Alright! I admit it. I am addicted to reality TV. However, I can’t and won’t watch it with my husband. Even if he says I can watch it when he is in the room (like The Bachelor) I refuse to because I start to watch it with the eyes and ears of a cynic. If he is there, I try to see what he might be seeing and hearing and it ruins my show because it becomes clear how stupid they really are. These shows are supposed to be brainless entertainment. I have learned that to truly enjoy them you really shouldn’t think too much while watching them. It’s just pure entertainment, something to discuss with other fans after it airs. And even the fans, or at least the fans I know, who watch reality TV take the ‘reality’ part of reality TV with a grain of salt. If you are wondering which reality TV shows are not all that real, here are 14 popular shows that can be counted as slightly, if not all, fake:
1. American Idol – This popular TV show first aired in 2001. The premise is a series of singing auditions where a single winner is crowned the “American Idol” out of millions of hopefuls from all over the country. Only most of those hopefuls don’t have a chance. It is said that scouts are sent out to find the best singers before they even hold the auditions, so it’s not all chance that some people go through to the Hollywood portion of the show.
2. Storage Wars – Storage Wars follows several people who bid on storage lockers that go to auction. The film crew interviews each person, or couple, as they view the storage lockers, bid and then investigate what was found inside the storage locker. Accusations have been made against this TV show claiming that items have been planted inside the storage lockers, although A&E publicists insists no units are stocked by producers.
3. Undercover Boss – In this show the owner of a company goes undercover to work at his own company to discover what employees really think about him and management. It often ends with the boss promising to make certain changes within the company to improve the work environment, as well as other promises made directly to specific employees. However, it is said that the show is scripted and those promises are not kept.
4. Breaking Amish – Breaking Amish first aired in 2012 and is about five Anabaptists who are forced to experience living in New York City. It shows their struggles in relationships, family and work. Critics claim that these relationships between cast members are false and that their backgrounds were embellished.
5. The Bachelor & The Bachelorette – In this popular reality TV dating game show, a bachelor or bachelorette date 25 contestants, some of which they send home each week until they are left with just one person to whom they propose to. It is said that the show is scripted and edited to create fictional story lines. There has also been accusations that the contestants are bullied into saying certain things on camera.
6. Hell’s Kitchen – This is a cooking show competition hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay who has a terrible temper and swears like a sailor. Although entertaining, it is said the show is scripted and that the customers who eat the meals are paid actors.
7. Made – This is a self-improvement show that takes teens with a dream, like being a singer or a surfer, and helps them accomplish their dreams. Only the show is rumored to be staged. The teens already possess the talent they are trying to pursue, making everything scripted in order to create a perfect TV show.
8. Mystery Diners – Mystery Diners has aired on Food Network since 2012. In this show, the owner of the restaurant contacts the host Charles Styles about a problem with the restaurant and has the mystery diner investigate the restaurant with hidden cameras, undercover employees, and guests to discover the problem employees. If you have ever watched this show, you know that it is scripted. This is another show I cannot watch with my husband because of how obvious it is. There are rumors that the actual restaurant employees that are featured on the show are actually actors who audition for the part of the misbehaving employee.
9. The Real World – The longest running reality show, running since 1992 is about 7 people who have auditioned to participate in a documentary type reality show. It is criticized for being staged and edited in such a way that causes speculation that the participants are scripted.
10. South Beach Tow – Reality TV at its finest. South Beach Tow is about an actual company in Miami and their stories about, well, towing cars. But that’s just about all that is real about this show. The show is highly staged and even their rivalry with another towing company is scripted.
11. Cupcake Wars – This show starts with four contestants from different bakeries from all over the United States. These contestants go through 3 rounds of competition baking cupcakes in order to be featured in an event with a display of 1,000 cupcakes. The first round generally features a challenge to use ingredients that you would normally not think to put in a cupcake, like ginger or hamburger. However, it is rumored that the contestants actually find out what the ingredients will be prior to the competition.
12. The X Factor – After Simon Cowell left American Idol, he created The X Factor. On this music audition show they look for more than just a good voice, but someone who has that special spark, that “X” factor that makes them a superstar. Some say that like American Idol, the auditions are redundant because contestants are already pre-selected before they ‘audition’.
13. Cake Boss – This show follows a family owned bake shop and how they make their cakes, as well as the relationships between the family and employees. Buddy Valastro is the boss, however it is said that he is never at the cake shop unless they are filming and that some weddings and events are staged.
14. The Amazing Race – Teams of two people who generally know each other well, being either related, married, or friends with each other compete in challenges that send them all around the world. Critics say the show is unrealistic because not everyone could be able to afford to participate in the race. There is also criticism because it seems that the couples are very strategically chosen, ensuring there are always specific couples that always include ethnicity, age, sexual orientation etc.
So now that you know these reality TV shows are missing the reality, are you going to stop watching them? Yeah, me neither. I enjoy them too much to worry about a little thing like truth when watching my shows.