2010's Most Bizarre Reality TV Moment: What's your pick?

“Most Bizarre” seems like the reality TV equivalent of “Best.” You gotta consider your genre!

Reality-TV-Hills-Idol-StarsImage Credit: Adam Larkey/ABC; Lifetime; MTV

It’s been a ridiculous year in “reality.” Bristol Palin outlasted fallen pop star Brandy in a televised ballroom dancing popularity contest. Ellen DeGeneres was suddenly sitting on Simon Cowell’s lap and then –poof!– both of them were gone. The Hills may have been fake molehills all along. And bangin’ Gretchen Jones took center stage on Project Runway, transforming the competition series into a riveting character study that often seemed like a senior-year elective for psych majors (PS 801: Raging Narcissism in the Age of Reality Television).

My pick for Most Bizarre Reality TV Moment of the Year: This sucks, but it was during the season 10 finale of Dancing With the Stars, when Kate Gosselin rose into the air on a hydraulic lift and nobody seemed to really react. She’d just re-danced her cringe-inducing “Paparazzi” paso doble; then suddenly more of her legs were showing and without any warning whatsoever — SCENE CHANGE — she was grinning “serenely” atop a tiny platform as a lone smoke machine sputtered below. The audience barely moved. But it wasn’t really an air of disgust. It was more like a low hum of indifference, a semi-opaque pair of control-top spanx stretched over a normally twinkling sea of happy wriggling sequins. The happy sequins couldn’t breathe! I was transfixed. PopWatch reader LR summed it up better and more depressingly than I ever could: ”Watching Kate Gosselin dance to ‘I Will Survive’ was one of the worst moments of my life. And I’ve had a horrible life.” That’s the spirit! What a season!

But I’m a special case. Which bizarre reality TV moments of 2010 stood out to you? When Lee DeWyze won American Idol, did you gasp? When Fabio peed in the pool on Survivor: Nicaragua, did you feel a tingle down there and think “that’s a winner”? Did one of the Real Housewives accidentally lift a finger, causing the earth to twitch slightly under your sofa? Ooh, Jen Carroll’s freakout after her early elimination from Top Chef All-Stars?

Wow, there are so many. Name yours below!

Read more:
‘DWTS’: The 30 finest Hidden Gems of 2010!

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

Comments (143 total) Add your comment
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  • CriMiBird

    OK. Not American TV. BUT.

    Anne Widdecombe “flying” on Strictly Come Dancing… AND THEN GETTING THROUGH TO THE NEXT SHOW!

    Yeah. That was weird.

    • Brandon R.

      And then the next show. And the next. And the next after that…yeah. Totally agree with you. That was…something. :)

    • Lisa London

      I had never watched Strictly before until a friend came over for dinner and put it on just when Anne Widdecombe started dancing in her horrendously hilarious yellow canary outfit. I am now scarred for life…

  • Angie

    Without a doubt it would be Kate and the Gosselin kids on Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

    Kate was a total beast. I’d be more terrified of her than of the brown bears she and Sarah learned to shoot in their pre-camping training class.

    • Liz

      I was hoping Sarah would recreate the famous Cheney hunting accident from a few years back,

      • Eddiehaskell

        Good one! It really made me laugh anyway.

      • Dasha

        I totally agree. I am glad I’m not the only one hoping that Kate wouldn’t make it back from that trip without some kind of severe injury that would prevent her from ever being on TV again.

      • amanda

        THAT would have made me like sarah palin.

    • Lauren

      That’s exactly what I was thinking tooo!

    • Lisa

      So true! I never imagined anything would make me like Sarah Palin, but the direct comparison to Kate made Sarah seem like such a normal person and a great mom. If only she removed herself from politics, I think I could *like* her, gasp!

  • MJ

    In the midst of a Survivor season that was bizarre from beginning to end, I have to vote for Jane absolutely flipping out and crying over the rest of the tribe killing and eating the remaining chicken. That lady went crazyyyyy.

    • Dave

      … or Holly losing it on Day 5 and dumping Dan’s shoes in the water. WTF?

  • Andy

    I think that my most bizarre reality TV moment of this year is tied between two.

    1.) on this season of ANTM Tyra Banks gave a girl a makeover that included having her teeth shaved down so she would have a much more pronounced gap in her teeth. She didn’t even win and that shiz don’t grow back.

