It’s fitting that this week’s column falls on the first day of a new year. A year full of promises for even more reality TV excitement after one that has been wrought with heartbreak and happiness.
Looking back, there have been many unforgettable moments, but let’s take the time to review five of the most memorable.
1. Susan Boyle. The world fell in love with her after she appeared on “Britain’s Got Talent.” She rose above the boos and laughs, stunned the crowd, and the next day was appearing on computer screens everywhere as people watched her performance on YouTube. Now, after battling a brief stint with exhaustion, she remains true to herself and the dream her mother had for her. Boyle’s debut album, “I Dreamed a Dream,” is Britain’s best-seller and she’s neck and neck with Taylor Swift in the U.S. We haven’t seen the last of her, and I mark her as one of 2009’s most heartwarming reality stories.
2. Kevin Skinner. While not the best vocalist in the world, he tugged at America’s heartstrings and was crowned “America’s Got Talent” fourth season champ. For those of you who read every week, you know The Man on the Couch and I rooted for him all the way. There’s no other place in the world where you can be a chicken wrangler one day and a superstar the next, and Skinner portrayed the best of what the show is about. We’re ready for another season and can’t wait to see what the talent of 2010 has to offer.
3. This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Jon and Kate Gosselin of “Jon & Kate Plus 8.” It was a sad year for the family as the couple’s marriage fell apart in front of the whole world. Here’s hoping for a better year ahead of them and a wonderful future for the children we all got to know so well through the magic of reality TV.
4. “The Real Housewives of Orange County” lost all of its original wives this year. Jeana Keough — perhaps my favorite housewife of them all — announced it was time for her to focus on herself and get away from the drama of the ladies. Can’t say that I blame her, but she’ll be missed. I predict more catfights and possibly a few divorces in 2010.
5. And instead of ramble on about all of this year’s troublemakers, I’ll lump them all together. There was Richard Hatch of “Survivor,” the intervention with Dennis Rodman on “Celebrity Apprentice,” and now “Dance Crew” judge Shane Sparks has been arrested and charged with child molestation, according to Web reports.
Here’s to a happy, healthy and drama-filled 2010 as we look forward to new seasons and overnight celebrities.