December 24, 2005 12:01 AM by Joe Blackmon
The Year 2005 has been a very memorable year for reality TV, one that has been filled with controversial and outrageous moments. The year started with American Idol 4 offering up more controversy per episode than most shows offer in an entire season, and the year ended with Donald Trump’s Apprentice showing that it can play the controversy game too.
A couple of the year’s biggest controversies swirled around two shows where viewers were allowed to vote: American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. From a favored contestant getting eliminated early to problems with the phone numbers, many outraged fans questioned some of the outcomes on America’s most popular television show. Just as the American Idol controversies were starting to fade from memory, the Summer time hit Dancing with the Stars offered up its own voting controversy. However, instead of the viewer vote, it was the judge’s decision to award ABC’s own Kelly Monaco with the first three perfect tens of the competition that came under fire.
In the end the biggest winners were the networks. FOX aired an additional American Idol re-vote episode because of one of its phone number screw-ups, and ABC had a Dancing with the Stars Dance-Off special.
Two other common themes in reality TV in 2005 were that multiple eliminations started to become the norm and bodily excrements and fluids played a major role in several shows. Survivor, Rock Star INXS, Trump’s Apprentice, and Martha Stewart’s Apprentice all offered up surprises where multiple contestants were eliminated in a single episode. Meanwhile, shows like Surreal Life, Kill Reality, Breaking Bonaduce, Nashville Star and Wanted Ted or Alive pushed the boundaries of how far reality TV will go by offering up contestants engaged in peeing, defecating, bleeding, vomiting and spitting. While the actual events usually took place off-camera, viewers were treated to detailed descriptions.
The following are the Top Ten Most Controversial, Outrageous, Memorable Reality TV Moments of 2005 as selected by Reality TV Magazine.
1. Constantine Maroulis Voted Off American Idol 4 – Constantine Maroulis was consistently a fan favorite, and after his performance of Bohemian Rhapsody, he seemed virtually guaranteed to make it to the late stages of the competition. However, in one of the greatest shockers in American Idol history, Constantine Maroulis was voted off before even making it to the top five. Outraged Constantine fans immediately turned to the Internet in massive numbers. A website called Votefortheworst.com took credit for keeping Scott Savol in the competition over Constantine. Over 37,000 fans signed a petition demanding a recount to no avail. Constantine was gone, and he wasn’t coming back.
2. American Idol Gets The Phone Numbers Wrong (Three Times) – Most people heard about the first phone number error on American Idol, because FOX issued a press release and had a special re-vote show. However, what many people didn’t realize is that American Idol actually had three different phone number errors during the season.
3. The Amazing Case Of The Plane Returning To The Runway – In this post 9/11 world, how many people are able to stop a plane at an airport in order to get last minute boarding. After being firmly told “no” by one American Airlines representative, something happened off camera to dramatically change the situation. Suddenly, the pilot was giving the ok to re-open the doors of the plane and to let Uchenna and Joyce on. If Uchenna and Joyce hadn’t made that plane, then Rob and Amber would likely have easily sailed to victory. Fortunately for CBS, Amazing Race advertiser American Airlines saw fit to open up the doors to an exciting finish for the Amazing Race.
4. Kelly Monaco Scores Three Perfect Tens – No one on Dancing with the Stars had gotten a single ten from the judges in the entire competition until Kelly Monaco received three tens on her final performance. Outraged fans accused ABC judges of playing favorites, which led to a special Dance-Off episode.
5. The Whole Long Drawn Out Corey Clark & Paula Abdul Thing – No controversy list would be complete without including the Corey Clark and Paula Abdul scandal. From the one hour PrimeTime Live promo for Corey’s new CD to the Paula Adbul Saturday Day Night Live skit to the parody on the American Idol finale, the whole story became one big joke.
6. Mario Vasquez Quits American Idol – We know that most people have now forgotten who Mario Vasquez was, but at one time he was actually one of the favored contestants to win American Idol 4. However, Mario quit for personal reasons and then went on an enormous publicity tour, telling everyone that they had not heard the last of Mario Vasquez.
7. Donald Trump Fires Four On The Apprentice – While many probably suspected that Donald Trump might fire two candidates after one team lost by a large margin, Trump surprised everyone by letting four candidates go at once.
8. The Newlyweds Get Separated – Their break-up was reported numerous times, only to be met with repeated denials from the couple. Finally, on the day before Thanksgiving, their press agents stopped denying and confirmed that it was true.
9. King Kaysar Catches The Bigger Fish – It was perhaps the greatest strategic move in Big Brother history. After Eric Littmann eliminated his secret partner, Kaysar Ridha turned the tables.
10. Randal Refuses To Share Spotlight With Rebecca – Almost everyone predicted that Donald Trump would probably hire both Randal and Rebecca, what no one predicted is that Trump would leave the decision up to Randal, and Randal would say “no.”
The Year 2005 was so jam-packed with reality TV controversy that we just couldn’t fit everything into a top ten list, so we also prepared a special list of five Honorable Unmentionable Moments.
Honorable Unmentionable Moments
Jonny Fairplay Takes A Dump On Kill Reality
Mini-Me Urinates On Surreal Life
Joey Spits On Wanted Ted Or Alive
Jenny Vomits On Nashville Star
Danny Bonaduce Slashes His Wrists On Breaking Bonaduce
Do you agree or disagree with our choices for the Top Ten Most Controversial, Outrageous, & Memorable Reality TV Moments of 2005? What about our Five Honorable Unmentionables? Are there any other moments that you think should have been included on the list? Which moment do you think is number 1? Post your comments below.