    2.) The outrage over Bristol Palin on DWTS was so bizarre that I don’t even know that I can put it into words. I just want to say that I’m not a DWTS fan and pretty neutral on the Palin family so I couldn’t see what the outrage was all about but it was extreme.

    • jared4ever

      1. Bristol was a crappy dancer.
      2. She’s a b—-.
      3. Her mother is an idiot.
      4. Bristol is not a celebrity and
      has no place on the show.
      These are just for starters, I could go on and on.

      • Andy

        See this is exactly what I’m talking about, you don’t like her mother, she doesn’t fit your definition of a celebrity and you for some reason feel that you should call her a b—- even though you don’t know her. Totally irrational. The only sin against her is that she wasn’t the best dancer but from what I heard was the most improved.

      • jared4ever

        Those are all things I picked up while watching DWTS so totally relevant. She was a catty bitch on the show and she couldn’t dance. And her mother was there every episode being an idiot so yeah it was all right there. and that’s why people hated her.

      • Homer Simpson

        Bristol is Hot!!¡¡

      • Kiley

        Bristol didn’t fit Anybody’s definition of a celebrity. She’s only famous for being the knocked-up daughter of a failed, bizarre pick for a vice-presidential candidate, who thinks teaching abstinence-only works!

      • JR

        Bristol dancing in Gretchen’s granny panties.

      • Katie

        Abstinence–only does work. It works to increase teen pregnancy rates.

    • noelbelle

      She was a TERRIBLE dancer. She seems like a nice enough girl, but half the time she was lost. I wouldn’t even say she was most improved. Honestly, it didn’t even look like she really started trying until maybe the semifinal.

      • Carla

        That was exactly the problem! Bristol, while a decent girl, I suppose, was just a horrible dancer! She looked like she might have had some ability, but was afraid to move!

      • jared4ever

        She’s not a decent girl at all, She only pretends to be for the cameras. Check out her and her sisters facebook rant calling that student a fag and a queer. She’s a disgrace.

  • Dana

    The whole season of Top Chef just desserts

    • Dan

      Absolutely Top Chef Just Desserts. That was a much wackier show than I had guessed it would be (also a lot more fun – Gail made a great host). Who knew that pastry chefs were all so crazy? And devious? Most surprising of all was how THIN and even buff many of these pastry chefs were. How is that even possible when you are surrounded by pastries all day long?

    • alioops

      YES. That was one of the best of the year. Wish Morgan had won, but it was great drama and wonderful pastries! Mmmmm

      • jared4ever

        Morgan was the biggest reality show douchebag of the year! You wish he’d won? Wow.

    • Erin

      Oh God. Seth and the crying jag/total meltdown over the Red Hots that were “for his mom.” And then he got himself so worked up that he passed out and was advised for his sanity to leave the show?? Top Chef: Just Desserts was full of full-on crazy, but Seth really topped the list.

      • Cristin

        Couldn’t agree more!!

      • petuniafromhell

        I think the most bizarre moment was on TC:JD…Seth’s pulsating lump on his neck..GROSS! I thought that thing was going to explode on the food!

  • Kaci

    The “watermelon incident” on Amazing Race.

    • Meli

      Oh yeah, that. That moment couldn’t be duplicated in a million years–what are the odds of using a slingshot to launch a melon forward, only to have it fly backward, hit full-on in the face, and yet not seriously injure someone?

      • MCS

        What are the odds that her team mate said “right in the kisser” (referring to the planend target) simultaneously.

    • Claire

      Yeah. Theoretically, she should have lost her head on that one!

    • Sue1

      Big yeah, it’s the first thing I thought of.

    • Dasha

      I felt bad for her! She got slapped in the face by a watermelon, liquifying the melon, only to then be forced to deal primarily with Brooke screeching “CLAIR CLAIRE CLAIRE CLAIRE HURRY UP CLAIRE!” Over and over and over again for the next 40000 miles. Poor Claire.

      • EdZ

        I don’t watch a lot of reality TV, but LOVE ‘The Amazing Race,” and poor Claire-in-the-face-with-a-catapulted-watermelon was AMAZING! And then Brooke making her get up and finish!

