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A Look Back: The 2006 Reality TV Year In Review


By Steve Rogers and Christopher Rocchio, 12/28/2006 

With 2006 drawing to a close, it's time to take a look back at the year that was.  The following is Reality TV World's 2006 Reality TV Year In Review, a month-by-month listing of some of the past year's reality TV highlights, lowlights, and milestones.

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January:  Dancing with the Star 2 premieres and establishes the series as a bona fide hit.  Kevin Federline announces hip-hop album and insists his marriage to Britney Spears is fine.   Fox announces American Idol Rewind syndication plans.  Divorcing Newlyweds couple Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey sell their house.  Original Survivor winner Richard Hatch's tax evasion trial beginsThe Bachelor: Paris bachelorette Allie Garcia-Serra's eggs go rotten.  The WB debuts Beauty and the Geek 2American Idol 5 premieres and draws even bigger ratings than ever before.  Fox premieres Skating with Celebrities.  Richard Hatch is found guilty of tax evasion charges

February:  Survivor: Panama premieres and introduces the Exile Island concept.  UPN premieres Kristen Cavallari's Get This Party StartedAmerican Idol judge Simon Cowell offends gays and fat people. Original Dancing with the Stars winner Kelly Monaco bashes the show's second season. Survivor: Panama wins its ratings showdown with Dancing with the Stars 2. Britney Spears gets caught driving with her baby on her lap.  First season American Idol co-host Brian Dunkleman resurfaces. Simon Cowell says his Idol comments were meant to be private. UPN cancels Kristen Cavallari's Get This Party StartedAmerican Idol reveals its Top 24 fifth season semi-finalists.  Fox's Skating With Celebrities hit with Kristy Swanson/Lloyd Eisler skating scandal.  Donald Trump tells Martha to "take responsibility" for her The Apprentice flop and skewers her in an open letter.  Kevin Federline defends himself to NewsweekAmerican Idol semi-finalist Becky O'Donohue gets caught in Maxim photo shoot "scandal."  Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke win ABC's Dancing with the Stars 2.  NBC premieres The Apprentice 5The Bachelor: Paris ends with Travis Stork selecting Sarah Stone.  CBS premieres The Amazing Race 9.

March: The Bachelor: Paris' Travis Stork and Sarah Stone go into hiding as break-up rumors begin swirling. Anna Nicole Smith goes to Washington. New reports that Sarah Stone is already seeing another bachelor emerge. MTV premieres The Real World: Key West's stormy season. Travis Stork and Sarah Stone come clean and admit they've already split. Donald Trump jokes about dating his daughter Ivanka. Texas boutique owner Chloe Dao wins big on Project Runway 2. American Idol narrows its fifth season field to twelve finalists. Simon Cowell predicts Taylor Hicks, Kellie Pickler or Chris Daughtry will win American Idol 5. America's Next Top Model's sixth season premieres to top ratings. Former The Apprentice 2 candidate Raj Bhakta announces plans to go from the boardroom to Congress. CBS announces Rock Star will rock on for a second season. The Donald gets a new real-life apprentice. Former Idol 4 finalist Constantine Maroulis decides to go out on his own. Lifetime announces plans for a Fantasia Barrino TV movie. Flavor of Love's "Pumpkin" gets fired for spitting at "New York." The Biggest Loser 2 winner Matt Hoover gains a fiancee. American Idol signs Paula Abdul to a new three-year contract. Flavor Flav scores a basket with Nikki "Hoopz" Alexander.

April: American Idol judge Paula Abdul says she was physically assaulted.  Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett announce their plan to search for Dreamworks' next big director. "Jesus Take the Wheel" helps American Idol 4 winner Carrie Underwood win two Country Music Television awards. Former Survivor: the Australian Outback castaway Elisabeth Hasselbeck says she's being stalked and harrased. American Idol makes a chart hit out of Daniel Powter's "Bad Day." To no one's surprise, VH1 formally announces that Flavor of Love will return for a second season. American Dreamz star Hugh Grant insists he's not Simon Cowell. The Simple Life co-star Paris Hilton "breaks her silence" about why she's no longer talking to former BFF Nicole Richie. NBC premieres Celebrity Cooking Showdown, its "special week-long event."  Nick Lachey says he was surprised Jessica Simpson decided to divorce him. After three nights of leaving bad tastes in viewers' mouths, NBC cancels Celebrity Cooking Showdown. Reports that Britney Spears is carrying another K-Fed spawn being surfacing. American Idol judge Randy Jackson predicts that Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry or Taylor Hicks will win the show's fifth season. American Idol signs Jackson to a three-year contract extension.

