The Ultimate Guide to Top Reality Competition TV Shows: From Selling Sunset to Running Wild with Bear Grylls
Reality competition TV shows have taken the entertainment industry by storm, captivating audiences around the world with their thrilling challenges, unexpected twists, and captivating contestants. From the glamour of "Selling Sunset" to the drama-filled lives of "The Kardashians," these shows offer a fascinating insight into the competitive world of reality TV. Whether you're a fan of romance-driven shows like "Love Is Blind" or prefer the intense physical challenges of "American Ninja Warrior," there's no shortage of options to choose from. Join us as we explore the top reality competition TV shows that have become cultural phenomena, blurring the lines between real life and captivating entertainment.
Netflix's Selling Sunset has revolutionized the world of real estate reality shows. The series follows a group of incredibly attractive agents at The Oppenheim Group as they list luxurious, high-end properties and flaunt their extravagant wardrobes. In Season 6, the show enters a new era without Christine Quinn, promising viewers another season filled with drama and excitement.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians & The Kardashians
The Kardashian family has become a household name since their reality show first aired in 2007. Hulu's The Kardashians gives fans an inside look into the lives of Kim, Kourtney, Khloé, Kendall, Kylie, and Kris. Whether you're an old-school fan or new to the family's world, Keeping Up with the Kardashians remains a guilty pleasure for many.
Love Is Blind
Love Is Blind took the world by storm when it premiered in 2020. The show introduces men and women who date each other in pods where they cannot see one another. After getting to know each other, they must decide whether to get engaged without ever laying eyes on their potential partner. The journey to the altar is filled with drama and unpredictable twists.
The Real Housewives Franchise
The Real Housewives franchise has become a cultural phenomenon, with numerous iterations and spin-offs. The series follows wealthy and glamorous women in various cities as they navigate their personal and professional lives. The franchise has gained international popularity, and it continues to captivate audiences with its indulgent lifestyles and captivating drama.
Love Island takes contestants to a tropical villa where they must couple up to stay in the competition and have a chance at winning the prize money. As the series unfolds, some contestants swap partners, causing plenty of drama, while others choose to remain loyal. Love Island offers a unique blend of romance, competition, and entertainment.
RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race has become a beloved reality show with a dedicated fanbase. Contestants compete in various challenges and showcase their runway looks, all while being judged for their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. The show has captivated audiences for its celebration of drag culture and the fierce competition among talented performers.
The Entire Below Deck Franchise
Below Deck and its spin-offs have become popular for their depiction of the luxurious yachting lifestyle. Whether you're a fan of the original Below Deck, Below Deck Mediterranean, or Below Deck Sailing Yacht, the franchise offers a glimpse into the world of yacht charters and the drama that unfolds among the crew and guests.
Vanderpump Rules started as a spin-off from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and quickly gained its own dedicated fanbase. The show follows the drama and relationships among the employees at Lisa Vanderpump's restaurants. In its tenth season, Vanderpump Rules has been propelled into the spotlight due to shocking cheating scandals and enthralling storylines.
Following its predecessor Laguna Beach, The Hills became a popular reality show in the 2000s. It documented the lives of a group of young adults as they pursued their dreams and navigated relationships in Los Angeles. Although a short-lived reboot tried to capture the magic of the original series, it was ultimately canceled in 2022.
The Bachelor Franchise
The Bachelor and its spin-offs have become iconic reality shows. In The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, contestants compete for the heart of the same person, with the hope of finding love and potentially getting engaged. Bachelor in Paradise brings together past contestants to find love on a tropical beach, with plenty of romance and drama along the way.
Too Hot to Handle
Too Hot to Handle pushes contestants' limits by forbidding any sexual activity in a villa filled with attractive singles. Breaking the rules results in a deduction from the prize money, making the stakes even higher. The show is filled with temptation, rule-breaking, and unexpected twists that test the contestants' self-control.
Are You the One?
MTV's Are You the One? challenges contestants to find their perfect matches determined by an algorithm. If the group successfully finds their matches, they share a substantial prize fund. Hosted by Kamie Crawford, the show offers a refreshing twist on dating reality shows and keeps viewers hooked with its unexpected outcomes.
If you're looking for a reality show focused on strategy, alliances, and pure gameplay, Big Brother is a must-watch. Contestants live together in a house, participating in competitions and evictions as they navigate their way to the ultimate prize. Big Brother offers a unique blend of drama and strategic thinking for reality TV enthusiasts.
The Million Dollar Listing Franchise
The Million Dollar Listing franchise has been captivating audiences since its debut in 2006. Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, and its spin-off Million Dollar Listing New York, showcase the lives of high-end real estate agents as they navigate the competitive world of luxury property sales. These shows set the stage for Selling Sunset and other real estate reality programs.