    • JR

      Claire was in training to join the cast of SPIDERMAN on Broadway.

  • agb

    Seth’s freakout(s) on Top Chef: Just Desserts.

    • laylagalise

      That’s a good one! I truly think he needs medication– he was so off-kilter all the time.

  • Tim

    I am tempted to name the Scary Island/Turtle Time episode of RHONY when Hooters women became the voices of reason, but I think my singular moment of 2010 weirdness was Seth’s “red hits for my mommy” meltdown on TC Just Desserts. Truly Perverse.

    • John

      How could “The red hots are for my mommy” not win this?

    • SM

      The whole “Scary Island” experience of RHONY was completely surreal.

    • Madd

      Got to go with “Scary Island” and “Turtle Time” myself. Al Sharpton! Satchels of gold! Gum berries!

    • Diane

      Seth’s red hots meltdown was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen on tv

    • noelbelle

      Scary Island was definitely the most bizarre thing I saw on tv this year…and I watch a lot of crap.

  • Tim

    Sorry. That was supposed to be “red hots.”

  • Coco

    Allison Dubois drinking pitcher sized margaritas and smoking an electronic cigarette in a fist while making dire predicitons at Camille Grammer’s dinner party from hell on the RHOBH.

    • lesfull

      Know this.

    • jmcg

      I don’t watch any of those Real Housewives shows, so I wouldn’t know, but is that her real name? That’s the title character of the show Medium.

      • lesfull

        The show “Medium” was based on a real woman named Allison DuBois who claimed to have psychic abilities. The show was produced by Kelsey Grammar and Allison is friends with his (soon to be) ex wife who is on RHOBH. She is also an insane b*itch.

      • Coco

        She is the person on which the show Medium is based, however after seeing her performance on the Real Housewives I strongly doubt this woman has any psychic abilities and is more likely experiencing alchohol induced hallucinations.

      • jmcg

        I just watched a clip of that Real Housewives show and affirmed why I don’t watch it to begin with: those “women” are sad individuals with low self-esteem, too much free time, and too many plastic surgeons. I think Allison wanted stir things up cuz she said some crazy stuff, then the others started arguing about other crap. That was truly bizarre.

      • noelbelle

        Re: coco
        I thought the same thing! Either that or she’s schizophrenic.

  • Ktct

    Kara’s behavior towards Casey James on Idol. Ick.

    • Debi Adams

      YES! Absolutely–I so agree! That was so icky, it still makes me cringe to think of it!

      • Karrah

        I felt bad for both Kara and Casey though… She made one comment at his audition and then Ryan and everyone else kept bringing it up. It was uncomfortable.

      • Mo

        I agree! She did it season 8 with Matt Giraud but in season 9 with Casey it was really overt.

  • jmcg

    Nina Garcia and Michael Kors absolutely gushing over Wretched Gretchen’s awful designs including those horrible granny panties on the Project Runway finale.

    • laylagalise

      That’s my choice, too! I still can’t believe she won! And I’m still waiting for Nina Garcia to wear some of Gretchen’s clothes…

    • Dave

      I totally agree. Mondo is so talented and had made so many amazing looks for the finale. Gretchen’s clothes were really pretty awful. And as some great bloggers have shown (Tom and Lorenzo), her clothes were no more on trend than Mondo’s, plus his were actually forward thinking and wearable! What they heck were those judges thinking??

    • Sam

      I have to nominate the team episode of “Project Runway,” where Gretchen went from tearfully praising her team and their work to tearing it down and blaming everyone else in the span of about a minute. Tim Gunn’s subsequent smackdown of Gretchen? Just icing on the cake.

      • Traci

        YES! One of Tim Gunn’s best “PR” moments ever!

  • MCB

    no Jersey Shore references? LOL The whole show was bizarre and outrageous.

  • axel

    id like to nominate the episode of south park where Snooki made a cameo and forced smushed Cartman.

    • ashlee

      OMG! I know! Cartman screaming that she was raping him is burned into my mind! It was soo weird, yet kind of awesome!

  • Ember

    Trying to make sense of anything Tareq or Michaele Salahi spouted on RHODC…truly bazaar, and impossible.

    • aubrey

      Bazaar? Really? Just seeing that was bizarre.

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