Reality TV Show Curse: 9 Couples That Didn’t Make it

December 20, 2011  |  
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Whether you’ve heard of the reality TV curse or not, it’s hard to deny the idea that after a couple is on a reality TV show together, they break up.  From scripted TV shows to “unscripted” reality shows, there’s something about the spotlight and attention that seems to create relationship problems once the camera starts rolling.  Reality TV star Khloe Kardashian and husband Lamar Odem recently spoke out to defend their marriage and shoot down the idea that they might soon split due to the constant exposure.  Although her sister Kim is currently going through a divorce to her 3 month hubby Chris Humphries, Khloe and Lamar seem to be holding on strong.  However, some TV romances seem to be just for show and attention and when the cameras turn off, so does the attraction.  Whatever the case, take a look at these 9 couples that fell victim to the infamous reality TV show curse.

1. Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez

Former ‘Bachelorette’ star Ali Fedotowsky has called it quits with fiancé Roberto Martinez. The couple first captured America’s attention last year, when Martinez popped the question to Fedotowsky during the finale of the ABC reality dating show’s sixth season. Since then, the couple of 18 months blamed their wedding delay on a number of excuses, ranging from scheduling conflicts to a knee injury.  It looks like they’ve finally given up the act and have succumbed to the curse of reality TV.

2, Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi

Come on now, who didn’t see this one coming? Just three months after Jake Pavelka gave the final rose to blond beauty Vienna Girardi on The Bachelor finale, the couple called it quits. Pavelka shocked ‘Bachelor’ fans last season when he chose Girardi over fan favorite Tenley Molzahn.  Looks like the fans where right!

3. Vienna Girardi and Kasey Kaul

And just to put the nail in the coffin, since her split with Pavelka, Vienna linked up with former Bachelor Pad contestant Kasey Kahl (best known for serenading Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky during the sixth season of The Bachelorette) and recently split. The pair spent the majority of the second season of The Bachelor Pad telling everyone how in love they were, and then turning around and fighting like cats and dogs. After the show, they moved in together, but clearly that didn’t last long.  After two failed TV romances, it looks like Vienna should take a break from the cameras and focus more on her real life and less on “reality TV star Vienna.”

4. Tareq Salahi and Michaele Salahi

After their infamous trip to “crash” a White House party, couple Tareq and Michaela Salahi have crashed into a divorce. Hours after the ‘Real Housewives of D.C.’ star’s husband Tareq Salahi claimed she had been abducted, it was reported that she’s alive and well… in Memphis with Journey guitarist Neal Schon. According to TMZ, Michaele and Schon have been dating for some time and she also attended Journey’s show with Foreigner in Nashville.

5. Lisa Wu-Hartwell and Ed Hartwell

Former Real Housewives of Atlanta star Lisa Wu-Hartwell announced via Twitter that she and her husband, former NFL pro Ed Hartwell, have split. In 2009, their Atlanta mansion was sold in a foreclosure sale after the couple defaulted on their mortgage. ‘Sadly. We are separated but would NEVER be over money,’ she wrote. ‘That is so far from the truth. Wish people could respect people’s privacy during times like these.’

6.  Sammi Giancola and Ronnie Magro

Oh the drama that is the Jersey Shore.  Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola and Ronnie Magro have called it quits on their volatile relationship … again. The pair, who first hooked up during season 1 on the set of MTV’s hit reality show, have broken up and gotten back together more times than we can count. Or care to count.  Their constant fights turned into constant comedy for the rest of the J.Shore cast.

7. Tamra Barney and Simon Barney

Tamra Barney’s husband, Simon, has filed for divorce from the ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’ star. In the explosive divorce papers, Simon claims his wife ‘has been verbally abusive and has committed acts of disloyalty and infidelity.’ Tamra and Simon have reportedly been having severe marital problems over the past several years, something fans of the popular Bravo reality show are familiar to witnessing on camera.  Since the split, Tamra quickly jumped into a relationship with the younger and hunky Eddie Judge, who just so happened to be a friend of Simon’s. Drama, drama, drama!

8. Hulk Hogan and Linda Hogan

After 4 seasons of their reality show Hogan Knows Best, wrestler Hulk Hogan and wife Linda Hogan called it quits.  But that’s not all. After a nasty divorce in 2009, in which Linda accusing Hulk of trying to hide millions of dollars in assets and stalking her, and Hulk said Linda was using alimony money for drugs, the exes are at it again. The former wrestling star is suing ex-wife for defamation after her tell-all book ‘Wrestling the Hulk–My Life Against the Ropes’ revealed that Hogan allegedly beat her during their 24-year marriage. The 18-page lawsuit, filed Thursday in Clearwater, Fla., claims Bollea lied about the abuse in her autobiography as an effort to save her ‘sagging career’ following the couple’s 2009 divorce.  To make it even more dramatic, Linda soon started dating 19-year-old Charley Hill, also a former classmate of her daughter Brooke.  Yikes!



9. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey

In 2005, Simpson and Lachey called it quits after just 3 years of marriage.  The two were married in a lavish ceremony on Oct. 26, 2002, in Austin, Texas. The couple announced they were divorcing in 2005, just months after the last episode of their show, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, had aired. Simpson doesn’t blame reality TV for their breakup, telling Vanity Fair, “In all honesty, I believe it did not affect our marriage because we enjoyed watching those episodes.” Lachey, however, sees it differently, telling David Letterman, “It was just so invasive that it became a problem.”  Since the split, both Simpson and Lachey have found love once again… with other people.  Lachey married new love Vanessa Minnillo on July 15 and Simpson is pregnant and engaged to former football player Eric Johnson.


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  • unque43

    Shows like the bachelor , I don’t count them as real couples because the show is based on meeting someone. True couples or the ones who were married before staring in a show. That Jersey shore couple were they ever married. That couple that crashed the White House event well they were a joke , so you never look for people like that to stay together.





  • anna

    so… we forgot about kim and kris? they should be number one on this list.

  • “…Wish people could respect people’s privacy during times like these.”

    Well, when you tweet about everything…

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  • kay

    Interestingly enough, the only couple to have really survived reality tv is Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne. Explain that one.

    • tutttul

      Easy – Sharon & Ozzy have been together – and fell in love – long before money and fame came into the picture. Marriages built on love only usually last.

  • MzFitt

    I don’t know about Klamar…IMO, I think once the cameras stop rolling…so will they

  • JJ

    Jon and Kate?

  • Such a pity, such a lovely couple, Ed and Lisa Hartwell!

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  • Ifuaskme2

    shouldn’t #9 be #1?

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  • I think that Khloe and Lamar are the only reality couple who still survives besides the others mentioned in this article.

  • I hope that Khloe and Lamar stay together. Even though they are an interracial couple, they seem unbreakable. 

    • tutttul

      I think most hope the same – they’ve certainly faced a number of challenges together. In spite of what others say – Lamar & Khloe seem genuinely to love each other and hopefully will be able to go the distance once their problems are resolved. I wish them the best – and babies!

  • RenJennM

    Lisa and Ed can (and should) still work things out. Separation is separation, NOT divorce, and it doesn’t have to become divorce. Pray on it, speak to pastors, go to counseling, date again… fix your marriage. I feel that when a marriage is completely shattered, and there’s no hope for fixing it, or if your life and/or sanity is in danger GOD forbid, THAT is when you should get divorced.

    • tutttul

      You are so right. Seems couples get married so “in love” but don’t take the vows seriously although marriage vows are a promise to each other AND God. The vows of “for better or worse”, “in sickness & n health”, “for richer or for poorer” and “til death do us part” are the basis of the marital union, spell out the human condition and is God’s way of informing couples of the seriousness of marriage and that come what may – including the possibilities of poverty and illness – marriage is sacred and forever.
      Nothing is worse than marrying someone for looks or money or because times are good and easy – then divorcing when life together is no longer so “easy” because that means the marriage was not for love but something else. “Love” means no matter what happens in life – there is no place else you’d rather be – and that’s rare and seldom comes wrapped with wealth or looks because a couple truly in love – not lust or like – will always find the way to create a successful life together more valuable than what each brings to the union alone.

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  • roo08

    why even bother posting bachelor/bachelorrete couples? I was going WHO?! so many times. that show has been on tv for close to 10 years now and ONE couple is still standing (i forgot their names but the husband was really cute, sweet and a firefighter)…heck I don’t even know if they are together but I hope they are. I can’t stand the bachelor…it’s just another oh so wonderful opportunity to watch white people date each other…

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  • Cha-Cha

    It seriously irks me when people who CHOOSE to live their lives publucly (Lisa Wu or any of these so called reality stars), always ask for privacy during difficult situations. Lisa Wu says she wishes people would just respect her privacy… c’mon now! You put your life out there for everyone to see, then get mad when people look at it.

  • RealityTV Fan

    Madame Noire…how could you leave out Jon and Kate of Jon and Kate plus 8.  I think their split was bigger than any of the ones listed.  They got hit with the reality curse BIG time!

  • RED

    Does it really count when you meet as a contestant on a show????????????  That was already for show to start with.  Now hewn you consider couples that were married like Ed & Lisa Hartwell or Nene and Greg, that’s another story altogether.

    • Girliusmaximus

      Good point. So the moral of the article… DON’T go on the Bachelor or Bachelorette to meet your boo… Don’t go on Real Housewives of “Anything” if you want to keep your boo… Don’t go any MTV reality show PERIOD.

  • khole and lam lam will make it…lisa who? was is a hoe she’ll keep moving to the next money till it stops then she’ll get off and catch another.

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  • princ essa

    Lisa Wu is funny bc i remember the tag from the 1st season of RHOA and she said if it doesnt make her money then she isn’t interested….maybe Ed wasn’t making her that money 🙂 

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  • Trina

    sammi and ronnie split and break up every episode lol