Reality TV Shows That Are Actually Fake

Fake Reality

They might be entertaining. The drama might be captivating.

However, these “reality” shows have little to know realness about them. Here are some well-known shows that are hiding more than people realize. 

Love Island

The idea of attractive singles being thrown on a tropical island sounds like tv dynamite – as for viewership, it totally is.

However, there is nothing real about this show. Everything is scripted, right down to the arguments. Several takes are filmed, and the producers choose whichever feels more real.

The Apprentice

It’s no surprise that this one is super fake.

Contestants weren’t always even businesspeople. On top of that, people would know they were getting fired ahead of time. Worst of all, there was no actual prize – no big job waiting for them. Just bragging rights.

Cupcake Wars

While being featured in a display of 1000 cupcakes might be a real prize, the other tidbits of the show are not as real as we think.

The surprise ingredients (even the weird ones) are not a shock at all, and contestants know them ahead of time – and therefore can prepare their recipes. 

Fixer Upper

This one is full of shocking revelations. First, as with most house shows, the homebuyers have already purchased the house before filming (so there’s no actual choice between the three given).

The decor that Gaines put in the house is NOT included and people have to buy what they want to keep. There are also rumors that Chip only works when the cameras are rolling.

Say Yes To The Dress

First, the shop is much smaller than the cameras make it appear. Second, producers will vet the on-camera brides beforehand as well as feed the outspoken members of the bride’s entourage lines that will make the visit more dramatic.

The brides in the background that are not on camera only have 30-minute appointments then they have to leave – which is about enough time to try on one dress, maybe two.

Jersey Shore

Even if the stars are friends in reality, the locals have seen what goes on behind the sets and have spoken out.

Nearly everything is planned ahead of time. One even saw them rehearsing a walkabout and the crew repositioning for better shot. Even the dialogue and their facial expressions are practiced ahead of time.

Storage Wars

This one would feel like it could have been real ... but no.

When David Hester was fired from the show, he told the world that the items in the lockers are totally staged. Even the auctions and interviews are organized by producers. There’s no real loss or gain for the buyers – just camera time.

Ghost Hunters

It’s not an argument if you believe ghosts are real or not - just that the show is not the “unscripted and real” event that Hunters would have you believe.

A former case manager gave a tell-all interview that ripped the show apart for being fake.

The Voice

More than one singer has come forward to reveal the truth about the show.

Not only is the competition pre-cast, but the producers decided the style of music for each person as well as the songs. On top of that, the singers get little to no face time with the judge for help. Even the voting system doesn’t mean anything.

Cake Boss

It is said that the owner, Buddy Valastro isn’t as the shop unless the cameras are rolling – and any legit business is being cooked up buy regular staff.

However, things get worse when someone snitched that even some of the weddings they are prepping for are totally fake.

Project Runway

We wanted to believe this one was real. 

However, previous contestants have told the world that the judging isn’t authentic – and therefore not fair at all. The producers tweak the show (and the contestants) to make everything as dramatic and sensationalized as possible. 

Undercover Boss

People love the idea of a boss going undercover to really see how their business works.

But UCB is all shine and zero substance. Everything is scripted. Even the promises the bosses make (like cars or raises for their unfortunate workers) are not kept. 

Duck Dynasty

The Louisiana family that made “duck call” tools quickly turned into a major hit – mostly from the eclectic personalities of the family members. 

But staff have said that all dramatic moments are created by producers. Even the BEEPs that are thrown in are often covering benign language, and not any profanity. 

South Beach Tow

Viewers love the shenanigans of this show.

But pulling doors off of cars, or falling off a parking structure to emerge unhurt and nab a violator moments later? It’s clearly fake.

Hardcore Pawn

Hardcore Pawn focuses on the Gold family pawn business in Detroit. The show features an array of strange characters who come into the store on a daily basis. The arguments that ensue often seem unbelievable… and that’s because they are.

A few people from the show have confessed that their “fights” with family members are staged - which makes sense when you notice that Les, Seth, and Ashley seem to be yelled at by a random customer on every episode.

The Jerry Springer Show

Well, who can really be surprised by this one? The Jerry Springer Show has been an outrageous TV mainstay for so many years - known for its outlandish guests and outspoken host.

From the wacky guests, insane storylines, the producers who egg everyone on, to the bloodthirsty crowd, nothing you see on this show is entirely truthful.

Long Island Medium

Although Theresa Caputo has made a decent living by using her otherworldly skills to connect people with their late loved ones, things are not as they seem.

Caputo has been in the spotlight for more than her strange talents - she’s also been at the center of many scandals. It’s been said Caputo hasn’t gotten information about the clients and audience members in her show by supernatural means - rather, the information has been gleaned from questionnaires, background checks, and social media.

Naked And Afraid

Naked And Afraid is a notorious show in which the participants are transported to an exotic location, stripped, and made to live off the land.

But a few former participants have confessed that the show isn’t everything it claims to be. Apparently, the show is heavily produced, and the contestants are provided with amenities off-camera.

Basketball Wives

This show follows famous women married to celebrity basketball players. However, a few previous participants in the show have confessed that the entire thing is scripted and staged.

Tanya Young, a former participant, backs this claim up, saying that the producers pitted the women against each other to make the show more dramatic.

The Hills

Although this show had everything the audience craved - drama, backstabbing, teenage angst, and more - it’s actually highly scripted and staged.

Spencer Pratt once said that he and Heidi Montag had to shoot the scene of her finding out she was “pregnant” more than fifteen times. 

Last Comic Standing

Last Comic Standing’s premise was to find untapped comedic talent and give the comedians exposure or a cash prize for appearing on the show. However, what the judges and contestants didn’t know was that the producers contributed to the vote.

The show is known for angry reactions from the judges when they found out who won and the producers editing good performances to make them look bad.

Breaking Amish

Unfortunately, Breaking Amish wasn’t everything it seemed to be - the show's whole premise was actually based on a lie.

Jezebel said that the official documents for the Amish participants who were breaking away from their community for the “first time” showed that they had actually left the Amish community years before the show.

Britain’s Got Talent

Britain’s Got Talent is a mega talent show that showcases everything from magicians to dancers. Nevertheless, one small dog almost destroyed the show.

In 2015, the dog act called “Jules and Matisse” won the competition, but it had been rigged. The cat was out of the bag when viewers noticed that the producers had swapped a similar-looking dog for the showrunner because the real pup was too scared to do high-wire stunts.

Restaurant Stakeout

In this show, Restaurant Stakeout’s Willie Degel installs hidden cameras in restaurants that aren’t making a profit in order to see where the problems are.

The show’s drama relies on catching employees slacking off or treating customers badly so Degel can confront them in a dramatic fashion. However, one restaurant owner who participated admits the show is totally fake.