reality tv

11 Aussie reality shows that you’ve probably blocked from your memory.

For two decades, Australians have been obsessed with reality TV. Seriously, if it wasn’t for Married At First Sight, MasterChef, The Voice and Big Brother, what would we even have to talk about?

But for every hit, there’s been a bunch of flops. For some shows it was just a case of bad timing – for others, it was just a bad idea from the start.  

Watch the trailer for this year's season of Big Brother Australia here. Post continues below.


Video via Channel 7

Here are 11 Aussie reality shows that you quite possibly don’t remember. In most cases, it’s probably for the best.

The Resort (2004)

Image: Channel 10.

The idea was that a group of hot young people would renovate and run a Fijian resort, and viewers would love the show so much that they would spend their own money to fly over to Fiji and stay there. 

Sadly, after watching the hot young people screaming at each other to “open ya earballs”, viewers stayed home and switched channels. Host Jon Stevens had the brutal job of telling the contestants that it was all over. 

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Undercover Angels (2002)

Image: Channel 7.

If you had to choose someone to play the enigmatic Charlie in an Australian rip-off of Charlie’s Angels, you’d choose swimmer Ian Thorpe, right? 

Jackie O, actress Simone Kessell and Popstars’ Katie Underwood played Thorpie’s “angels”, who were sent off not on detective missions but on missions to clean out garages, or do other good deeds. Jackie O’s radio co-star Kyle Sandilands recently called it “the worst show ever made”.

Celebrity Splash! (2013)

Image: Channel 7.

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Not so much a reality show about diving as a cruel punishment for being famous, Celebrity Splash! got off to a bad start when Laura Csortan was injured and had to withdraw from the competition. Later, Denise Drysdale pulled out because her fear of heights was giving her heart palpitations. 

The South Korean version of the show was canned because too many celebrities suffered injuries. Here, the show just limped to a low-rating end.

Playing It Straight (2004)

Image: Channel 7.

One of the many “dating shows with a twist”, this one had Darwin barmaid Rebecca Olds being given her pick of 12 men. At the start of the show she was told that six of them were gay and six were straight. If she ended up picking a straight man, she and he would split the $200,000 prize. If she ending up picking a gay man who had managed to convince her he was straight, he would keep the $200,000 for himself. 

Looking back now, that just sounds really… wrong.

Everybody Dance Now (2012)

Image: Channel 10.

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With megastars Jason Derulo and Kelly Rowland, how could this show fail? And yet it did, getting the axe after just two weeks. 

Maybe viewers didn’t like seeing two Americans and no Aussies in the role of dance coaches. Or maybe the problem was with the format, which one critic described as “glorified student rock eisteddfod”.

Yasmin’s Getting Married (2006)

Image: Channel 10.

Originally titled Rene’s Getting Married, before Rene found herself a man and pulled out, the idea behind this show was that Yasmin Dale, a twentysomething recruitment manager, would find herself a man and marry him at the end of the show’s 40-episode run.

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Unfortunately for Dale and her dreams of a happy-ever-after, the show only ran for four episodes. 

Monster House (2008)

Image: Channel 9.

This prank show had ordinary people walking into a house, supposedly owned by the Webb family. Secret cameras were set up to capture their reactions as the family members, played by actors including Celia Ireland and Rebel Wilson, did wacky stuff. 

It’s hard to imagine that no one would recognise Wilson, who’d already starred in The Wedge, Pizza, the Australian Idol Telstra ads, etc. But that wasn’t the show’s only flaw. It was pulled after two episodes.  

Celebrity Circus (2005)

Image: Channel 9.

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Roll up, roll up! 

See celebrities like Ricki-Lee Coulter, Cameron Daddo, Outback Jack star Vadim Dale and his fiancée Natalie Franzman, and, uh, beach volleyballer Kerri Pottharst learn how to throw knives and juggle fire! Or not! 

There was no second season. 

I Will Survive (2012)

Image: Channel 10.

The massive, glittering prize at the end of this reality show was the chance to play Tick in the Broadway production of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert. Sadly, the Broadway production closed before the reality show premiered, which was not a good omen. 

Despite Hugh Sheridan hosting this bus trip through the outback, I Will Survive barely survived to the end of the season. 

My Kid’s A Star (2008)

Image: Channel 9.

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Former child star Danny Bonaduce was brought over from the US to be part of this series, which was meant to focus on pushy stage parents. 

But, this being Australia, most parents of kids who go to dancing/singing/acting classes just aren’t that pushy. They’re disappointingly normal. Turns out viewers didn’t really want to watch them, or the sad faces of the kids who were sent home. 

Teen Fit Camp (2007)

Image: Channel 10.

This “inspirational” series followed six overweight Aussie teens, including one 15-year-old who was 161kg, as they went on a weight-loss boot camp in the US. But before it even premiered, psychologists were attacking it, saying it was exploiting young people. 

At least the network didn’t run with the show’s original title, Teen Fat Camp. Just… no.

Feature image: Channel 7.

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