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Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we? Reality TV is a relatively new phenomenon that really gained traction over the last 20 years or so. Personally, I consider around 2006-2008 to be the golden age of reality television. Back then, before social media took over the world, random people starring in unscripted shows didn’t worry about becoming influencers (because it wasn’t a thing yet), and honestly, it seemed like many of them didn’t have a ton of dignity, to begin with. That’s what made shows like Flavor of Love and Joe Millionaire so great. So, let’s take a look at some of the most ridiculous reality TV shows to ever grace our television screens.

Evan Marriott, who starred in 'Joe Millionaire,' at a promo event wearing a blue button down. 'Joe Millionaire' was one of the first ridiculous reality TV shows.
Evan Marriott, the star of ‘Joe Millionaire’ | Kevin Winter/FOX/ImageDirect.

VH1 blessed us with ‘Flavor of Love’ and ‘Rock of Love’ in the early aughts

If you ask me one of my top 10 shocking reality TV moments, my mind immediately goes to Pumpkin and New York’s epic throwdown in the finale of Flavor of Love Season 1. I’m not sure if the producers never thought the women might actually come to blows or if they were too shocked to stop it, but never had I witnessed true chaos until that moment. Flavor Flav chose New York over Pumpkin, and instead of taking the loss with any sort of dignity, Pumpkin spit in New York’s face. It was gross, it was embarrassing, and my eyes stayed glued to the television.

The network also gave us the same concept starring Poison frontman Bret Michaels. Of course, almost all of the women competing for Bret’s heart considered themselves huge fans of his music too. Poison peaked in the ‘80s, meaning most of these women weren’t young enough to say they didn’t know better than to act the way they did. Regardless, it was the epitome of ridiculous reality TV, and everyone went wild over it.

The real question is, why would either of these very famous musicians need a reality show to find a girlfriend? There were three seasons of Rock of Love, and Bret turned down the fourth season to do another show. Doesn’t this just scream, I need the money and can’t keep a girlfriend?

‘I Wanna Marry ‘Harry’’ easily wins Most Ridiculous Reality TV Show Ever

In 2014, Fox premiered a new reality TV show called I Wanna Marry “Harry”. The series brought on a group of women competing for the heart of who they thought was Prince Harry. Yes, you read that right. A group of American women believed their chance to win the love of one of the princes of England lay in a reality TV show airing on Fox. Instead, Matthew Hicks, a Prince Harry lookalike, filled the role of the fake prince.

Fox ultimately pulled the series after airing only four episodes but eventually made the final four episodes available on some streaming platforms. One of the contestants spoke out about the manipulation of the producers behind the scenes and equated it to “brainwashing.” But let’s be honest, on what planet would the monarchy allow one of the royals to appear on a reality TV dating show? Come on, now, ladies.

‘Joe Millionaire’ tried to out gold diggers on national television

ABC’s The Bachelor quickly became the most popular reality TV show to date, and I have a feeling when the apocalypse arrives, producers will ship Jesse Palmer to another planet so he can keep hosting the show from there. The Bachelor is never going away.

But, in light of that, let me jog your memory about a show called Joe Millionaire. Showrunner Liz Bronstein envisioned a spoof of The Bachelor where all of the women on the show believe they’re courting a millionaire. They thought he simply wanted to find someone to love him for him and not for his bank account. Ultimately, producers revealed that the lead, Evan Marriott, was indeed not a millionaire. He worked as a construction worker. If the final remaining women accepted “Joe” for who he was, then they could split the prize money with him.

First of all, imagine how terrible it would look if the woman said no after learning Evan’s bank account didn’t contain a six-figure balance. No one seems foolish enough to do that. However, Evan chose Zora Andrich to continue a relationship with, and the two split the prize money. Unfortunately, the two separated sometime after filming ended.

While the days of reality TV stars not worrying about sponsorships and becoming influencers have passed, reality TV itself isn’t going anywhere. Do you have a favorite old-school reality TV show? Let me know in the comments down below!