The biggest reality TV moments of 2020

With quarantines and lockdowns taking up most of 2020, television has become a crucial part of our everyday lives. And while scripted shows and movies kept us busy for a while, there's no escape quite like reality TV. From scandals to feuds to relationship drama, reality TV has kept us sane and let us live vicariously through others from the comfort of our couches. And thank goodness for that, because we weren't really able to leave those couches much. Reality TV has been the ultimate cure for being bored in the house, bored in the house bored in 2020.

Both on and off-screen, the biggest names in reality TV have managed to keep us on our toes and keep their names in the press even during the most unprecedented year ever. So, let's take a look back at some of the biggest reality TV moments of 2020. And just a warning, during a year that has felt so long, you may just say, "There's no way that was in 2020!" We promise, this really all happened in 2020.

Love Is Blind bride gets broken up with at the altar

For reality dating show fans, 2020 started off with a bang when Love Is Blind dropped on Netflix just before Valentine's Day. The show is about singles trying to fall in love without ever seeing each other face-to-face. They relied on emotional connections and had to get engaged (yes, engaged) before ever seeing each other in person. Obviously, this led to plenty of drama and, surprisingly, quite a few weddings.

The couples who got engaged got to know each other in person after their engagement for a few weeks before they tied the knot. The social experiment proved to be successful for two of the couples. Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton, and Amber Pike and Matt Barnett all just celebrated their two year wedding anniversaries.

But one couple, Giannina Gibelli and Damian Powers, had quite the dramatic ending to their love story. After a tumultuous few weeks of getting to know each other, Powers broke up with Gibelli at the altar. Every person's worst nightmare, right? Gibelli had a full-blown runaway bride moment as she fled the ceremony and darted into the woods while carrying her wedding gown. The two managed to find their way back together after their dramatic TV breakup and, at the time of this writing, are surprisingly still together. Powers shared a post on Instagram celebrating their anniversary in October, which was technically the anniversary of when he broke up with her at the altar... but who's counting?

Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute were fired from Vanderpump Rules

Not all of the biggest reality TV moments this year happened on screen. Some of the most shocking turns of events actually took place after the cameras stopped rolling. One of those moments was when longtime Vanderpump Rules cast members Stassi Schroeder and Kristin Doute got fired from the show for resurfaced racist actions. In June 2020, one of their former fellow cast members, Faith Stowers, revealed on Instagram Live that Schroeder and Doute wrongly reported her to the police for a crime she did not commit. According to Stowers, in 2018, Schroeder and Doute called the police to report her for crimes detailed in a Daily Mail article about a Black woman who was wanted for theft. The woman in the article was not Stowers, and Stowers explained that Schroeder and Doute put her in danger by wrongly calling the police on her.

After Stowers' video circulated, Schroder and Doute were fired from Vanderpump Rules after eight seasons. Shortly after, Bravo completely cut ties with Schroeder and Doute, and both women issued apologies on Instagram. Regardless, they continued to lose brand deals and endorsements.

But Schroder and Doute weren't the only two fired from Vanderpump Rules for their past racist actions in 2020. Newer cast members Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni, whose past racist tweets resurfaced, were also let go from the show.

The Kardashians suddenly decide to end KUWTK after 20 seasons

In 2020, life has been so unpredictable that no news is surprising. But somehow, the Kardashians still managed to shock fans with some of the biggest reality TV news of the year. In September 2020, Kim Kardashian took to Instagram to reveal that her beloved reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, would be ending after the 20th season. The show has been on the air for almost 14 years, so Kim's news sent Kardashian fans around the world into a frenzy. In her post, the Skims owner wrote, "It is with heavy hearts that we've made the difficult decision as a family to say goodbye to Keeping Up with the Kardashians."

And before everyone gets too emotional about the show ending, multiple outlets reported that just because KUWTK is ending, it doesn't mean the Kardashians are necessarily leaving reality TV forever. Page Six reported that the family is expected to have a big streaming deal within a year with a company like Netflix, Apple, or Amazon. Additionally, a source close to the family told the outlet that the KarJenners are even considering starting "their own media company." 

Simply put, perhaps the KarJenners just don't want the world to keep up with them for now — which is fair. "They're open to all opportunities. But they are taking some time off," the source explained.

