Top Stories of 2009: Reality scandals
by Michael Pascua, posted Dec 22nd 2009 10:01AM
It's interesting when one takes the time to look back back at 2009, several scandals that occurred this year were related to television. There were four big reality scandals that occurred in 2009, most of them happening in the second half of the year. They have stayed fresh in pop culture buzz.
This list doesn't count Jon & Kate's drama, all the injuries on Survivor, So You Think You Can Dance, and Dancing with the Stars, Chima's explosion on Big Brother, or Adam Lambert's sexual preferences. Those events pale in comparison to the five scandals listed.
Megan Wants A Millionaire ...and a murderer - Megan Hauserman is a reality TV junkie appearing on Rock of Love, Charm School, and I Love Money, but even she didn't expect anything dramatic to happen on her show Megan Wants a Millionaire. One contestant, Ryan Jenkins, made it all the way to the finals, if the rumors can be believed. After the show, he a murdered Jasmine Fiore and then apparently committed suicide. Megan Wants A Millionaire was scrapped after the third episode and a fully-taped I Love Money 3 was shelved because Ryan was on that show as well.
Tale of the Balloon Boy (Wife Swap) - On October 15, 2009 I spent my day watching a silver balloon floating around Colorado. The story then was that a little boy was trapped inside. Turns out that Falcon Heene wasn't in the balloon and it was all a media stunt for the Heene family to get publicity in hopes of getting their own reality show. They appeared twice on Wife Swap, the second time as "fan favorites." The irony of it all was that Lifetime was going to air one of their episodes later in October and decided to pull it.
A Winner Goes to Jail (Big Brother 9 )- When Adam Jasinski won the winter season of Big Brother 9, he was interviewed talking about how he was considering starting a business. It turns out that he picked his business in drugs. He was arrested in October for trying to buy and resell Oxycodone. He was recently released and was ordered to undergo drug counseling. If convicted, he faces 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine this time, with no cameras following his every move. He only won $500,000 for winning Big Brother.
Thanksgiving Crashers (Real Housewives of D.C.) - On President Obama's first Thanksgiving, I'm sure he wasn't expecting anything to go wrong. Michaele and Tareq Salahi, who were being scouted for The Real Housewives of D.C., managed to slip right in. Somehow, the Salahis believe that they were invited to the party. Bravo is trying their best to stay away from the situation. I'm convinced reality television inflates some people's heads.
I wished participants would remember that it's a show on cable, we'll forget about you in a year or two when a new cast of Real Housewives emerges. I will admit all the pictures that they posted on Facebook, especially the one with Joe Biden, were amazing.
The Tiger Woods Connection (Tool Academy )- Early in the year Jaimee Grubbs tried to fix her boyfriend Shawn Southern aka Loud Mouth Tool on the first season of Tool Academy. Turns out he had another girlfriend, Aida Menasaka and she was sent packing. Jamiee had outside affairs as well and it turns out that it was with Tiger Woods. She provided text and voice mails of Tiger Woods. The Tiger Woods scandal will continue on as he loses sponsorships and other women pop up. Tiger will soon be desperate enough to star a reality show to improve his popularity.
Snookie Gets Punched (Jersey Shore ) - With only four episodes, Jersey Shore continues to make headlines. Snookie finally warmed up to the idea of living in the Jersey Shore house and went out to party with her roommates. She then got punched in the face by Brad Ferro. The biggest point to note was that Snookie provoked the guy, went straight up to him and invaded his personal space.
I'm not defending the man for his actions, but Snookie's got a lot of nerve to go up to someone and start berating him. Brad wasn't even looking at her while she was telling him to get his "ugly ass face away" from her. MTV removed the scene from the original airing, but can be seen everywhere online. MTV will release PSAs speaking against violence.