Love & Hip Hop
Love & Hip Hop explores the lives of hip hop and R&B artists as they navigate the music industry and pursue their careers. The show first gained attention for its role in launching Cardi B's career. With spin-offs set in New York, Miami, Hollywood, and Atlanta, Love & Hip Hop continues to showcase the drama and challenges faced by aspiring artists.
My Super Sweet 16
Witness the extravagant world of MTV's My Super Sweet 16, a reality TV show that captivated audiences with its portrayal of wealthy teenagers as they celebrated their sixteenth birthdays. Prepare to be astounded by the over-the-top parties, jaw-droppingly expensive gifts, and epic displays of teenage tantrums.
My Unorthodox Life
Experience the captivating journey of Julia Haart in Netflix's My Unorthodox Life. This groundbreaking reality series follows Julia, a former Orthodox Jew, as she embraces a new life in Manhattan with her family after leaving her religious community behind. The second season of this highly anticipated show premiered in December 2022, and viewers are eagerly awaiting news of a potential third season.
The Real World
Discover the groundbreaking reality TV show that revolutionized the genre. Since its launch in 1992, The Real World has captivated audiences with its unique concept. The MTV series follows a diverse group of young individuals as they live together in a house in a new city, where their lives are continuously filmed. The recent reunions of former cast members on Paramount have proven that the timeless format of The Real World still holds its magic.
Prepare for the culinary battle of a lifetime as top chefs face off in the intense competition of Chopped. In this reality cooking game show, talented chefs compete against one another in thrilling cooking challenges. With a prize of $10,000 on the line, contestants give their all to create masterful dishes that impress the judges. Get ready for the ultimate cooking showdown that will leave you hungry for more.
Project Runway (2004-Present)
Step into the glamorous world of fashion with Project Runway, a reality show that has been captivating audiences for over 19 seasons. This iconic series aims to discover the next big fashion designer, offering a life-changing opportunity for talented contestants. Hosted by the stylish Karlie Kloss, Project Runway has launched the careers of numerous fashion icons, including the renowned Christian Siriano.
American Ninja Warrior (2009-Present)
Prepare to be amazed by the superhuman feats of strength and agility in American Ninja Warrior. This exhilarating reality competition showcases athletes pushing their limits on a challenging obstacle course. From gravity-defying jumps to intense balance tests, these contestants use every muscle in their bodies to conquer the obstacles. With 14 thrilling seasons and a dedicated fan following, American Ninja Warrior is a must-watch for the entire family.
Face Off (2011-2018)
Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing world of special effects makeup with Face Off. This Syfy channel show showcases the incredible talent of prosthetic makeup artists as they create stunning looks inspired by science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Each week, these skilled artists compete to impress a panel of expert judges, with one artist being eliminated until the ultimate winner is crowned. Face Off may be a hidden gem, but it is beloved by those who appreciate its artistry.
Hell's Kitchen (2005-Present)
Prepare for a high-stakes culinary showdown in the iconic reality competition show Hell's Kitchen. With the legendary Chef Gordon Ramsay at the helm, aspiring chefs compete for the chance to work in one of his renowned restaurants around the world. In the intense and fast-paced environment of Hell's Kitchen, contestants must showcase their skills, endure Ramsay's fiery critiques, and strive for excellence. Discover where the winners of Hell's Kitchen are now and witness their culinary journeys.
The Challenge (1998-Present)
Dive into the thrilling world of competition with The Challenge, the longest-running reality competition show on this list. Born as a spin-off of The Real World and Road Rules, The Challenge brings together a variety of players from different MTV reality shows. With 37 exhilarating seasons, this show challenges contestants to compete in various physical missions and battle head-to-head with others. Witness the determination, strategy, and unexpected twists that make The Challenge an enduring favorite.
The Big Flower Fight
Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of floral artistry with The Big Flower Fight. This delightful reality show features ten talented florists and garden artists competing in whimsical trials that push the boundaries of their creativity. From transforming beautiful flowers into astonishing works of art to creating breathtaking installations, these artists showcase their skills in stunning displays. Get ready to be inspired by the beauty and craftsmanship of The Big Flower Fight.
Witness the ultimate obstacle course challenge in Ultimate Beastmaster, a thrilling global competition that pushes athletes to their limits. International contestants battle against each other on one of the toughest obstacle courses ever created. The competitor with the highest score earns the prestigious title of "The Beast," and at the end of the season, nine Beasts face off on a new course to determine the ultimate champion. With breathtaking commentary from hosts around the world, Ultimate Beastmaster guarantees pulse-pounding excitement.
Next in Fashion
Step into the world of high fashion with Next in Fashion, a competition that puts talented designers in the spotlight. Unlike other shows, Next in Fashion removes all restrictions, allowing designers to focus solely on creating their best outfits. With a chance to win $250,000 and a retail deal, these designers showcase their creativity and craftsmanship to impress the judges. Hosted by Tan France and Alexa Chung, Next in Fashion offers a fun and inclusive take on the fashion competition genre.
