25 Reality TV Shows That Are Far From Reality

Posted by , Updated on June 1, 2014

The Amazing Race, Jersey Shore, The Bachelor, American Idol; all of these are names of shows that claim to be reality tv. The premise of these shows is to present to the audience an unscripted situation (hence the reality aspect of if). However, the misconception can occur to where the show may be compared to actual life situations. The truth is these shows are far from reality as our 25 reality TV shows that are far from reality list will demonstrate.

Ghost Hunters

Ghost Huntersgirisopinion.me

An American paranormal reality television series, Ghost Hunters first aired on October 6, 2004 and features several paranormal investigators, including Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. In the series, these paranormal investigators explore places that are reportedly haunted. In 2008, it was criticized by several critics when in one of its episodes, the collar of the lead investigator, Grant Wilson, was claimed to have been pulled down by an “unforeseen” force three times. Because one of his hands was strangely positioned at his side during the video, critics were led to believe that it was only him who was pulling a string to make his collar move.


The Bachelor

The Bachelorwww.betcheslovethis.com

The Bachelor is an American dating game show that started in 2002, hosted by veteran television personality and news anchor Chris Harrison. The other two famous dating game show related to The Bachelor are The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad. It was revealed that The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are all scripted shows, characterized by the producers’ editing of footage to create a fictional storyline and bullying to make contestants say things to the camera.


The Pick-Up Artist

The Pick-Up Artistwww.screenjunkies.com

Another American dating themed show, The Pick-Up artist features male contestants described to be “unsuccessful” when it comes to love and relationships thus they are taught how to “pick-up” women in different situations. The level of difficulty changes as the show progresses causing other men to be eliminated from the dating game. However, the show was put into controversy after the discovery of fake profiles released by the show regarding its contestants. The Pick-Up Artist was generally questioned whether or not it was “staged.”


Cake Boss

Cake Bosswww.guardian.co.uk

Cake Boss is an American reality television series that follows a family-owned business’ – Carlo’s Bakery – making of cakes and handling interpersonal relationships between members of the family and the workers in the shop. It premiered in 2009 in cable television network TLC, and extended up to six seasons with the last season’s debut on May 27, 2013. In 2010, Masters Software, Inc. of cakeboss.com and CakeBoss bakery management program, and Discovery Communications of Valastro’s Cake Boss reached an agreement after an issue arose causing confusion over identical trademarks. Cake Boss also suffered from criticisms after its producers breached an agreement with a special guest from the LGBT community.


Joe Millionaire

Joe Millionairewww.uproxx.com

Said to be wildly successful and most-watched reality television series after its first season finale, Joe Millionaire as broadcasted in Fox became a cultural phenomenon in 2003 after its premiere. The show’s trick is characterized by a man presented to have won millions of dollars and is finding a woman to marry him. He dates a group of women and eliminates one for each episode, until only one of them remains. The secret about the real identity of the man, Evan Mariott (Season 1), who is actually a construction worker, is revealed to the woman at the end of the show and if the woman decides to stay with Mariott they both win a check worth a million dollar. However, this just does not happen in real life.


WWE Smackdown

WWE Smackdownwww.sleeptrainarena.com

WWE Smackdown is a professional wrestling television program launched in 1999 in the United States, and is now being broadcast in different nations and airtimes. WWE divided itself into two wrestling shows as part of its brand extension in 2002; Raw and Smackdown! Sometime labeled as “male soap opera” the WWE shows have very scripted dialogues and outcomes designed for entertainment meaning the winner of the match has already been decided before the match even begins.


Crossing Over with John Edward

Crossing Over with John Edwardwww.incompetentpictures.com

John Edward, an American television personality and known psychic medium, was the producer and host of the show “Crossing Over with John Edward”, where he claims to communicate with the deceased friends or relatives of his audience. The show appears in a split screen so viewers can see John Edward’s continuous reading; and on the other side, the audience being read either confirms or denies John Edward’s claims. However, John Edward’s ability has been criticized for using hot and cold reading, or using wide array of general guesses to create an impression of psychic ability.


