Reality TV is known for many things. The drama, crazy twists, and idea that anything can happen are just a few. But everyone knows the best part of any good reality show: the villains. There are always villains. Shows would be no fun without them! Whether they’re sabotaging everyone on competition shows or just spreading rumors like wildfire, they’re the best and the worst at the same time.
Some famed reality TV villains (usually ones on The Bachelor) claim it’s editing that turned them into the bad guy. But some people truly are just the worst. Regardless of their intent, watching a reality TV villain do their thing is always entertaining. Some do evil better than others, so here are the best reality show villains of all time!
1. Farrah Abraham, Teen Mom
As one of the OG “Teen Moms,” Farrah was a typical bratty, hormonal teen. And then she never grew out of it. Her taste of fame on the show went to the reality star’s head and she went to greater and greater extremes to keep her time in the spotlight. This includes a stint in porn and way too much plastic surgery. And when all that didn’t work, she embraced her roots as a reality TV show villain. She took down her mom, her co-stars, and anyone who would dare speak against her. She was even fired from the Teen Mom franchise for her toxic behavior — meaning she was too dramatic for MTV! (Which is saying something.)
2. Simon Cowell, American Idol
In the world of reality singing competitions, Cowell is about as scary as they come. In the early days of American Idol, he was the “mean one,” the one that you had to impress because the other two would always have kind words either way. But not Cowell! He was unceremoniously mean when he felt the singers were sub-par. Holding back was totally not his style. And he’s definitely made a lot of people cry. He’s seemed to have mellowed out in recent years, but he’ll always be the most honest singing competition judge ever.
3. Chad Johnson, The Bachelorette
Johnson initially appeared on The Bachelorette as that season’s “villain”, trying to drag down all the other guys while competing for Jojo Fletcher’s love. After failing to capture her heart (he did call her a “nag,” so it wasn’t all that surprising), he took his villainy all over reality TV. He did a stint on Bachelor in Paradise but was kicked off the show for a drunken outburst and reports that he was verbally abusive to the cast, producers, and crew. He clearly loves the drama though and has done two more reality shows, Famously Single and Celebrity Big Brother UK, making a total of four in two years. Does this guy have a job?! Oh yeah, it’s being a belligerent reality TV villain.
4. Kenya Moore, The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Kenya doesn’t care in the slightest what others think of her. And that’s noble and sometimes troublesome. She brings unflinching honestly to the Real Housewives franchise and it’s tended to turn her into a villain. She once accused a castmate of “pimping out” her daughter and has no qualms about talking crap about her other housewives in the press. Her on-going feud with castmate Kim Zolciak has always been dirty, but it’s about to get even worse as Kim returns to the show for the upcoming season after some time away. Let the villainy resume!
5. Richard Hatch, Survivor
Hatch was the very first Survivor winner and the creator of forming alliances to influence voting and ultimately win the game. During his tenure on the show, he was arrogant, often nude, and fought dirty to get to the top. He used his excellent fishing skills to gain the favor of the tribe and worked to vote out anyone else who could oppose him. As the only proficient fisher by the end, he would use it as a form of blackmail, literally threatening to starve his tribemates. Turns out, he was a villain off-screen, too! After not paying taxes on his Survivor winnings, Hatch spent some time incarcerated.
6. Abby Lee Miller, Dance Moms
A show that was supposed to be about the mothers of young dancers turned into a focus on the aggressive, belligerent woman who taught them. Miller is never afraid to make a little girl cry. She berates the dancers, shouts orders, and is systematically destroying tweens self-esteem. She’s the worst kind of villain. And she doesn’t leave her villainy to just on-screen. She’s currently serving time in prison for bankruptcy fraud, proving that her persona may not be totally for the cameras.
7. Jeffrey Sebelia, Project Runway
Back when Project Runway could actually make a designer’s career (what’s up Christian Siriano?!), it attracted some strong personalities. Sebelia was one such personality, becoming known on the show for his cursing and flippant attitude. He even made another contestant’s mother cry when she worked as his client for a challenge! His difficult nature caused him to clash with his costars and seeped into his future endeavors. After the show, he was set to design the wardrobe for a live-action Bratz movie but lost the job after calling the characters “slutty” in an interview. Villain on the show, villain IRL.
8. Juan Pablo Galavis, The Bachelor
Oh, Juan Pablo, you self-centered, homophobic, jerk. Where to even start with this piece of work? After failing to win The Bachelorette, ABC gave him another shot at love and made him the first Latino bachelor. Too bad he’s in no way desirable. He spent the entire show talking to women like they were children and being openly disinterested in their lives. He slut-shamed a contestant after a sexual encounter on the show while trying to stick his tongue down every lady’s throat. Oh, and there was the time that he said there shouldn’t be a gay bachelor while using the word “pervert” in his explanation. Classy. We’d be quite happy to never see this reality TV villain again.
9. Angelina Pivarnick, The Jersey Shore
Angelina went from chillin’ to villain in record time on The Jersey Shore. She’s an original cast member, but don’t plan on seeing her hanging out with the cast because she’s the worst. The first time around, she was kicked out of the house for refusing to work a shift at the summer job the cast had to participate in. But that was only after alienating all her roommates and being sloppy AF. Then she was invited back the second season… only to depart after several volatile confrontations with her roommates. Turns out she’s still trying to get her third strike to be out for good, because she’ll be back on Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.
