Top 10 Dumbest Reality TV Show Ideas



Top 10 Dumbest Reality TV Show Ideas

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: William Regot
How did the dumbest reality TV show ideas make it onto the air?
What made producers think these shows would work? Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we’re counting down our picks for Top 10 Dumbest Reality TV Show Ideas.

For this list, we’re looking at ideas for reality tv shows that were so bad they almost look like parodies. We’re not looking at the shows themselves so much as the concepts on their face. However, we’re excluding game shows — including duds like “Oh Sit!” (Criteria) and “Shattered” — because we’ve already covered that list. Similarly, we’re only focusing on American shows.

#10: “Toddlers & Tiaras” (2009-16)

This is the show we have to “thank” for “Here Comes Honey Boo.” If that isn’t enough to justify its inclusion here, what about the fact that it glamorized child beauty pageants and put very young girls - some barely out of diapers - onto stages and our screens to be judged according to adult standards? Unsurprisingly, much controversy surrounded the series throughout its run, as people understandably had issues with little kids wearing provocative clothing and/or mimicking behaviors restricted to those who’ve attained legal age, like smoking. Despite the effects that being in the public eye at such a young age and in such high pressure situations could have, the TLC program went on for 7 seasons and even spawned multiple spin-offs.

#9: “Mr. Personality” (2003)

In this reality show, 20 men competed for the affection of one woman. The catch was they all had to wear masks to conceal their faces, so the only way the woman could judge the contestants was by their personalities instead of their looks. So it was like “The Bachelor,” but with strange masks that made the show look weird and off-putting. How did the show know they had a clunker on their hands? To generate interest, they brought in Monica Lewinsky to host, long after her fifteen minutes of fame were up.

#8: “Vanilla Ice Goes Amish” (2013-14)

Getting in on the reality craze for shows about the Amish, this show on the DIY Network had rapper Vanilla Ice heading to an Amish village in Ohio. There, he was taught by the local community to work on houses using old fashioned craftsmanship that didn’t rely on modern technology. While several reality shows pair up unlikely partners for fish out of water experiences, those scenarios usually work if they sound interesting or have potential for good conflict. With this pairing, Vanilla Ice may have found the one group that has less street cred than he does.

#7: “Are You Hot?: The Search for America’s Sexiest People” (2003)

This ABC show was a nationwide competition that was only concerned with judging contestants by their looks, instead of rewarding a well rounded personality or unique talent. Contestants stood scantily clad in front of a panel of three judges, who gave their frank if not creepy opinions on the person’s look, pointing out the tiniest flaws. As if that didn’t sound bad enough, judge Lorenzo Lamas would aim a laser pointer at contestants to highlight areas he wanted to focus on. The show was considered shallow, even by reality tv standards.

#6: “Playing It Straight” (2004)

This show was a high stakes test of gaydar. One woman was given the task of dating 14 men on a ranch to suss out which ones were gay. If she could pick one that was straight, then the two would win a million dollar prize, but if she picked someone that was gay, she would lose out on the prize, and the gay guy got to keep the money. So the gay men tried to pass off as straight so they could trick the woman and take the jackpot for themselves. Way to portray members of the LGBT as devious frauds. Given how shameless reality shows can be, of course this was a premise for a show in the mid-2000s.

#5: “Who’s Your Daddy?” (2005)

How controversial was this show? It was pulled after one episode. A woman was reunited with her biological father after having been given up for adoption, but not before having to identify him out of a group of strangers. If she can pick her real father out of eight men in three rounds, then she gets 100,000 dollars. But if she guesses wrong, then the man she incorrectly identified walks away with the money, which gives each man the incentive to convince the woman that he’s the real father. This show needlessly opens up emotional wounds.

#4: “Bridalplasty” (2010-11)

In this “E!” reality show which resembles “The Swan”, 12 women, who are about to get married, live together in a house separated from their fiances and compete against each other in challenges where the prize is a plastic surgery they have requested. Each week, the women vote each other out of the house, and whoever wins the show, gets the wedding of their dreams, and a whole bunch of plastic surgery to make them look good for their big day. While the show got a lot of attention for its controversial premise, it didn’t do well in the ratings, showing that there are some things even reality show viewers won’t stand for.

#3: “Best Funeral Ever” (2013-14)

It’s tough getting over the loss of a loved one, but the fine folks at the Golden Gate Funeral Home, the Dallas business profiled on this show, will try their best to make you feel better. The funerals prepared in this home look like unique celebrations of deceased persons, and in most cases, probably too unique. While the funerals depicted in the show would be fun events to attend, they can also be seen as mockeries of the solemn ritual of funerals that don’t pay proper respect to the dead.

#2: “I Wanna Marry ‘Harry’” (2014)

A couple of years before Prince Harry tied the knot with Megan Markle, this 2014 show brought a group of American women to England to compete for the affections of someone they’re led to believe is Prince Harry. In reality, it’s just some red haired guy who kinda looks like the prince. Somehow, the contestants aren’t allowed to meet any of Harry’s other family members, just Harry. Doesn’t sound fishy at all. Plenty of reality shows like “Joe Millionaire” trick contestants into believing something to be true, but none have been so obviously fake.

Before we reveal our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“The Pickup Artist” (2007-08)

“Born in the Wild” (2015)

“Joe Millionaire” (2003)

“Keeping Up with the Kardashians” (2007-)

#1: “Married at First Sight” (2014-)

Based on a Danish reality show, six strangers at a time are arranged into three couples by a group of professionals based on who they believe will be compatible with one another. After a matter of weeks spending time as husband and wife, each couple then has to decide whether or not they want to continue their marriage. Astonishingly, this show has lasted for at least nine seasons and has managed to not run out of people who are willing to ruin their lives for cheap reality programming.
Neighbors With Benefits was a wild show on A&E.