It was also rumored that when they weren’t getting enough drama, they tried to start some on their own. The cast members quickly found out about their plans and reassured them the drama would come naturally and didn’t need to be coerced. While they were right about that, it’s not surprising if producers were to still try to start drama to compete with current reality shows. It’s the way of the land.
4. American Idol Drama Goes Beyond The Stage
American Idol might be about an aspiring singer chasing their dreams and letting America decide their fate, but even that show had seen its share of behind-the-scenes horror stories. And of course one of the most juicy ones surrounds who really was supposed to win. In season five, Chris Daughtry, who has made a name for himself since his appearance on the show, was sent home. Katharine McPhee, Taylor Hicks, and Elliot Yamin were the contestants remaining on the show. Well some viewers came out and said that when they called in to vote for Daughtry, their calls were rerouted to McPhee’s lines. While Fox shut down claims of having any technical issues in McPhee or any of the contestant’s favor, fans demanded that Daughtry be put back on the show. Of course this didn’t happen. But this horror story has a good ending as he came out with quite a few hits after his exit.
3. #PhoneGate Marks Pivotal Moment For The Celebrity Apprentice
Considering what’s going on in the country right now, it’s no secret that there was also tons of drama back in President Donald Trump’s days of hosting The Celebrity Apprentice on NBC. One of the most talked about off-camera moments is when Kenya Moore of The Real Housewives of Atlanta on Bravo allegedly attempted to embarrass her counterpart and arch nemesis, actress Vivica A. Fox on the show. Moore was accused of stealing her cell phone and tweeting out inappropriate messages from Fox’s social media account, making it seem as if Fox did it. From getting older to dealing with “the change” that older women experience, whoever wrote the tweets from behind-the-scenes didn’t hold back. Moore has consistently denied that it was her, but the move got her fired from the show. It also kicked off this major feud between the two ladies who still go back-and-forth and throw shade at one another in interviews.
2. Abby Lee’s Drama Company
Abby Lee’s Dance Company has plenty of drama in front of the camera. So much that it’s hard to imagine that there would be anymore to go around when the show isn’t filming. But it turns out that there is. And despite what many might think, it’s not because of the seemingly outspoken Abby Lee. Instead she is actually said to be really nice. But she has been seen making her own behind the scenes moves. Like when they were at a competition and Abby was possibly scouting out other performers who could join ALDC. Or the time when the dancers arrive at dance competitions, there are onlookers there who have been asked to practice their excitement multiple times. But as far as ALDC’s rival group, the Candy Apples, that could be very real considering the latter group has been accused of being fame hungry and will do whatever it takes to get extra camera time. Anyone who watches the show might not see this as surprising.
1. Cupcake Wars Isn’t As Hasty As It Seems
The behind the scenes stories for Cupcake Wars starts long before they actually start taping for the show. In fact, the chefs are said to know months in advance what the ingredients are. One former contestant told Reddit, “Had we not known, there’s no doubt we would’ve lost…Tell an unprepared contestant they have 40 minutes to make a delicious cupcake using tator tots and nine times out of ten you’ll have a middle aged woman sobbing into her mixing bowl.” The contestant added that while there are people who live for that type of pressure, they’re probably not trying to be on the show. “They have better things to do with their time than crank out cupcakes for Food Network.” Either way, it’s safe to say the drama is premeditated. This honestly doesn’t make it nearly as much fun and almost discredits the skills of the contestants who can seem to make a cupcake with any type of ingredient on the fly.