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Top 10 Most Entertaining Reality Competition Shows

VO: Lisa Yang WRITTEN BY: Samantha Hines
You get a surge of adrenaline when you watch these, even when you’re just sitting on the sidelines. For this list, we’re looking at reality shows that showcase people from different walks of life competing for cash, a contract, a relationship or a title. Our list includes The Amazing Race, Project Runway, The Bachelor, America's Next Top Model, Survivor and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Most Entertaining Reality Competition Series.

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Top 10 Most Entertaining Reality Competition Series

You get a surge of adrenaline when you watch these, even when you’re just sitting on the sidelines. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Most Entertaining Reality Competition Series.
For this list, we’re looking at reality shows that showcase people from different walks of life competing for cash, a contract, a relationship or a title.

#10: “American Ninja Warrior” (2009-)

This show is an extreme obstacle course at the end of the day. Based on the Japanese show Sasuke, “American Ninja Warrior” filters through countless auditions each year to showcase the physical strength and speed of the strongest contestants. What makes this show so great is the sheer thrill you get seeing the athletes speed through the course in the blink of an eye or crash into the water trying. The courses are huge, the standards are high, and to date, only 1 person has ever earned the coveted million dollar prize.

#9: “The Amazing Race” (2001-)

“The Amazing Race” is not only entertaining, but also a great way to learn about the history and culture of countries around the world. Pairs of average people travel to designated areas to complete tasks and compete to keep their spot in the running for $1 million. There have been versions filmed in multiple countries with varying success, including similar challenges, obstacles, and route markers. Each task is tailored to the country they travel to, whether it’s remembering languages from places they’ve visited, or a straight forward physical challenge.

#8: “Project Runway” (2004-)

Who knew it could be so entertaining to watch people make clothes? Despite the varying formats of each season, the premise is always the same. Each week, contestants create a garment for a themed challenge. If you only watch one episode, be sure to catch the unconventional materials episode on any given season. The designers create incredible clothes out of everyday objects, like plastic tubing and dog leashes. Other highlights include team challenges, designing for high profile actors and models, and the incomparable Tim Gunn. You get a bit of everything on this show; high stakes, fashion, and always drama.

#7: “The Bachelor” [US] (2002-)

To some, this show gives reality tv a bad name. To others, it’s a way of life. Each season, girls go on various group and individual dates with the goal of winning the heart of the titular ‘Bachelor’. On other shows, people may be looking for a major payout, but here the competitors fight for the title of wife. There have been seemingly countless seasons, and with the rise of social media, a whole new generation has become part of Bachelor Nation, which of course includes The Bachelorette. As corny as it is, we’re always glued to the screen when the rose ceremony begins.

#6: “Dancing with the Stars” (2004-)

B and C list celebrities from every corner of the industry come together to compete with professional dancers. Each week has a theme, such as the ever-popular Disney episode. The judges are hilarious, but do not pull punches on critiques. The show is unique in that it puts the stars out of their comfort zone and humanizes them to viewers. You learn more about their personal lives as they progress through the competition. Some even find love on the show, like Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank, who met his wife Kym when she coached him.

#5: “America's Next Top Model” (2003-15; 2016-)

The show has gone through a lot of changes for good and bad, but in its prime, “America’s Next Top Model” was one of the most memorable competition shows to air, period. All-stars or new contestants compete for a contract and a prize package. It isn’t all about beauty, but also resolve, dedication, charisma, and communicating professionally. Each contestant gets an iconic makeover and eventually has to go pitch themselves to be booked for fashion shows, emulating real life challenges that models face. Toward the end of the show and after facing crazy challenges, the remaining models go to an international location - but only one can prevail.

#4: “Survivor” (2000-)

Survivor has been a hit from day one, so it comes as no surprise that it’s still around and has adaptations in several different countries. In the American version, the competition is hosted in remote areas all over the world, so the scenery is often rich and beautiful, albeit unforgiving. This show’s got so many elements to make it worth watching. You can get an adrenaline rush from the physical challenges, feed into the drama, and/or take sides on alliances all in one episode. Be sure to stick around for the Tribal Council where the eliminations are as suspenseful as they come.

#3: “Wipeout” (2008-14)

Take American Ninja Warrior, cover the course in red and blue padding and you’ve got Wipeout. Here, normal people climb, jump, and fall their way through an obstacle course for a prize, with multiple games simultaneously going on. You hope intensely that someone wins, but also guess how many will wipe out in the first ten seconds. At its best,TV Week claims Wipeout was one of the top five game shows in the world, based on ratings. The co-hosts provide hilarious color commentary and the slapstick style stunts complete the charm.

#2: “America's Got Talent” (2006-)

In this series, people from all over the country audition in big cities for the chance to headline a Las Vegas show and receive one million dollars. From unconventional acts to classical opera singers, everyone has a chance to showcase their talent on stage in front of a star-studded judges panel. After a cringe-worthy audition round, we learn more of each act’s backstory, from the triumphant to the heartbreaking. The season nine addition of the golden buzzer jumped favorites to go right to the live rounds. The clips have become a viral sensation and brought in even more viewers.
Before we tune into our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
“Fear Factor” (2001-06; 2011-12; 2017-)

“Ink Master” (2012-)

“The Voice” [US] (2011-)

#1: “RuPaul's Drag Race” (2009-)

Gentlemen: start your engines, and may the best woman win. This Emmy winning competition pits up and coming drag queens against each other in mini and maxi challenges that showcase a variety of skills, like fashion, composure, and improvisation. It gives a spotlight to lesser-known performers and is entertaining as heck, let’s be honest. The drama is wild and the queens are ruthless when it’s time to compete. The elimination is just as fun because the contestants at the bottom must lip sync for their lives each week. The winner moves onto the next round and then the loser must sashay away.

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