But did you know that most of the time those aren’t their lives at all? Some of the best, most popular reality shows out there are staged, scripted, or edited for entertainment value. Take a look at this article to see just how it all happens.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
The people of 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' actually did live up to their promise. They indeed take families in need and built them a new and improved house in a mere week. So far, so good.
The thing is, once the house is upgraded, it also increases in value. That, in turn, means the property tax on the house also becomes a lot higher. As you recall, the families don't have a lot of money, to begin with. Sadly, that resulted in many of them having to sell their dream, custom-made home.
The Amazing Race
Couples of various relationships and backgrounds go on a journey around the world and compete against each other in different challenges. The winning couple receives a very real million-dollar cash prize.
While the challenges and hardships in the show are genuine, there is some fakery going on in the casting process. For one, it seems to favor people who are already financially settled because otherwise, they wouldn't be able to afford to be away from work for the duration of filming. Unfair, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.
The X Factor
The songs are real, the singers are real (though we never know how realistic holograms can really be), the audience is real. Simon Cowell is definitely real. No one could make him up. However, there is something they don't tell you about the auditioning process.
The auditions you see on TV are essentially moot because the contestants are pre-screened with some 'filler' candidates for entertainment value and supposed credibility. Apparently, the elusive X factor is being pre-screened and knowing how to keep it on the down-low.
Surviving on a deserted island is hard. Just ask the participants of 'The Island'. Or maybe don't. Hosted by survival guru Bear Grylls, this show has a group of men showing off their wilderness skills on a remote island where they have to build shelter and find food and water. It's obviously hard, but the show makes it look easier. By faking.
The production had to make sure the island had enough food and water for the duration of the shoot. As it turns out, they just created a freshwater pool and imported animals for the men to hunt. Survival is a lot easier when it's fake.
Alaskan Bush People
'Alaskan Bush People' follows the Brown family, who were supposedly born and raised in the Alaskan Bush. However, it didn't take long for contradictory reports to surface.
For starters, the family's neighbors told the media that the family has once lived in the modern Alaskan Icy Strait Lodge. Then there are testimonies stating that the family's so-called Bush home was only used for filming and they didn't really live there. And finally, the media has discovered that the Browns had lived outside of Alaska between 2009-2012, making their legal status as Alaskans questionable. Authenticity is out the icy window.
Made in Chelsea
No, not the Chelsea in New York, the one in London. Although it doesn't really matter because it's totally fake. That's right, all this drama of young people with too much money and time on their hands is as fake as Kylie Jenner's lips.
Former participants actually spoke against the producers and the way they script different happenings and create drama where there isn't any. One of them has even gone on record saying that they filmed fake dinners early in the morning. Sounds heavy on the stomach. And fake.
'Geordie Shore' is the British take on the not-so-real American reality show 'Jersey Shore'. And if you've ever tried watching the latter, you've probably guessed it's incredibly fake. Well, they aren't very real across the pond either.
The thing that without a doubt outed the show's fakery was one of its 2018 trailers. It showed a snippet from Marnie's birthday, which normally, wouldn't raise many eyebrows. It's just that the trailer was aired on her real-life birthday, revealing that the celebration happened long before the actual date. Marnie herself later tweeted that the show is "fake and scripted".
Ice Road Truckers
The first season opening of 'Ice Road Truckers' shows a huge truck breaking through an ice road and falling into the icy water below it. The whole intro was filmed with miniatures and no one was hurt, but that's not the kind of fake that made the show enter our list.
People who've participated in the show have confessed to it being scripted and heavily edited to paint average people as villains or heroes. Furthermore, the show portrays ice road trucking as far more dangerous than it actually is. Which is an unnecessary fake given how dangerous it is, to begin with.
Chrisley Knows Best
'Christley Knows Best' follows the lives of real estate legend Todd Christley and his family. It first premiered in 2014 and has since spawned no less than eight seasons and three spinoffs. Apparently, the show's success shouldn't be credited to authenticity.
An inside source from the show's set admitted that most of the dialogue on it is scripted. Not only that but in an effort to keep the comedy going, scenes that didn't turn out as funny as Christley imagined get re-shot. Funny yet fake.
'Deadliest Catch' is another reality show that shouldn't be called real. They paste scenes from different occurrences into one for dramatic effect, plus the show is actually damaging the fishing industry and real-life fishing crews.
You see, the fishing crews on the show make their money from being on TV, unlike the people who fish for a living. This means that they don't have a quota to meet and can offer their loot for a much lower price, making it harder for actual fishermen to sell their own catch. Fishy and fake.
The HGTV Dream Home Giveaway
So yes, this show does live up to its title in the sense that it gifts someone a new home. That much is true. What you don't really see on HGTV is how high the tax for the house is.
Those who win the prized home also win an obligatory tax that's worth 40% of the whole property value. A nice little IRS bonus. This means that, sadly, it is very rare for any of the winners to actually keep the house.
