the worrying list

I have just got a copy of Steve Brookstein’s autobiography/ memoir called “Getting over the X”. It is harrowing but oddly familiar. I have raced through about 100 pages in an afternoon when I really should have been animating! (Milton must wait)

Instead, I thought I should start to compile a list of those who sadly have been involved in Reality TV in one way or another and committed suicide. There is no esy way, by the way, to write that sentence. there is simply no euphemism available.

That is the blunt truth.

And the list I have got seems to have about 40 names attached.

There are other casualities I am sure. But, certainly if you read Steve’s book, this list will make alot of sense. I spoke to Steve a couple of weeks’ ago. I thought then that he had had a tough time. I did not know the half of it.

Just listen to him sing- that is available on youtube. He is astonishing. And he is certainly one of many casualties of a very nasty programme. I remember meeting a magician a few years’ ago who also wrote about his experiences, and being set up to look ridiculous. This is a programme that might make a few stars but it has ruined a good few lives as well, and it is part of a global entertainment phenomenon.

When Mike Thalassitis died, Caroline Flack went on record defending the show and urging people not to jump to conclusions. This is what she said: “In life we all have a duty of care to look out for each other, but I don’t think it’s fair to point fingers of blame. ..Mental health is a much bigger issue than just a reality TV show”, adding that “when something this bad happens – and I’m talking about Mike – when something this horrible and sad occurs, it’s so dangerous to point fingers within hours and minutes of it happening. None of us know what’s going through someone’s mind and we can’t sit there and speculate.”

I am afraid I count 40 suicides to date. This is the “Worrying list” that I have made of suicides linked to Reality TV shows.

Hara Kimura Terrace House 2020

Caroline Flack (Love Island) 2020

Mike Thalassitis 2019

Sophie Gradon 2018

Steve Dymond (Jeremy Kyle) 2019

James Scott Terrill (Supernanny. ABC) 2008

Charlotte Dawson 2014

Clay Adler (MTV) 2017

Alexa “Lex” McAllister (The Batchelor) 2016

Russell Armstrong (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) husband of Taylor Armstrong 2011

Tania Saha (Fatafati India) 2008

Neha Sawant (Boogie Woogie, India) 2010

joseph Cernigla (Kitchen Nightmares) 2010

Julien Hug (Bachelorette 2010)

Paula Abdul, Paula Goodspeed (American Idol) 2008

Rachel Brown (Hell’s kitchen, Gordon Ramsey )2007

Nathan Clutter (pardise Hotel 2, My Network TV) 2007

Thierry Costa (French Survivor)

Simon Foster (Wifeswap) 2008

Paula Godspeed (american idol)2008

Jo O’Meara (Celebrity Big Brother) 2007

Cheryl Kosewicz (pirate Masters. CBS) 2007

Danny Bonaduce (Breaking Bonaduce. VH1) 2005

Carina Stephenson (the Colony) 2005

Kelly McGee (Extreme Makeover ABC) 2005

Najai Turpin (the Contender. NBC) 2005

Anthony Riley (the Voice) 2015

Gia Allemand (the bachelor) 2013

MARK BALELO (Storage wars) 2013

Russell Armstrong (Real Housewives) 2011

Gene Runkis (Hillbilly Blood) 2015

Sinisa Savija (Expedition Sweden) 1997

Jack Saunders (Britain’s got talent) 2019

Shain Gandee (MTV Buckwild) 2013

Mindy McCready (Celebrity Rehab) 2009

Dan Kay (Survivor 2018)

Joey Kovar (the Real world: Hollywood and Celebrity Rehab) 2012

Valerie Fairman (MTV’s 16 and Pregnant )2016

Ryan Knight(?) The Real World: New Orleans and The Challenge 2014

Sam Sarpong Yo Momma 2015

In addition, there are some other alarming stories surrpinding reality tv.

(attempted suicide) Fantasia Barrino (American Idol) 2009 (Fantasia for real about recovery), Sree Dasari (big Brother), Nadia Almada (Ultimate Big Brother)

depression of Alex Miller (Love Island) 2018

Ballon boy incident/ Falcon Heene (2009) demonstrates further dangers of reality tv stunts as well as 24/7 news coverage. This followed appearances by his parents on Wife Swap

Stunt death: Tom Sparks (Wipeout ABC) 2010

Lisa Marie Naegle Bridalplasty (murdered)

Christina Grimmie The Voice Murdered


Just “Harmless Entertainment”? Effects of Surveillance Reality TV on Physical Aggression. Bryan Gibson, Jody Thompson, Beini Hou and Brad J. Bushman. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 5(1), 66–73.


Author: timewilson

animator director and teacher

2 thoughts on “the worrying list”

  1. There will be countless others – who have been shortlisted to be on shows who are also casualties. I wasted years of my life on this genre and I dread to think what may have happened to me if I’d been succesful.

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