Real Housewives of DC, Sarah Palin, & More Awkward TV Moments of 2010
From the Bill O'Reilly-prompted walkoff on The View to Martha Stewart's stripper-pole stint, see those moments that made us uncomfortable this year—though we couldn't help but watch.
Family Feud: Show Me… "Naked Grandma?"
An episode of Family Feud took a strange turn in November when two contestants were asked to name something a burglar would not want to see when he entered a house. Contestant Rod got to the buzzer first and shouted, "Nekkid grandmaw!" much to host Steve Harvey's shock… and that of everyone else in the audience who erupted in laughter. Of course, no one wants to see a grandmother without clothes on and no one expected contestant Rod to win a point either. Luckily for him, "occupant" has many interpretations.
Martha Stewart Works the Pole
Surprisingly, the stripper pole did not become Martha Stewart's must-have home accessory of 2011. The super woman of all things clean and crafty tried pole dancing when she had fitness instructor Sheila Kelley on her show in January. Stewart rolled her hips as the audience giggled. She then spun around the apparatus before trying another skill that involved a ball between her legs (and no, that's not an innuendo).
When Real Housewives Attack
Bravo's Andy Cohen has seen an argument or two on his show, Watch What Happens Live. But when he gathered the cast of The Real Housewives of D.C. for a reunion, Cohen could have cut the tension with a knife. Cast member Lynda Erkiletian called out fellow Housewife and notorious White House party crasher Michaele Salahi, saying her M.S. diagnosis was a load of B.S. The always controversial Salahi attempted to respond to the accusation, but was interrupted by Erkiletian. Finally, Cohen stepped in and asked the other housewives if they thought Salahi's story about her disease had any "integrity" to it. In a rare instance, the typically catty women sat in silence.
Bieber Can't Figure Out What "German" Is
Yes, this interviewer's New Zealand accent is quite heavy, but teen sensation Justin Bieber even read his question and apparently still didn't seem to know what the word "German" meant. Bieber later went after the people making fun of his confusion in May, tweeting, "I count in GERMAN and translate my own name. Guess I know what German is. Guess home schooling is working out. Do your research next time b4 making a lame attempt at hating on a 16 year old." JK, Biebs—we have nothing but <3.
Bill O' Reilly Prompts Walkoff on The View
Fox News' Bill O'Reilly does not always bring out the best in people. The conservative TV host appeared on ABC's The View in October and told the audience that building the controversial ground zero mosque would be "inappropriate." When co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar pushed O'Reilly to explain why he felt that way, the newscaster eventually shouted, "Because Muslims killed us on 9/11." Even the audience responded with audible shock, but after a series of screaming and finger pointing, Goldberg and Behar stood up and walked off the set, leaving the maternal (and apparently Swiss) co-host Barbara Walters to do the talking.
Top Chef Cries Over Spilled Ice Cream
Ice cream might not seem like a stressful food, but Seth Caro from Top Chef: Just Desserts had not one, but two breakdowns over what should be a delicious frozen treat. In the second, which lead to his removal from the Bravo spinoff, paramedics were called after he passed out from a full-on anxiety attack. The reason? He couldn't make his own ice cream. At least Caro had a little hold on reality, admitting, "I feel like a crazy person." The first step is admitting you have a problem, after all.
Ryan Seacrest Hopes for Tears
American Idol contestant Didi Benami gave a heartfelt performance of the Motown track "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" during the show's ninth season in March. But host Ryan Seacrest seemingly wanted the whole world to know the 24 year old's pain—he pushed the teary-eyed Benami to talk about why she picked that specific song and why she reacted to it so strongly. Benami wasn't pleased and neither were the Idol judges who urged Seacrest to leave the "poor girl" alone. Eventually, Benami revealed the song was a dedication to her college friend who died in a car accident in 2005. After she was voted off, Benami told Entertainment Weekly, "It was a little uncomfortable for me because I wanted to convey a message through the song, not through a conversation." Seacrest out... of line.
