The Worst Wardrobe Malfunctions On Reality TV
Many reality shows are filled with one crazy moment after another, and an argument or even a nasty fistfight might feel like old hat. But when someone has a wardrobe malfunction in front of cameras? Well, that’s a whole different story. that’s not an everyday occurrence on reality TV. But here’s the thing with wardrobe malfunctions: There’s usually a level of suspicion involved, as some may wonder if the clothing mistake was really a mistake. Take Janet Jackson losing part of her top in 2004 at Super Bowl XXXVIII, which left some of her breast exposed. There was immediate talk about whether it was staged for shock and if her co-performer Justin Timberlake was in on it. Even though both celebs said it was a gaffe, the questions still remain all these years later.
Likewise, there have been questions about whether or not certain reality TV wardrobe malfunctions were planned or not. On the flip side, there have been times when the person’s reaction and the overall circumstances suggest the mishap was real. For this list, we’ve chosen some of the most talked about wardrobe malfunctions on reality television, and got reactions from some of those it happened to and others who witnessed it.
Monique Coleman's skirt tried to leave the dance floor
The year? 2006. The show? “Dancing with the Stars.” The contestant? “High School Musical” star Monique Coleman. While she was performing a jive routine with partner Louis van Amstel when she ran into a snag. Or more specifically, her dress got snagged, which easily could’ve derailed her practically perfect performance. The malfunction occurred when Coleman lifted her leg and the back of her heel got caught in her bright yellow skirt. The garment was yanked down and some of Coleman’s backside was exposed. However, she didn’t miss a step, spun around and pulled up her skirt all at once.
At the beginning of her routine, Coleman leapt off the stage into a waiting van Amstel’s arms, which she brought up during her post-performance interview. Some might say mentioning the stage dive was a great way for her to bring up the wardrobe malfunction before host Tom Bergeron could. “I know that jump scared the everything out of you,” said Bergeron. “It scared my clothes off, apparently,” Coleman responded. In the end, the judges raved at her performance, with judge Len Goodman calling it the actor’s best yet. She also received 9s across the board, which could have a lot to do with her amazing recovery.
Lateysha Grace just wanted to give a twerking lesson
Welsh reality star Lateysha Grace just wanted to teach people how to twerk, but she showed way more than she probably ever wanted to. In 2016, Grace appeared on “Big Brother’s Bit On The Side” after getting evicted from the “Big Brother” house on the UK’s version of the show. While talking to host and “Big Brother” alum Rylan Clark-Neal after being booted, Grace would have one of the biggest wardrobe malfunctions on either side of the pond.
During her post-elimination chat, Clark-Neal referenced the twerk lesson she gave that season and asked if she would demonstrate “a proper twerk.” Grace obliged. That’s when things went from rated PG-13 to rated R. Grace stood up, straightened her jean dress and began twerking, which involves one popping their hips and backside in rhythm. But it’s possible the reality star forgot that the dress had a giant zipper down the back, so when she began twerking, the dress came undone. Grace’s derriere and underwear were then on full display. She screamed afterward, and both she and Clark-Neal laughed while the TV audience cheered.
Grace shrugged off that mishap and carried on with her reality TV career. She’s since appeared on a number of shows, including but not limited to “Celebrity Ex On the Beach” and “Million Dollar Baby.”
Briana DeJesus lost some of her dress and her cool
In 2018 during a “Teen Mom 2” reunion special, Briana DeJesus and Kailyn Lowry got into a physical fight, and during the altercation, Briana experienced a major wardrobe malfunction that she later became upset about. The ladies’ problems began before the taping of the reunion even started. According to Hollywood Life, at one point while they were still backstage, Lowry asked a security person to let her hit Briana “just once,” which shows you how tense things were.
Then when the reunion began, Briana came on stage in a fury. “All that sh*t you was talking. What the f***?” she yelled at Lowry. From there, security and others separated the women, but they had no interest in settling their differences peacefully. “I’m trying to get to you,” Lowry told her castmate. Briana’s sister Brittany DeJesus then got involved by grabbing Lowry’s hair, and that riled Briana up even more. So as security tried to hold Briana still, her dress got hiked way up, flashing her underwear. According to Fansided, Briana got upset with MTV for not censoring her exposed body parts and tweeted (then deleted) a message to the network.
