Reality television is a guilty pleasure for many, many individuals across the world. Sure, we know that the drama, wine-throwing, yelling and catfights are sometimes fabricated, and that situations are often escalated due to the intervention of producers or careful editing. Regardless, we tune in week after week. We curl up on the couch with our own glass of wine and bowl of junk food and watch hours of these people’s crazy lives. Why? It’s hard to tell. The point is, reality television makes up a huge portion of the shows on television, and it’s a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.
There’s a fine line, however, between someone we love to hate and someone we just hate. Some reality television stars have a flair for drama and abrasive personalities, but manage to nonetheless charm viewers. Then there are those that make viewers just switch the screen off. Those who got a little taste of fame and began behaving in insane ways. They tear down their co-stars, get ridiculous amounts of plastic surgery, utter abusive or threatening things, or just behave like straight up lunatics. Thanks to the five minutes of fame that their reality TV appearance grants them, the paparazzi manages to capture every moment of it all.
Here are 12 reality television stars that were destroyed by fame – and the cameras captured everything.
12 Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino
Okay, despite the fact that many of them have cashed in on their larger than life Jersey Shore personalities, most of the Jersey Shore stars weren’t particularly liked. Sure, we loved to hate them as they went through all the drunken drama on the shore, but as they got increasingly famous, many became increasingly irritating because they thought they were big shot celebrities. No member of the cast is a better example than Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino. His personality is what probably landed him a spot on the show – super confident, always lifting his shirt to show some unsuspecting woman his abs. However, his behavior soon escalated and he became petty and determined to destroy others. His biggest target was Snooki – as she was trying to move on from her partying lifestyle with Jionni, then-boyfriend who later became her husband and father of her two children, The Sitch did everything he could to break them up. Why? Everyone guesses he just didn’t want to see anyone else happy.
11 Heidi Montag
Heidi Montag has been on several reality television series. Most know her from her long stint on The Hills, where she went from Lauren Conrad’s BFF to her enemy. However, Montag was bitten by the fame bug on Laguna Beach and The Hills and went on to also grab a role on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, Famous Food, and Celebrity Big Brother. When viewers first met Montag she was a regular girl from Colorado who moved to the sunshine state; as she spent more time in Hollywood, she became taken in by the whole lifestyle and was determined to get her slice of fame at any cost. Instead of developing her career on The Hills, she developed a relationship with Spencer Pratt, an equally hated cast member. Since leaving the show, Montag has done everything to stay in the spotlight, from fabricating relationship drama to going under the knife for an astounding ten plastic surgery procedures in one day.
10 Omarosa Manigault
Everyone knows Omarosa – she appeared on the first season of Donald Trump’s reality television series The Apprentice. While her behavior may have seemed like a product of her determination at first, it soon became evident that she just had an awful personality – she was constantly fighting with absolutely everyone, to the detriment of the projects she was working on. After her 2004 The Apprentice appearance, she got bitten by the fame bug and went on to be part of The Surreal Life, Girls Behaving Badly, Fear Factor, Celebrity Apprentice, and another season of The Apprentice. She’s claimed countless times that her ‘villain’ personality is just a product of editing, but let’s be real here – while editors can piece things together, they can’t outright put words in someone’s mouth. Everything she said, she said – and she consequently was one of the most notorious reality television villains due to her behavior.
9 Ryan De Nino
This reality television ‘star’ is probably the freshest in many people’s minds, as the season finale for the season of Married at First Sight that Ryan De Nino was on just aired. On dating-type reality television shows, there’s often a guy who seems normal at first and turns out to be a little weird – too clingy, strange hobbies, whatever. The individuals responsible for screening potential reality television show cast members see a lot of people, and there’s bound to be some quirky guys who slip through the cracks. Then there’s Ryan De Nino, a guy who likely made everyone scratch their heads wondering how on earth he passed a psych screening. What’s all the fuss with this guy? Well, he threatened to kill his fiancé and also threatened physical harm to many members of her family. When the show needs to get security for one of the cast members due to threats from another cast member, you’ve pretty much cemented your status as one of the most hated reality show stars.
