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

By Christopher Rocchio, 12/18/2009 

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 begin our 12-day countdown with the first installment: January 2009.

- Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List star Kathy Griffin drops the "D-bomb" while co-hosting CNN's New Year's Eve coverage with network anchor and former The Mole host Anderson Cooper. She subsequently states her mom wouldn't talk to her after the incident.

- Dancing with the Stars professionals Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff get engaged on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas.

- The Bachelor star Jason Mesnick begins his search for love by eliminating his first 10 bachelorettes during the ABC reality dating series' thirteenth-season premiere. ABC also reveals that former The Bachelorette star DeAnna Pappas -- who rejected Mesnick during the show's fourth-season finale last year -- will make an appearance during his The Bachelor journey, and she promises it "will be worth the wait."

- Project Runway fashion guru Tim Gunn claims Lifetime is still planning on taping its sixth-season finale in February at New York Fashion Week despite the show still being in legal limbo, however producers of the reality series reportedly plan on doing their best to keep the finalists' identities a secret.

- American Idol's eighth season premieres with new fourth judge Kara DioGuardi, who also confirms she's engaged. Hopeful Joanna Pacitti receives a golden ticket to  Hollywood Week despite having significant previous recording industry experience, and DioGuardi defends her advancement in the competition. Former producer Nigel Lythgoe states he misses the show since it's the first season since he announced his departure last summer, and Fox claims it is planning a potentially controversial "big surprise" when the season gets down to the Top 12. In addition, the identities of the Top 36 semifinalists leak online.

- The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney gives birth to a baby girl, and NBC renews the reality-weight-loss competition for an eighth and ninth season.

- CBS reveals the castaways who will be competing on Survivor: Tocantins -- The Brazilian Highlands as well as a first-impressions twist that will meet the cast as soon as they are marooned.

- Bravo drops DeShawn Snow from The Real Housewives of Atlanta's cast.

- Entertainer Donny Osmond claims he's considering going Dancing with the Stars, then clarifies that he hasn't been given a formal invite and subsequently states he's "definitely not" competing in the reality show's upcoming eighth season.

- The Bachelorette fourth-season winner Jesse Csincsak -- who split from star DeAnna Pappas last year -- makes headlines when he begins spending time with former The Bachelor bachelorette Holly Durst. The two subsequently confirm they are dating.

- American Idol seventh-season winner David Cook announces a U.S. concert tour, and so does runner-up David Archuleta. In addition, Cook and former American Idol second-season finalist Kimberly Caldwell end their romantic relationship.

- American Idol third-season champion Fantasia Barrino is reportedly ignoring notices that her North Carolina home will be auctioned, however an agreement is subsequently reached and the house never reaches auction.

- A coroner rules that Paula Abdul's alleged stalker Paula Goodspeed died from a successful suicide attempt via overdose outside of the American Idol judge's home.

- Former American Idol third-season finalist Jennifer Hudson denies she'll be singing at Barack Obama's inauguration -- however the NFL confirms that it has tapped her to perform at February's Super Bowl. In addition, Hudson and American Idol fourth-season champ Carrie Underwood are both announced as performers at the upcoming Grammy Awards ceremony.

- The Biggest Loser: Couples contestant Shanon Thomas is arrested and charged with domestic violence for allegedly throwing some flour in the face and eyes of a tenant at her Michigan home.

- Former Jackass star Johnny Knoxville is detained for bring a fake grenade to Los Angeles International Airport.

- Former American Idol sixth-season finalist Sanjaya Malakar releases a "tell-all" book.

- Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel is hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat while filming his new hidden camera show Howie Do It. He is subsequently released, returns to work, and claims to be fine.

- Former American Idol first-season host Brian Dunkleman begins yet another comeback attempt by pitching a new sitcom.

- NBC's Momma's Boy reality series concludes with two of the show's three bachelors deciding to go against their moms' wishes by picking a female suitor their mother didn't approve of.

- The Biggest Loser: Families champion Michelle Aguilar gets engaged, and so does former Top Chef: Chicago contestant Nikki Cascone. Former American Idol sixth-season finalist Gina Glocksen also gets married.

Premieres: Underdog to Wonderdog (1/3); Superstars of Dance (1/4); Rock of Love Bus With Bret Michaels (1/4); Ultimate Recipe Showdown, Season 2 (1/4); Confessions of a Teen Idol (1/4); The Bachelor, Season 13 (1/5); True Beauty (1/5); DietTribe (1/5); Homeland Security USA (1/6); The Biggest Loser: Couples, Season 2 (1/6); Dirty Jobs, Season 5 (1/6); The Real World: Brooklyn (1/7); 13: Fear is Real (1/7); The Exterminators (1/7); Howie Do It (1/9); Man vs. Wild, Season 3 (1/12); American Idol, Season 8 (1/13); Chopped (1/13); Tool Academy (1/11); Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew, Season 3 (1/15); Sober House (1/15); Treasure Quest (1/15); Will Work for Food (1/19); I Love Money, Season 2 (1/26); Hell's Kitchen, Season 5 (1/29); Toughest Cowboy (1/29).

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