Vanessa Lachey said her skirt acted alone
There were some who probably thought that Vanessa Lachey wore a special breakaway outfit for her quickstep, but that wasn’t the case. On week six of “Dancing with the Stars” Season 25, Lachey and Maksim Chmerkovskiy performed a routine to “Let’s Be Bad” that took a turn they didn’t expect. At one point, her long red skirt got caught in Chmerkovskiy’s legs and it came right off. But did Lachey let on that anything was wrong? Not at all. And had she not told the audience what happened during her post-performance interview, it probably wouldn’t have been discussed much. “Oops,” she told host Tom Bergeron. “I swear that was not planned.”
The judges praised Lachey for holding it together during her performance, and judge Carrie Ann Inaba said Lachey losing her skirt made her loosen up a bunch. Plus, she received a score of all 9s.
Enter the skeptics. A source claimed to Radar Online that Lachey orchestrated the blooper because she desperately wanted the TV audience to vote for her. “Her skirt ripping off was totally staged,” the source alleged. “She is so thirsty to win now that she is willing to do anything to stay on air. She isn’t stupid. Before Vanessa was a celebrity in her own right, she was an entertainment news reporter, so she definitely knows how to make headlines.”
Sonja Morgan danced out of her dress
“The Real Housewives of New York City” star Sonja Morgan can hardly be called bashful but that doesn’t mean she wanted to show her underwear to a room full of people — yet, that’s exactly what happened. In 2018, Morgan performed at New York City’s Feinstein’s/54 for her caste mate Luann de Lesseps’ cabaret show and joined in on a rendition of “Money Can’t Buy You Class.” Morgan seemed to be having a high old time on stage, moving and grooving with the best of them. But it seems she grooved a little too much and danced right out of her dress. And this is all while castmates Dorinda Medley, Bethenny Frankel, Carole Radziwill, Dorinda Medley, and Ramona Singer were there to see the whole thing unravel — both the situation and the dress.
Right away, Morgan grabbed the back of her outfit to hold it together and kept performing but it came undone again a bit later. “Give me a little credit. All my dresses are trained to come off after eleven [o’clock],” she joked on the show.
And that wasn’t the first time Morgan suffered an issue with her clothing when people and cameras were around. In 2016, when she arrived on the blue carpet with Singer and Radziwill for the premiere of Bravo’s “Below Deck Mediterranean,” Morgan’s dress split open near her hip, according to the Daily Mail. Talk about having some bad luck with dresses. Hey, at least money can buy you an emergency sewing kit.
Lady Gaga got some help with a pesky zipper
Today, Lady Gaga is an international pop star and award-winning actor who probably couldn’t even go to her mailbox without being hounded by large crowds. But in 2008, she was relatively unknown. And when Mother Monster appeared on “The Hills” in its fourth season, some of the show’s stars, like Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port, were bigger celebrities than the singer was. During one episode of the MTV reality program, Gaga played an Interscope Records industry event at Area Nightclub in Los Angeles — but not before hitting a snag. Better yet, her zipper might have caught a snag because it broke and Conrad and Port, who worked for People’s Revolution’s Kelly Cutrone at the time, used their fashion skills to fix it.
At first, the situation seemed hopeless because the pesky zipper wouldn’t work, and Port suggested the “Bad Romance” singer wear a jacket to cover the damage. But in the end, Conrad saved the day by fixing the zipper, which made for a very happy Gaga. “You are superwoman right now,” she told Conrad. “We didn’t even know who she was,” said “The Hills” creator Adam DiVello about Gaga on the “Bachelor Party” podcast. “We were like, ‘What are we filming? What is this?’ We were just there, we didn’t really know what we were doing. Kelly Cutrone introduced us to her…and at the time, we were like, ‘Who is this girl?'”
Deena Nicole Buckner made a huge entrance
When walking into a new situation with new people, one approach is to lay low until a feeling of comfort develops for everyone involved. But “Jersey Shore’s” Deena Nicole Buckner did the opposite. That’s because in the first episode of the show’s third season — which was Buckner’s first night in the house after replacing cast member Angelina Pivarnick — she got naked. It happened after she got sloshed playing flip cup at the house and went to look for her straw hat with Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino.
