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Reality bites when staring down a lawsuit. LSJ reveals how many of our favourite shows are putting the “guilty” into guilty pleasure.

Australia is a country rich in culture; from its wild animals and sunburnt landscapes to the broad selection of reality TV available literally every night of the week. 

Many members of the legal profession lament the popularity of reality television as a sign that society is getting dumber. (I mean, sure, pop culture reached a low when two mature individuals consented to having a bath in liquid chocolate.) But for the savvy modern lawyer, society’s obsession with reality TV may bring more opportunities than you think.

Due to various liabilities, contract disputes, and situations known technically in the media as “hissy fits”, legal work has steadily increased over the past few years with the proliferation of trash TV.

The Bachelor/Bachelorette

The DPP’s office has been flooded by several applications for apprehended violence orders (AVOs) after many early contestants were unable to handle not getting a rose. Further, several contestants have initiated tort proceedings on the series’ “intruders” claiming trespass without due cause. Season 6 finalists Sophie Tieman and Brittany Hockley have also filed proceedings at NCAT to seek a review of the Honey Badger’s decision, citing that the policy of “being a d*ckhead” should not have fettered his decision.


Senior counsels have been called in to settle disputes over the tortious environment the show takes place in. Further, per private international law rules, a contestant from last year, so aggrieved by their “b****y eviction” from the island, invoked the doctrine of renvoi to have their Fijian case settled in Australia. 


The contractual dispute involving the three series’ hosts, George Calombaris, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan, has been widely publicised, but many are not as familiar with smaller disputes arising from the show. Contestants have initiated a class action suit against Calombaris, not for his severe underpaying of staff, but for the psychiatric injury resulting from his excessive questioning and yelling “30 seconds to go”. 

The Block

Several former contestants are seeking to claim property rights over the renovated properties after developing emotional attachment due to overly dramatic background music. After the success of Bill Gertos’ squatters’ rights case, many of the contestants, acting under legal advice, have tried to set up camp on their multimillion-dollar projects.

Married at First Sight

Firms specialising in divorce and family law have experienced an industrial boom after the most recent season of MAFS concluded. Weirdly, contestants’ decisions “to stay” were not considered legally binding, with many opting to ditch their partners after the cameras had gone. 

The Voice

A former Team-Delta contestant has commenced a motion in the High Court’s appellate jurisdiction for an “entirely unreasonable” decision by the season 7 judges. The contestant has asserted her untimely elimination is a “question of law”, thus subject to appeal.

Love Island

A class action suit has been initiated against the producers of season 1 over allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct. 

Many contestants were told they would find love on the island when, really, they were met with bitter regret, insecurity and a smaller-than-expected bump in Instagram followers.

Best be off – the new (budget) season of MasterChef is on and apparently Schapelle Corby is a judge.