Keeping Up with the Kardashians


Keeping Up with the Kardashians is a series that follows the lives of the Kardashian/Jenner family. The executive producer of the series, Ryan Seacrest, said that rooting from the background of the family, the series will show a family that “truly loves and supports one another.” Basically, the dynamics of the family became their key to be Hollywood entertainers. Not scripted but definitely not a real life representation. On April 2012, a new three-year deal was signed with the Kardashian family for continuing the series until 2015.


The Jersey Shore

The Jersey Shorewww.mtv.com

Jersey Shore is another American reality television show that follows the lives of housemates as they spend their summer at the said shore in New Jersey. It received criticisms from the Italian government because of the term used on the show “guido” which is a general ethnical slur term for Italian Americans and Italians. A number of Italian-American organizations supported the fight to stop airing the show, of which MTV responded with a press release stating that the show is only intended for an aspect of the youth culture. After calls for the removal of the show were expressed, several advertisers refused to continue airing their ads during the show.


Real Housewives

Real Housewivesh33t.com

First premiered in 2006 as The Real Housewives of Orange County, Real Housewives is a reality television series in the United States which is aired by different broadcasters in the international arena. It follows how bourgeois housewives and women from several American cities maintain friendship and overlapping social relationships with one another. Real Housewives does not simply discuss taboo issues, but also the more serious and realistic ones circulating in the society. Nevertheless, these housewives are in a bubble that most people are unfamiliar with (meaning most of us are not from a bourgeois society).


Mob Wives

Mob Wiveswww.vh1.com

“Mob Wives” follows a certain number of women from Staten Island who are related to arrested and/or imprisoned men for crimes committed under the Mafia. The show has received criticism because of its Mafia theme and because it puts Staten Island and Italian Americans in a bad light, according to Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro who calls the show ‘disgraceful.’ Relatives of the victims of Mafia also expressed their disappointment with the casts, saying that being relatives of men from Mafia is not something to be proud of.


Storage Wars

Storage Warsgeorgekelley.org

An American reality television series aired on A&E Network; Storage Wars, features a couple that auctions products from abandoned lockers. Dan Dotson and Laura Dotson are the auctioneers, while buyers are featured as individuals or a team. In California, contents of unpaid rents of lockers for three months are considered for auctioning as a single item. A&E publicist defended the units being auctioned against speculations that units are stocked by producers. He said that no staging in the show is involved and actual items are featured.


The Hills

The Hillswww.mtv.com

The Hills is an American reality television series that follows lives of young women from Los Angeles, California. Every season ends with a developmental finale, showing major events like formation of relationships or departure of a major character. Episodes of the show are mostly about the lives of the women, though it focuses more on each cast member’s personal life rather than social and professional stature. Generally, critics received the series moderately, with minimal attacks on the show.


The A-List

The A-Listwww.logotv.com

The A-list is a show that follows gay and bisexual men in New York City. The first season of the series focused on the challenges and success faced by two of the major characters, Reichen and Rodiney, and other interactions between other members of the cast. The second season opened up with Reichens social media scandal after his brake up with Rodiney.


Hell’s Kitchen


Hell’s Kitchen is an American reality cooking show competition which is broadcast on Fox and is hosted by British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay (who is known for his incredibly bad temper). In fact of the often outrageous events (mainly from chef Ramsay) that occur on the show, it has been speculated that show is indeed scripted. During the second season of Hell’s Kitchen, it was speculated that the customers eating meals prepared by the contestants were in fact paid actors. One of the most controversial accusations of staging relates to the contestant Joseph Tinnelly, who, during one elimination round challenged Ramsey fight. The incident was labeled as an “overplayed and possibly faked scene, conducted to cause action and tension on the show in order to spark viewer interest”.




Created by Simon Cowell, the X-Factor is a television music competition franchise that originated in the United Kingdom. It was originally created to replace Pop Idol and is now held in several countries around the world. The mechanics of the show involves drawing aspiring pop singers through competitive auditions and selecting the one with “x-factor,” which refers to that special characteristic that makes one a promising star. Some critics believe that the auditions conducted by the show are senseless because contestants are already pre-selected.