Eventually, the hat was found, and to celebrate Buckner wanted to rock her swimwear. “I wasn’t used to the environment. I didn’t know anybody,” she told MTV News in 2011. “I was like, ‘All right, let me get a little buzz. Little did I know, I really didn’t eat the entire day, so my little buzz turned into a quick little hammered. We drank the entire night, so as soon as the nighttime hit, now I want my ‘blast in a glass’ hat. I’m feeling fantastic. I can’t feel my face … I wanted to show just my bikini, so I go to take off my dress, not realizing my bottoms were not there anymore and came down with my dress.” Then later that evening, Buckner — whose last name was Cortese then — got into an argument with cast members Samantha Giancola and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro. Talk about making your mark upon entry.
Somaya Reece said the show must go on
For any musician who’s been performing for a while, they probably know there’s a list of things they must be cognizant of to pull off a successful show. Like making eye contact with the audience since it’s easy for a singer or rapper to get lost in their song and close their eyes for a whole set, for starters. Moving around the stage is important too, because who wants to see an artist plant his or her feet behind the mic stand all night? And doing whatever you can to prevent a wardrobe malfunction is probably high on the list. That item is something former “Love & Hip-Hop” cast member Somaya Reece knows about.
In a 2011 episode of “Love & Hip-Hop,” Reece was performing at a packed venue when her pants ripped open at the top, exposing her stomach and underwear. The West Coast native didn’t stop performing, however, and kept going as if her pants behaved properly. “The show got to go on, and I’m not gonna stop, boob out, leg out, whatever,” she said in a talking head. In fact, Reece was so into her performance, she had no idea that the top of her pants came undone. “A fan in the audience pointed down to my fly, I looked down as I was rapping and thought ‘Oh my God,'” she said, according to College News.
Bunz from Flavor of Love showed way too much
There were countless crazy moments on VH1’s dating reality show “Flavor of Love” in the three seasons that it was on the air, and what happened to contestant Bunz, real name Courtney, fits right in there. During the series, which showed a group of women competing to win Flavor’s heart, the contestants had to go against each other in various competitions. In one Season 3 episode, members of the cast had to tell a story to a room full of small children and dress in costumes while acting the story out. The women were split in teams, and Bunz’s partners were Angela “Myammee” Pitts and Monalisa “Shy” Brown.
The story, which the ladies had to make up themselves, was pretty inventive and included a fairy princess who magically made gumdrops appear in the kids’ hands. But there was also a wicked witch character, played by Bunz, who while acting like she was being melted by the princess, fell to the floor, bent over, and accidentally showed her thong. The kids are then seen gasping in shock, and Bunz’s team lost over the clothing faux pas. Plus, Bunz was eventually eliminated from the show, but based on what she told Houston station 97.9 The Box, she was far from disappointed. “Nobody on the show is really trying to get with Flav,” she said.
Tyra Banks had a rocky start on Dancing with the Stars
Yes, we’ve got yet another “Dancing with the Stars” wardrobe blunder. When Tyra Banks took the show’s helm in 2020, some fans of former “DWTS” host Tom Bergeron were none too happy about it. And if those people were looking for Banks to slip up so they could snark away, the new host gave them just what she wanted. For starers, on one episode, Banks hit the stage with her dress undone. “I think it was the third or fourth episode, I walk out and my hand is on my back and I was holding my dress together,” Banks told ET. “It was not zipped up!”
Evidently, the zipper wasn’t the only thing Banks forgot. As she shared with the outlet, she also went out on the stage without the jewelry she was set to wear. But she quickly recovered, because before Artem Chigvintsev and “The Bachelorette” star Kaitlyn Bristowe started their routine, the former supermodel was zipped and had her bling on.
However, that wasn’t the only time Banks dealt with a clothing malfunction on the competition series. On her first night as the “DWTS” host, she experienced another ensemble-related goof. “What’s also weird is I just lost an earring,” Banks told the audience after rapper Nelly finished doing a salsa routine with partner Daniella Karagach (via Us Weekly). “And I promised everybody that I’m going to keep it real real.”
