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September 1, 2015

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Best TV of the '00s: Reality Series

by Kona Gallagher, posted Dec 31st 2009 2:02PM
top chef judges
More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about a major category that came of age in the aughts: Reality shows.

While I would never call myself a reality TV junkie, it really bugs me when people make blanket statements like, "I hate reality TV," or, "Reality TV is the bane of my existence." The genre has grown so much in the past decade that it has become just like scripted television, in that there's good and there's bad. Even though we're splitting this up into two lists, "Reality," and "Trashy Reality," you won't see a single show that starts with, "Who Wants to Marry" on either list.

This list is dedicated not to the guilty pleasures, but to the shows that you wouldn't be embarrassed for your neighbors to know you watch: the classy reality, if you will. So without further ado, here is TV Squad's list of the best reality shows of the decade.

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Why Drag Race is better than Top Model

by Michael Pascua, posted Mar 26th 2009 1:00PM
RuPaul's Drag RaceAmerica's Next Top Model could learn a few things from LOGO's reality show Rupaul's Drag Race. Although the two shows are different beasts (one is about models that accidentally look drag, the other intentionally looks drag), the competitive qualities of the show remain the same. There is still runway walking, working in different fashion themes, and looking fierce.

RuPaul has said that the two shows aren't interchangeable and it's true: Drag Race is colorful, fun, and intriguing; qualities that Top Model has lost after all these years. Here are several good reasons why Top Model isn't on top anymore.

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Fox Reality Channel announces new original series

by Kristin Sample, posted Jun 24th 2008 2:27PM
Traci BinghamFox Reality channel has a new series called Gimme My Reality Show. This series will feature celebrities competing to have their own reality show. D-Listers already signed on for the competition include Traci Bingham, Santino Rice, and Gretchen Bonaduce.

Bingham, who played Jordin Tate on Baywatch, has also appeared on VH1's Surreal Life 2 and Celebrity Boot Camp. Rice appeared on the second season of Project Runway and finished in the semi-finals. Bonaduce was on VH1's Breaking Bonaduce which chronicled the life of her husband and former child-star Danny Bonaduce.

That's it? They need to get some Idol alums in there. I'm thinking Sanjaya, just so the rest of the cast can ridicule him. Also, I would love to see one of the guys from I Love New York. Say, Mr. Boston? Who would you like to see on Gimme My Reality Show?

Gimme My Reality Show will premiere on October 11th at midnight, right after the Fox Reality Really Awards.

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Jeffrey Sebelia's slightly disappointing post-Runway life

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 22nd 2007 7:04PM
Jeffrey SebeliaLet me just come right out and say it: Jeffrey Sebelia, winner of Project Runway Season Three, is making costumes for the Bratz movie. Is that really the glorious post-Runway life? The cocky persona that Sebelia took on all season certainly led me to expect him to spend his prize money and fame on jetsetting and more neck tattoos to decorate his massive, massive neck, but, as it turns out, he isn't doing as great as one might expect. Not only is he quite broke, but ... did I mention his post-Runway project is doing the Bratz film? I was quite furious with him when he was on the program, but this article has actually made me -- dare I say it -- sympathize. Maybe he should have taken the Jay McCarroll route and skipped the winning contract to do his own thing.

By the way, I had no idea Season Two's Santino Rice was the one who encouraged Sebelia to audition for the program, let alone the fact that the two are buddies. I guess that's where Sebelia learned that the "cocky bastard" act would pay off.

Project Runway's Jay McCarroll on Tim Gunn
Tim Gunn steals Bravo job from five queer guys

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No more Tim Gunn on Project Runway?

by Annie Wu, posted Dec 7th 2006 5:58PM
Tim GunnAccording to People, Tim Gunn may not return for the fourth season of Project Runway. Please, allow me to repeat myself: Tim Gunn -- the only voice of reason among a sea of poorly-dressed crazies -- may not return for the fourth season of Project Runway. See, the show has always filmed at the end of the academic semester, so Tim, an instructor at Parsons, would not have any schedule conflicts. This may not be the case any more.

