Netflix and quarantine? With stay-at-home orders in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, reality TV has become an integral part of everyday life this year. From scandalous feuds to juicy love triangles, the lineup of drama's been a surefire cure for all the boredom. Until we get back to regularly scheduled programming, Wonderwall.com has rounded up reality TV's biggest moments of 2020 thus far, starting with one of the fiercest cat fights ever seen on "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness." The Netflix docu-series delved deep into the war between zookeeper Joe Exotic and Big Cat Rescue activist Carole Baskin as they ruthlessly tried to take each other down. On top of that, a shocking conspiracy theory emerged surrounding the bizarre disappearance of Carole's rich husband, leaving many convinced that she murdered him and fed him to her feline friends to cover it up — claims she's denied. It's no surprise Joe — who's serving time for a murder-for-hire plot involving a plan to off Carole — inked a deal for a new Investigation Discovery spinoff that looks deeper into the drama. Keep reading for more of reality TV's recent revelations…
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The Kardashians are America's favorite reality TV family for good reason — they bring the drama! In March, the 18th season of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" debuted with an epic sibling-on-sibling brawl destined to generate memes for years to come. Kourtney Kardashian finally snapped after repeatedly catching flak from her sisters for her lack of work ethic. Provoked by a snarky comment from Kim Kardashian West, an all-out wrestling match ensued during a casual conversation in Khloe Kardashian's bedroom. After chucking her boxed water at Kim out of frustration, Kourtney's claws came out (literally!) as she scratched her sobbing sister, who in turn slapped her across the face. The best moment came at the end of the scuffle with Khloe left compulsively cleaning blood stains off her wall while her sisters cried in separate corners. Kourtney and Kim reconciled mid-season and the spotlight shifted to Khloe's awkward co-parenting relationship with cheating ex Tristan Thompson, the father of her 2-year-old daughter. Hopefully, more light will be shed on recent rumors that they're secretly back together when the next season premieres this fall.
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Romance-o-holics were in for a treat with the 2020 premiere of "Love is Blind," which offered up a strangely fascinating spin on reality TV dating. The Netflix original took physical appearance out of the equation, placing a group of singles in private blacked-out pods so they had to get to know one another through conversation alone over the course of 38 days. The only way for prospective couples to un-blur the glass wall between them was with a marriage proposal. Without giving away too much, the season was full of surprises — one couple got engaged during the first episode, while others waited until the big wedding finale to reject their partners at the altar. Runaway bride Giannina Gibelli (pictured) takes the cake for trying to escape her own ceremony on foot, bolting into the woods while struggling to grip the bottom of her gown. In April, Netflix debuted another dating competition series that comes in a close second; "Too Hot to Handle" challenged singles to resist physical contact for a $100K prize.
Kristin Cavallari was honest about the issues in her seven-year marriage to former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler on the third season of "Very Cavallari," admitting there's "no such thing as a perfect relationship." She struggled to feel supported by her retired husband as her Uncommon James jewelry and lifestyle brand quickly expanded and she juggled her roles as a businesswoman and mom to their three young children. They seemed to be working on their relationship with a romantic trip to Italy, which was documented on the E! reality show, but then announced plans to divorce shortly after the finale in April. Though the split was seemingly amicable at first, court documents soon revealed that Kristin had accused Jay of "inappropriate marital conduct" and, she alleged, of trying to intimidate her into accepting a custody plan he preferred by blocking her from buying her own home in Nashville. Sadly, we won't get to see how their split-turned-ugly plays out on the show since in May, Kristin announced that she had decided to stop filming indefinitely.
The coronavirus pandemic sparked major changes for reality TV in 2020 with many series forced to halt production altogether, but the big talent competition shows figured out a creative way to move forward while still enforcing social-distancing standards. "American Idol" and "The Voice" crowned their winners virtually in May and plan to hold auditions for the upcoming next seasons in the same fashion. "America's Got Talent" will also continue to look for talent remotely with the addition of new judge Sofia Vergara in the mix.
Season 24 of "The Bachelor" ended with a big moment on reality TV — Peter Weber's proposal to Hannah Ann Sluss! But by the time the live finale aired in March, they'd already split and he was back with top-two finalist Madison Prewett (though their romance didn't last long either). Then it emerged that Pilot Pete was quarantining with — and soon officially dating — ousted contestant and lawyer Kelley Flanagan. Believe it or not, Peter's pivot wasn't even the most unexpected news from the tumultuous season: Another of his former romantic contenders, Victoria Fuller, made headlines in May when her hot new relationship with former "The Bachelor" star Chris Soules (both pictured) was made public.
