Reality is messy and unpredictable. So it’s only fitting that shows marketing themselves as reality television have more than a few surprises. And with the boom in reality programming, some shows have gone over-and-above in the hopes of being noticed by audiences. But even though there is no shortage of entertainment, some situations are just so outstanding that we thought they deserved a shoutout. Here are Screen Rant’s 10 Most Shocking Reality TV Moments Of All Time.
Jersey Shore, S01E04 “Fade to Black”
We all know someone who gets a little silly when they drink. But for six seasons, that’s what the cast of Jersey Shore did for a living. The gang would dress up, get wasted, and usually engage in some degree of buffoonery. The cast’s most ridiculous member is also its tiniest. At just over 4 and a half feet, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi had an incredible ability to stir up trouble wherever she went. And in the series’ fourth episode, it backfired. Thinking that someone was stealing drinks, Snooki ruffled some Jersey feathers, and got punched in the face for it. The result is one reality TV moment that will go down in infamy.
The Bachelor, S13E10 “After the Final Rose”
At this point The Bachelor is a reality television institution. Since 2002 audiences have followed the stories of eligible men searching for The One. And thanks to it’s success, there is an entire universe of dating shows to choose from. What starts as a group of about twenty five potential mates eventually gets narrowed down to one, and marriage is the end goal. As you can probably imagine, the competition is through the roof. So when it comes down to only two women, the choice should be pretty obvious at that point, right? Wrong. After the Romeo from Season 13 proposed to one lady, he turned around and changed his mind… on national television. Saying the breakup was “public” feels like an understatement, since over 17 million people watched it happen.
Keeping Up With The Kardashians, S10E16 “Vanity Unfair”
Shining a light on anyones family dynamics is a bold move, and the Kardashian clan have been doing it since 2007. When news of Caitlyn Jenner’s transition hit the media, many were stunned. And while the reactions were mixed, the news prompted a lot of discussion about gender transition. Considering his who her family is, it should come as no surprise that the intensely personal subject was at the center of some of the most popular episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. But the moment that made the biggest splash was Jenner’s interview with Vanity Fair magazine. In fact, so many people were interested that a spinoff I Am Cait was created to focus just on her.
The Hills, S06E12 “All Good Things…”
For just under a decade, reality television was run by a bunch of kids from California. After the end of MTV’s Laguna Beach, some of the characters moved on to the follow-up show called The Hills. A show loaded with teenage angst. Lauren Conrad moved from her childhood neighborhood to the big city, and audiences were beside her every step of the way as she fumbled her way to adulthood. That is, until fellow Laguna-alum Kristin Cavallari took over. Fans took sides in every argument and were supposedly seeing real-life drama. Until the last shot of the series, anyway, in which the camera zooms out to show that the scene was being shot on a soundstage. And just like that, it ruined it’s own legacy.
Miss Universe 2015
Of all the people in a pageant, the host has it the easiest. They don’t have to answer hard-hitting political questions or parade around in a swimsuit. And although they may have the most camera time, they’re usually pretty forgettable. Unless you’re Steve Harvey. When Harvey hosted the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, he almost made it out unscathed. But then he announced the wrong winner. That’s right. Even though he was physically holding a card with the winner’s name on it, the crown went to the wrong contestant. After realizing his mistake, Harvey was genuinely mortified. And, like the classy ladies they are, Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines handled the mixup with grace.