The whole point of reality TV is to suck in viewers with scandals, shocking moments, and shady behavior. We know that a lot of what we see is going to end badly, but we tune in to see it happen anyway. Take The Bachelor, for example. Has there been a single season of that show that hasn’t caused some kind of controversy? No. Do we love it anyway? Absolutely.
As is the way in our sexually-charged world, a lot of reality TV scandals have involved sordid affairs. So many stars have cheated on their partners during the filming of a reality show. To be honest, it’s kind of a stupid idea. If you decide to cheat on national television, your other half is DEFINITELY going to find out. Still, if it wasn’t for these sorry romances and scandalous hookups, our favorite shows would be a lot less entertaining. Here are some of the most unbelievable cases of reality stars cheating on their S.O. on reality TV. Surprisingly, not all of them ended up being dumped…
17. Tony on The Challenge
Not only did father-of-two Tony Raines cheat on his girlfriend while starring on MTV’s The Challenge, he also tried to lie about it. This was despite there being ACTUAL FOOTAGE of him sharing a smooch with fellow castmate Camila Nakagawa after a night of partying. Viewers saw Tony lie to girlfriend Alyssa over the phone while still in Colombia, claiming that nothing had happened. However, that totally backfired when the show aired and it became obvious that Tony had in fact cheated. As far as we know, Tony and Alyssa are still together, but still… Not cool on his part. He has kids! He should know better!
16. Shandi on America’s Next Top Model
Oh, Shandi. This wannabe model plucked from the obscurity of a Kansas City Walgreen’s had such potential when she appeared on America’s Next Top Model back in 2004. However, things all went wrong for Shandi after she was picked to be in the Top 5. While in Milan, she had a bit of a dalliance with an Italian male model… Despite having a boyfriend back home. This was especially awkward considering she’d recently berated said boyfriend for seeing a movie with a female friend. Shandi broke the news to her poor guy via a pretty emotional telephone call, and her guilt is ultimately what ruined her chances in the show. She was sent home in week ten, presumably to face the wrath of her now ex-boyfriend.
15. Mark on The Only Way Is Essex
Cheeky charmer Mark Wright caused quite a stir on British reality show The Only Way Is Essex when it emerged he’d been cheating on then-girlfriend Lauren Goodger. To be honest, he did it quite a bit – it was one of the reasons the two’s ten-year on-again-off-again relationship was so fraught. The two stayed together despite Mark’s philandering and even got engaged, with Mark swearing that he didn’t cheat at all after the two made this commitment. However, their love affair was ultimately doomed. Amazingly, it wasn’t Mark’s cheating that finished them off: it was allegations that Lauren herself had embarked on an affair while her fiancee was away in Marbella. Interesting!
14. Gaz on Ex on the Beach
Geordie Shore star Gaz Beadle became one of the most hated men in Britain after his infamous appearance on MTV’s Ex On The Beach. While his girlfriend Charlotte Crosby was back at home suffering an ectopic pregnancy, Gaz cheated with Jemma Lucy on the very first night of the show. He went on to cheat with two other women during his stint on the reality series and admits the experience “totally changed” his relationship with Crosby. Well… Duh! You cheated on her in the public eye with THREE SEPARATE WOMEN while she was losing your baby! Unsurprisingly, Charlotte dumped Gaz pretty swiftly after all of this went down.
13. Kyle on Geordie Shore
Speaking of the cast of Geordie Shore, there have been plenty of cheating scandals on this Newcastle-based reality show. One memorable moment was Holly Hagan bursting out of a taxi in Magaluf after discovering the “love of her life” Kyle Christie had allegedly cheated on her with fellow co-star Chloe Ferry. Both Kyle and Chloe denied the rumors, but Kyle and Holly ended up splitting up anyway while on holiday in Greece. After a makeup and another breakup, it looks like the two are over for good. We never did find out exactly what happened between Kyle and Chloe, but it wouldn’t surprise us if the rumors were true.
