While this year gave us a wealth of interesting and entertaining characters to consume on reality television, it also came with the flipside. Depending on your taste in show, you were more than likely assaulted by a variety of irredeemable people with no positive character traits whatsoever, or even worse, a loud irredeemable person with no positive character traits whatsoever who was then hoisted and heralded as a “Big Character” by either fellow viewers, or the show itself. Because as you all know, viewers are goldfish and can only ever find enjoyment in whoever is screaming the loudest at them at any given moment. Here at Reality TV Warriors, we aim to put a stop to that by naming and shaming the worst of 2015:
- Coming from all the way back in January in Celebrity Big Brother 15, Perez Hilton. The embodiment of loud, American, lowest common denominator “entertainment”, Perez stifled and smothered an entire 31 episode series with his awful, disgusting attention-seeking antics. While this may sound like a confusing negative for any reality television contestant, Perez went beyond the pale. He licked his own armpits and humped mirrors. He threw food at people and the walls just because he could. He invaded people’s personal spaces and would often lick them or act specifically in an attempt to rile them up. He also made several disturbing comments throughout his entire stay in the house, hurling rape threats at fellow housemates and making an analogy to the AIDS epidemic all for the sake of riling someone up. And yet through all that, and through the producers of the show being utterly convinced that he was what the viewers wanted to see, he would barely scrape by in evictions and was kicked to the curb before the finale. While there is much more that could be said about his time in the house, perhaps an entire article’s worth of content, giving him too much thought only validates the train of thought that he was crucial to the series in the first place, rather than being the one to kick the chair out from underneath it.
- Professional twitter troll and fellow Celebrity Big Brother 15 contestant Katie Hopkins was just as key, if not moreso, as Perez in making sure her reality television series was drained of life from the start. Entering via a VT filled with vitriolic bigotry and right-wing rhetoric, Katie wielded a cult of personality throughout her stay in the Big Brother house, which she used to bully and demean anyone who disagreed with her or stood in her way. Alongside that, she cemented in a twisted point of view that there are only two sides in every argument or discussion, and that anyone who doesn’t agree is a ‘fence sitter’ or ‘wishy-washy’ or lacks the ability to form an opinion of their own. Anyone who disagreed with her was, once again, set upon by her group and hoisted from the house. While it looked as though she was poised to win the series, fellow Katie, Katie Price, would take it out from underneath her fingers and thankfully allowed for a much better winner to emerge from the cesspool.
- Not so much contestants as incidents, both Jeremy Jackson and Ken Morley were ejected from Celebrity Big Brother 15 within five days for various incidents. Jeremy, three nights in, sexually assaulted fellow contestant Chloe Goodman when he was drunk and was promptly removed, while Ken was removed from the series following a string of bigotry and bizarre allegations, including repeatedly using racial slurs, sexual harassment of fellow female housemates, and an anti-semetic rant to Chloe Goodman following her sexual assault about how the Jewish media would destroy her career. In perhaps the only wise decision of the season, Channel 5 would later pretend these two were never in the house in the first place.
- On the Australian front, the inaugural season of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here Australia saw the emergence of Barry Hall, a sportsman known for his various and repeated assaults of fellow sportspeople during games. In a similar display to Katie Hopkins as mentioned above, his lack of assault on fellow contestants led the audience to believe he was a changed man, even throughout incidents such as demeaning talk to women and even explicit threats of violence towards fellow contestant Freddie Flintoff. He would later go on to place second, placing one spot higher than beloved fan favourite Chrissie Swan, but would ironically lose to Freddie Flintoff.
- In the world of Survivor, Dan Foley sought to become not only one of the most memorable contestants of his season, Survivor: Worlds Apart, he sought to become one of the most memorable contestants in the show’s history. He did this via blatant attention-seeking antics such as ‘conveniently’ losing his pants, spewing outdated sexism and deranged unhinged rants towards fellow contestants, at one point saying he knew what it was like to be an assault survivor like castaway Shirin Oskooi because he was adopted, which is almost funny until one realises he is being utterly serious. After blasting the show for a ‘misleading’ edit after his boot, Jeff Probst skewed him with his own words via raw footage at the show’s reunion, in one of the only displays of good taste the host has ever shown.
