VOTE Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill  

Ranker TV
9.6k votes 1.3k voters 19.9k views 37 items

Ever come across one of those reality shows that you found strangely addicting, whether or not you’re tend to love or hate reality TV in general? This day and age, it seems as if TV producers have caught on the to the fact that it’s both super easy and cheap to create an engaging TV show that entails little more than a group of volunteers, their skills, and a couple of cameras. As a result, no matter what you’re interested in, there’s more than likely a TV competition show where you can watch a group of folks compete to be the best at whatever it is they do. So even if you don’t really care to keep up with the Kardashians, the odds are that you may find a show on this list of reality shows that take skill that peaks your interest.

We’ve gathered a list of some of the hardest reality shows to win that require an impressive amount of skill at everything from sewing to cooking to athleticism. Think you make a killer cupcake? Why not pick up a few tips on Cupcake Wars? Want to be a tattoo artist? You can pick up a few pointers from the best on Ink Master.

So if you’re looking for a TV show with a cast of folks that aren’t just featured because they happen to be famous, you’ve come to the right place. Check out this list of some of the best competition reality shows on television and give others tips on which ones to watch by voting up those you think involve the most actual skill.

1
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Face Off is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Face Off Face Off is an American reality television game show on the Syfy cable network in which a group of prosthetic makeup artists compete against each other to create prostheses such as those found ...more

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Ink Master is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Ink Master Dave Navarro, Chris Nunez, Oliver Peck Ink Master is an American reality competition on Spike in which tattoo artists compete in challenges assessing their tattoo and related artistic skills. They are judged by noted tattoo artists ...more

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American Ninja Warrior is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
American Ninja Warrior Matt Iseman, Jenn Brown, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila American Ninja Warrior is a sports entertainment competition spin-off of the television series Sasuke, in which competitors try to complete a series of obstacle courses of increasing difficulty ...more

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Top Chef is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Top Chef Emeril Lagasse, Gail Simmons, Padma Lakshmi Top Chef is an American reality competition show on the cable television network Bravo, that first aired in 2006, in which chefs compete against each other in culinary challenges. They are ...more

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237 135
Chopped is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Chopped Ted Allen, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy Chopped is an American reality based cooking television series created by Dave Noll and Michael Krupat, with executive producer Linda Lea, and hosted by Ted Allen that pits four chefs against ...more

6
136 40
Forged in Fire is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
deathslover added Forged in Fire Rich Greenwood, Adam Ison, Jamie Lundell Forged in Fire (History, 2015) is an American competition series hosted by Wil Willis. Four bladesmiths compete in a three-round elimination contest to forge bladed weapons, with the overall ...more

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Project Runway is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Project Runway Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia Project Runway is an American reality television series on Lifetime, previously on the Bravo Network, created by Eli Holzman which focuses on fashion design and is hosted by model Heidi Klum. ...more

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RuPaul's Drag Race is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
RuPaul's Drag Race RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Santino Rice RuPaul's Drag Race is an American reality competition television series produced by World of Wonder for Logo. RuPaul plays the roles of host, mentor, and source of inspiration for this series, ...more

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Hell's Kitchen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Hell's Kitchen Gordon Ramsay, Jean Philippe Susilovic, Scott Leibfried Hell's Kitchen (Fox, 2005) is an American reality competition television series based on the British series. World renowned chef Gordon Ramsay puts aspiring young chefs through rigorous cooking ...more

10
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Top Shot is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Top Shot Colby Donaldson, Joe Serafini, Brian Zins Top Shot is an American reality television show that debuted on the History Channel on June 6, 2010. The show features 16 contestants, split into two teams of eight, competing in various types ...more

11
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So You Think You Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
So You Think You Can Dance Mark Thompson, Nigel Lythgoe, Cat Deeley So You Think You Can Dance is an American televised dance competition show that airs on Fox in the United States and is the flagship series of the international So You Think You Can Dance ...more

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The Voice is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
The Voice Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Carson Daly The Voice is an American reality television singing competition broadcast on NBC. Based on the original The Voice of Holland, the concept of the series is to find new singing talent contested by ...more

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Last Comic Standing is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Last Comic Standing Jay Mohr, Ralphie May, Kathleen Madigan Last Comic Standing is an American reality television talent show on NBC that aired from 2003 to 2010, then again in 2014. The goal of the program is to select a comedian from an initially large ...more

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MasterChef is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
carlybobarly added MasterChef Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, Joe Bastianich MasterChef (Fox, 2010) is an American competitive cooking reality show based on the original British series. A nationwide search for the best home cooks in America where one of 50 hopefuls will ...more

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Skin Wars is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Nicole Watson added Skin Wars Rebecca Romijn, RuPaul Charles, Craig Tracy

Hosted by Rebecca Romijn

Skin Wars (GSN, 2014) is a reality competition show. Hosted by Rebecca Romijn, contestants perform challenges containing body painting and are evaluated by judges RuPaul Charles, Craig Tracy, ...more

