It can seem like there simply wasn’t a time before reality television – after all, there are so, so many shows, and some have been around for twenty seasons or more. However, reality television really only started thriving about fifteen years ago, in the early 2000s. A few shows on the air became popular, then a few more were added into the mix, and nowadays there’s a reality television show for pretty much any type of fan out there. And, while there are some shows that allow contestants to show off their talents, such as Project Runway or The Voice, and others where the surroundings are stunning, like The Amazing Race, let’s get real – for the most part, people love reality television because they love the drama. And no one delivers drama quite like a villain.
Over reality television’s rise, there have been thousands of contestants on the variety of shows on the air, and a large majority of them are fairly forgettable, regular people who went on to lead regular lives after their one season appearance. There are a few, though, that everyone remembers – and not necessarily for the right reasons. Many savvy fame seekers recognize that villains tend to get a lot of screen time, since the public loves drama, and they totally play up the persona – or, the more unsettling answer, they’re just like that all the time whether there are cameras pointed at them or not.
There have been a few sweethearts in the reality television world, but there have been also a ton of villains who we can’t help but hate – here are 15 of the most hated reality television stars of all time.
15 Abby Lee Miller
Look, we get it – dealing with kids isn’t always easy. However, there’s a certain amount of warmth and compassion that most adults who deal with children in some way in their careers generally have, and Abby Lee Miller just doesn’t seem to have it. Miller shot to fame as the yelling, screaming, criticizing leader on Dance Moms who was trying to whip all her dance students into shape. And we’ll just clarify one thing in case you’re not familiar: these not professional dancers who made the decision to subject themselves to a grueling class in order to achieve their goals. The individuals she’s coaching are literally children who she pretty much traumatizes episode after episode. The public can understand a larger than life personality, but most viewers likely spend a lot of their viewing time during Dance Moms wincing at the things she’s saying to those poor little girls who are just trying their best.
14 Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino
I mean, with a cast like the Jersey Shore cast, it’s kind of tough to pick out the most hated cast member – all of them pretty much earned their reputations and got invited back season after season by being high drama, highly intoxicated, hot messes. However, of all the cast, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino probably remains the most hated. At first, like the other cast members, he was just sort of annoying – a little too full of himself and his GTL schedule, but nothing that the other guys weren’t doing as well. However, he started to take his persona way too seriously, showing off his abs to everyone he came across and being even more irritating. And then, there was the long storyline where he kept trying to essentially ruin Snooki’s relationship with the man she loved (who she is now married to). It’s one thing to stir up silly drama, but it’s an entirely more despicable thing to try to destroy someone’s relationship for selfish reasons.
13 Omarosa Manigault
When The Apprentice first debuted all the way back in 2004, it was a bit of a new concept to reality television lovers. The contestants weren’t stranded on an island or racing through a foreign country, but they were trying to compete in the corporate world instead. Of all the contestants in that first season, there is one that is notorious in the reality television world, and chances are you’d know her by one name alone – Omarosa. While other female contestants tried to make sure their voices were heard and that the men weren’t overshadowing them, Omarosa was difficult to work with, combative, aggressive, and just the dictionary definition of a villain. And, in case you might think it was just unfortunate editing, you’d just have to see her appearance on any other reality show she’s been on to know that her persona is totally her and not a result of malicious editing.
12 Jon “Jonny Fairplay” Dalton
Jon Dalton will forever go down as the scumbag who decided that lying about his grandmother dying would be the best way to get sympathy from his fellow contestants and therefore improve his shot at winning Survivor. It sounds ridiculous even saying it, but that was a legitimate tactic for Dalton back when he appeared on Survivor: Pearl Islands. He was forever putting his foot in his mouth quite unapologetically and insulting fellow contestants left, right, and center. And, in case you might think watching his behaviour on screen would lead him to make a change, you’d be wrong. He returned to the reality television world a few years later for Survivor: Micronesia and was just as awful as before. Plus, anyone who gives himself an obnoxious nickname like Jonny Fairplay definitely earns a spot on any most annoying or hated reality television stars list. We’re hoping he never returns to our screens again, lest he faux kill any other relatives or friends.