May:  Anna Nicole Smith wins a Supreme Court victory that could get her millions. E! announces that it's giving Nick Carter and family their own reality show. Idol host Ryan Seacrest dumps Terri Hatcher. Tennessee college student Chris Young wins Nashville Star 4. Simon Cowell predicts Taylor Hicks and Chris Daughtry will Idol's fifth season finalists. Britney Spears confirms she's pregnant again. Chris Daughtry gets sent home in an American Idol rocker shocker. Tarah Smith wins Fox's Unan1mous. NBC announces that The Biggest Loser is losing Red Team trainer Jillian Michaels. Aras Baskauskas wins Survivor: Panama. Chris Daughtry fans demand a recount. NBC announces that The Apprentice won't be part of its Fall 2006 schedule. Original Survivor winner Richard Hatch gets 51 months in prison. ABC announces that its next The Bachelor star will be a real prince. Fox premieres So You Think You Can Dance 2. Hippies BJ Averell and Tyler Macniven win The Amazing Race 9. Danielle Evans is crowned America's Next Top Model. American Idol sends Elliot Yamin packing. The Amazing Race 9 couple Ray Whitty and Yolanda Brown-Moore get engaged. The daughter of "Dog the Bounty Hunter" is killed the day before his wedding.  Idol 4 winner Carrie Underwood wins two American Country Music awards. ABC announces that it will air five new summer reality series. Harold Dieterle cooks-up a Top Chef victory. ESPN puts Bonds on Bonds on hiatus. Taylor Hicks becomes American Idol's fifth champion. Adrianne Curry and actor Christopher Knight enjoy a very Brady wedding. NBC announces Olympic medalist Angela Ruggerio will compete on The Apprentice 6. Lauren Conrad moves from Laguna Beach to The Hills.

June: Anna Nicole Smith confirms she's pregnant but keeps identity of the baby's father a secret. The Simple Life: Til Death Do Us Part premieres on E!. Former Idol 5 finalist Chris Daughtry passes on the chance to front Fuel. Donald Trump crowns Sean Yazbeck his fifth The Apprentice winner. Former Average Joe star Adam Mesh gets married. Vivica A. Fox steals ABC's thunder and announces she's going to be a dancing diva. People names Taylor Hicks America's hottest bachelor. Britney Spears says she has no regrets about Chaotic, K-Fed, or anything else. Former Idol 2 winner Ruben Studdard wins a $2 million lawsuit against his former manager. Treasure Hunters premieres on NBC. K-Fed is allowed out of the basement and back into bed with Britney. CBS premieres Tuesday Night Book Club. "Do I Make You Proud" puts Taylor Hicks on top of the charts. NBC premieres Last Comic Standing 4. Idol 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee reveals she had an eating disorder. CBS closes the book on Tuesday Night Book Club. Bravo boots Katie Lee Joel out of the Top Chef kitchen. America's Got Talent premieres big on NBC. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey formally divorce.