- Also not so much a character as an incident, Will Simms was not even a footnote of Survivor: Worlds Apart, until Episode 10, where he launched into a deranged personal rant against Shirin to the point of harassment. This all stemmed from alleged false accusations, which in this writer’s humble opinion is the epitome of a disproportionate retribution. In an egregious lack of justice, Will would later provide half-baked non-apologies to Shirin after winning approximately $85,000 for coming in a tied second place.
- Rodney Lavoie Jr. was known throughout Survivor: Worlds apart as an excellent impressionist and for his various temper tantrums for not being chosen to attend rewards. He was also known for his rampant misogyny and one of the most active displays of the Madonna/Whore complex on reality television. Rather than being forced to apologise for his actions like Dan and Will at the reunion show, he was given a birthday cake, as validation for everything he said throughout the season.
- On the misogyny front, Bret Hauser from Hell’s Kitchen 14. There does exist an ever-present air of sexism in the field of hospitality but very few are active in their quest to demean every woman they come across which is what Bret ended up doing. For half a season he would sulk around complaining about anyone having fun, especially the women, and going on expletive-filled tirades whenever he was beaten by a woman in anything. Luckily for the sanity of the viewing public, he would later go on to slip a disc while taking a dump and was evacuated from television.
- Michael Dussault, also from Hell’s Kitchen 14, was not only a misogyny heat-sink but also a variety of dangerous. Whilst one would think one of the requirements of becoming a Hell’s Kitchen contestant was knowledge of a kitchen, Michael was ever present in his journey to inadvertently injure fellow contestants through carelessness, laziness, and lack of any hospitality skill. Whilst his run in Hell’s Kitchen was a mercifully short three episodes, it, alongside fellow contestant Milly Medley’s rant about Michael’s spoilt and privileged career, served as a painful reminder that not everyone was qualified to be a chef, and even less were qualified to do so on reality television.
- Back in the UK, not many contestants come into the show with their own Twitter hashtag, but then we get to #AbusedBySimonGross. Intent on bringing every form of “pizzazz” and “entertainment” to the Big Brother UK 16 house, Simon was mercifully instantly evicted first on launch night, only to be launched back into the series during a mass eviction and intruder introduction in the second week, where he would drown out all other voices with a simple, insultingly stupid catchphrase. Upon not being able to keep up his “Showbiz” charade for a single week, he slowly retreated into the background and became a lapdog to even worse housemates.
- Marc O’Neill, also from Big Brother 16 UK is perhaps a contender for the worst person on reality television this year. Injected into a house deemed “boring”, Marc‘s antidote to “boring” is to insult people apropos of nothing, spew rampant misogyny towards any woman who dares challenge him, indulge in the most insultingly blatant attempts at gaining screentime seen this year via nudity and throwing objects across rooms, and stir people into a frenzy and then laugh at them when they get angry. Whilst he was evicted at the first possible opportunity by the voting public, he was heralded by fellow contestants, producers, and host Emma Willis herself as a legendary housemate, as though there is anything unique or desirable in coming up with insulting sexist names for women on a daily basis.
- Fairweather superfan Nick Henderson came into Big Brother UK 16 with a predestined story arc of a redeemable jobless rich boy, only to have it thrown off track through the company of various models and webcam girls. Nick would show his appreciation for their company by abandoning them to be torn apart by the house for the crime of being a woman in his vicinity, during which said women would be branded a tease, whore or bunny boiler by the public and promptly voted out. Nick never received any kickback for his actions in the house, but was evicted in 5th place to a joint interview, a fate appropriate of any alleged superfan who insults the audience in such a way.
