Top Reality TV Stuff-ups

Here are a few of our favourite stuff-ups.  Local, imported, the lot.

Idols 2009
So our SA Idols will share the crown. Well luckily they both wear the same size - XXL it seems, as based on Jason's apparent belief that God intervened to make him king -   so sharing it won't be too much of a problem, except on those awkward days when Jason wants to wear it out for a pint with his mates, and Sasha-Lee wants to take it pole-dancing in a beach house with some hot schoolgirls. Oddly, the whole thing has just generated more welcome heat around the franchise, and has been handled so cleverly that we're left wondering if MNET shouldn't be more involved in the Zimbabwe power-sharing negotiations.

Model Millions… or not so much?
A classic case of "SABC Syndrome" here. This copycat of America's Top Model was meant to star the McGregor sisters and feature rude comedian Cokey Falkow as judge, but the production company didn't seem to be able to get the basics right. Basics like, you know, make episode 2.  Then it turned out that the production company and SABC didn't actually have sponsor funding to complete the series. So they delayed a few times and scratched around for cash while we scratched our heads. The wannabe-Smodels wondered whether they could eat something, just in the meantime. SABC3 finally cancelled after a few weeks and issued a press statement that - hilariously - thanked everyone involved in the show's "short-lived debut".  The whole story here

Cheaters - stabbing the messenger!
Cheaters host Joey Greco was stabbed during a taping involving a fishing boat and a fishing knife. The fact that he wasn't really hurt and nobody sued anyone has lead to suspicions that the whole thing was staged to try to drive up ratings on a show that has the same sad plot from episode to episode, each one of which features people too stupid to make it onto Jerry Springer's show, and mostly so deeply unattractive you wonder how they manage to get laid at all, let alone with more than one partner! Fascinating, with or without the stabbings.  But certainly proves the point that what appears to be a disaster might actually benefit a show.

Big Brother's Bad, Bad Goody
You're not meant to speak ill of the dead. Which is odd, because surely being dead is the one situation in which what you don't know really can't hurt you. In any case, the show, which explores in mind-numbing depth the existentialist Satrean philosophical argument that "hell is other people", proved its point in spade loads when Jade's racism reared its ugly head in her bullying and insulting behaviour towards one of the housemates. Luckily for her she was so stupid that people actually felt sorry for her when she apologised. She was also terminally ill. Just ask Shaik - it's the best GOOJ-card of them all.

Survivors: Tax evasion, sex tapes and fake dead grannies
And then there's the insta-celebs who's so boring they have to leak their own sex tapes to get attention, as Jenna Lewis from the All-Stars (season eight) Survivor USA is rumoured to have done. A 2004, self-produced sex tape was circulated on the Internet while she was competing. By contrast, Nudist, fisherman and freckled guy Richard Hatch, winner of season one, was a bit more interesting, since he started out naked and at least had some survival skills. He was arrested for tax evasion - so his dreams ended in jail. On the up and up in terms of entertainment factor there was Johnny Fairplay, the Survivor contestant who lied that his granny died to win sympathy. Euuuw! Not fair at all, guy. But fun for us.

Jessica Simpson: Find the fish?
In case you didn't already know she was as thick as a plank and that her relationship was about as interesting as a porn movie soundtrack, Jessica Simpson decided to appear on TV in all her idiot glory, together with her hubby.  She achieved new heights of toothy self-embarrassment when she asked what “Chicken of the sea” was, not realising it was canned tuna.

Dragging chicks around by their hair
You know, in a country where dragging people around behind bakkies is the cause of a political race scandal every few months, you'd imagine ETV would think twice before including this routine in their "reality" TV local version of Fear Factor. But no, SA reality TV got a little bit too real when contestant Lebo Babe was dragged around by a rope over sand dunes, and ended up losing half her hair and suffering a concussion. The show's spokespeople pointed out that she was allowed to let go whenever she felt like it. But viewers were still scandalised. Of course, the incident did only good things for the show's popularity; proving as it did that the fear factor was very, very real.

Dumb Blonde Bimbos of the Playboy Mansion
Just the fact that this show has survived at all is a disaster.  They're not even NAKED! What is the point of a playmate who's wearing her clothes and still talks like a pre-programmed doll? Apparently, millions of viewers disagree.

The Contender - Boxer commits suicide
After saying he missed his family and making a trip home to Philly, 23-year-old contestant Najai Turpin shot himself in the head at 4 a.m. in a parked car, outside the gym where he trained. His girlfriend - who was also in the show, which follows a group of boxers' professional development and personal lives - was with Naja when he did it. Investigators were unsure as to why he took his life. Boxing may be a blood sport, but there's something a lot sadder about his suicide somehow.

Tyra Banks screams at Model; other model faints
Yes, Modeling is a tough job. And when you've got Tyra Banks screaming at you, it's even tougher. Watch these highly entertaining moments from the show a lot of us wouldn't have even heard about if Tyra weren't such a total bitch. It almost makes glad to be kinda ugly compared to the contestants, doesn't it? P.S. In case you missed it, Tyra capitalised on this by faking a faint the the episode screened last night on SATV, as part of the "learn to improv" weekly task.

Tyra screams at model

Tyra Screams at Model Contestant | Celebrities |

Miss USA stripped (of title)
Ok, so beauty contests aren't exactly reality TV. But what is? And, don't us media love those headlines… "Stripped!" Of course, it's not what it seems. Vanessa Williams was stripped of her Miss USA title after fairly arty nude photos (by photographer Tom Chiapel) taken of her posing with another girl came to light. Isn't it odd that a competition that judges people mostly on sex appeal minds if a winner has taken their clothes off in the past? Well, anyhow, the photos were later published in Penthouse after Hugh Hefner turned them down in sympathy for Williams. But Williams wasn't particularly damaged by it, most recently starring as Hannah's publicist in the Movie based on the TV series.

The moral of the story? There is no such thing as bad publicity… but only IF you've got talent and you're willing to completely lose your dignity in exchange for fame, and possibly fortune.