Designed to Sell
Let's say someone participated in a reality show that renovated their house so you can sell it. Let's say they're not interested in selling anytime soon. HGTV found a nice (fake) way to deal with those kinds of participants in 'Designed to Sell'. They just host a fake open house.
That fake open house is full of fake potential buyers. Not only that, but the show requires that those fake potential buyers film more than one end so they can edit different scenarios. Additionally, the show has reportedly done some bad repair work that the cameras were careful to not let in the frame. Maybe they should rename the show 'Designed to Fake'.
Love It or List It
Would you choose your own home after a professional redecoration or a brand new one? Or better yet, a fake reality show broadcasting the dilemma? This was the 'Love It or List It' format, as viewers and participants were led to believe.
One couple who went on the show reported that their home was left needing repairs after the redecoration (holes in the floor, painted-shut windows, and more). Another couple said the producers had them record both endings and aired the one saying they chose to move even though they decided to stay at their home. Sneaky and fake.
Comparing to other shows on this list, a lot of what you see on 'Chopped' is actually real. However, since we're talking about food, and since filming takes such a long time, there are some adjustments.
One such adjustment is letting the judges try the food when the time is up so they don't have to eat it at room temp. They film the actual judging much later. Also, the producers sometimes stir the pot by hiding some pantry items or deliberately stocking it with a limited amount of a certain product. So mean!
Guy's Grocery Games
Singer Guy Fieri has transitioned into a career as a celebrity chef a long time ago. His show involves challenging other chefs with culinary tasks. Some of you may not know, but Flavortown Market, the famous grocery store where the challenges take place, is all fake.
Well, the products are real, and so are the aisles, but that food that isn't being used gets donated to local charities. So the place may be fake but we're not mad about it.
More than anything else, pro wrestling matches are essentially displays of choreographed stunts. The fighting in itself is completely fake. So we can't really hold it against 'Total Divas' for being fake as well.
This show supposedly follows pro-wrestling women and their behind-the-scenes intrigue. However, Most of the show is scripted, as confirmed by some of the participants. These trained entertainers do just that — entertain. Even if it means displaying fake drama.
Watching 'American Pickers' on the History Channel will have you thinking people are natural-born hagglers. You might be surprised, however, to learn that most of the items featured on the show have a price that was agreed upon off-camera. Oftentimes, the negotiation is all an act.
Not only that, but most of the credit for picking the items goes to the producers — not the hosts! There is an actual screening process involved designed to make sure that the items aired have some sort of entertainment value. Entertaining yet fake.
Dancing With the Stars
'Dancing With The Stars' has been on for more than 20 seasons and it keeps raking in some serious viewership. You may have noticed that some of these stars appear pretty professional prancing on the dance floor.
While there are no stunt doubles involved, some of them do have a dancing background, which gives them an unfair advantage, setting them up for a win. Some reports even claim that the producers regularly interfere with votes and use elimination as a threat held over the heads of participants who don't follow directions. Outrageous and fake.
CBS's 'Big Brother' is the ultimate reality show. It features strangers in a house with 24/7 cameras and different weekly challenges and public eliminations. Too bad it isn't real.
Well, to a certain degree. Yes, the participants are being constantly filmed, which makes completely faking it a little hard. However, the footage used in the regularly scheduled episodes is edited to favor some of them. Only viewers who subscribe to the nonstop online stream were able to get the full picture and context and spot the fake themselves.
'Wife Swap' was incredibly popular. Not only did it have multiple seasons with a massive following, but it also had a spin-off show with four celebrity seasons. The format involves two households swapping matriarchs with viewers watching the dramatic conflicts ensue.
Changing house rules for a family is bound to create some conflict, but the producers amped those conflicts, according to past participants. Production meddling has gone as far as targeted editing and even showing supposedly married couples who weren't partners in real life! We call fake.
The E! Networks' 'Famously Single' brings together sever celebs who haven't yet met their match and tries to set them up with various romantic prospects. Or so the producers would have you think.
The show features the stars' dates, recaps, and therapy sessions to help maintain the feeling of reality. However, the celebrities aren't exactly talented actors, and the dramatic happening depicted in the show are often artificial. Artificial and fake.
Back in the day, MTV dominated the reality show market by coming up with various reality shows that involve celebrities and their insanely luxurious lives. 'Cribs' ran for more than a decade, and featured the houses of many popular entertainment figures.
However, a woman named Janette Verla sued MTV after her leased house was promoted as Ja Rule’s fake crib. They may be luxurious, but they’re also very fake.
Producers of 'Fixer Upper' weren’t going to risk investing much time and resources only to fail at finding a house for their participants. Most of the show’s houses were already purchased before filming began, but it gets even worse.
Homeowners were reportedly required to pay extra to keep their new furniture, and the production team often skipped renovating various rooms for the sake of cutting down expenses. Now that’s a fixer-upper and a fake one at that.