8 Farrah Abraham
As a series, Teen Mom hasn’t exactly produced a lot of role models. Sure, there are some teens who star on the show and go on to have a happy family life, but they seem to be the exception. As a whole, the Teen Mom cast end up getting sucked into fame and often making decisions that aren’t the best for their children. Case in point – Farrah Abraham
. After her name became somewhat recognized due to her time on the show, she then went on to star in a porn video with James Deen. The title? Backdoor Teen Mom. That’s someone who’s clearly trying to capitalize on their fame. She got into even more hot water when she tried to pass it off as something filmed privately that got leaked, while her co-star said it was definitely a planned porn video. She’s done everything from creating scandals to getting plastic surgery, including breast implants and lip injections, to stay in the spotlight.
7 Amber Portwood
Another Teen Mom cast member makes it onto the list. Several of the Teen Mom cast members have struggled with issues ranging from drug addiction to absent baby daddies, but Amber Portwood tops it all by landing herself a prison sentence. Her extremely tumultuous and toxic relationship with partner Gary meant that this young family would likely never be the perfect happy family, but Portwood has made a lot of bad solo decisions as well. At least daughter Leah doesn’t need to see her fighting with Gary, but that’s only because she doesn’t see her at all – Portwood is serving a five year prison sentence. Perhaps her time behind bars will give her the chance to reflect on her decisions.
6 Aaryn Gries
In the Big Brother house, the cameras are on – all the time. Many houseguests seem to forget that fact and slip up, either exposing parts of themselves they didn’t want to or saying things they shouldn’t have. The perpetually-on cameras mean that these moments are captured, and even if they’re not aired on prime time, they’re out there for the public to see on the live feeds. Blonde student Aaryn Gries was on a season that had a particularly nasty set of cast members, with many getting in hot water for comments captured on the live feeds, but Aaryn was perhaps the worst of all. She made racist and homophobic comments, and was just altogether a nasty person.
5 Colton Cumbie
Colton Cumbie first appeared on Survivor during the One World season, and immediately made headlines for his appalling behavior. Despite admittedly having faced his own struggles as a homosexual in the conservative South, Cumbie was clear about his Republican and racist beliefs. He was a giant pile of contradictions, and he was incredibly nasty to other cast members. When questioned about his apparently racist beliefs, he dug himself even deeper. To make matters worse, the behavior he exhibited in his season earned him an invite back – unfortunately, in the world of reality television, drama sells.
4 Jon Gosselin
Okay, admittedly, we don’t always know what’s going on behind closed doors in relationships captured on reality television. However, to the public, Jon and Kate Gosselin seemed like a typical married couple, with an atypically large amount of children. This household ran like a well-oiled machine, and it was all captured on their show Jon & Kate Plus 8. Their reality television fame didn’t exactly mean they were walking the Academy Awards red carpet, but they got a bit more spotlight than the average individual – and in Jon’s case, it went to his head. He started rocking the Ed Hardy and split with his wife in order to chase blonde tail. While she took care of her children as a newly single mom, he partied on yachts. His behavior definitely didn’t win him any dad of the year awards, and anyone who was a fan during his time on the show quickly turned against him.
3 Spencer Pratt
2 Courtney Robertson
There are many, many women who have participated in The Bachelor and walked away without earning that season’s bachelor’s heart. They go on to have normal lives, and with the exception of a few die-hard fans, there are many bachelorettes who fade into obscurity after their season is over. Then there are the ones who become infamous – but not always for the right reasons. Courtney Robertson appeared on the show when the bachelor was Ben Flajnik. Despite earning the hatred of literally every other girl on the show that season due to her manipulative and possessive behavior, baby voice and more, she managed to snag the guy and got a proposal from Ben. However, the two ended up splitting only a few months after the finale, and never walked down the aisle. Robertson eventually tried to extend her 15 minutes of fame by penning a book, entitled I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain.
1 Jonathan Baker
When you’re remembered as ‘that guy who was constantly mistreating his wife,’ you’re not going to be remembered fondly. Baker appeared on the sixth season of the popular reality series The Amazing Race with his then-wife Victoria Fuller. He initially just seemed high strung, and since people react differently to the conditions of the race (constant fatigue, stress, etc.), many figured he just wasn’t handling things well. However, as he continued to yell at his wife seemingly non-stop and even handle her roughly physically, people started to demand he be booted off the show.