July: Orphans get the go ahead to sue Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. An Internet glitch reveals CBS' Big Brother 7: All-Stars houseguests. CBS premieres Rock Star: Supernova. Britney Spears rules out a reality TV return. Big Brother 7: All-Stars premieres on CBS. Survivor: Thailand winner Brian Heidik gets arrested for shooting a puppy. American Idol lands eight Emmy nominations. Former The Surreal Life 3 housemate Brigitte Nielsen weds for the fifth time. Former The Apprentice 4 star Jennifer Murphy marries Extreme Makeover dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman. Bravo premieres Project Runway 3. Survivor star Stephenie LaGrossa gets married. Idol 5 rocker Chris Daughtry signs a recording contract. My Life on the D-List star Kathy Griffin confirms her divorce. E! renews The Simple Life for a fifth season. Skating with Celebrities runner-up Jillian Barberie gets married. The real Supernova sues Rock Star: Supernova. The One: Making a Music Star premieres on ABC. Bravo announces it's renewed The Real Housewives of Orange County for a second season. USA network announces it's renewed Nashville Star for a fifth season. Former Idol 5 finalist Kellie Pickler signs a recording contract. Although they're still breathing, 'Til Death Do Us Part's Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra announce they're divorcing. Fox Reality announces that it's giving Rob and Amber Mariano their own reality show. Daniel Powter continues having a very good day. Fox renews Hell's Kitchen and So You Think You Can Dance for Summer 2007. Lance Bass reveals he's getting N'Sync with former The Amazing Race 4 winner Reichen Lehmkuhl. Katharine McPhee says she's finally going to join American Idol's summer tour. ABC cancels The One after viewers decide that it's not the one for them. Katharine McPhee actually finally joins the Idol tour. American Idol's producers deny that Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino was pressured to quit the competition.

August: Former Survivor winner Richard Hatch gets some new prison digs. The CW announces plans to search for the next Pussycat Doll. Katharine McPhee doesn't let a fractured foot keep her from touring. The Hills gets ready to begin filming its second season. Rock Star: Supernova host Brooke Burke gets pregnant. Skating with Celebrities pair Kristy Swanson and Lloyd Eisler announce they're expecting their first child. Flavor of Love 2 sets an all-time VH1 premiere ratings record. Meet The Barkers' Travis Barker files for divorce from soon-to-be Dancing with the Stars participant Shanna Moakler. NBC announces Grease is coming to the Peacock Network. American Idol begins its sixth season open audition tour. Renovate My Family host Jay McGraw marries a model. Viewers decide Josh Blue is NBC's Last Comic Standing. Former Top Model 5 finalist Kim Stolz lands a mtvU hosting gig. Gordon Ramsey crowns Heather West Hell Kitchen 2's winner. Former The Real World: San Francisco star David "Puck" Rainey becomes a dad again. Laguna Beach returns with a new cast. America decides that So You Think You Can Dance 2's Benji Schwimmer can dance. The next day, they decide that America's Got Talent's Bianca Ryan does have talent. Rock Star hostess Brooke Burke gets engaged to her baby's father. A team of geniuses finds NBC's Treasure Hunters prize. CBS sparks controversy by announcing Survivor: Cook Islands' cast will be divided by race. Taylor Hicks sues his former producer for selling old demo songs. K-Fed says he's going broke. Celebrity Duets premieres on Fox. Taylor Hicks settles with his ex-producer. Former Rockstar: INXS finalist MiG lands a record deal.

September: The Donald fires Carolyn Kepcher. The Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin gets killed by a stingray. Paris Hilton gets arrested and charged with DUI. Former Idol 4 finalist Constantine Maroulis joins the cast of Broadway's The Wedding Singer. HGTV viewers decide that David Bromstad is a Design Star. Anna Nicole Smith's son is found dead in the Bahamas. Mario Lopez is deemed the favorite to win Dancing with the Stars 3. VH1 announces that one of Flavor Flav's spurned lovers will get her own show. Anna Nicole Smith's son's death ruled to be unnatural. CBS premieres Survivor: Cook Islands. Mike "Boogie" Malin wins Big Brother 7: All-Stars. A judge rules that Rock Star's band can't call itself Supernova.  ABC premieres Dancing with the Stars 3.  Whitney Houston files for divorce from her Being Bobby Brown husband. Lukas Rossi is picked to front Rock Star's nameless band. Dog the Bounty Hunter star Duane Chapman finds himself in a prison cage. Authorities begin investigating the death of Anna Nicole's son. CBS premieres The Amazing Race 10. Clay Aiken reveals he gets panicky. The Biggest Loser 2 couple Matt Hoover and Suzy Preston get married. America's Next Top Model 7 launches the new The CW network.  NBC premieres The Biggest Loser 3.  Clay Aiken says he's tired of people gossiping about his sexuality but declines to say whether he's gay or straight. Rock Star: Supernova's band decides to take the show's name as its own. Project Runway 3's Laura Bennett accuses Jeffrey Sebelia of cheating. Fantasia Barrino's father sues her for libel. Anna Nicole Smith announces longtime attorney Howard K. Stern fathered her new baby. Grady Brewer gets crowned the The Contender 2's champion. Authorities rule Anna Nicole Smith's son died from a drug overdose. Nicole Richie denies she has an eating disorder. Anna Nicole Smith and Howard K. Stern "commit" to each other. Survivor: Cook Islands ends its racial divide.