16
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America's Got Talent is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
America's Got Talent Nick Cannon, Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne America's Got Talent is an American reality television series on the NBC television network, and part of the global British Got Talent franchise. It is a talent show that features singers, ...more

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Shark Tank is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Shark Tank Kevin O'Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John Shark Tank (ABC, 2009) is an American reality television series created by Mark Burnett, and a franchise of Dragons' Den. Aspiring entrepreneur-contestants pitch their business idea to a panel ...more

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Cupcake Wars is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Cupcake Wars Cupcake Wars is an American reality competition series which premiered on June 13, 2010 and aired on the cable television network Food Network. The cooking show is hosted by Justin Willman and ...more

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American Gladiators is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
American Gladiators Mike Adamle, Joe Theismann, Todd Christensen American Gladiators is an American competition television program that aired weekly in syndication from September 1989 to May 1996. The series matched a cast of amateur athletes against each ...more

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Survivor is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Survivor Jeff Probst, Rob Mariano, Rupert Boneham Survivor is a reality game show produced in many countries throughout the world. In the show, contestants are isolated in the wilderness and compete for cash and other prizes. The show uses a ...more

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Kitchen Nightmares is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Kitchen Nightmares Gordon Ramsay Kitchen Nightmares (Fox, 2007) is an American reality television series based on the British show. Chef Gordon Ramsay is invited by the owners to spend a week with a failing restaurant in an ...more

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The Amazing Race is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
The Amazing Race The Amazing Race is a reality television game show in which teams of two people, who have some form of a preexisting personal relationship, race around the world in competition with other teams. ...more

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Alone is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Alone Dustin Feher, Alan Kay, Sam Larson Alone (History, 2015) is an American reality television series. Ten survival "experts" attempt to survive alone, and the winner receives $500,000.

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Naked and Afraid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Naked and Afraid Naked and Afraid is an American docudrama series that airs on the Discovery Channel and premiered on June 23, 2013. Each episode chronicles the lives of two survivalists who meet for the first ...more

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Guy's Grocery Games is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
LaChance added Guy's Grocery Games Guy Fieri, Troy Johnson, Melissa d'Arabian Guy Fieri sends four talented chefs running through the aisles in a high stakes, high skills, grocery store cooking competition. The chefs are hit by real-world challenges like finding ...more

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American Idol is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
American Idol Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest American Idol is an American singing competition series created by Simon Fuller and produced by 19 Entertainment, and is distributed by FremantleMedia North America. It began airing on Fox on ...more

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The X Factor is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
The X Factor The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent, contested by aspiring singers drawn from public auditions. Created by Simon Cowell, the show began in 2004 and ...more

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America's Next Top Model is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
America's Next Top Model Adrianne Curry, Yoanna House, Tyra Banks America's Next Top Model is an American reality television series and interactive competition that premiered on May 20, 2003. It originally aired on UPN, whose merger with The WB created The CW ...more

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Flea Market Flip is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Flea Market Flip Flea Market Flip is reality television series that airs on HGTV. It premiered on September 28, 2012, and is hosted by Lara Spencer. In October 2012, HGTV renewed Flea Market Flip for a second ...more

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Big Brother is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
_1442119295279 added Big Brother Julie Chen, Phil Proctor, Clayton Halsey Big Brother is a television reality game show based on an originally Dutch TV series of the same name created by producer John de Mol in 1997. The series follows a group of contestants, known as ...more

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Shear Genius is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Shear Genius Jaclyn Smith, Camila Alves, Sally Hershberger Shear Genius is an American reality television series on the Bravo network that focuses on hair styling. The show first premiered on April 11, 2007. Contestants compete with each other to create ...more

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The Sing-Off is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Alex Platten added The Sing-Off Nick Lachey, Shawn Stockman, Ben Folds The Sing-Off is an American television singing competition featuring a cappella groups. It debuted on NBC on December 14, 2009, and is produced by Sony Pictures Television and Outlaw ...more

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The Taste is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
The Taste Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre The Taste (ABC, 2013) is an American cooking-themed reality competition series. 16 contestants are put in team and individual cooking challenges with the help of mentors Anthony Bourdain, ...more

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The Apprentice is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
The Apprentice Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, George Ross All-Star Celebrity Apprentice is a 2008 TV Program created by Mark Burnett.

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The Quest is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
The Quest Douglas Tait, Marcello de Nardo, Florence Kasumba

36
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Splatalot! is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
WayneBell added Splatalot! Alexia Khadime, Elliot Francis, Samantha Brown Splatalot! is a Canadian/Australian/British internationally co-produced medieval-themed physical game show for kids, which made its debut in its English Canadian premiere on March 14, 2011 on ...more

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Groomer Has It is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Groomer Has It Jai Rodriguez Groomer Has It is an American reality game television series broadcast on Animal Planet. It features a competition between twelve of America's best dog groomers to see who is the best groomer in ...more