Every year, shows like Married at First Sight and The Bachelor manage to amass a group of loyal followers – and a group of equally dedicated haters.
Water-cooler conversations around the country have long ended prematurely when one colleague proudly announces that they would never degrade themselves so much as to watch a single episode of reality TV.
“Don’t you know it’s all fake?” they might say, rolling their eyes.
Well, guess what.
Your office’s most self-righteous resident is probably a liar.
New research has revealed that 66 per cent of Australians watch reality TV, but 34 per cent lie about it.
Have you ever wondered why MAFS remains one of the highest-rated shows on our screens, and yet nobody is willing to chat to you about whichever abhorrent outfit Belinda wore to the dinner party the night before?
Participants said the most common reason they have lied about their guilty pleasure is that they feel ashamed.
Reviews.org interviewed 1000 participants for the study, and found out some other dirty, little secrets about the viewing habits of Australians.
More than a quarter of those who watch reality dating shows like MAFS, The Bachelor, Bachelor in Paradise or First Dates actually watch the shows in secret.
To top it off, 66 per cent – that’s two in three participants – admitted to leaving a room to hide their penchant for reality TV and watch it alone.
Of those who haven’t stayed up to date on each dramatic episode, 38 per cent said they felt FOMO (a fear of missing out).
Changing the channel
A good indicator of a reality TV show’s popularity is usually just whichever show has kicked up the most outrage.
Controversial dating show MAFS is well and truly leading the pack, with 83 per cent of reality fans tuning in every week to see which villain will be doused in a glass of wine.
The finding is unsurprising, with some episodes raking in nearly 1.5 million viewers.
The Bachelor Australia has a robust fanbase of its own, with 52 per cent of participants admitting they indulge in every rose ceremony.
Sadly, The Bachelorette pulls slightly lower figures, with only 39 per cent tuning in.
Despite delivering consistently entertaining episodes and ever-engrossing scandals, Love Island Australia is only viewed by 33 per cent of reality TV fans.