Kanye West Meets a Mic He Doesn't Like
Kanye West seemed to think the bully became the bullied during a November Today show appearance. Former President George W. Bush had recently told host Matt Lauer that West's "Bush doesn't care about black people" statement was "one of the most disgusting moments" of his presidency. The rapper told Lauer that he empathized with Bush after he, too, was pegged a "racist" when he grabbed the microphone from Taylor Swift during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. During the interview, the Today show aired video from Bush's interview and then, from the Swift incident, irritating West to the point where he stopped talking. Later, West went on a Twitter rant, berating the Today show and Lauer—who he said manipulated the interview—and refusing to do his scheduled performance.
The Epic Bachelor Breakup
Another one bites the dust. Bachelor couples breaking up is nothing new, but few have it out as publicly and childishly as Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi. Pavelka chose Girardi in the show's final episode, much to the dismay of fans who were largely rooting for Tenley Molzahn. A few short months after the show, however, the couple broke up and Girardi appeared all over the tabloids, reportedly receiving $90,000 for an interview with Star magazine. During a painfully long special, the two discussed their split—Pavelka chalked it up to Girardi's "disgusting" behavior, while she low-blowed Pavelka as a washed-up "fame whore" pilot. Nothing like a good reality-TV romance gone awry.
Congress: Colbert's Toughest Crowd
There is no crying in baseball nor any laughing in Congress. In September, topical comedian Stephen Colbert testified in front of Congress' House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. The host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report stayed in character as he read his statement on migrant and immigrant farm workers. But the political funnyman was met with resistance and stern looks instead of smiles and laughter. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) asked Colbert to leave the room, but at the invitation of fellow Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Colbert stayed and read what could have easily been a monologue from his show. At the end, it was unclear who was more embarrassed—Colbert, cracking jokes to a tough crowd, or the committee, shamed by his statement.
Australia's Top Model Mishap
When it came down to the final two contestants on Australia's Next Top Model, both the winner and loser accepted their titles gracefully. But just minutes after the announcement, the "winning" model had her victory yanked away from her when the host revealed the champion's name was "fed to [her] wrong." Interestingly, the winner-turned-loser actually seemed to take the change of title better than the host, who accidentally announced the wrong winner and couldn't stop holding her head and apologizing profusely. And that's live TV for you.
Lady Gaga Glams Up Larry King
In June, pop star Lady Gaga dressed up as a glam-version of Larry King—suspenders included—and graced the CNN host with her presence via satellite. Shockingly though, it wasn't just Gaga that raised eyebrows during the Larry King Live appearance. Amid discussions of bisexuality and Don't Ask Don't Tell, King mentioned the numerous rumors about the singer's health. He then said curiously, "There was a story about lupus or something… did you have lupus?" Now that Larry King Live is over, we'll miss that straight-shooter approach in 2011.
Oil Spill Interrupts BP Chief… Again
During the oil spill in the Gulf, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was blocking a bill that would raise the amount for which oil and energy company BP could be held liable. Diane Wilson, a Texas shrimper and activist, went to Congress while former BP CEO Tony Hayward was testifying, poured oil on herself and yelled, "We are tired of being dumped on!" Murkowski and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar both keep straight faces as Wilson was arrested and dragged out of the room after making herself heard loud and clear.
Mariah Carey Would Like to Thank… Booze?
In case Mariah Carey's teetering dance on to the stage at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and her confession of love for Precious director Lee Daniels had you wondering about her state of mind, Carey put any question about her sobriety level to rest. "Please forgive me, because I'm a little bit, um," she paused until an audience member yelled something out—"drunk," presumably. This is why one should celebrate after she or he wins.
Sarah Palin's Dancing Boo-Gate
Sarah Palin creates controversy just by showing up. When the former governor of Alaska appeared in the Dancing With the Stars audience to root for her daughter, Bristol, in September, it sounded like the audience was booing her. The blogosphere erupted in did-they-or-didn't-they theories until the following night, when it was revealed via raw footage that the audience was actually reacting to the judges' scoring for eventual DWTS winner Jennifer Grey. Nevertheless, " boo-gate," as host Tom Bergeron called it, had already created waves and the Palins' relationship with the show had been tainted.