The Jerry Springer Show
'The Jerry Springer Show' is one of the most outlandish and exaggerated shows on TV. It basically features the worst of humanity, from fathers who happily abandon their children, up to some pretty messed up cases of family abuse. Is it any surprise that the show is completely fake?
At least it’s clear by the audience’s reaction that they’re having lots of fun, and we viewers at home feel good about ourselves. Even if it is fake, it’s feelgood fake.
Naked And Afraid
Survival reality shows have been the staple of the genre ever since 'Survivor' became a worldwide phenomenon. 'Naked And Afraid' basically takes that premise and runs naked with it, as the show takes participants and makes them live half nude on an island.
The show is extremely produced. Participants receive from staff various amenities that don’t exactly exist on desert islands, such as tampons and various supplements. Naked and fake is more like it.
Speaking of reality shows with terrible ideas behind them, how about a show that uses marital disputes for ratings? 'Divorce Court' revolves around married couples that need to come to a resolution around their divorce.
One mother claimed that her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend were hired to act and basically fake a marriage story on the show. High ratings yet highly fake.
The Real Housewives
There was a lot of speculation over the years whether 'The Real Housewives' was scripted or not. The debate around the authenticity of the show came to an end when Teresa Giudice, one of its stars, swore in court under oath that it was fake.
The star claimed that everything, from the meetings to the confrontations, is all planned in advance by the production. That’s the real fake housewives for ya!
We’re really very sad to announce that 'The Voice' isn’t quite as authentic as many would want to believe, but don’t take it from us. Rock singer Adam Wiener claimed on Facebook that he was approached by the show, but eventually chose to decline their offer to participate.
He said the show not only chooses their performers but also picks their songs and music styles. How upsetting! But once again, fake.
Lisa Vanderpump was one of the biggest stars of 'The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills', and got her chance for a spin-off with 'Vanderpump Rules'. In the show, she and her staff are followed as they try to manage her restaurant, SUR.
A fan of the show noticed that one of the characters was repeatedly shown with and without her necklace during a scene, which pointed to the fact that it was shot several times and only later pieced together. Busted! And fake.
MTV is known for having a host of mostly fake reality TV shows, and 'Teen Mom' basically falls under the same category. The show revolves around young girls who have gotten pregnant before age 18 and their journeys through motherhood.
While all the arrests, breakups, and other issues shown were real, many of the dramatic conversations were edited to seem a lot harsher than they actually were. Irresponsibly fake.
South Beach Tow
We thought that nobody would watch a show about towing illegally parked cars, but 'South Beach Tow' proved us wrong. The show’s lead star, Bernice (shown below), is known for using incredibly creative methods for towing cars and often ends up catching the violator moments later.
The show is obviously fake, but that doesn’t mean it's not extremely fun to watch. Tow away your depiction of reality because this show is anything but real!
Whitney Port was a famous character from the reality show 'The Hills' and eventually got her own spin-off show in 'The City'. She went to live in New York City and would routinely get into various dramatic scenarios throughout her day.
While the show was essentially real in terms of the people involved, many of its events were either staged or forced by the production. Staged and fake.
The Simple Life
There’s nothing quite like watching rich socialites try to live like the rest of us. This was the premise behind 'The Simple Life', which put Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in situations that forced them to do actual work.
While the show was real in the sense that the girls did work a lot, Hilton admitted that most of their reactions were exaggerated for entertainment value. Exaggerated and fake.
Similar to 'WAGS' in its essence, 'Basketball Wives' follows the lives and drama involved in being married to famous basketball players. Unfortunately for the show’s producers, in an astonishing interview, former cast member Matt Barnes claimed that the show is entirely fake.
His claims were backed up by Tanya Young, who was equally unsupportive of the show’s creators. Unsympathetically fake.
The Bachelor/The Bachelorette
Like many reality TV shows that revolve around finding love, both 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette' are mostly scripted. There have been many rumors of producers basically working behind the scenes to create much of the drama on the show.
Everything from casting to the eventual rose ceremony is predetermined, and producers of the show are in control from start to finish. This one would not get a rose from us as it is completely and utterly fake!
The number one rule about reality TV shows is that you never want to anger one of the show’s cast to the point of wanting to destroy the show. When David Hester, host of 'Storage Wars' was fired, he went to the press and claimed much of the show was fake.
In response, the network sued him, and he was recently forced to pay roughly $122,692 in legal costs. The show was fake, but amounts of cash were very real.
'House Hunters' is one of many popular reality shows that revolve around real-estate. It follows various individuals, couples, and families as they hire agents to find the house of their dreams.
Like many of these shows, many aspects of it are completely fake. In truth, many of the show’s participants have already found their house and are living in it before the filming even begins. Bogus and fake.
Marriage is indeed a very stressful thing, as everything from the huge bills to the pressure of having a perfect event can really pile up on a bride. Not to mention the bonding of two separate lives together.
While 'Bridezillas' manages to capture this reality quite well, many of the show’s participants claimed that production misled them in one way or another. That’s not a nice thing to do to a bride, but anything for ratings, right? So mean… and so fake.