12. Cara Maria on The Challenge
When Cara Maria starred in The Challenge back in 2016, she made no secret of the fact that she was unhappy in her current relationship. However, rather than discussing her issues with her boyfriend, Abe, Cara made the slightly rash choice of cheating on him with castmate Thomas. To be honest, Abe did always seem a bit crazy, but that’s not really an excuse for cheating. Anyway, things got awkward when Abe and his brother Mike joined the show’s cast mid-season. Cara’s cheating didn’t stay secret for long, and the whole situation blew up. While Cara and Abe initially tried to work through their issues, they eventually split, which we’re kind of glad about, to be honest. Their relationship was blatantly toxic.
11. Sarah Harding on Celebrity Big Brother
Former Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding caused quite the scandal when she starred in the U.K. version of Celebrity Big Brother back in the summer of 2017. Within weeks of joining the show, she’d begun a full-blown affair with reality star Chad Johnson – despite having a live-in boyfriend back home. Sarah and Chad were spotted getting hot and heavy on-camera, adding insult to injury for Sarah’s poor bricklayer boyfriend Aaron. Despite Chad proclaiming his love for Sarah after just three weeks of ‘dating,’ the couple’s fling didn’t last. They split in November, with Sarah branding Chad a “little bitch” for deleting pictures of her from his Instagram. Oh dear.
10. Paula on The Challenge
Back in 2012, The Challenge contestant Paula Meronek shocked us all by cheating on her boyfriend with fellow contestant Ty Ruff. Paula and Ty’s chemistry had been evident from the start of the season, but Paula repeatedly stated that nothing would happen between them. After all, she didn’t want to disrespect her boyfriend! However, by the episode “Battle of the Exes,” she’d apparently forgotten that this was her policy. Paula and Ty’s heavy flirting ended with them sharing a pretty steamy kiss. Despite Paula screeching that Ty was “the worst,” she proceeded to make out with him anyway. Unsurprisingly, Paula’s anonymous boyfriend wasn’t too pleased when the episode aired. I’d imagine he and Paula are no longer together.
9. Jasmine on The Challenge
What is it with The Challenge and love scandals? Jasmine Reynaud is yet another star who cheated on her boyfriend with a fellow cast member. Towards the start of her season, she shared a few kisses with her partner Tyrie Ballard before full-on hooking up with him. This was all despite Jasmine having a faithful boyfriend waiting at home – uh-oh! She was left somewhat relieved when Tyrie was sent home from the competition shortly after their fling. However, Jasmine’s joy was short-lived as Tyrie made a triumphant return to the show. Her guilt about their former affair led to Jasmine being incredibly hostile towards Tyrie. It’s as if she thought being really mean to him made up for the fact they’d hooked up. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.
8. Austin on Big Brother
Big Brother 17 star Austin Matelson totally destroyed his relationship with his girlfriend during his appearance on the show. Despite making it very clear upon entering the house that he wasn’t single and that a showmance wasn’t on the cards for him, he ended up hooking up with fellow contestant Liz. Austin claimed that this was totally okay and that his now ex-girlfriend would get the message that they were over once she watched the show. However, that’s an incredibly douchey way to end a relationship with someone. He’s since admitted that his actions were wrong, although he claims that his relationship was on the rocks before the show started. Still doesn’t make cheating okay, Austin!
7. Janelle on Big Brother
Janelle and Will’s showmance was one of the highlights of Big Brother season seven. While the two never actually hooked up on-screen, the chemistry between them was palpable and some serious flirting went on. There was the small matter of them both being in relationships while on the show, but that clearly didn’t matter to either them. Janelle basically admitted that she would cheat on her boyfriend if Will asked her to, and there are rumors that the two hooked up off-camera. The allegations ended Janelle’s relationship with her then-boyfriend. Will, however, went on to marry and have children with the girlfriend he apparently cheated on. At least everyone ended up happy, eh?
