When we heard the recent news about the My Strange Addiction widow who can't seem to stop toting around her late husband's ashes, we felt for her. Well, until she began to discuss the temporary rush she experiences from feasting on them; after that, we only felt our lunch coming up.
However, the TLC reality show's coverage of the world's most morbid diet got us reminiscing about some of our other favorite screwy reality TV subjects gone viral, folks who have, for better or worse (usually worse), fascinated us with their eccentricities. From crazy-stupid-love to even crazier phobias, addictions, and living situations, we've rounded up the best of the best to give you our list of the 15 Most Memorable Weirdos From Reality TV.
Show: The Real World: New Orleans, MTV
The Real World: New Orleans may not have been the long-running show's most memorable season, but it did certainly provide us with one of the series’ greatest gifts: David Broom.
For those that don’t remember the preachy, teetotalling gym rat, Season Nine’s token brother was less known for his personality than he was his pipes. The aspiring musician’s frequent and unpredictable scat-singing and song-smithing were the season's highlight, particularly when they caused problems with the cast’s recording of their doomed public access show.
However, the laugh was on us when Broom made an appearance on Comedy Central's Chappelle’s Show, performing his "classic" ballad “Come On, Be My Baby Tonight.”
14. Lisa D'Amato
Show: America's Next Top Model, UPN (now The CW)
Sure, a reality show in which eating is discouraged and television sets are banished seems like a natural recipe for crazy. However, none of the girls vying for the Top title soared quite as high above the rest as Lisa D’Amato, at least when it came to straight-up weirdness.
In addition to busting out into spontaneous conversation with a bush and taking one of the least sexy bubble baths of all time, D'amato turned more heads than ever when she waltzed into a photo shoot sporting a diaper (it’s anyone guess if she actually utilized it). Our suspicions that this chick had to be on something were finally confirmed when she joined the third season of Celebrity Rehab.
Show: The Pickup Artist, VH1
While the two seasons of VH1's The Pickup Artist definitely had their fair share of herbs and creepers passing through, none ever really held a candle to the sensei himself, Mystery. To this day, we still can’t wrap our heads around why the eye-lining ladykiller managed to bag so many girls, despite his palpably date-rapey vibe and preference for fuzzy Jamiroquai hats. Watch him here as he and his faithful wingman, Matador, hug it out with a series of unsuspecting dames.
Show: Maury, NBC
We don’t know who books the guests for host Maury Povich, but sometimes we wish we could send them a bouquet for all of the entertainment they’ve provided us over the years at the expense of their crazy-ass guests.
One of our favorites of all time? Alycia. Who could ever forget the story of her suspect best friend making some none-too-subtle plays for her man by cooking a seductive chicken dish? We’ve got to admit, while Dominique might not have been much of a prize, we can’t help but assume that any dinner capable of sending a dude into her waiting arms must’ve been, well, pretty fucking delicious.
Show: A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila, MTV
Tila Tequila's skeevy dating show didn’t have many redeeming factors—but it did have Ashley, the floral shirt enthusiast whose “Southern charms” were most prominently showcased during a Streetcar Named Desire-style freakout.
After dude failed to make it to the next round, he proceeded to attack everyone (and everything, a few fake plants included) between screams of “Tila! TIIIILLLAAA!!” on his way out of the house.
Show: I Love New York 2, VH1
One might argue that any dude who would voluntarily sign up to compete for the love of Tiffany “New York” Pollard has to be out of his damn mind. We'd agree.
I Love New York 2 cast member It (yup, that's what he called himself), though, might just be the craziest one ever to grace that recycled VH1 mansion. Watch him here in the second episode as he grimily tries to pass off his (stolen) rival’s flowers as his own, before explaining—boom boom, bam bam!—exactly where they came from: Laurence Fishburne.
Show: Freaky Eaters, TLC
Though we’ve got much respect for those who venture outside of their comfort zones when it comes to adventurous living and eating, a little show on TLC called Freaky Eaters made us realize that, sometimes, there are certain comfort zones you’d sleep a little easier at night not knowing about.