Floor is Lava
Relive your childhood game in the thrilling reality show, Floor is Lava. Inspired by the popular game, contestants navigate challenging obstacle courses flooded with "lava" or orange water. The goal is to avoid falling into the lava and make it to the end to qualify for the next round. With its playful concept and delightful set design, Floor is Lava offers fun and entertaining moments that are perfect for a casual watch.
Uncover the hidden wonders of Amazing Interiors as the show visits ordinary-looking buildings with extraordinary secrets. From houses doubling as aquariums to fantastical steampunk-themed spaces, this series showcases awe-inspiring locations that defy expectations. Each episode provides a glimpse into these remarkable interiors, offering a mix of beauty and surprise. For those who appreciate unique design and artistic vision, Amazing Interiors is a must-watch.
Last Chance U
Experience the uplifting stories of young football players in Last Chance U. This heartfelt series focuses on junior colleges that offer talented players a final opportunity to turn their lives around and pursue their dreams of playing Division I or professional football. Each season delves into the lives of these players, who often face academic or personal challenges, as they strive to make their mark in the sport. Last Chance U provides an intimate look at the resilience and determination of these remarkable individuals.
Glassblowing is an incredibly fascinating and impressive art form. It requires a great deal of skill and precision, as even the slightest mistake can ruin a masterpiece. That's the challenge faced by the talented competitors in the reality TV series Blown Away. Each week, they must tackle difficult glassblowing challenges and strive to be crowned the "Best in Glass." The intense atmosphere is palpable, with contestants pushing themselves to their limits in front of a scorching 2,000-degree furnace. It's a captivating show that gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the world of glass art. —A.F.
Man, the disparity between the wealthy and everyone else can be frustrating. In the thrilling Netflix auto-racing series, rich owners of luxurious supercars face off against "sleeper cars," which are older models transformed by skilled gear heads, in a high-stakes quarter-mile race. The ultimate prize? The season championship. The show is a perfect blend of speed and intrigue, as viewers speculate on which racer will emerge victorious. Even if you're not typically a racing enthusiast, there's something undeniably exhilarating about seeing a 1992 Honda Civic outperform a Lamborghini. It's a true underdog story. —A.F.
Prepare for an intense and exhilarating competition in Netflix's first original music competition show, Rhythm Flow. It's like American Idol, but with a whole lot more edge. Renowned hip hop artists T.I., Chance the Rapper, and Cardi B, along with guest appearances from Snoop Dogg, DJ Khaled, and Ty Dolla $ign, scour the cities of Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, and Chicago in search of raw hip hop talent. The judges' critiques are spot-on, sometimes brutally honest, and the standout performances are truly remarkable. Get ready to dive into the world of hip hop and see who will take home the impressive $250,000 grand prize. —A.F.
Step into the glamorous world of the Bling Empire, Netflix's reality show that has been dubbed the reality TV version of Crazy Rich Asians. The series offers a tantalizing glimpse into the extravagant lives of its wealthy cast, showcasing opulent pool parties, lavish European trips, and shopping sprees that would make anyone green with envy. However, what sets Bling Empire apart is its captivating and endearing cast of characters. This show goes above and beyond the usual trappings of a rich people reality show, with a cast that will keep you hooked from start to finish. —A.F.
NetflixThe Mole originally aired on ABC back in 2000 with Anderson Cooper as its host. The reboot season, which aired in 2022 on Netflix, has a pretty similar premise to the initial iteration.
The show revolves around a group of contestants, one of whom is secretly designated as the Mole. Their clandestine mission is to sabotage team challenges, thereby preventing the prize pool from growing. After each episode, the remaining contestants take a quiz to determine the identity of the Mole. The person with the fewest correct answers is eliminated.
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
Mike Pont//Getty ImagesIn another example of Hollywood projects pushing famous people out of their comfort zones, National Geographic series Running Wild with Bear Grylls features a new celebrity guest every episode. It follows them as they work alongside famed survivalist through some survival skills tests in various remote locations.
From thrilling competitions that push physical limits, to captivating glimpses into the lives of the rich and famous, reality TV shows continue to dominate our screens and capture our attention. Whether it's the drama-filled world of Selling Sunset, the glamourous saga of the Kardashian-Jenner family, or the heart-pounding races on American Ninja Warrior, there's a reality competition show for everyone. These shows provide us with a delicious escape from reality, allowing us to live vicariously through the contestants and indulge in their triumphs and tribulations. So, grab the popcorn, sit back, and immerse yourself in the addictive world of reality TV because when it comes to these top competition shows, the drama is always turned up to eleven.
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