Breaking Amish

Breaking Amishwww.attentional.com

Breaking Amish is a reality show in the United States that airs on TLC. First aired on September 9, 2012, this reality television show revolves around five Anabaptist adults who are required to live in New York City and experience a different kind of life there. The cast members experience the realities of New York life and struggle against various situations involving love, family, friendship and work. Several critics say that the relationships of the cast members in this show are portrayed falsely.


House Hunters

House Huntershookedonhouses.net

An American reality series, House Hunters currently airs on HGTV, which was originally narrated by Colette Whitaker. The program involves following couples, individuals, and families who are searching for a place where they can dwell with the help of a realtor. Every episode of this show features three properties and reveals how the lives of people have changed since they moved in. Some say that it is not really a reality show because the houses that get picked by the featured characters are already owned by them.


Urban Tarzan

Urban Tarzanwww.menwithnolives.com

Urban Tarzan is a reality television show that began airing in 2013. It revolves around Urban Tarzan as he operates the Urban Tarzan Animal Relocation, which is a privately owned service institution. His missions involve capturing a lethal python in a residential neighborhood and chasing a lion that has escaped from a sanctuary. Critics say that the acting of the characters in this reality show are horrible and even dub it as the fakest reality show ever aired on television.


Mystery Diners

Mystery Dinersxfinitytv.comcast.net

Mystery Diners is an American reality show that currently airs on Food Network. It debuted on May 25, 2012 and involves setting up undercover stings and surveillance cameras to monitor the misbehavior of restaurant employees working at certain restaurants. There are controversies that this show is not really a reality show, primarily because the mystery diners and restaurant employees featured in this show are all actors who pass the auditions regularly held in Phoenix, Arizona.


The Real World

The Real Worldwww.mtv.com

Inspired by documentary series An American Family, The Real World depicts contemporary issues in its early years of premiere in 1992. It is known as the longest-running reality television show in MTV history, triggering the launch of modern reality TV shows in the country. The chosen people, usually seven to eight in number, are chosen from auditioning applicants every season. Like other reality shows, The Real World also received criticisms for being staged. The editing of producers was also put into question, supporting the speculations that the show is generally scripted.


Dancing with the Stars

Dancing with the Starsdwtsconfessions.tumblr.com

Dancing with the Stars is the American version of the British television series Strictly Come Dancing. Contestants of the show are paired celebrities and professional dancers, performing set dance themes and competing for the judges’ points and votes of the audience. The judging panel consist of professional dancers and other former contestants of the show who already experienced being on stage in DWTS. One pair is eliminated every week with the combined points given by the judges and the votes from the audience. The fact still remains that this show is about celebrities dancing…an unrealistic demographic for most people.


The Amazing Race

The Amazing Racelynnnchicago.com

The Amazing Race is another reality television game show that captures the attention of viewers all over the world. The show includes teams of two people who have a relationship with one another, competing with other teams around the world. Challenges are set in various and unique places, and teams race to win the challenges. Fun to watch yet unrealistic in the sense of affordability (not everyone can drop a grand to go race in some obscure, interesting part of the world).


America’s Next Top Model

America’s Next Top Modelgameshows.wikia.com

Often called as ANTM, America’s Next Top Model is one of the most sought-after reality television shows by women hoping to dominate the catwalk and make a name in the modeling industry. The show’s host and creator is Tyra Banks, head judge and executive producer of ANTM. Criticisms from Yahoo! drafted a list of why ANTM is bad for women and said that the representation of models given to girls are unrealistic and do not accurately portray what real model is like.


The Voice

The Voicesmallscreenscoop.com

The Voice is and American singing competition based on The Voice of Holland. It’s goal is to find new singing talent aged 15 years old and above from the ‘blind audition’ before the start of each season. The blind audition is characterized by judges facing backward, only hearing the voice of the one auditioning. The winner of the show is determined by votes from the audience and purchases of the contestant’s song on iTunes. Though the Voice shows no sign of being scripted, the fact remains it’s a intense competition for a singing contract which is an unrealistic event for most people.

SEE ALSO: 25 Harry Potter Facts That Will Knock You Off Your Broomstick »

NOW WATCH: 25 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries Ever

Subscribe to List25
Show Us Your Love
Join Over 2 Million+ List25 Fans