Here’s something that might make you feel old – The Bachelor first aired in 2002 – and after 17 seasons, the show is pretty notable for making very few love connections. While certain contestants ending up finding love with other cast members in other seasons, we all pretty much stopped rooting for a fairytale ending during the finale – we’re more concerned with which contestant they’ll feature on the next season of The Bachelorette.
Two shows that have pumped out more couples than expected are Survivor (if someone can live with you for 39 days of not showering and still be attracted to you, that’s love!) and The Biggest Loser – makes sense, since finding someone who knew you through a dual journey of finding health and confidence is somewhat of an amazing concept.
Here’s our list of top reality TV couples. To our knowledge, they’re all still together, and even better, most are doing the world a favor by staying out of the spotlight after finding happiness.
Trista & Ryan Sutter
People who’ve never even watched The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have probably heard of these two. Trista Rehn, who was the runner up on The Bachelor, married Ryan during her first season of The Bachelorette in 2003 – so I guess you could say that losing her first reality show was one of the best things that’s ever happened to her.
In 2007 and 2008, Trista gave birth to a son and daughter. Ryan is a firefighter in Vail, Colorado and despite an appearance on Dancing With The Stars (Trista was the first one voted off of season one!), the two have managed to keep a pretty respectable low profile.
Amber Brkich & Rob Mariano
Oh, Amber and Rob. Rob and Amber. Romber. “Boston” Romber. You two aren’t as quiet about your love, but we like you anyway. First meeting on Survivor: All Stars, the two formed an alliance that is still going strong. You might also recognize them from the seventh season of The Amazing Race, where they finished second. You might also recognize Rob from being an audience member on every Survivor Reunion Special, because I think Jeff Probst may have a thing for him.
In 2005, CBS aired a special about their marriage, and they currently have three daughters – who have also made appearances on a few Survivor Reunion Specials.
Sean Duffy and Rachel Campos-Duffy
Remember when 7 strangers lived in a house, and stopped being polite and started being real? Sure, The Real World is still a thing on MTV, but it’s just not the same anymore. I’m not just being a curmudgeon about this. For those under the age of 24: it wasn’t just about hot tub hookups and girl fights. The Real World was legitimately the first “reality show” on television, and when it began airing in 1994, producers and editors were less concerned about what made “good television” and more concerned about the fact that they making a show without writers or (many) editors.
Rachel Campos was on the very popular third season of the show – it was when the late Pedro Zamora taught the world that amazing people could still be struggling with AIDS, and “Puck” became the definition of the guy your father didn’t want you to bring home. Rachel’s role in the house was the smart and rebellious Catholic girl.
Similarly to Rob and Amber, Rachel met Sean, who was on the Boston season of the show, during Road Rules: All Stars in 1998. Know how many kids they have? Six. Six children. Bless them.
Judd Winick & Pam Ling
Okay, I’m sorry. Reflecting on Rachel made me realize that I had to mention Judd and Pam. Both of them were on the same season as Rachel, and Judd – a cartoonist! – is on my (not officially created) list of Top 5 Favorite Real World Cast Members Ever. These two always get shoved aside for some reason, and I feel like it’s my duty to announce to the world that they’re still adorable. It was obvious that Judd had a thing for Pam during filming (kind of like a real life “Jim and Pam” – wait a minute. I’m onto you, Ricky Gervais and Greg Daniels). The two officially came together after reuniting during Pedro’s final days off camera, and eventually got married in 2001.
The New York Times had this to say about their nuptials:
I hope you’re swooning right now, since I totally am.
Kris and Bruce Jenner
Often in the tabloids with a few unfortunate headlines attached to their marriage, these two have stayed strong. Kris addressed the rumors in her blog with the following:
And – you know what? I believe it. Twenty years is a long time, and while tabloids like to claim the two plan to divorce after their daughter Kim (Kardashian, of course. I figure you’ve probably heard of her) gives birth this year, I think those headlines wouldn’t even exist if they didn’t have so many reality TV shows attached to their name.
Time will tell, but regardless – in Hollywood, that’s a pretty substantial marriage.