"The Bachelor" franchise added a new spinoff to the reality TV roster this year and it's just as romantically charged as the original. "The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart," which premiered in April, centered around a group of musicians looking to find love through their art. While popular with fans, the series struck a wrong cord with former "The Bachelorette" star Hannah Brown, who joked about feeling triggered by it on the heels of her split from singer-songwriter Jed Wyatt (she found out he had a serious girlfriend when he left to tape their season — after she gave him her final rose last year). Hannah's had a rough go of late: She also sparked controversy in May when she said the N-word while singing along to DaBaby's "Rockstar" on social media.
It's easy to lose track of time during quarantine, but it's nearly impossible to miss an epic Jersday on the reality TV lineup. The "Jersey Shore" gang got together for yet another round of debauchery in 2020, which was made even more special with Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino back in the mix. He finished an eight-month stay in federal prison, where he was incarcerated after pleading guilty on fraud charges, just in time to join the festivities in New Orleans for Angelina Pivarnick's co-ed bachelorette party. Luckily, cameras were there to catch the action as sparks reignited between Pauly D and Jenni "JWoww" Farley, who hooked up on the MTV show a decade ago but have since remained strictly friends. Unsure of JWoww's relationship status following her divorce from Roger Matthews and split from younger boyfriend Zack Clayton Carpinello, Pauly pumped the breaks on their near hookup, but the season doesn't end till later in June! Word is that JWoww seriously upset Angelina in her bridesmaid speech at the wedding last year.
The 10th season of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" premiered in May with teasers of an explosive cheating scandal involving Denise Richards, whose wedding to Aaron Phypers aired on the Bravo series last year. Reports of her alleged affair with former castmate Brandi Glanville first surfaced in January, though the network's been saving her response for the show. Brandi's reportedly angry that Denise was acting like she has an open marriage — Denise has denied this — venting on Instagram, "I cannot [expletive] wait for the truth to come out." All the drama, including how the rest of the cast reacted to the news, is still set to unfold on the ongoing season. Denise claims she's not quitting the franchise despite buzz that the controversy pushed her over the edge.
You didn't have to be a cheerleader in high school to appreciate (and get totally sucked into) Netflix's 2020 docu-series "Cheer." The six-part show gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the blood, sweat and tears that went into training for the National Cheerleading Championship. With militant coach Monica Aldama (pictured) at the helm, the Navarro College Bulldogs overcame obstacles in their personal lives, catty team drama and the worst of injuries to (spoiler alert!) ultimately reclaim their winning title. The mind-bending stunts and motivational mat talk — especially from adorable squad member Jerry Harris — make the series worth binge-watching.
Stassi Schroeder and Beau Clark (pictured) stole the spotlight on the eighth season of "Vanderpump Rules" with their highly anticipated engagement (this on the heels of Stassi's ex Jax Taylor saying his vows to Brittany Cartwright). Beau's proposal was far from ordinary as he popped the question last July at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to appeal to Stassi's strange obsession with, as she's said, "murder, crime, death and cemeteries." Lisa Vanderpump helped make the occasion even more special by hosting a fancy dinner party for the newly engaged lovebirds at her Villa Rosa estate with cast member Kristen Doute noticeably missing from the festivities. She was essentially excommunicated by BFFs Stassi and Katie Maloney, who grew tired of listening to her complain about on-and-off boyfriend Brian Carter (though reports surfaced in April revealing that she'd finally moved on with a new mystery man, Alex Menache). We'll have to wait and see if she's invited to Stassi's upcoming wedding — which she hopes will take place in Italy come October if the COVID-19 pandemic allows — on the next season.
Teresa Giudice is finally single and ready to mingle! She stuck by hubby Joe Giudice after he got her into major trouble with the law for bank fraud (she served 11 months behind bars in 2015), but now it's over. Teresa opened up about ending her 20-year marriage on "Watch What Happens Live!" in February. Their road to divorce played out on the 10th season of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" this year as Teresa struggled to maintain her relationship with Joe during his three-year stint in federal prison and subsequent deportation to his native Italy. She also finally copped to rumors of his infidelity after denying them in the past for the sake of their four daughters (Joe denied he cheated). She brought the Bravo cameras along to Italy as she and the girls reunited with Joe for the first time since his release, but it was evident there were no sparks left between them — especially when she refused to share his bed.
After working together on "Project Runway," Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn stepped down to develop a reality TV venture of their own, 2020's "Making the Cut." Their Amazon series draws similarities as it's also a fashion competition centered around a group of aspiring designers, but it tests more than just their sewing and design capabilities. Contestants were also challenged to prove their business savvy in creating a successful brand for the long term. Another element adding to the show's appeal was its A-list lineup of judges including modeling icon Naomi Campbell and designers Nicole Richie and Joseph Altuzarra.