Professional wrestling always included its fair share of women athletes, as they bring a much-needed air of femininity to this mostly male sport.
'Total Bellas' was originally pitched as a reality show about two prominent female wrestlers and their ex-boyfriends, John Cena, and Daniel Bryan. We’re not surprised the show was completely fake, considering its source material. Super fake.
The Real World
It's ironic that a popular reality show called "The Real World" is actually not real at all. Many of its participants admitted that most of the conversations that happened in the house were actually scripted and pre-planned by the producers.
Everyone gets a rough direction of what they need to do or say, and improvise their way from there. At least that’s something… about halfway fake.
What Not To Wear
Many people dream of being picked up for 'What Not to Wear' and getting $5,000 to achieve a total fashion makeover. Unfortunately, some of the show’s participants claimed that the producers literally forced them to give away all their old clothes to charity.
This was done in order to get tax breaks on their new clothes, which pretty much made them free for the TLC network. Hardcore… but not at all fake.
Last Comic Standing
Everyone loves a good standup show, especially one with the premise of 'Last Comic Standing'. The show is centered around finding highly talented comedians and giving them the spotlight. Unfortunately, it was reported that the show’s production ends up picking the winners instead of the judges.
They also deceptively edit good performances to make them look like flops. Why would anyone do that? Insulting and fake.
The premise of MTV’s 'Catfish' is certainly interesting. It features hosts Nev and Max as they help people uncover the identities of those they’ve been chatting with online.
You’d think that they get approached by people who suspect they are being catfished, but many reports claim that the show’s producers actually get approached by people who catfish and want to apply for it. Now that’s just wrong… and fake.
When E! first launched WAGS back in 2015, it quickly became one of the network's most-watched reality shows. The premise behind the show was that you have to have a behind-the-scenes look at the life and drama of being a sports star’s wife.
Unfortunately, most of the conflicts and drama in the show were completely made up. The show’s deceptiveness got to the point where some women in it didn’t even date these athletes in real life. What a fake.
The Biggest Loser
Let’s face it, most of us should probably spend a little more time exercising and a little less on watching people try to lose weight on 'The Biggest Loser'. But we don’t and that’s why we enjoy it so much.
The show is notorious for putting its overweight participants on soul-crushing diets that end up backfiring horribly after the show ends. Many of the show’s “medical professionals” have also been criticized, and are most likely not licensed. Uncertified… and fake!
Pimp My Ride
Back in 2004, MTV and Xzibit teamed up for a show about breaking down mediocre cars and turning them into pimped out rides. Unfortunately, despite the show’s exciting premise, many of its restorations were fake.
Many of the cars that were “pimped out” never actually got improved the way they were shown. They were simply outfitted with various props that just look good on camera. What a shame! And a fake!
Long Island Medium
Whatever your opinion is on mediums and fortune tellers, you can’t deny that they have a certain appeal. 'Long Island Medium' is a great example of taking that premise to the extreme. Although it does have its fair share of issues, Theresa Caputo, the show’s star medium, has been involved in many, many scandals and legal issues over the years.
The star has also been accused of receiving most of her readings from the crew through a hidden earbud. Very medium and totally fake.
RuPaul's Drag Race
In 2009, 'RuPaul's Drag Race' showed the world what would happen when you take a bunch of drag queens and put them in a reality show.
Despite its popularity, former contestant Jaremi Carey (Phi Phi O'Hara), claims that the show’s producers often ginned-up drama by intentionally getting him emotional and then cutting clips deceptively to make him look bad. Spectacularly fake.
There’s a lot of merit behind a show about hard-working people finally getting rewarded for all their under-credited hard work. Each episode revolves around a company’s boss going undercover and learning crucial lessons about his employees and business.
Unfortunately, various reports indicate that the show is mostly fake, including the various promises made to employees. Completely devastating… and completely fake.
In 2009, 'Jersey Shore' hit the TV channels and became one of the world’s most popular reality shows. While the cast members of 'Jersey Shore' are actually friends in real life, most of their drama is apparently made up.
A lawyer whose offices were located just across the street from them reported that many of their walkouts were not only staged but rehearsed to perfection. Lawyered! And fake...
I Am Cait
Caitlyn Jenner rocked the world when she announced her transition into a female, and everyone wanted to follow her story. 'I Am Cait' was the answer to that demand, and followed the lady throughout her challenging gender transition.
Once the first season was over, most of the excitement was gone, so the producers began creating fake scenarios for Cait to react to. Exceedingly fake.
'Hardcore Pawn' revolves around the Gold family, who runs a pawn shop in Detroit’s rough 8 Mile. While the show is entertaining and teaches you a thing or two about negotiations and handling people, much of its drama is fake.
Many of the show’s participants later claimed that their incredibly exaggerated fights with the Gold family were completely fake. Entertaining, but fake.
