best TV The Best Reality Competition Series  

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List Rules Vote up your favorite reality shows with a competitive game angle

The best reality TV competition series, ranked by fans and critics. Reality shows are among the most-watched programs on TV, and they are easy to produce due to their low production costs, lack of staff, and quick turn-around. Early programs like "Survivor" and "Big Brother" gained international audiences who loved watching real people compete for money and fame. High-pressure situations, 24/7 filming, and clashing personalities ensured frequent drama as alliances and enemies were created and destroyed.

In recent years, more generic reality competition shows have given way to more specialized contests. Dance competition series range from "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing with the Stars" to "Dance Moms." Travel shows are favorites, as are talent and singing shows - from "American Idol" to "The Voice" to "The X Factor" - which are consistently among the highest rated programs on TV - ever.

In that spirit, it's time to get competitive. Vote for your favorite reality competition shows to move them up the list. You can also customize and rank your own list by clicking Rerank.
list ordered by

1
1,642 708
Survivor is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Survivor Jeff Probst, Rob Mariano, Rupert Boneham

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2
1,087 657
Big Brother is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Big Brother Julie Chen, Phil Proctor, Clayton Halsey

3
1,260 592
The Amazing Race is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series

4
673 859
America's Got Talent is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
America's Got Talent Nick Cannon, Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne

5
854 733
The Voice is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Voice Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Carson Daly

6
673 680
Fear Factor is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Fear Factor Joe Rogan

7
405 505
The Price Is Right is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Price Is Right Bob Barker, Janice Pennington, Dian Parkinson

8
724 704
Wipeout is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Wipeout John Henson, John Anderson, Jill Wagner

9
881 669
Project Runway is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Project Runway Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia

10
342 553
Deal or No Deal is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Deal or No Deal Howie Mandel, Sara Bronson, Lindsay Clubine

11
261 604
The Bachelor is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Bachelor Chris Harrison, Brad Womack, Sean Lowe

12
662 499
Hell's Kitchen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Hell's Kitchen Gordon Ramsay, Jean Philippe Susilovic, Scott Leibfried

13
504 400
Top Chef is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Top Chef Emeril Lagasse, Gail Simmons, Padma Lakshmi

14
191 441
The Bachelorette is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Bachelorette Ben Sandford

15
789 450
Face Off is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series

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16
774 554
America's Next Top Model is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
America's Next Top Model Adrianne Curry, Yoanna House, Tyra Banks

17
888 461
RuPaul's Drag Race is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
RuPaul's Drag Race RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Santino Rice

18
119 171
The Ultimate Fighter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
cweib added The Ultimate Fighter Dana White, Mike Rowe, Herb Dean

19
361 674
The Apprentice is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Apprentice Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, George Ross

20
382 494
Dancing with the Stars is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Dancing with the Stars Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli

21
179 193
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (US) Meredith Vieira, Terry Crews, Cedric the Entertainer

22
358 493
So You Think You Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
So You Think You Can Dance Mark Thompson, Nigel Lythgoe, Cat Deeley

23
433 363
Chopped is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Chopped Ted Allen, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy

24
608 357
The Challenge is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Challenge T.J. Lavin, Johnny 'Bananas' Devenanzio, Aneesa Ferreira

25
274 408
Are You Smarter than a 5th Gra... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Jeff Foxworthy, Danielle Soibelman, Madison Leisle

26
456 551
The Biggest Loser is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Biggest Loser Bob Harper, Alison Sweeney, Jillian Michaels

27
335 122
Ink Master is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
ChrissyBaker added Ink Master Dave Navarro, Chris Nunez, Oliver Peck

28
385 657
American Idol is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
American Idol Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest

29
207 354
Minute to Win It is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Minute to Win It Guy Fieri, Kimberly Fox, Aaron Hedrick

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30
299 457
Iron Chef America is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Iron Chef America Bill Murray, Anderson Cooper, Giada De Laurentiis

31
98 262
Love in the Wild is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Love in the Wild Jesse Wilson, Jenny McCarthy, Darren McMullen

32
258 269
Cake Boss is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Cake Boss Buddy Valastro

33
218 310
Last Comic Standing is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Last Comic Standing Jay Mohr, Ralphie May, Kathleen Madigan

34
250 322
America's Best Dance Crew is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
America's Best Dance Crew Mario Lopez, Layla Kayleigh, JC Chasez

35
230 357
Masterchef (UK) is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Masterchef (UK) Loyd Grossman, Gary Rhodes, Gregg Wallace

36
166 27
American Ninja Warrior is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Jess Neary added American Ninja Warrior Matt Iseman, Jenn Brown, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila

37
212 249
HGTV Design Star is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
HGTV Design Star Vern Yip, Clive Pearse, Martha McCully

38
248 339
The Weakest Link is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Weakest Link Bradley Walsh

39
232 284
Top Chef Masters is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Top Chef Masters Gail Simmons, Ruth Reichl

40
223 443
The X Factor (Australia) is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The X Factor (Australia) Luke Jacobz, Guy Sebastian, Ronan Keating

41
183 270
The Next Food Network Star is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series

42
233 218
Cupcake Wars is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series

43
164 221
The Great Food Truck Race is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Great Food Truck Race Tyler Florence, Chris Hodgson, Lance Kramer

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44
211 276
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Meredith Vieira, Terry Crews, Cedric the Entertainer

45
62 184
Take Me Out is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series

46
104 72
Jim Henson's Creature Shop Cha... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series

47
148 159
Ranker Video
supergregory added King of the Nerds Robert Carradine, Curtis Armstrong

48
124 136
Capture is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
HarleyCartee added Capture Loosely modeled after "The Hunger Games" this CW competition show pits hunter against prey in a quest to win $250,000. Twelve teams of two will take turns hunting and capturing each other as they trek through the ...

49
145 267
The Sing-Off is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Sing-Off Nick Lachey, Shawn Stockman, Ben Folds

50
122 197
The Glee Project is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Glee Project Nikki Anders, Ryan Murphy, Robert J. Ulrich