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Project Runway: Wall to Wall Fashion (season premiere)

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 13th 2006 7:56AM
Project Runway winner(S03E01) What a crazy start to a new season. Already, I've been outraged (I'll explain later). This challenge started almost right after the designers met Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn for a little champagne to celebrate their first day. They were told to create an outfit defining their personality with absolutely anything from their brand new apartments. Armed with scissors and their greedy hands, the designers totally ripped their beautiful apartments into pieces. Shower curtains came down, couches were skinned, lamps were attacked, and cushions were destroyed. Sigh. It looked like so much fun. I was green with envy.

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Tim Gunn knows what he's talking about

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 11th 2006 8:48PM
Tim GunnWith the third season of Project Runway just looming over the horizon (it premieres tomorrow at 10 PM EST!), the web is shaking with Runway buzz all over again. The Chicago Tribune's "The Watcher" has a great interview with Tim Gunn, full of insider goodies. I swear, this guy knows exactly what he's talking about! And I'm not just saying that because he shares just about all of my opinions -- Okay, maybe I am.

Here are some points that I found extremely interesting:
  • The winner was originally going to be Daniel Vosovic, but Nina Garcia turned the whole thing around after she went into a huge speech about how wonderful Chloe Dao was. Snarl, snarl. We members of Team Vosovic are furious.
  • Daniel's turned into a bit of a diva? Wow.
  • Tim thinks that Santino Rice's impression of him was spot-on. "There would be times when I would be watching Season 2 shows and I would hear my voice offscreen and I would think, is that me or Santino?"
  • Tim liked Kara Janx's "decoy" collection more than those of the actual three finalists.
I really hope Season Three's contestants listen to Tim. Take that man's word as gospel if you know what's good for you!

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Project Runway 3 to air in July

by Annie Wu, posted Jun 5th 2006 6:19PM
Heidi KlumBravo has officially decided to start airing the third season of Project Runway this summer in order to use September's Fall Fashion Week for the finale (where the three finalists -- and one other designer who's just there to throw off spectators and will not be aired -- compete with collections instead of individual garments). An hour-long casting special will air July 12 at 9PM ET/PT, with the first episode premiering at 10PM.

If you've never seen the program before, I suggest you jump on the bandwagon with the first episode. It really is the classiest reality show on television.

[Thanks, orimental!]

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Project Runway designers are "out"

by Annie Wu, posted Mar 10th 2006 6:57PM
Zulema GriffinYou see what I did? I took the "you're out" catchphrase from Project Runway and made it about homosexuality! Applaud me for my cleverness! ... Okay, don't. On to my point: The fashion industry has plenty of gay designers (shock, surprise) so it's not that startling to see more than a few on a reality show about fashion design. This season, there were a few brief discussions about sexual orientation, including some stories that let us better understand and appreciate the designers (like Daniel Vosovic's background and how accepting his parents were when he finally came out). Well, I was reading this article/interview with some of the designers about sex advice (I swear, a friend sent this to me) and was surprised to read that Zulema (aka She-tangi) is a lesbian. A married one, at that.

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Project Runway: Finale

by Lacy Hall, posted Mar 9th 2006 2:47AM

chloe promChloe wins! Chloe? Chloe. I didn't really want Chloe to win. I really liked her stuff in the beginning, but I absolutely hated her collection for Fashion Week. I know the judges kept saying how much she "knows women" and understands a "woman's body", but my body doesn't look like a couch. I'm not a La-Z-Boy recliner and no way would I want to be covered with half of that dreadful stuff she used. Everything was so heavy and overdone. I know that fashion shows are supposed to be about drama and "the show", but I found her stuff borderline laughable. It looked like the 1980s barfed all over her collection. And I thought her 13th outfit was stupid, especially those pockets that Diana slaved over. I just have so many mixed feelings about Chloe winning because while I like her, I don't love her.  