The rise and fall of Cheer's Jerry Harris

In terms of 2020 reality TV, it didn't get much bigger than Netflix's Cheer. While it may feel like the show came out years ago, the series dropped in January 2020. Cheer followed the nationally ranked Navarro College Cheer Team as they prepared to compete in the National Cheerleading Championship in Daytona Beach. The entire series was an instant hit, and its lovable cast members shot to fame overnight. Many of them amassed over a million followers on social media shortly after the show came out. One of the show's biggest breakout stars was Jerry Harris. Harris was known for his uplifting mat talk and appeared on shows like The Ellen Degeneres Show, Today, and even he won a Critic's Choice Award since his rise to fame.

But with Harris' newfound fame also came some serious allegations. In September 2020, USA Today reported that the FBI was investigating allegations that Harris solicited sexually explicit photos and sex from a minor. Just days after this initial news broke, E! reported that Harris was arrested on a federal child pornography charge for allegedly enticing an underage boy to produce explicit videos and photos of himself. And the criminal complaint, which was obtained by E!, also stated that Harris admitted to asking one of the alleged victims to take explicit photos and videos through Snapchat, knowing the minor was only 13 years old. Since this news broke, Harris has deleted all of his social media pages.

The Bachelor's mom picked a shocking fight with his winner

Peter Weber's season of The Bachelor was every reality TV lover's dream. He proposed to one girl, only to change his mind and go after another girl. The drama did not disappoint, but nothing quite compared to the way the season ended. As The Washington Post recapped, After Weber broke off his engagement with Hannah Ann Sluss, he reunited with his runner up Madison Prewett. Not everyone was excited about this reconciliation, though. Weber's mom, Barbara Weber, a.k.a Barb, was extremely unenthusiastic about Weber and Prewett's relationship.

Barb decided to call out both her son and Prewett on the live After The Final Rose episode of The Bachelor. Barb didn't hold back and said that she expected their relationship to fail on national television. She told Chris Harrison, "He's going to have to fail to succeed," adding, "All his friends, all his family, everyone that knows him, knows that it's not — you know, it's not going to work."

Weber tried to get a word in, saying that he loved Prewett and that should be enough, but it turns out, it wasn't. The two split up just days after the explosive family fight, and Weber moved on to another woman from his season. Weber is the only Bachelor who somehow managed to keep his season going long after the episodes stopped airing. He reconnected with Kelley Flanagan amid the 2020 lockdowns, and, at the time of this writing, they are still together.

Carole Baskin takes Tiger King to the dance floor

If one thing brought us all together in 2020, it was Netflix's, Tiger King. The show is about zookeeper Joe Exotic, and focused on the small but deeply connected society of big cat conservationists in the United States. One of those conservationists is Carole Baskin, who owns Big Cat Rescue and positions herself as an animal rights activist (though some people question how different her rescue site is from Exotic's zoo). For years, she has accused Exotic of abusing and exploiting wild animals, which started their ongoing, bitter feud. At one point in the show, Exotic goes so far as alleging that Baskin murdered her second husband, Don Lewis, who has been missing since May 1997. Fans online quickly flooded Twitter wondering if Baskin fed her husband to the tigers and if she did it for the money.

While we never got clear answers on exactly what went down between Baskin and Lewis, Baskin quickly became a viral internet sensation from the Netflix show. So much so, that the big-cat lover-turned-reality TV star was cast on season 29 of Dancing With The Stars. Baskin danced to cat-themed songs like "Eye of the Tiger" and "What's New Pussycat," but unfortunately, she was eliminated after only two weeks on the show. But regardless, from Tiger King scandals to Dancing With The Stars performances, Baskin has without a doubt been one of the biggest, most talked-about reality stars of this year.

Twins Nikki and Brie Bella unexpectedly had babies one day apart

2020 was full of unexpected surprises, like finding out reality TV's favorite twins, Brie and Nikki Bella were pregnant at the exact same time. In January 2020, the Total Bellas stars revealed to People that they were not only both expecting, but they were due a week and a half apart. And get this, it was completely unplanned! Brie said, "Wait, twins being pregnant at the same time? People are going to think that's a joke. We both are shocked. People are going to think we planned it, but you can't really plan pregnancy!" And Nikki chimed in, adding that, "[It was] a total surprise. It took even me a good week to come to terms with like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm pregnant.' I'm not ready for it."

And just when you think there couldn't possibly be any more surprises, Nikki and Brie Bella welcomed their baby boys within a day of one another. Nikki gave birth to her son Matteo on July 31st, and Brie gave birth to her son Buddy on August 1st. This was Nikki's first child with her fiancé Dancing With The Stars pro Artem Chigvintsev. And this was Brie and her husband Daniel Bryan's second child as they were already parents to their 3-year-old daughter, Birdie. This crazy twin pregnancy coincidence definitely brought reality TV lovers the feel-good news they needed in 2020.