'Southern Charm' is proof that you can make any show successful as long as you put an interesting spin on the classic formula of 'The Real Housewives'. While its premise is interesting, former participant Danni Baird stated in an interview that many of its cast didn’t even live in Charleston.
He also claimed that much of the drama was pre-scripted by producers. So all in all, it’s not so authentic. Oh so fake.
In today’s always-connected world, a group like the Amish tends to get quite a unique reputation, and many are obviously fascinated about their lives. And for good reason. 'Breaking Amish' introduced the premise of Amish people trying to break away from their confined lifestyles and moving to New York.
It’s known at this point that the show is actually fake, as these people aren’t really Amish, just acting. Extremely disappointing.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Whatever you might think about Kim Kardashian and her family, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that they have managed to make literally billions off their name and likeness by ginning up controversy and getting attention. Their reality show, 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians', has been around since 2007, and it's obviously fake to a very large degree.
It still draws in millions every week though, so apparently, the truth isn’t all that important. Kept up and fake.
WWE Smackdown / Raw
We thought about including this one here just for good measures. While most boys learn by age twelve that wrestling is fake (both in and out of the ring), a handful of them grows up believing these battles to be true.
It’s hard to imagine that some fans still think that you can get smacked in the head by a chair repeatedly and just show up the next week like everything’s fine. Well, it’s not. Definitely fake.
'Duck Dynasty' revolves around the Robertson family, which makes most of its vast wealth with creative duck hunting products. The show ran for 130 episodes and proved that beards can be extremely entertaining.
However, most of the show’s drama was exaggerated for ratings, and producers often inserted ‘bleeps’ even when the cast wasn’t swearing. The show was actually less vulgar than you'd think… but more fake.
'Survivor' might just be the longest-running reality TV show of all time (excluding some like 'Judge Judy'), as it has been running annually for more than two decades. Unfortunately, whether it started in recent years or decades ago, the show has been outed as mostly fake.
Producers have even admitted to using stunt doubles for many of the team’s challenges. Surviving but fake.
If you’re looking for a reality show that takes the worst stereotypes about women, from gossiping to backstabbing, and puts them on the forefront, 'The Hills' was made just for you. However, most of these events and dramas are scripted.
Former participant Spencer Pratt revealed that he and Heidi Montag had to re-shoot the scene where they thought she was pregnant fifteen times to make it as dramatic and intense as producers wanted. Intensely fake.
Another sad case of fake reality TV is the popular real-estate show, 'Property Brothers'. It follows the lovable Canadian brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott, as they broker home sales from start to finish. Unfortunately, much of the show is fake.
The brothers allegedly only renovate a portion of the house which is chosen by the couple. Additionally, many of the exchanges are often shot several times to get the best dramatic effect. Essentially fake.
Before Donald Trump became President of the U.S., he was polishing his acting skills on 'The Apprentice'. The show made him almost as popular as Oprah, and mostly revolves around Trump interviewing candidates for a chance to work for him.
Many of the show’s firing scenes were highly exaggerated, and participants knew ahead of time that they were about to get the ax. Presidentially fake.
Britain's Got Talent
Like Gordon Ramsey’s various reality TV shows, fans of 'Britain’s Got Talent' mostly tune in to watch Simon Cowell get paid almost $100 million per year to dish out creative criticism to the show’s participants.
Unfortunately, in 2015 it was revealed that some of the show’s talents are fake, with producers doing everything they can to make sure things stay interesting. Deceivingly fake.
Toddlers and Tiaras
There’s something extremely cringe-inducing about 'Toddlers and Tiaras', a show which takes the already debatable idea of having adults argue on TV for entertainment, and makes children do it instead.
However, many of the show’s participants and former staff came forward in recent years and claimed that the show is largely scripted, with the drama mostly being fake. Prematurely fake.
'Mob Wives' basically took a bunch of rugged, tough women from Staten Island, N.Y. that were married to mobsters and pitted them against each other. The show was mostly fake in the sense that many of its events were staged or produced.
Most of its participants don’t actually frequent together, so the producers essentially created various dramatic scenes and fights between them. So fake… and dangerous too.
Reality TV shows often get criticized for not having any creative content. 'Love Island' is a great example of this lack of originality, as it’s simply a mix of 'The Bachelor' and 'Survivor'. The show pairs a group of singles on a tropical island, but according to one naughty Reddit user, it’s completely fake.
Everything, from the arguments to the dramas on the show, is made up and acted. Romantically fake.
We would be extremely happy if countries could actually wage wars using cupcakes, but for now, let’s just settle on watching 'Cupcake Wars' instead. The reality show follows contestants from different U.S. states who have to bake tasty original cupcakes in order to win the grand prize.
In truth, various rumors have been circulating that much of the competition in the show is actually fake. Half baked and fake!
We don’t really know how to describe the fact that a reality show about ghosts is fake, it pretty much goes without saying. But we’ll do our best. Basically, many people accuse 'Ghost Hunters' of being mostly scripted and not very realistic.