Like that of Mysti, for instance, who seeks treatment on the show after an epiphany that tartar sauce is taking over her life. If you’ve found some of Anthony Bourdain’s food conquests hard to watch, you won’t believe some of the choice meals Mysti enjoys doctoring with her special sauce.
8. Larry Platt
Show: American Idol, FOX
Let’s be real: The best part of American Idol isn’t the grand finale—it’s the very beginning, when every disillusioned geek or bag lady on the street that thinks he or she can carry a tune floods the auditions. The result is usually far more entertaining than any Ruben Studdard ballad, and it’s way more fun to watch the William Hung's of the world than any of those boring theater brats.
However, surpassing even the laughs supplied by that notable reject were those brought on by the unforgettable appearance of Larry Platt, whose energetic performance of “Pants On The Ground” left the notoriously stone-faced Mary J. Blige unable to hold it together.
Show: Flavor Of Love 2, VH1
Pants, surprisingly, only take the silver medal when it comes to memorable shit hitting the ground in reality competitions. In one particularly nasty episode of Flavor of Love 2, one of Flav’s not-so-fly honeys just couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time after a group toast, resulting in some much more memorable shit (literally) hitting the ground—or the stairs, to be more accurate.
Show: Maury, NBC
While the free-flowing baby mama drama and bizarre sex scandals (gotta love that girl who slept with a dude for a double cheeseburger) make Maury a prime pick when it comes to trash TV, it’s really the guests with the crazy phobias that kept us watching long after the host stopped banishing pregnant 9-year-olds to boot camp.
Nothing beats seeing the two-faced Povich comfort guests with a creepy hand on their knee before forcing them to come face-to-face with their worst fears—or in some cases, staffers dressed as them. ('sup Aurosan?)
Show: My Strange Addiction, TLC
It wouldn’t be hard to devote an entire list to the subjects of TLC’s My Strange Addiction, which chronicles the lives of normal-seeming men and women with freaky compulsive habits. So, yeah, it's kind of like Maury, but with more credibility.
Though Lauren the full-time furry, Rachel the scab-picker, and April the puppetmaster are all deserving of honorable mention, it’s ultimately Adele and her cravings for couch cushions (munching, not purchasing) that we just can’t seem to shake. Especially when it's revealed that, over the course of her life, this chick has basically consumed enough couches and chairs to furnish a house.
Show: My Strange Addiction, TLC
Well, make that two "strange addictions" we can’t shake. Tamara’s boo goes everywhere she goes—shopping, the movies, the open road for aimless joy rides, to her boyfriend’s place. Sorry, perhaps we should’ve clarified: Boo is her soiled, 26-year-old pillow. Watch her man and celebrity guest Kanye West weigh in below; nah, that bootleg version of Yeezy is actually her brother.
Show: Hoarders, A&E
For those unfamiliar with A&E’s Hoarders, the show documents compulsive collectors as they race against the clock to clean their loaded houses before they lose the homes once and for all. But the waist-deep trash is actually nothing compared to some of the other crazy crap discovered in these people’s cribs.
In one episode, a woman named Robin actually catches an attitude about giving up various odds and ends that have been marinating in—wait for it—three-plus feet of cat shit, in which her pets were pretty much mummified. Think that’s gross? Wait ‘til you find out about how she deals with her lack of a working toilet.
Show: Intervention, A&E
A&E has rapidly turned into TV’s number one station for programming that makes you feel really good about your own life. Yeah, you might’ve had a lame day at work, but shows like Intervention serve as a comforting reminder that things could always be worse. Much worse. At least you aren’t addicted to huffing, like Allison, who’s pretty much inseparable from her cans of dust remover.
Show: Maury, NBC
Even the tearful woman being chased down by a cotton-clad production assistant has nothing on Mariah, who, after her notable appearance on Maury, will likely be taunted about her pickle phobia for the rest of her life. The emotional breakdown as Maury’s camera crew documents a visit to a pickle factory either warrants serious psychiatric care or an Emmy for outstanding acting.