Sonia Kasparian of 'Project Runway' had to do a quick fix
In the fourth episode of “Project Runway” Season 17, contestant and fashion designer Sonia Kasparian learned a very valuable lesson about competing in a fashion show in front of judges, and it’s probably solid advice for all up and coming fashion designers to follow as well: Be sure the model who’s rocking your dress on the runway can walk in it. In the episode, designers were asked to create “survival chic” ensembles and the models were asked to walk a makeshift runway on a campground. Kasparian designed a shimmery silver gown that billowed in the wind, and the model made quite the entrance when she took the runway.
But then the model tripped. Some might’ve thought her shoe got caught on something, or maybe the weather blew some debris her way since it was pretty nasty during taping. However, it was none of those things. In fact, the near-fall was the result of a design error.
Here’s another piece of advice for fashion designers on the come-up: If your model falls, get up and help, which is something the Illinois native didn’t do at first because she was in shock. “I forgot that I hadn’t trimmed the hem of the dress in front for the shoes,” Kasparian said during the show. “You’re just watching your life flash between your eyes.”
Courtney Act lost just about everything
Was it a true wardrobe malfunction or was it planned? That was the big question after TV personality and celebrity drag queen Courtney Act lost her dress while coming on stage. Right before she entered the “Celebrity Big Brother UK” house in 2018, Act walked down a flight of stairs, waved to the audience, and took a tumble. Act, whose real name is Shane Jenek, was then practically naked.
The “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum recovered, albeit slowly, by putting the dress back on and continuing to walk. Host Emma Willis was at a loss for words and wore a look on her face that seemed to be a mixture of shock and amusement. But Act’s “Celebrity Big Brother” housemates were convinced the dress didn’t fall by itself.
“I’ve worked with so many drag queens in my time and they are perfectionists,” said actor Amanda Barrie, (via PinkNews). “I have never seen one drop his props on the way in.” So what did the Aussie celeb have to say about the fall and going almost nude in front of millions of viewers? “Of course it wasn’t planned!” she stated after winning “Celebrity Big Brother UK.” “I’m not going to flash my gash to the whole nation.” And later the darn dress fell off again when Act finally got into the house.
Paris Hilton probably should've worn different shoes
Now this isn’t typically what one would consider to be a wardrobe malfunction, but Us Weekly called it one after Paris Hilton had a scary accident (via ABC News). And hey, the incident did involve a piece of her wardrobe so it definitely fits on this list. It all went down in 2004 at a ranch in Hernando County, Florida, when Hilton and Nicole Richie were filming “The Simple Life 2” and were riding horses. Reportedly, Hilton opted to wear stiletto heels while she rode and accidentally kicked the animal, which made it take off. “Oh my God, Oh my God, tell him to stop,” she screamed to the instructor. Then the New York City native fell incredibly hard right into the grass.
As Us Weekly reported at the time, Hilton was airlifted to a hospital after she was knocked off of the horse. When doctors determined she wasn’t seriously hurt, she was good to go. But here’s the thing: Even though Hilton probably should have worn different footwear to ride, it wasn’t her idea to nudge the horse with her heels. When she asked the instructor how to get the horse to accelerate, he replied, “Kick it.”
Melissa Gray of Sugar Rush Christmas forgot an accessory
Okay, so imagine this: You’re on a reality baking show in a fierce bake off and the pressure is palpable. Not only because you want to win the darn thing, but you also don’t want to make a fool of yourself in front of millions of viewers. So before cameras start rolling, you run down your mental checklist. The sugar is over there, the flour there, the fastest way to the oven is this way and so on. Then you might think to yourself, “I have everything covered, and I can now solely focus on baking.” But for Melissa Gray, who appeared on Netflix’s “Sugar Rush Christmas” in 2019 and probably went through a similar mental checklist, there was just one key thing she forgot, which had zero to do with baking
“I forgot to bring a belt,” she told Citizen Times. “And when you’re running around, it just doesn’t help with the ‘stay up,’ if you will. I must have pulled up my pants up 100 times on camera.” Gray, who owns Cakes By Gray in Asheville, North Carolina, partnered with another baker from her town on the show named Emma McShane, and the ladies took second place in the competition, which isn’t too shabby considering Gray was officially the beltless baker.
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