Having a game plan seems to carry some pretty negative connotations. Viewers want their wannabe reality stars to be true to themselves, but we’d argue that it’s often the most theatrical – and sometimes most dastardly – characters who create the best TV moments.
Here’s a look back at some of the biggest game players ever to have graced our screens…
1. Nasty Nick
When it comes to reality TV, Nick Bateman near enough invented the ‘game player’ label. He was one of the OGs, taking part in the first ever Big Brother back in 2000. The concept of the show was very much based around a social experiment, so when Nick started to play his housemates off against one another the producers must’ve felt like they had struck gold. And they sure had.
After his now-infamous showdown with Craig Phillips, the pantomime villain met his end and he was removed from the house for plotting to manipulate nominations.
He might have been one of the most hated men in Britain at the time, but he soon managed to make his brand work to his advantage and was invited back to take part in the Ultimate Big Brother series in 2010.
2. Stephen Bear
Love him or hate him, there’s absolutely no getting away from the fact that Bear made the 2016 series of Celebrity Big Brother. We had it all: on-screen cheating (and the confrontation that followed), in-house pranks and a lot of wasted food.
Viewers couldn’t quite decide whether he was actually that awful or whether he was playing a very entertaining game. It probably didn’t help that Bear already had something of a reputation. His former Ex On The Beach pal Megan McKenna outed him by telling Reveal: “He’s a decent guy, but he is a typical game player. He’s winding everyone up on purpose – he knows what he’s doing and he loves it. Surely they can see he’s just a performer?”
Sure enough, his tactics worked and he was crowned the winner of CBB that year.
3. Hayley Hughes
Thanks to the repetitive mispronunciation of Eyal’s name, her lack of knowledge surrounding the human anatomy and her understanding of ‘deep’ conversations, the 2018 islander has had us all baffled.
Dumped contestant Kendall named her as the islander most likely to be playing a game, and viewers seem to be continually questioning whether her ‘dumb blonde’ persona is just an act.
Spencer Pratt definitely knows how to play the cameras, racking up years of experience in creating drama on MTV’s The Hills alongside now-wife Heidi.
Together they’ve become notorious for playing the ‘bad guys’, so it was hardly surprising that the US reality stars were snapped up for a series of Celebrity Big Brother in 2013.
But many believed that their masks slipped when Spencer started talking about his role as the ‘villain’ and how hard it had been do the things ‘he was cast to do.’
Had they been playing a game all along? Or was his tearful admission simply a double bluff? Only Speidi can say for sure…
5. Paris Hilton
The Simple Life can be credited with catapulting both Paris Hilton and her co-star Nicole Richie to fame in the early ’00s, but the woman we see now is a far cry from the soft-voiced ditzy blonde we grew up watching.
She has successfully reshaped herself as a businesswoman and entrepreneur, telling Harper’s Bazaar that she doesn’t want to be known as a reality TV star.
In more recent years, reports have commented on the change in her voice and demeanour, leaving many questioning whether or not she had created a TV persona.
Sure enough, Paris eventually ‘fessed up and admitted that she had been playing a character in The Simple Life all along. Clever.
6. Adam Collard
You may have noticed that there’s been a lot of chat surrounding Love Island‘s Adam and his villainous tendencies on the current show.
His friend, and fellow reality TV personality, Alex Beattie all but confirmed that Adam has a game plan, namely to stay on the show for as long as possible.
7. John Partridge
Fan-favourite Tiffany Pollard said that John’s game playing skills were so impressive that he deserved his spot in the Celebrity Big Brother final based on those alone.
“John is such a terrific game player that he even fools himself that he’s not playing a game – he is the biggest game player from start to finish,” she told reporters including Digital Spy.
“It was so nice to see him in the final because if you’re going to be so fake and play everybody like that then you deserve a slot in the final.” Ouch.
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