We really hope that this is true, as the only other option is that these guys actually believe they’re running around encountering ghosts. Nevertheless, it’s definitely entertaining. Ghostly and fake, but entertaining.
The show 'Pawn Stars' might as well be called Acting Stars, as most of its scenes are completely fake and scripted. The pawn store is actually owned by the Harrison family but functions mostly as a tourist attraction rather than an actual business.
The items on the show are usually researched with prices agreed ahead of time, and the stars don’t even work the counter when cameras aren’t filming, due to various Nevada privacy laws. Pawned and fake.
Audiences have been following Judge Judy and her myriad of strange and cringe-inducing cases for over two decades. The show turned this judge into one of the most famous people in the United States.
While the cases are as real as they get, the actual outcomes of each case are always decided before the filming begins. Also, both sides get paid for participating. The court dates? Fake!
'Project Runway' is quite a popular show, and gives a supposed behind-the-scenes look into the work that goes into runway fashion shows. Unfortunately, the show has been outed by many of its former participants, including Jack Mackenroth and Daniel Esquivel.
These designers claim that scenes are extremely sensationalized and that the reality is much more boring. This one was designed to be fake!
The premise behind 'Restaurant Stakeout' is seeing Restaurateur Willie Degel get behind the counter in unsuccessful food establishments and fix their broken businesses. He does this by firing inadequate staff members in a highly dramatic fashion, which is quite a tall order for a weekly TV show.
One of the show’s participants admitted the studio contacted him and screened for bad employees. They also asked the restaurant's staff to act as horribly as possible. Horrendously fake.
Beauty and the Geek
The premise behind 'Beauty and the Geek' is simple, take a classic dating show and flip it upside down by pitting some of the most beautiful women on earth with the nerdiest men god has ever created.
While this show gave hope to many video-gamers and programmers, it was sadly fake. Not only were many of the geeks acting, but some of the girls were paid actresses. It was totally fake.
Like many popular reality shows, the main entertaining crutch behind 'Dance Moms' is the drama and confrontations. In 2015, one of the show’s past participants, Maddie Ziegler, revealed that the production basically set it up so that everyone was always mad and yelling at each other.
She even claimed moms would set up fake fights and yell at each other just for show. Not so motherly but extremely fake.
90 Day Fiance
There are so many things wrong about '90 Day Fiance' that many of us hoped it was fake from the get-go. The premise of the show is that a person “imports” a potential foreign wife or husband, and has 90 days to marry them before their tourist visa expires.
Some participants claimed that the drama in the show was intentionally gained by producers for ratings. There were so many things morally wrong about this show that some had to be fake.
Whether or not 'MasterChef', 'Hell’s Kitchen', or any show involving Gordon Ramsay is real, everyone mostly watches these shows to see the notorious chef yelling at people and inventing creative expletives.
It’s still worth mentioning that, Ben Starr, a former participant, wrote a long blog post claiming that the entire behavior of the cast is fake and intentionally overdramatized. But that is to be expected in prime-time television, real, or fake.
One of the world’s most popular cooking shows is without a doubt 'Hell’s Kitchen'. Gordon Ramsey used it to become a household figure and is regularly shown yelling and getting supremely mad at some of the show’s less competent participants.
Sadly, not only is most of the show scripted, but many of the actual customers of the restaurant are paid actors. Oh-so blazing fake.
Say Yes to the Dress
'Say Yes To The Dress' basically follows a bride’s journey while finding the ideal wedding dress. Many people that have attended the show’s sets have claimed that a lot of the participant’s reactions were rehearsed and dramatized.
The bridal boutique featured on the show was also exaggerated in its size and popularity. Extravagant and fake.
'American Idol' was one of the pioneers in the reality audition TV show format. The show pitted various candidates against its veteran judges and often ended up in some hilarious performances.
It’s been reported that the show’s producers send talent scouts to make sure they have a few winners at the end of each episode, and fills the rest of the time with terrible participants who are known flops ahead of time. Talentless and fake.
It was inevitable that the popularity of reality cooking shows would eventually lead to one about cakes. Unfortunately, 'Cake Boss' really takes the cake when it comes to exaggerating drama and controversies.
The store’s owner, Valastro, is often reported to not even work in his shop when the show isn’t filming. Some of the weddings were also reported as fake. Not so sweet but sugar-coated and fake!
One of the first reality TV shows to follow a family of semi-lunatics around while they engage in a lot of drama was 'The Osbournes'. The show ran from 2002 to 2005 and proved audiences were interested in these kinds of shows.
Ok, yes, those are in fact their real names, but eventually, it came out that most of the show’s events were actually scripted. 'The Osbournes' simply came up with crazy ideas before each episode. Crazy, right?
Love Is Blind
"Love Is Blind" is a delicious little show, but was any of it real? Well, it turns out that at least some of it was fake. Season 1 contestants said they got to talk to each about the fact they would refuse the marriage proposal, before the actual proposal ceremony.
