Skip To Content

    10 Reality TV Show Moments From The Early 2000s That I Still Can't Believe They Aired

    I will never get over an Are You Hot? judge telling a contestant to eat McDonald's to gain weight.

    The early 2000s have given us some ~iconic~ pop culture moments.

    A lot of them came from reality shows, which were pretty new at the time β€” and extremely popular. Shows like Survivor and American Idol dominated the ratings and so, not surprisingly, a lot of networks tried their hand at the genre.

    Reality shows came up with the most ridiculous ideas they could think of in order to set themselves apart, but sadly, that meant that real people would get hurt, embarrassed, or exploited in the process.

    Here are 10 moments from early 2000s reality shows that fall into that category:

    1. On America's Next Top Model, the models had to "switch ethnicities" for a photo shoot.

    Contestants had to wear makeup and hair that reflected a different race than theirs. Many of the models wore blackface and brownface.

    2. On America's Next Top Model, the models had to write down each others' flaws and then listen as Mr. Jay read the flaws back to them.

    In one of the most uncomfortable parts of the exercise, Mr. Jay asked to squeeze the butt of one of the models.

    After that, Smashbox cofounder Davis Factor looked visibly uncomfortable as Mr. Jay pushed him to read one of the negatives to a model.

    3. On Keys to the VIP, the pickup artists saw a male contestant dance with another guy, and they berated him for "not being a real man."

    After getting turned down by multiple women, one contestant, Kyle (aka Smiles), started dance-battling with another man on the dance floor.

    One of the judges, Peachez, seemed especially bothered by this, joking that the contestant competing against Kyle automatically won.

    The panel simply could not wrap their heads around what just happened β€” that a man had touched another man.

    4. On The Girls Next Door, during a visit to Kendra Wilkinson's family's house, Hugh Hefner unsurprisingly got super creepy after watching home movies of Kendra as a kid.

    Everyone joked around about how much Hefner enjoyed the videos.

    Then, as a really-not-funny joke, Hefner attempted to "steal" the tape.

    5. On What Not to Wear, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly stripped away a participant's individuality.

    In one episode, Lexa, a participant who liked to wear Lolita dresses, voiced her concerns about the process after Stacy and Clinton called her Lolita dresses "costumes," "freaky shit," and part of a "fetish." Of course, Lexa was immediately called "defiant" and someone with an "abrasive attitude" who's always "ready to fight."

    While Stacy and Clinton were throwing out Lexa's entire wardrobe, they picked apart every aspect of her clothing.

    She said, "I'm concerned about losing my old style because I thought it was very unique. There were one or two things I wanted to keep, and I asked for help to fit it [into my wardrobe] and they said no, and they threw my things away and laughed."

    6. On Rock of Love, Bret Michaels took his dates to his "favorite Midwestern strip club" and made them perform for him.

    One contestant, Beverly, appeared to be super uncomfortable with the idea and didn't want to dance.

    And in yet another attempt by VH1 to embarrass women for ratings, when she got up there and didn't dance, we saw her in stark contrast to the other Rock of Love contestants.

    In his confessional, though, he said he wasn't asking her to do anything she didn't want to do, and then called her a buzzkill...for not doing what he'd asked her to do.

    7. On The Anna Nicole Show, Anna's partner, Howard K. Stern, accused Anna of cheating during an eating contest because she threw up.

    There was one episode where Anna, her son, her assistant, and Howard went to a restaurant to have an eating contest. Howard went over the rules beforehand, saying that if anyone throws up, they're disqualified.

    Deep into the contest, Anna's assistant took her to go to the bathroom. Not trusting her, Howard followed her to listen at the door.

    The altercation continued outside, and we saw more of Anna moving slowly and slurring her words, while Howard tried to convince her she was overreacting.

    8. On Are You Hot?, judge Lorenzo Lamas brought out a laser pointer to point out the contestants' flaws.

    When one contestant's legs didn't touch, Lorenzo pointed a laser pointer at her thighs in an attempt to emphasize his point.

    Fellow judge Rachel Hunter protested the laser pointer, calling it "gnarly" and "wrong."

    9. On Are You Hot?, judges Randolph Duke and Lorenzo Lamas told a contestant she needed to lose weight.

    When it was Lorenzo's turn to score the contestant, of course he had to talk about her thighs.

    10. And finally, on Are You Hot?, judge Randolph Duke told a contestant to eat McDonald's to gain weight.

    The contestant's face said it all:

    What are some other moments from early 2000s reality shows that you can't believe they aired?