October: ABC premieres The Bachelor: Rome.  Anna Nicole Smith's ex-boyfriend says her new baby is his. Project Runway 3 finalist Jeffrey Sebelia says he didn't seek outside sewing help. Paris Hilton and Shanna Moakler have a catfight. Project Runway 3 finalist Laura Bennett stands by her cheating allegations. Anna Nicole says goodbye to her dead son Daniel. The Simple Life forces Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie into becoming BFF's again. Congressman Tom Tancredo asks Condoleezza Rice to block Duane "Dog" Chapman's extradition. Sara Evans files for divorce and quits Dancing with the Stars. Reports that The Amazing Race 11 will be an All-Stars edition begin emerging. Sara Evans said she quit Dancing with the Stars for her son. Flavor of Love 2 sets more VH1 ratings records. Jeffrey Sebelia overcomes cheating allegations to win Project Runway 3. Monique Coleman accuses Dancing with the Stars judges of being sexist. Anna Nicole finally buries her deceased son. Dog The Bounty Hunter star Duane Chapman gets a Mexican reprieve. Former The Amazing Race winners whine about All-Stars exclusion. Elisabeth Hasselbeck whines about Law & Order using a name similar to hers. Anna Nicole's ex-boyfriend files a paternity lawsuit. Little People, Big World's Jacob Roloff gets injured by a catapult misfire.

November: Flavor Flav learns he is going to be a daddy for the seventh time. VH1 decides to send Flavor of Love's women to Charm School. Former 'Idol' finalist Kellie Pickler releases her debut album. CBS orders a new pirate-themed Mark Burnett reality elimination show. Carrie Underwood's CMA award win causes a Faith Hill flap. Britney Spears finally kicks K-Fed to the curb. The Biggest Loser 2 newlyweds Matt Hoover and Suzy Preston announce they're expecting. The View gives The Amazing Race 10 couple Dave and Mary Conley a new car, home, and more. K-Fed asks for custody of the kids. Kellie Pickler signs a Fox sitcom development deal. Emmitt Smith runs away from the competition and win ABC's Dancing with the Stars 3. Kelly Ripa attacks Clay Aiken. CBS confirms The Amazing Race 11 will be star studded. Project Runway hostess Heidi Klum has another baby. Former Idol 3 finalist Jon Peter Lewis releases his debut album. Jennifer Wilson gets her The Bachelor: Rome prince. ABC reveals its next The Bachelor star will be an officer and a gentleman. The Bachelor: Rome star Lorenzo Borghese reveals he picked his princess only two hours before the finale. Chris Daughtry's album debuts second to none... except Jay-Z.

December: Former 'Dancing With the Stars 3' competitor Willa Ford gets engaged.  CBS announces Armed & FamousThe Amazing Race 4 winner Reichen Lehmkuhl and Lance Bass break up.  NBC announces The Apprentice 6 will feature a "live like a king or a pauper" twist.  Caridee English wins America's Next Top Model 7.  Reports that Jennifer Wilson is already dating another guy surface.  Tyler Denk and James Branaman win The Amazing Race 10The Simple Life star Nicole Richie gets arrested for DUI.  Erik Chopin loses 214 pounds, wins The Biggest Loser 3.  ABC announces its teaming with Oprah Winfrey for two new reality series.  Former Skating with Celebrities runner-up Jillian Barberie reveals she's pregnant.  Original The Apprentice winner Bill Rancic gets engaged to E! News' Giuliana DePandi.  Yul Kwon edges Ozzy Lusth to win Survivor: Cook Islands.  CBS gives reality viewers a deja vu feeling by revealing Survivor: Fiji will feature a "live like a king or a pauper" twist.  American Idol's producers announce that they are planning a midseason event "that will blow America away."  Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell wage war via the media.  Judge orders Anna Nicole Smith to submit her baby to a paternity test.  NFL quarterback Tony Romo reveals he's dating Carrie Underwood.


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