Still, in the ceremony itself, when the girl says no, the guy acts surprised. That sounds fake to us!
Too Hot to Handle
"Too Hot to Handle" is very much like its name, but we still enjoy it very much. One contestant came forward saying that while production didn't tell him what to say or do, they did influence his decisions.
Basically, they tried to 'encourage' participants to do what they think will make the show more dramatic. One part that was very real though, is the fact that participants were not allowed any form of sensual satisfaction.
American's Next Top Model
This show ran for an incredible amount of seasons and it dominated pop culture for a long time. But, you'd be disappointed to hear that many times the winners were not picked based on their performance, and they were not even picked by the judges. In fact, it was Cover Girl who decided who would win the show.
Many of the models have also admitted that being on the show was a terrible experience and that being a Top Model veteran made it harder for them to get modeling jobs.
The Masked Singer
The show has had some amazing talents on it, but it isn't really about talent at all. It has been said that production decides who will go home based on who fans seem to connect with and not based on performance.
The judges have been known to avoid guessing the correct person, even when it's obvious. Most notably, the show doesn't have a live audience, but producers hid that fact from viewers till season 4.
The reboot of this old classic took is always a mood-lifter, but things are not as real and authentic as the fab five make them seem. Home renovations are heavily sponsored by Ikea, and Booby, who is responsible for them, actually gets blueprints of the houses weeks before.
Also, the show makes it seem as if all the guys stay in a fancy loft together, but most likely each one of them has their own accommodation.
There's nothing more enjoyable than watching what was characterized as the Mafia of the Amish community, most of what you see on the show is fabricated. What do we know? Well, firstly, it was confirmed by police that was no such thing as an Amish Mafia.
Most of the people you see on the show are not even Amish, and the scenes are staged by the production team. It turns out that reality doesn't really make for good reality TV.
There is very little that is real about the show "Pawn Queens" which is all about a bunch of women who operate a pawn shop in Illinois. The women you see on the show are not real, in fact, one of them came forward anonymously saying she was hired to be on the show even though she had no experience pawning.
She was given a fake backstory by the show's team and was coached on how she should behave on the show.
Next in Fashion
The Netflix fashion design show is the streaming service's version of "Project Runway" and it has Queer Eye's Tan France as one of its hosts.
Like many reality shows that are competition based, the selection of winners and losers is sometimes so weird that you know it had nothing to do with how well people did in the challenge and everything to do with what the production wanted the outcome to be.
This show did for make-up artists what project runway did for designers — brought them to the forefront and showed how hard they must work. However, many viewers felt like the heartfelt show's judges didn't really ever explain their choices and critics and didn't give any objective feedback to the aspiring makeup artists.
One thing the production did right, though, is that it kept the show mostly drama-free and made sure to focus on the makeup looks.
Who didn't love MTV's early 00's reality shows? They all had insane concepts that kept everyone wanting to come back for more. Someone who worked as a producer on the show confessed that the kids had no idea what show they were participating in.
While we all did get to see real rooms, the participants were actually told to remove some items before the film crew came in, which means that unlike what we saw on TV, they knew the crew was coming and weren't actually surprised. These items were usually personal photos or any nude photos they had around.
If you watched MTV during the early 00's you must remember "Made," a show where one student was desperate to get better at something, so they got a personal coach from MTV to help them with that. Students who were on the show said that most of the time it felt like the show's team already had envisioned how their story is going to turn out, before filming even began.
One former participant even told that they were forced to have a 'crush' for the purpose of the show. Yikes.
The hit Netflix show was brought to us by the same people who created both "Laguna Beach" and "The Hills." If you've heard anything about these other shows you know they are not known for being too realistic.
Basically, the characters you see in "Selling Sunset" are real-life people, but the scenes you see are most likely staged or shot several times to get the most dramatic effect.
The special effects makeup show gives us a peek into what it takes in order to create iconic spooky characters like monsters and vampires. But, one of the show's former artists created a documentary saying the game was rigged and the winner of the show is picked before the season even begins.
The movie was created by someone who decided to walk off the show, and many say his makeup skills weren't up to par. So, is everything he is saying real, or could it just be that he's a very sore loser?
Super Sweet 16
The MTV classic reality hit show featured high schoolers just as they were hitting a milestone they seemed to think was incredibly important — turning 16. The rich spoiled kids wanted to have the world's best party and weren't willing to settle for any less.
Still, the production usually created drama by making sure someone who wasn't invited would show up and rumor has it that the kids didn't actually get fancy cars, but the production just made it seem so.
Paris Hilton’s My New BFF
The fakeness of this reality show is already in its title, as no one can actually pick a best friend on a reality show. If you need any further proof, well, Hilton did not stay in touch with the first season's winner, Brittany Flickinger.
When asked what happened, Paris claimed that they just grew apart, but honestly, we're not buying it at all. Most likely, the two were never even really friends to begin with.