11 Aaryn Gries
On many reality television shows, contestants are captured on camera in moments they’d rather not have filmed, but usually that’s just the bad luck of a cameraman catching them at a low point. However, Big Brother contestants come into the infamous house with full knowledge that their every move is being monitored by countless cameras and their every word is being recorded by the microphones they’re required to have on them at all times. That fact makes it all the more unbelievable that a contestant could be as stupid as Aaryn Gries was. At first, the young blonde student and model seemed like your average reality television eye candy. Then, thanks to the live feeds that captured houseguests’ conversations in the wee hours of the night, the public found out that Gries was homophobic, racist, and just an all around terrible person. She didn’t win the money, and she also didn’t win many fans.
10 Spencer Pratt
Spencer Pratt is almost always mentioned in conjunction with his reality television partner in crime, Heidi Montag, but let’s be honest – Spencer Pratt is without question the more hated of the two. Once upon a time, Heidi Montag was a sweet girl from Colorado who was BFFs with reality television sweetheart Lauren Conrad. Then, she met Spencer, and it all went downhill from there. Her relationship with LC was ruined, she started getting a ton of plastic surgery and being way more catty than ever before, and basically went from just another reality television personality to one of the most hated – and we blame Spencer. He’s obsessed with holding onto fame, no matter what it costs, and the minute he joined the show he tried to figure out how to make it all about him – and the answer was usually to cause insane drama and seek out the paparazzi like they were the celebrities.
9 Courtney Robertson
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are two shows that absolutely thrive on drama. I mean, just think about the premise: a ton of individuals compete for one person’s love and go on ridiculous things like group dates and have their fate decided by a drawn-out rose ceremony. However, in the many seasons of the show, through the many contestants are both male and female, there haven’t been many quite as awful as Courtney Robertson. Robertson is basically the personification of the reality television mean girl stereotype, the one who raises an eyebrow in her talking head segment and asserts that she didn’t come to make friends, she came to win. She may have ended up charming the bachelor she was after, Ben Flajnik, but she certainly did not charm any of her fellow contestants. Plus, she most definitely made a bad impression on everyone watching at home. There was very little likeable about Robertson.
8 Juan Pablo Galavis
If we’re naming one of the most awful female contestants on The Bachelor/The Bachelorette, you know we have to mention one of the worst male contestants as well. Juan Pablo Galavis made his first reality television appearance when he was competing on The Bachelorette as one of the many men trying to win the Bachelorette’s heart. He ended up getting tapped to swap roles, being the one that contestants were vying to impress in his second appearance as the Bachelor. And that’s where things went wrong. Previously, Galavis seemed like a kind of charming guy who appeared to be a good dad and who had a swoon-worthy accent. When he became the main focus and got a whole lot more screen time, audiences realized that he was kind of a douchebag. Essentially, he was all about himself, he was often rude, and he certainly didn’t treat the women very well (who could ever forget how poor Clare was treated?).
7 Kate Gosselin
When Jon and Kate Plus 8 first aired on TLC, audiences were kind of charmed by the seemingly picture perfect family. The size of their family meant that there was a bit more planning that went into daily things, but they seemed happy. Then, things started to unravel, drama started to surface between Jon and Kate, and eventually the two ended up splitting. Through it all, though, audiences have always kind of disliked Kate because of how passionately she’s always tried to pursue fame. Sure, many hated on Jon for straying, but audiences just couldn’t ignore the fact that Kate saw how she could cash in on her kids with her first reality television gig and tried to prolong that as long as she possibly could with spin-offs. When that didn’t quite work, she tried to desperately hold onto her fame on her own merits, by competing in Dancing With The Stars, which also backfired. Overall, it’s hard to argue with the fact that Kate has gotten a lot of hate over the years.
