The Reality Dating Show Fans Think Is Completely Fake

Of course, everyone wants the romances we watch unfold on reality dating shows to be real — but reality TV fans also know that a lot of them, well, aren’t. Because we were curious, Nicki Swift polled TV fans on which dating show they thought was the phoniest out of “The Bachelor,” “Love Island,” “90 Day Fiance,” “Too Hot to Handle,” and “Dating Around.”

All of these shows have different formats, obviously, but we think this just makes the question of relative fakery all the more interesting. Do people think a competition show like “The Bachelor” is more scripted than a documentary-style show like “90 Day Fiance,” or is it the other way around? Does knowing how the couples ended up in real life after the show stopped filming influence people’s thinking? How does Reality Steve play into all of this?

Scroll on to see which shows you guys decided are legit and which ones are not.

Reality TV romance isn't always at 100

Interestingly, in Nicki Swift’s survey the show that got the most votes was “90 Day Fiance,” with 30% of the vote, followed by “The Bachelor” franchise with 26%, “Love Island” with 23%, “Too Hot to Handle” with 15%, and Netflix’s “Dating Around” trailing way behind at a measly 5%.

TLC’s wildly popular “90 Day Fiance” is based on a real rule in U.S. immigration law, that says if you want to marry a citizen of another country and bring them into the United States to live with you, once they get here you two have just 90 days to tie the knot or they’ll be denied citizenship, which makes for great reality television. 

One consistent source of tension in the show is whether the couples are really in love — or whether someone is being used. It is true that some former cast members and guests have come forward with claims that certain storylines were staged, or that they were nudged by producers to create more dramatic situations. “I wouldn’t say that there’s a written script that’s like, ‘Hey, read this line, read this line,'” Nikki Cooper, a friend of Season 5 contestant David Toborosky said on her YouTube channel. “But there is times where there are different people or producers that come up to you and say, ‘Oh, I think it would be cool if you do this’ or ‘I think you should say this’…”

But hey — it’s TV. It can’t all be totally real.

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