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

By Christopher Rocchio, 12/23/2009 

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 fifth installment: May 2009.

- Jon & Kate Plus 8 star Jon Gosselin claims that he and schoolteacher Deanna Hummel are "just friends" despite reports that he is having an affair with her.

- Deanna Hummel's brother subsequently claims she is having an affair with Gosselin and he knows because he's overheard the two of them having sex repeatedly. Hummel denies her brother's allegations, and so does Jon -- leading to his wife Kate Gosselin says she is "very hesitant" to believe the infidelity reports while family friends also defend Jon.

- Kate Gosselin refutes reports that she's having an affair with family bodyguard Steven Neild, however Jon allegedly states he is still worried about his wife's relationship with the bodyguard.

- Kate Gosselin says it's "hell" being on tabloid magazine covers and both she and Jon state uncertainty about whether or not their marriage can survive.

- Kate Gosselin's estranged brother and sister-in-law allege Jon and Kate's eight children are being exploited, and Pennsylvania Department of Labor confirms it is investigating whether Jon & Kate Plus 8 is violating child labor laws after gets an receiving a complaint.

- TLC confirms Jon & Kate Plus 8 will continue despite all the family issues and the show's fifth-season premiere sets series ratings records.

- Adam Cook, the oldest brother of American Idol seventh-season winner David Cook, dies at age 37 after battling brain cancer for more than a decade. 

- American Idol judge Paula Abdul performs her heavily-hyped new single "[I'm Just] Here For The Music" on the Fox reality competition.

- Joan Rivers defeats Annie Duke and wins The Celebrity Apprentice's second season.

- "Sibling Lawyers" Tammy Jih and Victor Jih win The Amazing Race's fourteenth season.

- Paulina Porizkova announces she was fired from her position as an America's Next Top Model judge. The CW subsequently confirms Porizkova she is no longer with the show and Top Model creator Tyra Banks states the move was made due to budge cuts.

- Helen Phillips wins The Biggest Loser: Couples by losing 140 pounds.

- Former Laguna Beach star Kristin Cavallari confirms she's joining The Hills, while Lauren Conrad denies reports that she's returning to the MTV reality series.

- Original Survivor winner Richard Hatch is moved from prison to a halfway house.

- Teyona Anderson wins America's Next Top Model's twelfth season.

- Danny Veltri defeats Paula Dasilva to win Hell's Kitchen's fifth season.

- Reports that Fox is planning to air So You Think You Can Dance's sixth season in the fall begin to surface.  Fox subsequently confirms it -- marking the first time the dance-themed reality series will air outside of the summer programming season.

- Former The Bachelorette star Jen Schefft gets married to Joe Waterman in Chicago.

- Survivor: Africa champ Ethan Zohn is diagnosed with cancer.

- Olympic gold medalist gymnast Shawn Johnson and her professional partner Mark Ballas win Dancing with the Stars eighth season.

- James "JT" Thomas Jr. wins Survivor: Tocantins via a unanimous Tribal Council vote.

- Kris Allen defeats Adam Lambert to win American Idol's eighth-season title, but judge Simon Cowell still voices skepticism about Allen's staying power.

- An Arkansas television station gets Lambert fans in a uproar by claiming Allen's home state somehow managed to cast 38 million finale votes for him, however AT&T and Fox state the Arkansas party voters weren't responsible for deciding the outcome and the station subsequently retracts the report.

- American Idol second-season champ Clay Aiken bashes Lambert and but then apologizes for what he calls a "colorful" critique of the new runner-up.

- Lambert tells the public to "keep speculating" about his sexuality while host Ryan Seacrest reveals Lambert will be addressing his sexuality "soon." Lambert eventually "comes out" on the cover of Rolling Stone.

- Bravo announces it is developing The Real Housewives of D.C. -- the fifth installment in its The Real Housewives reality series franchise.

- Internet sensation Susan Boyle makes it to Britain's Got Talent's finale broadcast -- however the pressure is apparently getting to her, as judge Piers Morgan claims she threatened to quit the competition and her spokesperson said she lost her cool after being harassed. Boyle eventually finishes in second place.

- So You Think You Can Dance lead judge Nigel Lythgoe apologizes for his reaction to seeing two male dancers audition together during the show's fifth-season.

- A report claims that American Idol judge Paula Abdul admitted to a painkiller addiction and undergoing rehab, however she subsequently denies it and inists she "never checked into a rehab clinic, never was addicted to or abused drugs, and [has] never been addicted or abused alcohol."

Premieres: New York Goes to Work (5/4); The Fashion Show (5/7); Charm School, Season 3 (5/11); The Real Housewives of New Jersey (5/12); The Bachelorette, Season 5 (5/18); 4th & Long (5/18); So You Think You Can Dance, Season 5 (5/21); Intervention, Season 7 (5/25); Jon & Kate Plus 8, Season 5 (5/25); Obsessed (5/25); Here Come the Newlyweds, Season 2 (5/25); Cake Boss (5/25); The Little Couple (5/26); Hitched or Ditched (5/26); Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, Season 2 (5/26); Wipeout, Season 2 (5/27); Tattoo Highway (5/27); What Not to Wear, Season 7 (5/29); Jesse James is a Dead Man (5/31); Ice Road Truckers, Season 3 (5/31); HGTV's $250,000 Challenge (5/31); Expedition Africa: Stanley & Livingstone (5/31).

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