Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Most Memorable Reality-TV Moments of 2011

(Andy at Reality Blurred read a comment I made on Facebook and asked for people's thoughts on the best and worst of reality TV in 2011.  I wrote what is below but lost my links when I tried to post it as a comment, so I'm posting it here and putting a link over there.) 

know I watch some different shows than many RB commentors, and I know some are going to cringe at what I think were some reality-TV highlights this year.  For me, a high point was America's Next Top Model All-Stars (and the cringing has started).  For those of us who are fans, it was a great season mainly because just about everyone on the show was good, and the show focused mostly on their work as models and not as much on in-house drama.  The finale was a shock to many because something looked off, and that's because it was.  Whatever happened, Lisa D'Amato won, which is what I find fascinating because she appeared previously on the third season of Celebrity Rehab and was number ten on the Top Ten Villains on Reality TV (back in 2008).  She brought drama, not talent.  But I was proven wrong.  She was never drunk and never talked to any shrubbery. Instead, she won challenges and photo shoots.  She looked serious and driven.  I had never seen this Lisa before, and I admit she impressed me. 

As another highlight, I loved the fact that Dustin won Top Shot 3, mainly because he had no military or law enforcement background.  Top Shot 2 (which also aired in 2011) featured George, who may be a nice guy deep inside but acted like a child on the show, demeaning anyone who was not a marine.  And if you wanted some drama, there was always MTV and The Challenge: Rivals and the fight between Paula and Laurel, which brought Paula's history with eating disorders center stage again.


  1. I agree with you about Top Model All-Stars (although I was getting bored with it by the last couple of episodes). I've watched all but one season of ANTM and the All-Stars season was different enough from the regular seasons to make it much more interesting (plus, that collection of participants was pretty fantastic, even without Jade or Joanie). I never caught Top Shot but it definitely sounds like a standout reality show (especially compared to the disappointments that TAR, BB & other old standards have become).

    I always enjoy your comments on RB, so I thought I'd say hi!


  2. Thanks, Alannah! I probably would not have thought all that about Lisa, but some odd cable channel was doing a marathon of Celebrity Rehab with Lisa in it, which I'd never seen. It just made me more impressed. And it was such a great cast.

  3. Hi Nels! Ah, you've absolutely picked out some of the most absorbing moments of the year -- thanks for posting this. I was super-impressed with Lisa on ANTM this season too -- driven, focused, and good at what she does. (Even the Pot Ledom video! heh heh) I was happy for her to win. Also very happy for Dustin on Top Shot (and fascinated by George on the previous season and how he stepped down in the finals.) And obsessed with Challenge: Rivals, brilliant concept and one I wouldn't mind seeing reworked somehow for a Survivor all-stars, I'll tell you that. (If you could figure out how pairs would work on Survivor...) Have you ever watched Australia's Next Top Model? I highly recommend it. The models who win actually wind up very successful in high fashion modeling and they get real mentoring and work with the most unbelievable couture clothes and photographers ^_^ Highly highly recommend! Start with season 3 is a good idea...

  4. P.S. I really appreciate your picking out moments of genuine enthusiasm for successful competitors... I myself watch reality TV mostly to find people to admire and root for (not for schadenfreude and making fun of them) so I appreciate commentary that isn't snarky, but rather focused on folks who did great work or shined. Thanks for that!

  5. Thanks, Jane! I do try to focus on the shows that are about creating something and some sort of talent as opposed to just battling it out like on "Survivor." I should check out other versions of Top Model. I know they are online, and they can fill the gap until a new cycle comes along.