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TVR Awards -- Reality TV's Most Judgmental Judges and Crankiest Contestants (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Dec 28th 2010 5:20PM

Reality TV -- with all its challenges, critiques, eliminations and votes -- is bound to create friction between judges and contestants. And after looking back at the year that was, it's clear that Simon Cowell wasn't the only snippy judge in the land of reality-TV competitions. We've found several other examples of testy critics, and their victims aren't always quietly stoic, either. Check out our video playlist of berating judges and cocky competitors. Which judge or contestant do you think was the most out-of-line?

The Nominees:

Ryan Seacrest Tests Simon Cowell's Personal Space: Simon Cowell criticized an 'American Idol' contestant's performance as "corny" and "desperate," which wasn't exactly a shocker. But when Ryan Seacrest asked the curmudgeonly judge to be more specific, Cowell snapped testily, "Do you want me to talk to you or talk to Mike [Lynche]?" But Seacrest wasn't intimidated; he got right in Cowell's face for an answer. "This is getting very uncomfortable," said Cowell. "Back on the stage, Ryan. Ryan! Back on the stage!"

Michael Bolton Demands Apology from 'Dancing' Judge: On 'Dancing With the Stars,' judge Bruno Tonioli called Michael Bolton's jive with Chelsea Hightower the worst "in 11 seasons." Bolton was stunned by Tonioli's harsh tone and felt the Italian judge "let everybody down," including his 90-year-old mother, who was sitting in the audience. "You heard the tone. Even Len [Goodman] stopped him and said, 'That's inappropriate,'" he said. "I think he should apologize publicly and he should be reprimanded for it."

Johnny Weir Hates on Bethenny Frankel: After receiving weeks of criticism on 'Skating With the Stars,' Bethenny Frankel said she was just having fun and didn't care if she scored zeros. How dare the plucky 'Real Housewife' simply have a good time? After she and partner Ethan Burgess skate-danced to 'Superstition,' judge/Olympian skater Johnny Weir told her, "To me it's very clear. You don't care what we think, and I don't really care to watch you actually perform anymore." Meow.

A Cheftestant Refuses to Admit She's Wrong: According to Jen Carroll, Tom Colicchio is just plain wrong. He and the rest of the Judges Table on 'Top Chef: All Stars' criticized her dish of pork and eggs. "No way!" retorted the cheftestant. "It wasn't bland; the egg was seasoned perfectly. It was everything I wanted it to be. I will fight to the death on this. Zero doubt in my mind it was under-seasoned." Colicchio responded with a diplomatic, "We're gonna have to agree to disagree on that one."

Iman Upstages a Contestant's Bad 'Fashion' Attitude: On 'The Fashion Show,' contestants Francine and Calvin traded profane insults, but that was just a warm-up argument: judge Iman had the last word. Calvin insisted the team's "golden" dress would go well with the supermodel's skin tone. "It's not golden; it's yellow," she protested. "Tomato, tomato," said Calvin. Iman replied, "It's not a tomato or a tomato. It's a yellow ... It is a fashion emergency, and it needs an evacuation."

'Runway' Judges Annoyed by Whiner's Blame Game: Nothing was Ivy Higa's fault, in her own mind. The 'Project Runway' contestant blamed her teammate's "limitations of skill" for the poor design they created. But even guest judge/actress Kristen Bell chided Ivy for not working with Michael Drummond's strengths. Ivy still didn't take any responsibility, leaving Heidi Klum to conclude that she "threw him under the bus."

Who was the judgiest judge or crankiest contestant of the year?
Ryan Seacrest invades Simon Cowell's space910 (28.8%)
Bruno Tonioli vs. Michael Bolton913 (28.8%)
Johnny Weir hates on Bethenny Frankel532 (16.8%)
A cheftestant refuses to admit she's wrong389 (12.3%)
Iman vs. Calvin215 (6.8%)
Runway judges get annoyed by blame game206 (6.5%)

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mike detzel

take a listen on you tube to my 15 yr old daughter, check under olivia detzel, this will make her day...

December 30 2010 at 5:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Reality" shows are about as real as an honest polotician (sp) No wonder our kids are screwed up. If that is what they think "Adults" are really all about, it is no wonder that the USA is going down as fast as the Titanic did 98 years ago.

December 29 2010 at 11:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jerry6's comment

You can check your spelling by first typing your comment into a word processor and then pasting it into the comment area. Or you can open a second browser window and go to dictionary.com to get the correct spelling. It's not that difficult. Using (sp) only shows how lazy you are. Now, you get out there and inspire "our kids" as you would have others do.

December 30 2010 at 2:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There you have it. Bolton CAN'T SING or dance! What was that hopping he was doing as he was being dragged around the stage? Anyone get a glimpse of his feet? Does he have two left ones?

December 29 2010 at 10:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is amazing how people who claim to never watch these shows feel that they have to make comments, mostly negative ones.

December 29 2010 at 8:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Reality tv shows are reserved for ignorant and uneducated people.

December 29 2010 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
algonquin j. calhoun

ryan seacrest is an industrial strength irritant and should be banned from public airwaves

December 29 2010 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

YOu are entitled to your opinion, but if you despise reality tv so much, why are you wasting your time reading articles about it and commenting on how bad it is?

December 29 2010 at 4:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gail's comment


December 29 2010 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Re 'Johnny Weir Hates On Bethenny Frankel'; it would be nice if you could have gotten this right!

You claim Bethenny 'endured weeks of criticism' from Weir, what you fail to mention is that a) Bethenny deserved said criticism, and b) she disrespected figure skating as well as Weir and the other judges from day one.

Weir endured weeks of hateful comments, taunts, gay slurs and even threats of violence from a segment of Bethenny's fandom. Week two Bethenny clearly said 'F+ck Johnny Weir' during her segment; the next week she made an unfunny gender 'joke' about Weir wanting to be a woman (This from a woman who hosted a GLAAD event at which Weir appeared); she egged her fans on and did nothing to try and calm them down when she knew exactly what was being said and what was going on. No, she can't control their behavior, but she was asked repeatedly to say something and refused to do so. She answered questions from the same Twitter and FB streams that contained requests for her to say something and she would NOT do it. She also said another week she'd like to slap judge Laurieann Gibson upside the head, and another time she'd like to put a skate blade up someone's butt.

She refused to take the judges advice in any way, shape, or form; and after the week three show she verbally attacked Weir backstage in front of a number of witnesses, some of whom later talked about it publicly. This event was widely reported in several articles and Blogs, and it was one of the things that lead to Weir's comment the following week about not caring to watch Bethenny skate if she didn't care.

Bethenny entered a competition reality show and then spent weeks badmouthing everyone, skating badly, complaining about how tired she was and demeaning a sport the people she was working with have devoted a good portion of their lives to.

Bethenny is the one who deserves the criticism in this case, not Weir.

December 29 2010 at 4:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gail's comment

I watched the show and I totally agree--Bethenny was the one bringing the hate into the show. Johnny Weir's response may have been unusually blunt but it was entirely appropriate.

December 29 2010 at 8:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John F.C. Taylor

Why even be concerned with this? These shows are a huge wasyte of TV air time. There must be some quality p[rogramming somewhere on some channel instead of all this dreck. If reality shows were my only choice, I'd be reading or watching something from my DVD collection every night.

December 28 2010 at 8:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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