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A Look Back: The 2009 Reality TV Year In Review - February 2009

By Christopher Rocchio, 12/19/2009 

With 2009 drawing to a close, it's time to take a look back at the year that was.  The following is Reality TV World's 2009 Reality TV Year In Review, a 12-part, month-by-month review of some of the past year's reality TV headlines, highlights, lowlights, and milestones. 

Today we continue our 12-day countdown with the second installment: February 2009.

- Former American Idol finalist Jennifer Hudson performs at the Super Bowl. While she lip-synched the performance at the insistence of the show's director, it was her first performance since her mother and nephew were murdered in the fall. Hudson and American Idol fourth-season champ Carrie Underwood also win Grammy awards and Hudson describes performing as "therapy" and announces she's embarking on a concert tour in spring.

- Project Runway's sixth-season finale films at New York Fashion Week with tighter security and decoys so the identities of the actual finalists don't leak, however the finale runway models still spill accurate spoilers about the finalists' identities.

- E! confirms it has ordered a The Girls Next Door spinoff starring Kendra Wilkinson.

- Jerry Springer announces he won't be returning as America's Got Talent's host and is tapped to star in London's Chicago theatrical run. NBC subsequently announces it will replace Springer with Nick Cannon as America's Got Talent's host.

- TLC confirms it has canceled Trading Spaces after eight seasons.

- Former Skating with Celebrities couple Kristy Swanson and Lloyd Eisler get married.

- ABC announces it will air a Wife Swap 100th episode special featuring a new swap of two families who previously appeared on the show: the Heene family from Colorado and the Silver family from Florida.

- ABC reveals Dancing with the Stars' eighth-season celebrity cast and professional partner pairings. Co-host Samantha Harris picks Olympic gold medalist gymnast Shawn Johnson -- who thought she was too short to compete on the reality series -- as her favorite to win the title.

- ABC announces it is casting for The Biggest Loser eighth-season contestants -- and trainers.

- American Idol reveals its eighth-season Top 36 semifinalists and disqualifies hopeful Joanna Pacitti. Fox reality chief Mike Darnell subsequently states Pacitti -- who had significant previous recording industry experience -- was cut for "a perceptional problem" while host Ryan Seacrest said she was disqualified due to her former "link" to the show's producers. She is replaced in the Top 36 by Felicia Barton, who learned of her spot on the show while watching the Top 36 broadcast.

- Former American Idol finalist Mikalah Gordon states she thinks eighth-season semifinalist Adam Lambert should also be disqualified because of his previous professional experience, including a theatrical run in Wicked.

- Paula Abdul claims having a fourth judge on American Idol "doesn't work" before clarifying that her remarks were "taken completely out of context."

- CBS orders two more Survivor editions -- representing the nineteenth and twentieth installments of the long-running reality series -- for the 2009-2010 primetime programming season.

- Former British Big Brother houseguest Jade Goody is diagnosed with cancer and given months to live. She subsequently vows to end her life in the media spotlight.

- TLC confirms it has potential interest in a new reality series starring controversial "Octomom" Nadya Suleman. The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss calls Suleman "too radioactive" for a reality series, and TLC subsequently decides against pursuing the project.

- Donald Trump Jr. and his wife Vanessa welcome their second child.

- American Idol second-season runner-up Clay Aiken is reportedly dropped by RCA Records, however he subsequently states it was his decision to leave the record label.

- America's Next Top Model announces Cycle 13 open casting calls and for the first time requires applicants be 5'7" or under.

- Reports that NBC is considering reviving I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! surface.

- Lauren Conrad once again claims that The Hills upcoming new season will be her last.

- Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba and her boyfriend -- former So You Think You Can Dance contestant Artem Chigvintsev -- break up.

- Julia Anderson is crowned the winner of ABC's True Beauty reality competition series.

- The Bachelor seventh-season couple Charlie O'Connell and Sarah Brice reveal his excessive drinking was the main reason behind their 2007 split.

- Hosea Rosenberg is crowned the winner of Bravo's Top Chef: New York.

- Rock Star: INXS winner J.D. Fortune claims he was fired by the band, which subsequently denies the allegation.

- ABC expands its The Bachelor thirteenth-season finale broadcast and creator Mike Fleiss teases that it will be "shocking" and the "most dramatic ever." He subsequently reiterated those comments as star Jason Mesnick reveals Melissa Rycroft and Molly Malaney are his two final bachelorettes. Host Chris Harrison denies the show's ending has never been scripted.

- Rejected The Bachelor suitor Jillian Harris claims there would be both pros and cons to serving as The Bachelorette's next star and added she'd have to think about it if the role was offered.

Premieres: Jockeys (2/6); The Millionaire Matchmaker, Season 2 (2/12); Survivor: Tocantins -- The Brazilian Highlands  (2/12); The Amazing Race, Season 14 (2/15).

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