Reality TV truths you always thought were fake

Let's be honest, reality TV isn't very realistic at all. The illusion of reality is enough for most viewers. We know that storylines are oftentimes faked, interviews and conversations are altered, and some "reality" is even reshot to get a better take. How real could things be with a professional camera crew following your every move? It's not all fake, though. Let's look past the confessionals and feuds to see which reality TV truths were actually real.

Kitchen Nightmares' restaurants are struggling

Many of the restaurants on Kitchen Nightmares aren't just suffering from poor management, there's also usually a bunch of issues with how the food is cooked, stored, and the overall cleanliness of each kitchen. It's hard to imagine that any restaurant would need someone to come in and tell them that it's a bad idea to keep moldy meat in their freezer. Many people believe that all of the drama on the show is staged and exaggerated, and that these restaurants are nowhere close to going out of business as they appear—as if everything is done for the sake of free promotion from a nationally broadcast TV show.

While the show is guilty of traditional reality TV tricks, such as planting fake customers to complain and using clever editing to disguise things, the money troubles are real. In fact, most of the businesses that appear on the show end up closing down. Restaurants have to be in terrible shape to be interesting enough to even appear on the show, but that usually means they're too far gone to ever be saved. It doesn't matter how many angry British chefs they bring in to reorganize the place.

American Idol's contestants think they can sing

During the early episodes of American Idol, fans were treated to some of the worst performances ever caught on camera. Regular, everyday people show up and try to sing, and it turns out most of them can't. The most exciting part is when they're told they can't sing by the judges, because it usually leads to a fight. Instead of accepting the criticism, many people throw fits and tell the judges they don't know what they're talking about. The problem is, they were so bad at singing that it's almost unbelievable that they would be so confident.

Surprisingly, these people really are that confident in their atrocious abilities. The show's producers specifically look for people who not only can't sing, but have a certain attitude. These people then go through several rounds of auditions, each time being told that they're doing great. So, while their egos are being stroked along the way, the confidence is real.

Survivor's castaways survive off the land

One of the original reality TV shows, Survivor, has been accused of faking scenes for a long time. The concept of the show is simple: 18 people are flown to a tropical island and are separated into two teams. They must survive off the land while competing in daily challenges, slowly voting contestants off the island. During its run, a lot of behind the scenes details have been revealed, including the fact that some shots are recreated with stunt doubles at a later date to make them look more exciting. This has led to rumors that the entire show is fake.

While some trickery is going on, and the contestants are clearly not actually stranded on the island, they are still basically living off the land during their time. They don't have access to any modern day luxuries, aside from a medical crew standing by in case anyone gets hurt or seriously sick. Still, they don't have access to laundry or bathrooms. Aside from clean water, they have to gather their own food. Time for these old rumors to be voted off the island.

The cases and decisions on Judge Judy are real

The people who appear on Judge Judy might seem ridiculous and/or overly dumb, but they're not faking it. That's just why their case was selected for the show. Actual court documents have to be presented on the show, and the rulings are final. Aside from one group that managed to sneak a fake case passed the show's producers, these people are really suing each other. The only reason why people talk back to Judy so often is because the cases are decided before the show starts, so the person who already lost the case literally has nothing to lose. They might as well talk back and make for good television.

Alliances really do happen

Contestants have been forming secret alliances since the reality TV genre started. Oftentimes, a couple of cast members will secretly work together to get weak members from their own team booted. Along with alliances comes betrayal. There's always a couple of people who form secret alliances with multiple parties, and they don't always work out for the people involved. These so called "alliances" must have more trickery than we know, designed by the show's producers to generate drama, right?

While the producers might help push things along behind the scenes, reality TV stars are legitimately scheming amongst each another, according to crew members from Survivor. This is especially true on celebrity reality shows, where the cast members will start setting things up before the show even starts filming. Sure, alliances typically lead to disaster, but they give people more screen time and that's almost as good as winning.