The Telefile

TWoP 10: Least Deserving Reality Show Winners

by admin February 27, 2009 11:46 am
TWoP 10: Least Deserving Reality Show Winners

While we're still reeling from the surprising and unfathomable shocker of Hosea winning the Top Chef prize this week, we decided to look back at some other reality show contestants who didn't deserve their titles either. There have been quite a few, and heck, we could have probably made most of this list with just Survivor players (Amber and Tina, we're looking in your general direction). And that's not even counting people whom we just didn't like, even though they earned their wins, like Hung, Fantasia, Mike Boogie, Flo and Zach (OK, mostly just Flo). So if we we're in the business of revoking titles, these are the ones that we'd like to take back.

1. Jenna Morasca (Survivor: Amazon)
Ostensibly Survivor is about trying to outwit and outplay your fellow contestants, which runner-up Matt did. However, in a season that was a battle of the sexes, sexy was what won, or at least being naked was what won. She was sick all the time, complained constantly, considered leaving and her most memorable power play was bartering with Jeff Probst to get peanut butter in exchange for her (and her gal pal Heidi) stripping down to the buff. She only made it as far as she did because her ailing state made her less of a threat than Heidi. We hate winners who do so little, yet get so much (Vecepia, consider yourself lucky that we only put one do-nothing Survivor on our list).

2. Maggie (Brother Brother 6)
When will Big Brother contestants finally realize that people should be rewarded for playing people so skillfully and artfully pulling puppet strings? Bitter people voting and manipulating house guests is the only way we can remotely explain how Maggie (or Jun, who ridiculously beat Alison) won this show. Janelle went against the odds, lasted a tremendously long time without a single ally and was infinitely smarter than Maggie and runner-up Ivette. And if we could take away a runner-up prize too, it would be Ivette, who trusted her alliance and kept Maggie with her, instead of having the guts to go up against Janelle. Ivette still wouldn't have won, but at least then we would have respected her.

3. Kelly Monaco (Dancing With the Stars)
It was Season 1 and the competition wasn't exactly up to the level that it is now, but even so, Kelly Monaco was not the strongest contestant on her season. The only reason she took home the prize was because she had a bigger fan base than John O'Hurley, who at that point was just known as "J. Peterman from Seinfeld" and there's not a hell of a lot of overlap between the DWTS voters and the Seinfeld fanbase. If they had given a mirrorball for most improved Monaco would have taken that one, but she never really stepped it up the way that O'Hurley did.

4. Taylor Hicks (American Idol)
Can we get a recount on this one? Seriously, there had to have been some tampering with the phone voting, because it is two seasons later and we're still shaking our heads at how this boring silver-haired Michael McDonald wannabe beat out Kat McPhee. Because where were the fans when it came to buying albums? No where. Taylor got dropped from his label in little over a year after winning. Even Ruben (the other least deserving Idol) had us snowed with that whole Velvet Teddy Bear thing while he was on the show. Taylor's win is especially suspect in a season that included Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler and Elliot Yamin, all of whom have had some pretty decent sales in their post-Idol careers.

5. Ilan Hall (Top Chef)
Hosea wasn't the first Top Chef winner to get us all steamed up. Ilan Hall had that honor when he took home the title in season 2, beating out fan favorite Sam Talbot and the annoying-but-talented Marcel Vigneron for the prize. Throughout the season Ilan produced some solid meals, but Marcel definitely had him beat in the originality department. And in the finals, the judges rated both of them well. Plus, Ilan was partially responsible for the infamous Marcel head-shaving incident and didn't receive any real recourse, and tried to accuse Marcel of cheating. That kind of poor sportsmanship should have earned him some demerits.

6. Charla (Paradise Hotel)
Why this all-but-forgotten Fox show from the summer of 2003 is perhaps the greatest single season of any reality series ever is an argument for another day. But as some of you may recall, the program pitted schlumpy Dave against a resort filled with mean, drunk, hard-bodied a-holes. In classic nerd vs. Goliath fashion, Dave ingeniously wheeled, dealed and manipulated himself all the way to the finals, where high school reared its ugly head and all of the bitter ex-houseguests that he'd gotten kicked off voted for his ungrateful sidekick Charla and his ally Keith to receive the big cash prize instead of him. Keith, we liked. But we'll never forgive Charla for refusing to share her spoils with the guy who made it possible.

7. Saleisha Stowers (America's Next Top Model)
This ordinary girl, with a killer runway walk, seemed to impress the judges, but she ended up in the bottom two as much as she did the top two. Yet somehow she pulled out a win. We're skeptical that it was just because Chantal tripped some poor stilt-walker on the runway. It might have more to do with the fact that Saleisha knew Tyra before the show. She went to T-Zone camp and appeared walking the runway on Tyra's talk show. Suspicious. Also, she sort of bent the rules a bit about not having a national modeling campaign for five years prior... in our mind, a commercial should count. Very suspect. We're not impressed.

8. Stefani Schaeffer (The Apprentice)
Did anyone even watch the L.A. season besides us? It was infuriating on all kinds of levels (living in tents... really?). Anyway, we were most disappointed that at the end of this insane season, Trump decided to hire Stefani who had just kind of stood to the side and never really stepped up to the plate to take responsibility for ideas (good or bad). She was never even a project manager (which wasn't entirely her fault due to the twists of the game), but yet she gets to oversee a project for a mega-organization? Stupid. Runner-up James at least showed some leadership abilities along the way. Bad move, Trump. Much smarter to move along to celebrities who you don't actually have to put on the payroll.

9. Freddy and Kendra (Amazing Race)
While we are all for conning and scheming to win on Big Brother and Survivor, that sort of behavior doesn't really fit with the Amazing Race vibe. Yet Freddy and Kendra (who had made some upsetting and ignorant comments about the nations they had visited -- "these people just keep breeding" was probably her most charming) tried to lie their way on to an earlier flight by claiming they had a sick child in Hawaii. They also tried to get a cop to give them an emergency escort to the finish line. While runners-up Kris and Jon lost out in a foot-race, they were the real winners in our mind.

10. Ambre (Rock of Love 2)
Was this just supposed to make for a good twist somehow? The manipulative girl, who was two-faced to all her fellow contestants (although that's not necessarily a bad thing) acted immature. Which is strange, since she lied about her age, telling everyone she was in her early thirties when she was actually 37. Is that some kind of new math? At her age, she should know better. Not to mention that she never seemed to have chemistry with Bret. He was way more into Daisy the stripper. They were both fake bitches, but at least Daisy was upfront about it.

Who else doesn't deserve their reality-show crown? Sound off below.




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