The best part about unscripted television is that reality shows tend to included moments that no one could have ever scripted. They're instances of raw, unfiltered reactions, or amazing stupidity that occurs under the watchful eye of the camera. This week, we're sharing the most shocking moments we've seen on reality TV. You're invited to send in your own nominations.
Andy says: From Shannon on "Big Brother 2" cleaning the toilet with her enemy Hardy's electronic toothbrush to Stephen opening a car door and slapping Irene in the face on "The Real World Seattle," these moments have come upon me unexpectedly yet have remained burned in my consciousness once my jaw return to its normal position. These past few months have been no exception.
On E!'s "Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive," spoiled socialite Fabian Basabe sat down in one of the cowboy's seats, and then refused to give it back. The cowboy, fully irritated, picked up a bucket of water, intending to drench Fabian and hopefully cure him of his petulance. That's when Fabian picked up his cell phone and literally called 911, and explained that he was about to be assaulted, and that the police needed to use a GPS to track his cell phone location to come and rescue him. Much to our dismay, the cowboy backed down, because Fabian also threatened him with a lawsuit for assault. Fabian was so used to getting his way and so convinced of his own importance that he didn't think twice before interrupting the police and threatening to tie up the judicial system with his stupidity.
On FOX's "Hell's Kitchen," the host and judge, chef Gordon Ramsay, actually worked alongside the cast. Most hosts and judges stay far away from those they oversee, but not Ramsay; he ran the kitchen from his beloved hot plate, and barked orders at his often incompetent charges. While his verbal assaults were shocking, if not very witty, the most insane moment was when he took a plate of food and rejected it by smashing it against the apprentice chef's apron. At various other times, he'd throw freshly made food into the trash, but by essentially throwing food onto the chef, he made his point, and had me laughing in surprise.
I did not laugh, however, when watching some parts of E!'s "Kill Reality," a series that chronicled the production of a horror film by a cast of former reality TV stars. That's because I was too busy focusing on staying conscious, since what I saw on screen literally was so appalling that I had to remember to keep breathing as I watched.
Of course, the defining moment was when Jonny Fairplay from "Survivor" made a number two in the bed belonging to Trish from "The Bachelor." But nearly every other episode had a moment with similar shock value: some cast members playing baseball with bags of potato chips that just exploded all over the kitchen; Tonya from "Real World Chicago" climbing out a window and threatening to jump; Jenna Lewis and Jenna Morasca discovering that Fairplay had gone to the bathroom (number two again) in the upper part of their toilet, prompting them to take a cup full of that dirty water and place it on his bed, prompting him to hurl it over the railing and explode all over the house's entryway.
It was a non-stop train wreck of immaturity and quasi-celebrity. And I can't wait for season two.
Gael says: First, some long-ago moments. Back when reality TV was new and we were new to it, one of my earliest shocking moments was Puck's behavior on "The Real World: San Francisco." You who are young 'uns might not believe this, but "Real World" used to be more than a drunkfest; its first few seasons were a really fascinating documentary look into the lives of American twentysomethings. Puck changed all that. The snot-nosed bike messenger seemed to have never been trained to behave in proper company. Words like "manners" and "polite" were not in his vocabulary. He stuck snotty fingers in Pedro's peanut butter, teased Rachel in a sad attempt to get her to give up her virginity to him, and had no sympathy for Pedro, who was dying of AIDS at just 22. And it was as if Puck turned a light bulb on above the head of Bunim-Murray casting directors, who have been leading the "cast for craziness" march ever since.
As far as shocking situations, I hope to never rewatch the "Survivor: Australia" episode where Michael Skupin blacks out from the smoke of the campfire and falls into the fire. We don't actually see him fall, but I still get chills when I think of the agonizing scenes afterwards where we see him standing in the water, skin peeling off his hands, waiting for medical help. If I needed another reason not to go on "Survivor," that is #1.
If "shocking" means "scary," I don't think I can top the episode of "Fear" where contestants were sent wandering through an abandoned and oh-so-scary hospital. One of them had to lie down on one of those wheeled morgue drawers and be closed inside it, alone in the dark, for a length of time. Only if you were holding my entire family at gunpoint could have done that. Terrifying.
On recent shows, however, the previously mentioned Jonny Fairplay moment didn't shock me as much as sicken and disgust me. "Kill Reality" was an insipid show but the cast lived in a beautiful home, and to see Jonny Fairplay, a presumably adult man, forget his toilet training on a bed (and I think Trish was sleeping or resting IN the bed at the time) made me want to go find his parents and shake them.
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I'm always, always appalled at the horrors I see on MTV's "My Super Sweet 16," in which über-rich spoiled teenagers are given birthday bashes that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. How many starving people could be fed for the cost of one day in these already pampered girls' lives? I won't dwell on it here, because I .
Another shocking moment for me came last week on syndicated "Starting Over." One of the new housemates, Lisa, is a rich and spoiled 40-year-old who's still dependent on her parents. To teach her (I guess) not to be such a baby, her life coaches had her dress up in an adult-sized baby dress and hat, drink from a sippy cup, and eat her meals at a children's table. As if this wasn't humiliating enough, they had her go on an informational job interview still dressed as a giant baby. I am sorry, but the minute someone told me to do that is the minute I laugh in her face and say "Not for a million dollars would I do this. I'm quitting, see ya."
Of course, Lisa didn't do that, which is why she's on reality TV and I am over here snarking on it.
Q: Will 'Being Bobby Brown' return? —Anonymous
A: Ever since "Being Bobby Brown" concluded, fans of the show have wondered the same thing: How long until those crazy insane people return to my living room? Not since the Osbournes has a celebrity couple been so outrageously entertaining.
The good news is that Bravo, the network that aired the series, has already approved a second season, at least according to Bobby. The problem is that they've yet to meet his demands. "If they give me enough money, I'll do it. They say it's a done deal, but they ain't give me enough money yet," he told EUR.
Considering the show's popularity, the two sides will probably make a deal sooner than later. In the meantime, plenty of other celebrities are coming to the small screen and letting us into their lives. Among others, Lil' Kim will share her life before she went to prison. And Nelly, Tom Sizemore, and Robert Blake are all shopping reality series starring themselves. No, really. —A.D.
Q: What is the new reality series "Tuckerville" about and when will it be on? —Debbie
A: Add country singing legend Tanya Tucker to Andy's list above of celebs with new reality shows. "Tuckerville" is her TLC show, following her life on a 500-acre estate outside Nashville, where she lives with her three children. The kids have names straight out of country music themselves — Presley is 16, Beau Grayson is 13, and Layla is 7.
The show premieres on TLC this Saturday, Oct. 22 at 10 p.m. ET. —G.F.C.
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