Entertainment

Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill 

Ranker TV
10.5k votes 1.4k voters 23.3k views 44 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.
list ordered by
1
Face Off is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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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#16 of 135 The Best Reality Competition Seriesfeaturing The Best Face Off Winners, Ranked

2
Forged in Fire is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
deathslover added
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
3
Ink Master is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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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#51 of 254 The Best Reality TV Shows Everfeaturing The Best Ink Master Winners, Ranked The Best Seasons of 'Ink Master'

4
American Ninja Warrior ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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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#20 of 135 The Best Reality Competition Seriesfeaturing What It's Really Like To Compete On 'American Ninja Warrior' The Best 'American Ninja Warrior' Winners, Ranked

5
Top Chef is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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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#676 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #785 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time

6
Chopped is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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

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#295 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #20 of 254 The Best Reality TV Shows Everfeaturing 12 Things You Didn't Know About Competing On 'Chopped'

7
MasterChef is listed (or ranked) 7 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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8
Hell's Kitchen is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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

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#416 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #254 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Yearsfeaturing The Best Seasons of 'Hell's Kitchen'

9
Project Runway is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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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#349 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #14 of 254 The Best Reality TV Shows Everfeaturing The Best Project Runway Designers Ever

10
RuPaul's Drag Race is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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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#365 of 571 Things That Are Not As Cool As People Think They Are #24 of 254 The Best Reality TV Shows Everfeaturing The 15 Most Controversial Eliminations From 'RuPaul's Drag Race'

11
Top Shot is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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
12
The Great British Bake O... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc
The Great British Bake Off (also called Bake Off or GBBO) is a British television baking competition, produced by Love Productions, in which a group of amateur bakers compete against each other ...more

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13
Skin Wars is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
So You Think You Can Dan... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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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#176 of 205 The Most Important TV Sitcoms #55 of 254 The Best Reality TV Shows Everfeaturing The Best So You Think You Can Dance Winners, Ranked

15
The Voice is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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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#402 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #259 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Yearsfeaturing The Best The Voice Winners, Ranked

16
Last Comic Standing is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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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#212 of 254 The Best Reality TV Shows Ever #32 of 135 The Best Reality Competition Seriesfeaturing The Best Last Comic Standing Winners, Ranked

17
Next In Fashion is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Alexa Chung, Tan France
Next In Fashion (Netflix) is an American competitive reality television series. Hosted by Alexa Chung and Tan France, designers team up to create visionary looks that work for absolutely

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18
LEGO Masters is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Will Arnett
LEGO Masters (Fox, 2020) is a American reality show based on a British series of the same name. Hosted by Will Arnett LEGO enthusiasts participate in a series of competitions that begin with a ...more

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#132 of 135 The Best Reality Competition Series #19 of 22 The Reality Shows You Would Most Want to Win #20 of 27 The Best Creative Skill Reality Series Ever

19
America's Got Talent is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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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#356 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #398 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Timefeaturing The Best America's Got Talent Winners, Ranked

20
Shark Tank is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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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21
Songland is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Ester Dean, Shane McAnally, Ryan Tedder
Songland (NBC, 2019) is a singing reality competition television series. Contestants are selected to work with producers, including Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean, and Shane McAnally, along with a ...more
22
Survivor is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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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23
American Gladiators is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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
24
The Circle is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
Michelle Buteau
The Circle (Netflix, 2020) is an American reality competition series. The players move into an apartment building and never meet face-to-face, but instead communicate solely using their profiles ...more
25
The Amazing Race is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill
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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#322 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #10 of 254 The Best Reality TV Shows Everlisted on Longest Running Reality TV Shows in the US