6 Jeffrey Sebelia
Heidi Klum’s fashion-forward reality television show Project Runway has had its fair share of larger than life characters, but there was one in particular that audiences never really took a liking to: resident bad boy Jeffrey Sebelia. Allegedly, Sebelia’s behaviour on the show was essentially him putting on a character in order to unsettle his fellow contestants and hopefully throw them off their game so that he would triumph (which he did). However, there’s no denying that his behaviour raised a lot of eyebrows during his time on the show. Sure, many of his pieces were fantastic and he’s unquestionably a good designer. However, he also had a hint of arrogance and was often just a tad too aggressive when handling things on an already stress-filled reality show. He had his moments, but the overall impression he left was definitely a sour one in many viewers’ mouths. Basically, that talent can’t always make up for a bad attitude.
5 Tiffany “New York” Pollard
Tiffany Pollard, better known as “New York,” is a woman so sassy that she managed to turn a spot on one show into her very own spin-off. Pollard made her first reality television appearance on the ridiculous reality show Flavor of Love, and wasn’t content to be a supporting character – she was outspoken and in your face and that ended up earning her very own show, I Love New York. While some of her behaviour fell into the ‘”love to hate” camp, there are other things she did that had many fans truly hating her. For example, the way she fought with her own mother and the way she callously broke off her engagement by telling everyone her fiancé Tango was, how should we put this delicately, not exactly genetically blessed below the belt. Everyone loves a woman who speaks her mind on reality TV, but that comes with caveats. When things turn downright nasty, that’ll turn audiences off.
4 David “Puck” Rainey
The Real World (and its many iterations and spin-offs) was one of the first big reality television shows out there, and audiences around the world were fascinated season after season as groups of regular people came together in a house and drama almost immediately started. One of the most hated members in all of The Real World’s time on air was David Rainey, better known as “Puck.” Puck was a contestant on the third season of the show, and quickly proved himself to be pretty disgusting and unhygienic (not exactly pleasant when you’re living in close proximity in one house), homophobic, and just generally very aggressive. He was always down for a fight, no matter what the reason or how easily it could have been avoided, and he eventually ended up getting evicted from the house because of his continual conflict with another cast member. No matter how many villains come along in reality television today, Puck will probably always be on the list of the worst of all time.
3 Jonathan Baker
Generally, The Amazing Race is one of the least dramatic reality television shows ever. Sure, sometimes team mates argue because they’re exhausted from endless tasks, and sometimes teams have beef with other teams, but generally they’re just focused on executing the tasks as quickly as possible and getting to their next destination as quickly and efficiently as possible. Particularly when compared with other reality television shows, there just aren’t as many villains on The Amazing Race. Except Jonathan Baker, that is. Baker basically spent his entire time on the show yelling at his teammate, who was his wife at the time, Victoria. At one point in the show, he even shoved her. It’s not surprising to hear that the two are no longer married, because if his time on the show was any indication, she probably wasn’t treated the way she should have been. And that’s one of the main reasons he continues to be one of the most hated reality television show stars ever.
2 Colton Cumbie
Colton Cumbie was a bit of an oddball. First of all, he opted to go on Survivor, of all reality television shows, despite not particularly liking to fish or work outdoors – or work at all, really. He was also basically an overgrown child who threw temper tantrums on a regular basis, couldn’t play nicely in the sandbox with people he didn’t like, and just complained nonstop. He was also incredibly vicious with some of the other contestants in his season, including one in particular, a comedian named Bill. When confronted about some of his deplorable behaviour and incredibly offensive statements, Cumbie defended himself saying that he obviously didn’t have a problem with Bill because of his race, as he had a black maid. Cue the sound of crickets and everyone watching wincing violently. To everyone’s horror, he came back for a second season, this time with a partner – and while he wasn’t quite as bad as in his first appearance, fans still remembered how despicable he was initially and were hesitant to root for him.
1 Donald Trump
Yep, I'm going there. Nowadays, Donald Trump is more commonly known as the idiot running for President of the United States, but way back in the day, he was a businessman who decided to start up his own reality show: The Apprentice. Season after season, contestants tried to show off their skills in a series of tasks, and were called together at the end of each episode in the board room for a briefing with Trump. He didn’t come across quite as badly on the show as he does in real life because, well, he was probably able to pay the people editing the show to be kind to his public image. Even so, there were many instances where his statements or bias made audiences wince. With all the things coming out of his mouth lately, he’ll definitely go down in history as one of the most hated reality show contestants of all time.