Jeff Nichols & Francelina Morillo
These two originated from the last season of The Biggest Loser, and while they never admitted their sparks during the show, they were pretty apparent. On the ranch they were best friends, and one of the most heart-wrenching episodes was when Jeff had to choose between Francelina and his closest roommate for elimination.
Both of them turned to food after losing their fathers at a young age, so their similar experiences helped cement their bond during filming.
“In the past, I always felt like there was something missing in my relationships… And then I realized it was me. And I was able to find myself during the show, and I think that’s why now I can be with him and be happy with him. It’s important to find yourself before you try to be with anybody else,” Francelina said to People magazine in February.
I wish I was able to put Sam Poueu and Stephanie Anderson alongside them on the list – the two Biggest Loser alum recently filed for divorce after marrying in May 2012, and rumor has it that it was based on cheating. And did I mention Stephanie is 7 months pregnant? Yikes.
Brendon Villegas & Rachel Reilly – Big Brother
Brendon met Rachel while filming Big Brother 12 in the summer of 2010. Their alliance – known to fans as “Brenchel” – turned romantic early on in the season, and they married in 2012.
Appearing on the show twice (the second season as a “duo”), Brendon was evicted twice from the Big Brother house midway through the competition, while Rachel made it to the thirteenth-season finale, where she took home the show’s $500,000 grand prize after winning a 4-3 jury vote.
She arrived at their wedding in a helicopter, and Brendon thought it was amazing. My husband would be ashamed if I did this, as I’d probably be decapitated before the ceremony.
Christina Hsu and Azaria Azene – The Amazing Race
Christina and her Dad, Ron Hsu, competed on the show during season 12 – and then took an “amazing walk” down the aisle, as he gave her away to Azaria – another contestant on her season. (Please forgive me – I know that was cheesy, but it’s the best I’ve got right now.)
The two married in 2011, after their relationship blossomed post-filming due to a strong friendship.
” I feel very lucky. We have a lot of common goals and values and we both love traveling, exploring, and growing. We had a great foundation,” Christina said to People Magazine.
Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra
While the two met – and were technically step-brother and step-sister before their season of 16 & Pregnant aired (which sounds gross, but they met before their parents did!) the two are notably the strongest couple of the show and its predecessor, Teen Mom.
Meeting in 7th grade, the two decided to give their child up for adoption in 2009, and showed the world that if you’re not ready for a child, sometimes the best decision is to place her with couple more adequately prepared to give her a better life. While the decision will always be an emotional one for the two, they handled it in an adult manner – despite protests from their somewhat unstable parents.
Since, Catelynn has been a huge advocate for adoption, and just seems wiser beyond her years. While there are rumors that the two will appear on VH1’s Couple’s Therapy shortly, I think it’s more of a “Hey, we started dating in 7th grade, and we’re technically loosely related!” issue, as opposed to a “Hey, we’re abusive towards each other and fame crazy” issue – I guess we’ll have to watch to know for sure.
Snooki and Jionni LaValle
I feel like everyone must remember where they were when they heard that Snooki was pregnant. Being from NJ, I always refused to watch Jersey Shore (we’re more than that!) – but I admit, I always kind of thought Snooki was amusing.
Oddly enough, having a kid seemed to level Snooki (er – Nicole Polizzi, as the show is over) out. And it seems the baby wasn’t just a crazy party accident – she and Jionni seem pretty happy together. After teasing a fake wedding photo on April 1st, she responded with: “APRIL FOOLS ya freaks!! My a** is gonna have a huge wedding lets be serious!! lololol”
lololol indeed, Snooki. I hate to admit this, but I’m proud of you. There haven’t been any photos circulating of you nearly dropping baby Lorenzo off a balcony, thus the world is now ready to see you as a responsible adult. And for a girl who pretty much got famous for being a mess, that’s kind of huge. I’m legitimately happy for you and Jionni.
What reality couples would you add to our list? Are there any couples that you’re shocked at for breaking up?
Image Credits: www.cambio.com (featured – Caitlynn & Tyler) blog.zap2it.com (Francelina & Jeff) remotecontrol.mtv.com (Judd & Pam) ew.com (Amber & Rob) usmagazine.com (Snooki & Jionni) people.com (Christina & Azaria)