Since the 12th season of "The Real Housewives of New York" premiered in April, Tinsley Mortimer's been in the hot seat with the cast probing her to be upfront about her relationship status with on-and-off love Scott Kluth. Castmate Dorinda Medley was especially bothered by the socialite playing it coy about her personal life since she was open about her split from boyfriend of seven years John Mahdessian. The tension mounted during an apple-picking excursion with the ladies and resulted in an epic drunken screaming match where Dorinda made Tinsley break down into tears by calling her "invisible." Though harsh, she ended up proving the ladies right when news broke of the couple's reconciliation and engagement last December. Though their plans to marry in Japan are on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, we can't wait to see which of her co-stars will be invited (if any). All the fighting almost distracted us from noticing that Luann de Lesseps — who split from an old flame, agent Rich Super — started drinking again on the show! Following a drunken arrest in 2017, she did two stints in rehab and remained on court-ordered parole until last year, but hopefully she'll "be cool" this time around.
The "Survivor" franchise celebrated a huge milestone in 2020 — it's 40th season! To mark the occasion, the competition series put together a special group of contestants made up of all the past champions and called it "Survivor: Winners at War." In a poignant moment during the finale, host Jeff Probst got candid about gender bias on the show admitting his own guilt in earlier seasons. "I'll definitely own the fact that I don't think I saw it when 'Survivor' started and I don't think I even knew I was supposed to look for it," he stated. "But I'm very much aware of it now, and I'm grateful that we can open up and investigate…" The discussion came on the heels of a scandal involving "inappropriate touching" on last season's "Survivor: Island of the Idols," which led to contestant Dan Spilo's removal from the competition.
Identical twins Nikki Bella and Brie Bella made headlines in January when they announced that both were unexpectedly pregnant at the same time. The former WWE Divas had both put kids on the back burner when they got the surprising news and the reasons why became clear on the fifth season of their E! reality show, "Total Bellas," which debuted in April. Nikki, who was previously engaged to wrestler John Cena, struggled with committing to her current beau, former "Dancing With the Stars" partner Artem Chigvintsev and considered freezing her eggs so she could focus on her busy career. But that all changed once he popped the question in France last November. Meanwhile, Brie aired out grievances over issues in her six-year marriage to WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan, though they're seemingly back on track and excited to give daughter Birdie, 3, a sibling. We can't wait to see all the baby madness unfold next season.
Bravo brought another huge moment to the reality TV airwaves in 2020! Premiering in March, "Family Karma" became the first ever series to boast an all Indian American cast. The series follows a multigenerational group of immigrant families living in Florida. The tight-knit community all seem to know the others' business, which serves for some pretty epic drama.
The 12th season of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" put the spotlight on Kenya Moore's crumbling marriage to Marc Daly as she focused on raising their toddler daughter, Brooklyn. There were many hard-to-watch scenes showing the tension in their relationship, but the most notable discord happened when Marc, angered for no apparent reason by Kenya, stormed out of his own charity event last September. The on-and-off couple both filed for divorce the next day! On a March episode, Kenya disclosed her suspicions about Marc's possible infidelity and cited communication as their biggest issue. But rather than rushing to split, the estranged couple seemed to be giving their romance another go. Kenya revealed he wanted to work on their marriage and even told Us Weekly there's a possibility they'll have a second child. Season 13 can't get here fast enough…
Netflix gave us yet another big moment for reality TV in 2020 with an American adaptation of the popular U.K. competition series "The Circle." A group of strangers are placed to live in different units within the same apartment complex but can only communicate with each other through a The Circle app using secret personas. An addictive blend of "Big Brother" and "Catfish," the game gets players to compete by rating other users for a $100K cash prize.
Amber Portwood, who's vocal about her struggle with mental health issues, has been in trouble with the law more than once on MTV's "Teen Mom OG." On the most current season, we saw the tough aftermath of her most recent scuffle with Andrew Glennon, the father of her second child, in which Amber seemingly attacked him with a machete. In October, she struck a plea deal in court in which she admitted to domestic battery and intimidation, but she's still embroiled in a bitter custody battle over toddler son James. Amidst the legal chaos, Amber shocked viewers by revealing she'd already started dating a new man she met on Instagram, Dimitri Garcia. Despite living abroad and not speaking much English, the pair are reportedly still seeing each other. Amber actually made her boyfriend take a lie detector test on the show to prove his intentions, so we'll just have to see where this goes.