Top 10 Reality TV Show Hosts

Written by Tiffany Ezuma Where would reality television be without good hosts? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reality TV Show Hosts. For this list, we’ve chosen the hosts from reality TV shows that guide viewers and contestants alike through each episode. We’re looking specifically at competition and lifestyle-based reality TV, however, so hosts from your favorite game shows like Howie Mandel of “Deal or No Deal” or Jane Lynch of “Hollywood Game Night” won’t be included. Special thanks to arimazzie for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Reality+TV+Show+Hosts
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Where would reality television be without good hosts? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reality TV Show Hosts.

For this list, we’ve chosen the hosts from reality TV shows that guide viewers and contestants alike through each episode. We’re looking specifically at competition and lifestyle-based reality TV, however, so hosts from your favorite game shows like Howie Mandel of “Deal or No Deal” or Jane Lynch of “Hollywood Game Night” won’t be included.

#10: Padma Lakshmi
“Top Chef” (2006-)



Like salt and pepper, or peanut butter and jelly, Padma Lakshmi pairs perfectly with both this show and its head judge, Tom Colicchio, and together the two are staples of “Top Chef.” Lakshmi offers cooking advice from a place of definitive expertise: she hosted her own show on the Food Network prior to this gig, and has created two cookbooks, as well as a memoir, “Love, Loss and What We Ate,” which shows just how much food is a part of her life. Neither Padma nor Tom holds back the spice when it comes to critiquing food, but both are able to have fun and dig into their work, making for an easy-to-digest viewing experience.

#9: RuPaul
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” (2009-)


You better work if you expect to make it far on this show, and you’ll have to work even harder to get in the good graces of this host and judge. RuPaul is nothing if not fierce and full of wisdom, sharing his experiences and expertise with the contestants. And, he’s able to let everyone know that he’s still the drag queen supreme without stealing the limelight from the contestants. Known for GIF-worthy one-liners like, “don’t f*** it up,” and “Shante, you stay,” RuPaul has created a space on TV where LGBTQ+ people are free to be whomever they want to be, without the worry of judgment.

#8: Julie Chen
“Big Brother” (2000-)


Calm, cool, and collected are the three qualities that any host of this crazy show would need to have, and Julie Chen has them all. Having been with the franchise since it began in the year 2000, Julie has grown in her hosting abilities, and is able to use her journalistic approach to deal with the wacky housemates. She’s good at talking to those who’ve been evicted and isn’t afraid to confront housemates with unpopular opinions. She’s come a long way since being called “The Chenbot,” and her signature no-nonsense style is now appreciated. The antics of the housemates would probably drive a rookie crazy but Julie’s a seasoned veteran who’s more than up to the challenge.

#7: Cat Deeley
“So You Think You Can Dance” (2005- )


She was brought on in the show’s second season, and honestly we can’t remember what it was like before Cat started hosting. A vivacious beauty with an infectious laugh, Cat is the kind of host everyone wishes had more on-screen time. She has that unique talent where she’s able to make her hosting feel effortless, like she’s a friend to the contestants, and makes the viewer experience a low-stress, enjoyable one. She’s able to calm nerves, start the party, and get the dancers to share their personal stories with her. And let’s not forget, she does this week after week on live TV, juggling the show’s schedule and commercials like the pro she is.

#6: Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn
“Project Runway” (2004-)


Like a designer and his muse, Heidi and Tim form a pair that’s always in style. As a host and judge, Heidi wears two hats, and she looks great in both. She’s able to connect with the contestants while still being able to offer a harsh critique if needed. Tim, on the other hand, is an advisor to the designers, offering the kind of guidance and wisdom that comes from being a former teacher and chair at Parsons The New School for Design in his own measured, sophisticated tone and manner. And like any reality host worth his salt, each has their own signature catchphrase: Tim urges contestants to “make it work,” while Heidi’s mastered the art of the contestant sendoff with a curt, “Auf Wiedersehen.”

#5: Tom Bergeron
“Dancing with the Stars” (2005-)


You wouldn’t think that the guy who hosted “America’s Funniest Home Videos” would be the logical choice to host a show that brings the sophistication of ballroom dance together with the glamor of Hollywood. Yet, there’s never been a better match. Tom is in his element, putting his 20+ years of hosting experience to good use on the live and sometimes unpredictable TV show. Since the series’ beginning, he’s been paired with various different co-hosts, but he’s the one viewers come to for comfort. Sure, his jokes could use some punching up and probably sound like something your dad would say, but it works, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

#4: Chris Harrison
“The Bachelor” (2002-) & “The Bachelorette” (2003-05; 2008-)


It takes a host as skilled, likeable, and as easy-going as Chris Harrison to make a show like this work, not to mention juggling all the spin-offs it’s produced. Even if he’s faking it, Chris acts like a believer in true fairytale love, which is the premise this whole show hinges on. He sells the magic, the fantasy, and the amazingness of “The Bachelor” or “Bachelorette,” helping them to find their soon-to-be husband or wife in a room of twenty-five contestants who may or may not be there for the right reasons. What’s more, he’s flexible no matter the circumstance, whether it’s consoling a sobbing contestant who didn’t get a rose or just humoring some of the more offbeat contestants.

#3: Phil Keoghan
“The Amazing Race” (2001-)


Almost 30 seasons in, and Phil Keoghan is still a globetrotting super host. Imagine how demanding a job his is, taking him all over the world to different time zones and unfamiliar locales, and shooting up to two seasons a year. Not many people would be up for a job as challenging as that, but Phil’s been our man since the beginning. Unflappable, confident, and always welcoming, Phil is the man you want to see after a long leg on the race. Plus, he’s won 10 Emmy Awards! A true adventurer in every sense, we’d go anywhere he leads us.

#2: Ryan Seacrest
“American Idol” (2002-16)


As one of the most likable faces on TV and host of one of the most successful reality TV shows ever, Ryan Seacrest has to be one of the most trusted men on the small screen. “AI” remained a one-man show ever since Seacrest’s fellow host, Brian Dunkleman, left after the first season. With movie star good looks and a 100-watt smile, Ryan has the hard task of juggling the larger-than-life personalities of the celebrity judges with the eagerness of the contestants. And that doesn’t even cover the added pressure of doing it on live TV up to twice a week for fifteen seasons. Charming, and never thrown off balance, Ryan has the ability make everything look easy.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

- Ty Pennington
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (2003-12)

- Joe Rogan
“Fear Factor” (2001-06; 2011-12)

- Tyra Banks
“America’s Next Top Model” (2003-15)

#1: Jeff Probst
“Survivor” (2000-)


It would be impossible to imagine this franchise without his presence. Jeff embodies the spirit of “Survivor:” outwit, outplay, outlast. He’s been hosting the show since the year 2000, and like a true competitor he shows no signs of slowing down. He’s the guy you want narrating the challenges, the guy you trust when it comes to spilling your game strategy at Tribal Council, and the guy who keeps calm during an emergency. Unlike most other hosts, it’s obvious that Jeff is truly passionate about the game and the greater social experiment the show is trying to execute. The one constant on this show, Jeff Probst is a large part of what keeps viewers coming back over 30 seasons into this iconic franchise.

Do you agree with our list? Which reality TV show host do you love? For more riveting Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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