(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.)
I 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.