The 5 Most Infamous Reality Shows Starring Pop Stars

It’s easy to roll your eyes when the topic of reality shows arises. But there are plenty of those shows that give enlightening glimpses into icons’ private lives. Some of them are even more poignant years, and in most cases, a lifetime after they aired.

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1. Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, Britney & Kevin: Chaotic

It seems Britney Spears has made an incredible number of poor career moves. Dancing with knives (which resulted in police arriving at her home for a welfare check). Posting almost-nude photos (very) publicly. At one point Spears told The Telegraph her worst career move was the 2005 reality documentary show Britney & Kevin: Chaotic, but she may feel differently now. Regardless, it’s worth a look back at the program to gauge for cringe-worthiness.

The five-episode UPN television show—an “event,” really—provided arguably the first insights into the unconventional (to say the least) private life of the pop star. Highlights (lowlights?) include the following, which we revised a bit from an Entertainment Weekly list: 

  • A Brit Cam conversation in which the pop star says she doesn’t want an “ugly guy” as the camera focuses on her nasal passages and unraveling hair extensions.
  • Gratuitous slobbering between the couple, and talk aplenty about sex.
  • Sloppy Britney in oversized clothes and messy hair. (Entertainment Weekly used the word “deranged” to describe poor Britney).
  • Pam & Tommy-type shots of Britney’s body.
  • Dull Kevin scenes that made viewers long for more messy Britney shots.

2. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica

Jessica Simpson spills plenty of details about her personal life, including her marriages, in her recently released and seemingly accurately titled memoir Open Book. Some of her recollections include those from the 2003-05 MTV reality show in which she and then-husband Nick Lachey starred, Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica.

It’s been 20 years since the show aired, and various media and fans have taken some not-so-fond looks back. Although Nick and Jessica have gone on to remarry and start families, some fans are convinced the show unearths the true personalities of its stars. That’s different from when the show first aired and Simpson took heat for some comments, the most notorious of which was trying to determine why Chicken of the Sea was named that if it was tuna and not chicken. (By the way, in Open Book, she claims she always knew the truth.)

[RELATED: Jessica Simpson on How Moving to Nashville Directed Her Back to Making Music]

But now episodes of the show that play on TikTok make fans think Lachey was actually the one who should be called out for the series, reports E News Online. One scene of the couple quarreling over a home renovation finds Lachey telling his bride: “You’re a spoiled brat. You’re a bratty girl.”

One user wrote, “I used to watch them before, and now rewatching it, Nick was such a jerk to Jessica.” while another said, “If this comes to Netflix now, I think everyone will see how toxic Nick actually was,” according to E News Online.

And what does Simpson think?

“I’m still that person,” she told Bustle. “Honestly, if Eric told me I had to do all the laundry, I would still throw it over the banister and throw a hissy fit.”

3. Kevin Jonas and Danielle Jonas, Married to Jonas

In the show Married to Jonas, E! Television told the story of Jonas Brothers pop star Kevin Jonas and his New Jersey-born wife, Danielle Deleasa. There are only two seasons of the show that premiered on August 19, 2012, but it highlights Kevin Jonas’ talent as he works on new music and shows his wife, a former hair stylist, how to adapt to life in a show business family. 

The show highlights how the couple’s families mesh and work through some unexpected cultural clashes. Unlike some other pop-centric reality shows, Married to Jonas was praised for “the love between Kevin and Dani that remains center stage,” according to Watchworthy:

“What fans adore about Married to Jonas is its ability to capture genuine moments of love, laughter, and vulnerability. It’s not just about glitz and glamour; it’s about witnessing real-life struggles as Kevin and Dani strive for normalcy amidst extraordinary circumstances. From Dani’s hilarious attempts at cooking dinner for the entire Jonas family to her family’s worries on prom night, each episode offers an intimate glimpse into their lives.”

4. Ozzy Osbourne and Family, The Osbournes

You might think Ozzy Osbourne is about as far away from a pop star as possible. The former Black Sabbath frontman, who kicked off his solo career by biting the head off a dove in a record label board room, is more of a rocker, no questions. But The Osbournes was such a seminal entry in the reality show canon that rock ‘n’ roll’s “Prince of Darkness” really did become a pop star for all intents and purposes.

The four seasons of The Osbournes are the gold standard-bearer for musician reality shows. The MTV product even won the 2002 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Reality Program. Say what you will about the wackiness quotient of the Osbourne clan; watching Ozzy interact with his wife Sharon and kids Kelly and Jack was doggone fun. Daughter Aimie, also a singer, requested not to appear (which probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but…).

5. Ashlee Simpson, The Ashlee Simpson Show

Jessica Simpson’s kid sister, Ashlee Simpson, had a reality show that aired on MTV right after Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica. You’ll likely read some less-than-positive feedback on the show; a common complaint was that too much time was wasted showing her driving and engaging in other mundane tasks. 

But Entertainment Weekly gave it a thumbs-up for showing how Ashlee was trying to break out on her own, away from under her famous sister’s shadow. We especially love what EW described her “breakout moment” as when “the butterfly emerged from her cocoon….[finding] her inner rock star, bumping and grinding to the amazement of her bandmates.”

Photo by M. Von Holden/FilmMagic

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