I swear to god, my brain is, like, 40% thoughts about food and 60% memories of batshit moments in Australian reality TV history, and I’m not just talking MAFS and Bachie.
Reality TV became a thing Down Under in the early noughties and since then we’ve been seen scores of wild scandals go down and every single one of them still lives rent-free in my mind.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this, so let’s revisit some of the wildest shit that’s gone down on Aussie telly:
Honey Badger choosing no one at the finale
There’s nothing tougher than a love triangle but hey, that’s the aim of the game when it comes to The Bachelor, right? It bloody always ends in a love triangle. And whether you’re keen on both peeps, neither peeps, or just the one person (which is ideal, actually), you still have to make a choice.
Well, not Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cummins, as in his season, he rolled with no one, which was a reality TV first that enraged the nation. An entire season of telly we’ll never get back.
Blake Garvey pulling the ol’ ‘Yeah, nah’ at the finale
Honey Badger may have rolled with no one, but at least he was concise in his decision. Remember infamous reality TV star Blake Garvey, the so-called love rat? He’s the fella who infamously chose national treasure Sam Frost as his bride in the final episode of the show, only to turn around shortly after and say ‘ACTUALLY NAH, I LIKE THE OTHER ONE’.
Spoiler alert: Their relationship still went to hell and the ensuing press lives rent-free in my mind to this day.
The producers replacing Bill Goldsmith with a cardboard cutout ‘cos he refused to show up
Although folks thought Alex Nation had ~finally~ found her Bachie soulmate in one Bill Goldsmith after saying “I love you” to each other in last year’s finale, their romance imploded shortly after filming.
During the tell-all reunion night, Alex broke her silence, revealing she and Bill were donezo.
To keep her company, the shady-ass producers brought out a cardboard cut-out of Bill that Alex playfully pretended to punch.
An iconic moment in Australian television, I tell you.
The Turkey Slap
There are certain moments in time where you’ll always remember where you were when you found out. When the infamous Big Brother turkey slap was a viral moment, I was in Hamilton Island on a family vacation. Good times *insert scrunchy face emoji*
In the first incarnation of reality TV show Big Brother, there was an episode where a bloke named John held down fellow housemate Camilla so that his other housemate Ashley could… you know what (which is how most of us learned what the fuck a turkey slap was).
Ashley and John were subsequently yeeted from the show, and rightly fucking so.
Merlin’s refugee protest
Back in 2004, following his eviction from the Big Brother house, a bloke by the name of Merlin used his time in the sun to protest the forced detention of asylum seekers in Australia by sticking gaffer tape over his mouth and holding up a ‘Free Th Refugees” sign.
Peep the moment below:
Chrissie Swan overhearing crew members fat-shaming her
You’ll recognise Chrissie Swan as a beloved Aussie media personality but as longtime Big Brother viewers will remember, she once appeared on the show back in 2003.
During a viral (and extremely gross) moment, she somehow overheard crew members fat-shaming her.
She later discussed the moment in an interview with Studio Ten.
“I was taking my bra off and I heard someone behind me say ‘I know you like big women’,” she says.
“And I was like ‘What’s going on, are they sending pictures of my boobs to friends? Like what, have I become someone’s fetish?’ I felt very vulnerable and scared, it was awful.”
Cosima De Vito leaves the show
Cosima De Vito is an iconique figure in Australian Idol history, having appeared in the first season of the show and coming in at third place behind Shannon Noll and Guy Sebastian (who ultimately won the thing).
But sadly, Cosima was forced to back out of the show, but it’s not just why she did it that was so shocking, but how she did it.
In a viral moment, she shakily pulls a piece of paper out of her pocket (which reveals she’s got a condition that impacts her voice), and hands it to the others while the hosts, judges, contestants, not to mention the rest of Australia, watch on in shock.
The reason why it’s so scandalous is because Cosima conveniently didn’t tell them about it until the public had already voted for her and the show copped $11 million in voting revenue. Hmm…
Dicko body-shaming Paulini
Wow, two body-shaming incidents on reality TV on this list? Fuck me, Australia. This, right here, is why we cannot have nice things.
Long story short: Paulini wore a gold dress. She looked fabulous. Dicko said, (and I quote from fucking memory bc it was so cooked), “You need to wear more appropriate clothes or shed some pounds.”
After hearing Dick’s, sorry, I mean, Dicko’s comments, she reportedly went backstage and cried (as you fucken’ would).
In an interview with Woman’s Day magazine, 11 years after the comment was made, Paulini stated “It affected me a lot and it really hurt my confidence.”
Real Housewives gained international notoriety after Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice flipped a table. In a recent season of MAFS, it looks like fellow reality TV star Martha Kalifatidis was going for the same thing.
While Cyrell Paule was bitching about Martha and her MAFS bae Michael Brunelli, Martha announces, “I’m gonna poor my drink on her,” before doing just that.
The other wine-throwing
And the final bonkers reality TV moment: from being the wine throwee to being the wine thrower, Cyrell got her revenge by throwing wine at the recent MAFS reunion, although this time it was aimed at Jessika Power.
Matty Galea is the Entertainment Editor at Pedestrian who also dabbles in woo-woo stuff like astrology and crystals and has been penning horoscopes since the start of his career. He also Tweets about pop culture and astrology and posts spicy content on Instagram.