- Big Brother UK 16 was this year’s locale for smarmy rich 19-year-old boys in suits, and joining Nick in the Hall of Shame is aspiring Tory politician Joel Williams. While not as responsible for spewing right-wing rhetoric as Katie Hopkins, Joel deployed his political beliefs in other insulting ways, such as becoming a moral crusader against other people’s motivations in high-handed attempts to make himself look noble, enabling the antics of Marc O’Neil and Helen Wood by assuring everyone that they were actually good people deep down inside, and being the foremost slut-shamer of both Jade-Martina Lynch and Harry-Amelia Martin whilst somehow boasting about his high-larious “slut drops” mere hours later. He somehow made the finale, because conservative politicians just stick around forever.
- Project Runway contestant Merline Labissiere was a breath of fresh air on an otherwise staid Project Runway 14, so it should come to no surprise that the one person who tried to tame Merline and make her placid and plain again, Joseph Charles Poli, should make the Hall of Shame. Operating under the assumption that being on reality television is a time when all excitement and drama should evacuate the premises, Joseph was put on a team with Merline and immediately tried to make sure she wasn’t being fun, happy or excited about anything that was going on as long as he had anything to say about it. Alongside this crime against the state, he didn’t even have the decency to be an interesting designer, making frumpy matronly outfits for seven straight episodes before being unceremoniously auf’d in an unconventional material challenge.
- Proving that all stories have happened, are happening and will happening forever in the future, Austin Armacost came onto Celebrity Big Brother 16 to prove that straight and gay men can actually be friends (shocker!). Once this feat was accomplished, he set about to demean any woman who crossed his path such as the world’s first supermodel Janice Dickinson, and waif/jazz-singer Chloe-Jasmine Whichello. While his diplomacy in hetero/homo relations managed to get him to the finale, Austin‘s treatment of his fellow housemates only landed him second place instead of a win, to a marginally less execrable human.
- Unfunny 80s comedian Bobby Davro, 4th-placer of Celebrity Big Brother 16, may have been the most outwardly misogynistic male in a year of openly, outwardly misogynistic men. Known for terrible impressions, awkward unfunny comedy, and slamming face-first into a concrete floor, Bobby made a new name for himself via a disgusting personal nomination speech made towards Farrah Abraham, wherein he judged her entire worth by her “attractiveness” under the guise of giving “helpful advice”, then used another nomination to make another attack towards her in a similar vein. While Farrah herself is no innocent bystander and several actual slurs away from becoming a fellow member of this list, it went beyond the scope of acceptable and somehow far beyond anything she herself ever did on the season. Outside of this moment, Bobby would constantly give insidious relationship advice to Stevi regarding his fiance Chloe-Jasmine, and seemed to think that she was some sort of hindrance on his life, as he seemed to be under the impression that relationships are all about how it affects men. Anyone with that set of world views was never going to do well, but Bobby rose to the call of duty in order to fill his part on this list.
- Production Pet of the Australian media Tim Dormer was set loose on another show this year, Celebrity Apprentice Australia 4. For some reason, all of his “manipulation” was eaten up by most of the cast as an acceptable part of his personality rather than something to be seen with mistrust and suspicion, and as such he was given free reign to write his own boring character arc that would have gotten him the win had Sophie Monk not done it bigger, better, and far more entertainingly.
- In related self-crafted character arc news, Spencer Bledsoe in Survivor: Cambodia. On a season all about Second Chances, nobody tried less than Spencer to make an organic character arc or journey happen than he. Whilst he was almost literally unchanged from his Cagayan self aside from a more flattering haircut, Spencer‘s rigid gamebottery was interwoven with gratuitous confessionals about how he was learning social skills and improving his social game and changing as a person, despite the fact that his zero votes at Final Tribal Council and impression from the jury that he was a stuck-up egotist contradicted everything he told the audience. It made almost the entire season entirely pointless and dragged down an otherwise stellar cast of characters.
Now that the negatives of the year have been whisked away, it’s time to get into the positives – starting from January 1st, we will be posting each entry into the Top 62 RTV Stars for 2015, a list of the best people in reality television from the past year.