15 of the Best Reality TV Villains Ever

Though it’s been revealed over the years that the amount of “real” in reality TV is definitely debatable, it’s still totally addictive. Part of what makes reality TV so fun are the characters we love to hate — from our favorite bad girl vixens to the harshest talent judges (we miss you, Simon Cowell!), these are the villains of reality TV that we wish would make a comeback, if only for the sheer entertainment factor. Though reality fire-starters are a dime a dozen these days, these are 15 of the worst, or the best… depending on how you look at it.
 
1 Juan Pablo Galavis, The Bachelor
When he first appeared on The Bachelorette, Juan Pablo seemed like a doting dad with an adorable accent. But then he was chosen as the Bachelor, and his charm turned quickly to smarm. He was over-the-top rude and opportunistic, wanting only to hook up with as many women as possible while on the show. Classy.
 
2. Jonny Fairplay, Survivor: Pearl Islands
He planned an elaborate scheme of faking his grandmother’s death to help him get closer to winning the cash prize and garnering plenty of sympathy. Yeah…
 
3. Simon Cowell, American Idol
American Idol became an instant smash hit and it would be hard to deny that Simon wasn’t one of the main reasons. He bluntly spoke his mind about all of the serenading hopefuls, shattering dreams and breaking hearts one by one. In his defense, he saved his favorite term (“absolutely dreadful”) for only the ones who truly deserved it.
 
4. Puck, The Real World
On the third season of the granddaddy of reality TV, viewers got to meet David “Puck” Rainey, who checked all the villain boxes pretty quickly. He was unhygienic, homophobic, and combative — he was eventually evicted from the house and cemented his infamous place in reality TV history. 
 
5. Danielle Staub, The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Though the Housewives franchise has created many interesting personalities over the years, only one caused another Housewife to flip a table over in rage. Yep, Danielle was the one we all loved to hate, and the show has never amassed the amount of drama since her departure after two seasons.
 
6. Richard Hatch, Survivor
The first Survivor winner also quickly became the show’s first villain — he was constantly nude, but that was the least offensive of his crimes. He was manipulative and conniving, and was described by rival Susan Hawk as “the snake who knowingly went after prey.” Yikes! He couldn’t slither away from the IRS, though: he served 51 months in prison for tax evasion after failing to report his $1 million dollar prize and other earnings from his Survivor win.
 
7. Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, The Apprentice
Has there ever been a reality villain more infamous than Omarosa?! Though Donald Trump is now making news for his political ambitions, there was a time when his biggest problem (or blessing, depending on how you look at it) was the vicious, razor-tongued star of the first season of The Apprentice. She’s the only person Donald had to fire twice. That says it all!
 
8. Spencer Pratt, The Hills
Spencer is the one to blame for the dissolution of the friendship between his girlfriend-turned-wife Heidi Montag and Lauren Conrad, and that was only the tip of the iceberg for him. His brash attitude, cheating ways, and crazy outbursts sure made for some awesome reality moments, and he’s tried to have the same success on other shows, but we’ll always love him for his star-making turn on The Hills.
 
9. Gordon Ramsay, Hell’s Kitchen
When nearly every word that comes out of his mouth is NSFTV (not safe for TV), you know you’ve got a reality TV charmer. He’s known for basically obliterating the contestants on the show, and it’s safe to say most of them likely have PTSD long after the cameras stop rolling. His abusive tendencies have lead to ratings gold, and his show has been cooking up drama for 15 seasons (!!).
 
10. Jenelle Evans, Teen Mom
The young star of MTV’s can’t-miss trainwreck reality show has gone through many public struggles — she lost custody of her son, struggled with a heroin addiction and stints in rehab, and been arrested for drug possession and had domestic disputes aplenty, but it’s her admission of faking an abortion by saying she miscarried is what runs her to the top of the worst reality villains ever.
 
11. Jon & Kate Gosselin, Jon & Kate Plus 8
It’s hard to believe that both Jon and Kate could be on a list of reality villains, but they both win (or lose) for different ways. Once poised to be the sweetest (and biggest) reality families, things with these two turned ugly, fast. Jon was vilified for his womanizing ways, and Kate’s personality (or lack thereof) was the reason America turned on her: she was downright nasty to Jon and mean to their kids. They ended up divorcing, which surprised absolutely no one.
 
12. Will Kirby, Big Brother
Will was arguably the first (and best) reason that audiences tuned into Big Brother. He was smarmy and egotistical, lying and manipulative to boot. And he was actually a doctor — seriously! He was a board-certified dermatologist. He actually admitted that he set out to lose all of the competitions he was in — I mean, wow!
 
13. Angelina Pivarnick, Jersey Shore
Umm.. hello!! You didn’t think a list of people we looooved to hate on reality TV would be complete without the Kim Kardashian of Staten Island, did you? Angelina was not well-received by her Shore castmates and caused enough drama to make all the tourists flee New Jersey for the summer (OK, so she didn’t do that, but she was still pretty rage-inducing to watch!). 
 
14. Russell Hantz, Survivor
Survivor had a season called Heroes vs. Villains, so you know there have been plenty of maniacal characters over the years. One of the worst was Russell Hantz, who lied, pitted his fellow contestants against each other, and even turned against his own tribemates. He said he survived Hurricane Katrina, even though he was actually a multimillionaire. He was cocky, arrogant, and loved being the center of controversy.
 
15. Tiffany “New York” Pollard, Flavor of Love/I Love New York
VH1/Giphy

New York was so beloved that she inspired her own spin-off. She was often in loud and messy verbal altercations (mostly with her archnemesis, Pumkin) and she loved to moon people (yes, seriously). She’s had many highs and lows when it comes to love, but she’ll always go down in history as one of the most fun personalities to watch on TV… ever.

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