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Summer Reality TV Recap:

What You Missed (Or Didn’t)

By Luke Giberson
On September 7, 2011

Just because you spent your summer outdoors doesn't mean I did. Here's a summary of some of this summer's finest in reality TV:

"The Bachelorette:"

No surprises here. On the beaches of Fiji, Ashley Herbert found love and accepted JP's proposal, while Ben Flajnik went home heartbroken.

As a consolation prize, he received an invitation to have 25 women swoon over him as the star of the next season of "The Bachelor," so he can't be that disappointed.

But if I'm the producer, the only choice for the next season of "The Bachelor" is not Ben, but Bentley, the most controversial figure in Bachelor/Bachelorette history.

Bentley had no feelings for Ashley from the beginning, yet deviously played his way to her heart in no more than three weeks, before abruptly leaving her crumpled in an emotional heap. Bentley's not stupid – he knows America hates him, which is why he didn't show up for what would have been the most vitriolic "Men Tell All" reunion show ever. This being the behind the scenes thoughts from the all the men on the show.

He would need to be paid potentially two to three times more than the $100,000 average salary for a Bachelor/Bachelorette star. But since ratings are falling rapidly, why not take a flier on him?

Maybe the audience will expand beyond 35-year-old women and 21-year-old male college students…

"Celebrity Rehab:"

I like that this is one of the most honest reality shows out there, but it was difficult to enjoy it on a weekly basis when reminded that these are real celebrities with real addictions.

If anything, watch it just for Dr. Drew, a remarkably patient man who deftly manages big egos (Steven Tyler) and fragile minds (Sugar Kiper), and somehow gets them all to cohabitate in a relatively peaceful manner.

"Basketball Wives:"

It's not worth recapping this "reality" show – there's probably a script floating around online.

However, it was enjoyable to see Chad Ochocinco giving sperm so that he and fiancée Evelyn could have twin boys, opening up that age-old question, "Is it ethical for Ochocinco to genetically engineer his kids via in vitro fertilization?"

"The Challenge: Rivals:"

The best reality show of the summer by far, "The Challenge" took on a new form this summer, pairing together partners who have a history of bad blood and having those teams compete in cooperative competitions.

Immunity challenges from this season included: crushing a car with a bulldozer, shimmying up a rope hanging from the bottom of a helicopter, jumping off of a waterfall, and climbing across hammocks suspended 50 feet above the water.

Let's not forget the final challenge: kayaking three miles, memorizing a campsite, shoveling dirt, recreating the entire campsite from memory and eating an absurd amount of food and subsequently vomiting it before climbing up a mountain trail – all of this while carrying a 25-pound stone ball and chain.

Partners spent the night alternating between sleeping and standing on a rock. The next morning, they finished the challenge by hiking up an Argentinian mountain to finally get to the $100,000 first prize.

In typical MTV "Real World" fashion, the rest of the show is drunken debauchery and half-baked strategic ideas for winning the game.

But what makes the show the contestants are intense competitors (if you don't believe me, YouTube "the most bionic man in all of mankind.")

These ex-"Real World"/"Road Rules" stars make their living by building their personal brand – starting a clothing line, making paid appearances at bars and winning this show.

They make an entire year's paycheck by winning, so they'll do whatever it takes to win.

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