The Bachelorette Clare Crawley swears on her 'dad's grave' she's telling the truth

Like most other TV and film sets, The Bachelor franchise faced quite a few COVID-related setbacks when trying to film this year's season of The Bachelorette. Clare Crawley was particularly frustrated by the delays because she was ready to find love. They were supposed to start shooting right around the time of the lockdowns, so Crawley's list of suitors had already been released. Per ET, This gave both Crawley and the men time to look each other up on social media and even communicate before the show started filming, a Bachelor franchise first.

Once they figured out a safe way to film the season at a hotel in Palm Springs, Crawley wasted no time finding "the one." After meeting Dale Moss on the first night, Crawley said she "just met [her] husband," and from there, it was the Crawley and Moss show. Crawley ended up quitting the show after a few episodes to leave with Moss, and they had to replace her with a new Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams. This was another first for Bachelor Nation, and fans wondered if Crawley and Moss had contact before filming. On multiple occasions, Crawley, who lost her father to cancer, declared, "I swear on my dad's grave" that she didn't have contact with Moss beforehand. Crawley and Moss went on to get engaged and are currently still together. We'll see how long this Bachelor relationship lasts — hopefully, it's for the long haul!

Denise Richards and Brandi Glanville rumored affair turned feud

In January 2020, the Daily Mail reported that Real Housewives of Beverly Hills stars Denise Richards and Brandi Glanville had an affair from early to mid-2019. Rumors of this alleged affair had been swirling around for a while, but this official report sent shockwaves through the entire reality TV world. According to the outlet, Glanville allegedly claimed that Richards was in an open marriage with her husband Aaron Phypers when she and Glanville were together. However, as Richards told The Washington Post, "I did not have an affair... and if I had an open marriage, I would be open about it." Amid all this drama, Richards eventually stopped filming the reality show.

And with the way that reality TV works (filmed in real-time and then aired later), fans had to wait to find out what actually went down in this cheating scandal until Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 10 aired months later. Obviously, all of the other RHOBH women got involved and shared their opinions on the alleged affair. But unfortunately for fans, we never really got a clear answer about what actually happened between Richards and Glanville. It was left as just a she said/she said situation, though after all this drama, Richards did announce that she is officially leaving the reality show after only two seasons.

Mickey Rourke made Masked Singer history by breaking format

The Masked Singer has quickly become one of the biggest reality shows over the past couple of years. On the show, celebrities sing while wearing head-to-toe costumes and masks to conceal their identities. The judges try to guess who the celeb is solely by their singing voice and some vague clues. Over the show's seasons, we've seen some huge stars take off their masks like Patti LaBelle, T-Pain, Rob Gronkowski, Raven Symoné, Seal, and more. And to ensure that the show works and celebs' identities are protected until they are voted off, The Masked Singer is very strict about their security and non-disclosure agreements.

But on season four of the beloved reality competition show, one of the stars didn't seem to be worried about the integrity of the show or their no-nonsense format. In possibly the most shocking Masked Singer moment ever, the Gremlin decided to take off his mask before being voted off. Typically masks are only removed after the panelists and virtual audience have a chance to vote for their favorite performance. Per People, actor Mickey Rourke was revealed under the mask, even after the show's host, Nick Cannon, begged him to keep it on. This moment marked the first time that one of the stars broke format and self-eliminated prematurely. Rourke joked that he only agreed to join the show because he "was just in the neighborhood." It looks like he was over it after only one performance.

Chrishell Stause found out she's getting a divorce over text

Amid all the drama over multimillion-dollar houses on Selling Sunset, the biggest reali-tea storyline of season three was the shocking divorce between agent Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley of This Is Us. About halfway through the season, news broke that Hartley filed for divorce from Stause after two years of marriage. At the time of this writing, it's still a mystery exactly why Hartley and Stause split. As a source even told Us Weekly. "the divorce filing was a big surprise to everyone around Justin and Chrishell."

According to Stause, she was completely "blindsided" by the news of their divorce, in part because, according to her, Hartley told her that their marriage was over via text. As if this split wasn't messy enough for Stause, some of her fellow Selling Sunset castmates also got tangled up in the drama, including Christine Quinn, who spoke to Page Six about the divorce. Stause immediately took to Twitter and expressed her frustration that her castmate would use her "personal painful situation" for the press. Stause wrote, "I just learned Christine is giving press 'information' about my divorce. Let me be VERY clear. She knows absolutely nothing about the situation and is obviously desperate to gain attention by doing so. Anything from her is either a complete lie or total conjecture on her part." Okay, so, who else is ready for season four?!