6. Amanda on Big Brother
Amanda Zuckerman was the definite villain of Big Brother 15. She caused innumerable arguments, was super controlling, and generally pissed everyone off. Everyone, that is, except McCrae Olson. The two quickly began a romance once the show begun, despite the fact that Amanda had a boyfriend outside the house. While she did express guilt about cheating on him, she didn’t feel bad enough to stop. Even worse was the fact that Amanda had miscarried her boyfriend’s baby shortly before starting the show. Not only was her former love probably quite upset about that, he now had to deal with his girlfriend cheating on him on national television. Poor guy. McCrae has since admitted that the romance was a total mistake and that he was in love with someone else the whole time. Basically, the whole thing was a mess.
5. Whitney on Survivor
Whitney Duncan seriously raised eyebrows during her time on Survivor: South Pacific. While her relationship with fellow contestant Keith Tollefson initially seemed quite sweet, that all changed when it turned out that she had a secret husband! That’s right – her fling with Keith was actually an extra-marital affair! Even stranger was the fact that Whitney hadn’t even told her family she was married: she told them that she was just engaged. The whole thing was just really weird. Whitney tried to claim that she was already divorced or at least separated when she filmed the show, but this has never been proven. Either way, her romance with Keith had a happy ending. The two have been married since 2014 and didn’t even try to keep it a secret.
4. Charlotte on Survivor
Back in 2001, Welsh policewoman Charlotte Holborough won the first ever series of British reality show Survivor. She left the show with a £1 million prize… And a slightly sordid reputation. Reports emerged in British newspapers that Charlotte had cheated on her husband with fellow contestant Adrian Baukham, an affair that didn’t actually appear on-air. Charlotte claims that it never actually happened and that the show’s producers planted the story to boost ratings. Luckily for Charlotte, her husband wasn’t fooled by the gossip. The two are still together and have apparently already got through all of that prize money. Charlotte is back in the police force and has tried to put her Suvivor days behind her.
3. DeMario on The Bachelorette
DeMario Jackson has seen his fair share of controversy while starring on The Bachelor. Production of Bachelor in Paradise had to be halted after Jackson was accused (and ultimately cleared) of sexual misconduct. However, it was his time on The Bachelorette that led to him being branded a cheater. In the second episode of the series, a woman called Lexie showed up and informed Rachel Lindsay that DeMario was her boyfriend. Apparently, he’d ghosted her for a while prior to the show, but the two were still technically together. DeMario even had a key to Lexi’s apartment! Rachel was understandably pissed off about this and quickly booted DeMario from the show. DeMario claimed that he’d already broken up with “psycho” Lexie, but we’re not quite sure who to believe.
2. Corinne on Bachelor in Paradise
Remember that Bachelor in Paradise sex scandal we mentioned involving DeMario Jackson? Well, Corinne Olympios was the other party in that whole sorry affair. Corinne starred on the show under some pretty bizarre terms. Her boyfriend, Jordan Gielchinsky, agreed to Corinne’s involvement in Bachelor in Paradise with the strict caveat that she couldn’t hook up with anyone while she was there. The whole thing was just supposed to be a way to increase the publicity for Corinne’s new clothing line. However, this all went downhill swiftly after Corinne and DeMario got a bit hot and heavy in the pool on their first night on the show. Corinne and Jordan maintain that she didn’t cheat because she was too drunk to give consent – that’s what triggered the investigation into DeMario. The couple eventually broke up and soon after, when Corinne and DeMario were spotted at Disneyland, there were rumors the two were actually giving love a shot! Both parties denied it.
1. Ronnie on Jersey Shore
Let’s be honest here: Jersey Shore star Ronnie Ortiz-Magro treated ex-girlfriend Sammi ‘Sweetheart’ Giancola pretty badly during their time together on the show. Back in season two, he cheated on Sammi multiple times in Miami and didn’t even have the good grace to tell her himself. The poor girl had to learn about her boyfriend’s infidelity via a note sent by Snooki and J-Wowww. Ronnie has wavered between accepting what he did was bad and blaming Sammi for the whole situation. Sometimes, he admits he shouldn’t have cheated. Other times, he states that if Sammi had given ‘more’ to their relationship he wouldn’t have had to cheat at all. Either way, Ronnie’s got bigger things to worry about now: he’s recently announced that he’s going to be a dad. Good luck to him!