And Santino...  

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Project Runway: Waiting & Working

by Lacy Hall, posted Mar 2nd 2006 9:34AM
star warsI wish it was next Wednesday already. I want to know who is going to win this thing! I thought that this episode was going to be a lot of filler and flashbacks, but they actually did a great job building the narrative thread (as far as a reality show can do that.) I'm not sure how I felt about the nicer and friendlier Santino. See what happens when someone watches themselves on TV and reads about themselves on the Internet? They start to pussy-foot around things. I liked the old Santino! We all loved the old Santino! Apparently, Santino doesn't want to be the man that everybody loves to hate, but he should. It's a great gig. Afterall, regardless of who wins or loses this season, everyone is going to remember Santino.

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Daniel Franco's not so crazy

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 28th 2006 4:14PM
Daniel FrancoOn the first season of Project Runway, just one episode was enough to convince me that Daniel Franco was a little loopy. A little too much craziness and dancing but not enough talent to back it up. When he returned for another season, he definitely toned it down a little (good for you, Daniel!) but the folks at Project Runway still managed to portray him as the token weirdo. For example, when the designers had to show Heidi their sketches and ideas for the lingerie competition, Daniel whispered to her, "I want to show you something beautiful" and gave her this really weird smile. Whoa, buddy. Awkward. Well, giving him the "auf wiedersehen" didn't end the creepiness because on the latest episode (the reunion one), he said, seemingly out of nowhere, "I love you, Heidi".

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Project Runway: Evening Gown Competition

by Lacy Hall, posted Feb 16th 2006 12:34PM
santino goldThis is a big episode because it determines the final three who will get to present their collections at Olympus Fashion Week. Er, well...so we know that because of TV scheduling, they actually film all four contestants at Fashion Week. Check out Annie Wu's great post here. But in order to sustain the magic of reality television suspense, let's just pretend that only three actually get to go to Fashion Week. And those three are...

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Project Runway at Fashion Week

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 10th 2006 8:49PM
Project RunwayProject Runway has been winding down, leaving only four designers to go (Chloe Dao, Kara Janx, Santino Rice, and Daniel Vosovic), but the big finale of Project Runway is the actual runway show at Olympus Fashion Week, which took place between the 3rd and the 10th. What they did at Fashion Week was have all four contenders present collections so that none of the spectators could give away who had been booted (they did the same thing last season when poor Austin Scarlett was Auf Wiedersehen-ed)... The actual top three finalists of Runway will not be announced until next week's episode, and only those three collections will be televised.

Do you like spoilers? C'mon. I bet you're dying to see what the designers have created... If you'd prefer to find out on your own, look away. If you'd like to be sneaky, check out this brief recap from Yahoo! (thanks, Martha!). Or, you can come look at some pictures I dug up from Fashion Week and take a real peek at the collections that they presented...

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Tim Gunn sings Nine Inch Nails

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 2nd 2006 7:49PM
Santino RiceIf you've been watching Project Runway lately (and if you haven't been watching, why the hell not?), you've been lucky enough to see Santino's Tim Gunn impressions. They're pretty spot-on, I must say, because if I'm not watching the screen, sometiems I'll wonder if it is Tim talking. During this week's episode, Santino revealed that he had created a fake Tim/Andrae relationship to go along with his impression. In Santino's mind, Tim and Andrae are currently going through some couple-trouble and have the occasional relationship squabble at Red Lobster... It's absolutely priceless.

Now, check this out... I found something to top it! I was looking for some Daniel Vosovic pictures (go Team Vosovic!) and came across a behind-the-scenes video of Daniel asking Santino to do an impression of Tim singing Nine Inch Nails' "Closer". I have no words except: Ell-oh-ell semi-colon shift-dee. Trust me, you must see it for yourself.

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