Cooking With Paris
Paris Hilton has found herself many different reality shows to star in over the years, and we get it, it's probably a lucrative deal. When it comes to "Cooking With Paris" the star most likely exaggerates her dumb, self-obsessed blonde persona for entertainment value.
If you've seen her 2020 documentary, "This Is Paris," you'll know the real Paris is very different from the one you see on the show. She even uses an artificial voice!
16 and Pregnant
The show followed teenagers who got pregnant at a very young age and many times showed the teenager telling the people close to her about the pregnancy. But, it makes no sense they didn't know at that point and that scene was most likely staged for the camera and for dramatic effect.
It has also been reported that while the events that take place are real, some scenes are totally scripted.
Double Shot at Love With the Ikki Twins
Who are the Ikki Twins, you ask? Well, we've asked ourselves the exact same question. One finalist from the show gave his own answer to the query: they are liars. Former participants say that while don't regret going on this show, pretty much everything about it was fake.
Taking into account the fact that it was a reality dating show, we are not that surprised to hear that's the case.
Are You the One?
The show puts a fun twist on the old, tired, reality dating show's convention. Participants are told their perfect match is already in the house, and if everyone managed to find the person the production decided best for them — they all win a million dollars.
While producers claim they have a scientific way of choosing perfect matches, many of the people who end up being "perfect" for each other actually make no sense together. It's more likely that production cared about casting individuals more than it cared about finding the right person for each participant.
The show was truly groundbreaking when it first aired, being part of the revolution that brought tattoos to mainstream culture. Contestants say the show is not scripted per se, but are asked to discuss things they maybe wouldn't naturally start talking about.
They also added that because the show is heavily edited people are portrayed the way they actually are. As for the art of tattooing, it really shouldn't be done in such a rush as it's done on the show.
The "Jersey Shore" reboot is as fake as the original one. It is incredibly similar to the original show but has different cast members. Watching the show, it's easy to see that the cast members speak lines that were fed to them by the producers.
How can we tell? Sadly, none of the cast members are that good at acting, so it's easy to see when they are not being natural.
The classic prank show hosted by Ashton Kutcher used to be a big deal back in the day. We know that the show is fake in at least one aspect — the celebrities are being put into fake scenarios.
The idea was to see the real reaction a famous person would have to being put in a complicated bizarre situation. Some celebrities actually knew they were being punk'd and just acted surprised. Others had the ability to influence editing, making sure they look their best.
A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila
You know that a name like Tila Tequila is 100% fake and that's already in the title. The show featured both men and women, all competing for the love of the bi-woman Tila. But, the season one winner, who was a man, said that he never even got the chance to communicate with Tila after the show was over.
Claims were made that she wasn't even attracted to men and the whole thing was a sham.
Netflix's show "The Circle" is about playing the social media game. Each player is put into an apartment, all of which are in the same building. But, they can't see each other, the only way they are allowed to communicate is via chat.
The show uses footage of Chicago to set the location, which would make you think that's where the show is shot. But, that's fake. The show is actually shot in England.
Man Vs Wild
Bear Grylls is indeed an expert at surviving in the wild and no one can take that away from him. Still, he does get a lot of support from the production so you can't really say he's surviving in the wild on his own.
The show even starts off with the revelation that “Bear Grylls and the crew receive support when they are in potentially life-threatening situations.” The thing is, it's very likely that he also gets help when the situations are not that life-threatening.
"Kitchen Nightmares" is actually a dream to watch. It's almost laughable how some restaurants run. As always with Ramsay, he gets angry specifically for the camera. Who knows, he might even be a chill guy in real life.
We also heard it said that sometimes the people you see as kitchen staff in these real-life restaurants are actually just actors who were paid to pretend that they've always worked there.
"Laguna Beach" was both real and fake. Real in the sense that all the people you saw on it were real people, who were actually friends. They just casually had cameras tag along. But, like almost any reality show, many moments were heavily produced and heavily edited.
For example, while production didn't tell Kristin to be a "bad girl," they would never put in the show moments when she said something sweet or acted nicely. That way she always seemed mean.
The Netflix show featured an Indian matchmaker who helped real people try and find love. While one participant claimed everything you see on the show is real, another said he felt misrepresented by the show.
He said that producer made it seem as if he was ghosting the girl he was dating, but he claims it was the other way around and that he was actually the one being ghosted by her. He didn't appreciate being written off as the bad guy.
Here's a fun fact you may not have known, the show was actually originally a British one that aired in 2014. In 2021, Netflix decided to bring it back to life. The concept is simple, people get to date each other, but everyone is wearing crazy special effects masks that make them unrecognizable.
Each person is represented by a different animal and there's no way you can know what the person looks like under the mask. While it seems that the decisions they make in the end are real, most of the other things about the show are likely not.
The show makes for really good TV but is any of it real? It's most likely that most of the drama in the show is actually created in the editing room.
While the events you see are most likely real, you do see an exaggerated version of them. So no, the show is not scripted, but it's also not really real either.