10. David “Puck” Rainey, The Real World: San Francisco
Puck wasn’t just a villain, he was a gross villain. His time on The Real World was marred with hygiene problems and a total lack of respect for everyone around him. He was unwashed and unfiltered, alienating himself from his roommates at every turn. When his relationship with a roommate, HIV-positive Pedro Zamora, hit a boiling point that almost sent Zamora running from the house, Puck was evicted. The Real World is all about drama, but Puck’s drama was too much as he personally attacked people and refused to bathe.
11. Kristin Cavallari, Laguna Beach
Every teen reality show needs a bad girl and Laguna Beach found theirs with Kristin. As a younger girl dating a senior, she basically thought she was the shiz. She did all the typical teen mean-girl stuff during her time on the TV show. She started rumors, got drunk and kissed dudes that weren’t her boyfriend, and gave the ultimate side-eye. We will say that Stephen Colletti shouting that she was a slut while they were in Mexico together earned him a “villain” credit for a while, too. Kristin knew bad-girl behavior would get her on the show more, so she clearly just went for it, giving her all to being the villain the show needed. They even brought her onto The Hills to add some drama to the fray when Lauren Conrad left because she’s just that good.
12. Johnny Fairplay, Survivor
When a dude lies about his grandma dying to win a reality TV show, you know he’s a villain. That’s exactly what Fairplay did on his season of Survivor in an attempt to gain sympathy from his tribe. Other than that, he still wasn’t a perfect angel. He spent most of his time rubbing his castmates the wrong way and coming up with schemes to win the competition. Unlike Richard Hatch, his scheming didn’t even end up scoring him the W on his season.
13. Gordon Ramsay, Hell’s Kitchen
Ramsay is almost more well-known for his villainy than his cooking skills! The renowned chef is never afraid to tell someone to their face that they suck and need to get their sh*t together. He constantly berates the chefs on Hell’s Kitchen (and on his other shows… and on Twitter… and in real life…), never taking care to spare anyone’s feelings. If you mess up, you’re going to hear about it from Ramsay. He swears and yells across the kitchen, throws food in the trash when it sucks, and has been known to make people cry on more than one occasion. In recent years, he’s mellowed out a bit on his shows, but he’ll always be known for his crass attitude and high expectations.
14. Omarosa, The Apprentice
During her first appearance on The Apprentice, Omarosa proved she would do anything to win. She constantly dragged her fellow contestants through the mud and played with a very dog-eat-dog attitude. The businesswoman objected to being called a villain, but it didn’t stop her from competing on other reality TV shows and even returning to The Apprentice where she was, once again, completely villainous. If you were doubting her villainous behavior at all, think about this: she worked in the White House under Donald Trump. Sure, she’s dragging him down now, but anyone who can be complicit in that administration is a real-life villain.
15. Tiffany “New York” Pollard, Flavor of Love
New York as the ultimate villain of the famed peak days of VH1’s reality TV programming. When Flavor Flav came looking for the most superficial, craziest love on reality TV, the world got New York. She constantly talked about the other girls in the house behind their back, leading one to spit in her face because of her villainous ways. Obviously, New York pulled the girl’s hair out afterward, in true bad-gal form. She went on to even more reality TV infamy with her own show, as well as stints on plenty of other programs. She might be a quote-unquote villain, but we can’t help but love her!
16. Danielle Staub, The Real Housewives of New Jersey
As far as Real Housewives villains go, Danielle takes the cake. This is a woman who stirred up so much sh*t that she felt like she needed to hire security for a sit down with another housewife. Danielle not only went after teenage girls (okay, the be fair, Ashley Holmes pulled her hair first), but also mothers in front of their children. She’s spent years talking about how Teresa Giudice’s infamous table flipping and calling her a “prostitution whore” ruined her life, but she invited the drama and set that all into the motion. Her recent return to the show proved she’s still got what it takes. But this time around, she’s keeping her friends close and her enemies super close.
17. Spencer Pratt, The Hills
Pratt had one goal going into The Hills: be a villain. Everyone has to be famous for something, right? When Pratt and Heidi Montag got together, Heidi’s BFF and The Hills star LC knew it would be nothing but trouble. And she was so right. Her advice to be cautious of Spencer led to the deterioration of Heidi and Lauren’s friendship after Pratt turned his girlfriend against her former bestie. Montag chose her boyfriend every time and turned into a bit of a reality TV villain herself. But her boyfriend takes the cake for his crappy behavior. Pratt even started a rumor that there was a sex tape of Lauren and ex Jason Wahler! The two still constantly think up schemes to boost their fame (including a fake filing for divorce), and that often means being all-out TV villains!
18. Corinne Olympios, The Bachelor
Corinne is one of the most polarizing contestants from The Bachelor ever and one of the show’s greatest villains. She mainly earned her villainess status from her over the top millennial behavior. She stole the first kiss on the show, extolled how great her “vagine” is, and even got mad another girl was more naked than her. She had a nanny who cooked “cheese pasta” for her, napped the rose ceremony away, and yet allegedly owned a million-dollar company. In her quest for love on a reality TV show, she did some pretty questionable mean-girl things and cemented herself as one of the most talked about contests of all time. She’s thriving off the status though if her merch line is any indication.