Kendra Wilkinson made a splash this week when she opted not to take the plunge during the most recent episode of the celebrity diving series Splash. Her fear of heights prevented her from following through with the 23 foot drop head first into the water and she was subsequently eliminated from the competition. Whether or not Wilkinson's decision to quit the competition goes down in reality TV history as one of the most memorable early-exits a contestant has made remains to be seen. It's not always easy to predict which moments will stick and which ones will wash away in a sea of other seemingly vital pieces of pop culture. But the ordeal did get us thinking about some of the other reality TV participants who opted to quit, deciding for whatever the reason to cut their losses and give the show the old "Screw you guys, I'm going home." By comparison to these, Kendra's choice to quit Splash doesn't seem nearly as dramatic.
Andrea Katz Sneaks Away From Project Runway
Unlike a 23-foot drop off a plank, there’s nothing dangerous or even stomach-churning about making a color-blocked jersey dress. There are, however, internal pressures, limited sleep and flamboyant personalities to contend with on Project Runway. Most contestants are able to get through with only a few random cries and one or two Tim Gunn pep talks, but poor Andrea Katz just couldn’t take it. After two nondescript showings and a terrible team challenge in which she and partner Christopher almost got sent packing, she hit her breaking point and left in the most passive aggressive way possible—by creeping away in the middle of the night.
She didn’t tell producers. She didn’t tell her fellow cast members. She just snuck off like Joe Dirt’s parents. For awhile, the producers couldn’t even verify that she was safe. All they had were hopeful thoughts, footage of an empty bed and poor Melissa’s story about overhearing her getting up some time after the witching hour. Eventually, she had the decency to fire off an email, but not surprisingly, that gesture did little to ease the irritation of her fellow cast members who actually wanted to be there.
(Video contains adult language)
Angelina leaves Jersey Shore. Again.
When Jersey Shore first premiered, it was Snooki who seemed prime to be the odd man out among the group, coming on a little too strong among her fellow "guidos and guidettes." As it turned out, getting punched in the face by a guy at a bar not only earned the then-new series a surge of attention, but also helped Snooki bond with her new friends, who were there to defend her and help her through the brutal ordeal. And in the end, Angelina turned out to be the one on the outskirts of the group, which led to her departure before the first season wrapped up.
When Angelina returned for Season 2, when the series moved down to Miami to enjoy the warmer weather - and allow the show to come back for "summer" faster than it would have if they were bound to Jersey climates - she seemed deliberately placed in the house as a means of inciting drama, which she did. Or her houseguests did. Were the issues her doing? Or did the house just gang up on her? Does anyone remember? Does it matter? It seems like there was so much editing in that show that we may never know the truth behind Angelina vs. the Jersey Shore house. Regardless, fights ensued, including the one in the video above (watch the edited version here), and Angelina, once again, took her ball and went home.
Susan Hawk leaves Survivor after telling Probst off.
Susan Hawk didn’t win either of the seasons of Survivor she appeared on, but she sure as hell left her mark on both. During the beloved reality show’s greatest episode, the Season 1 finale, she absolutely went off on Kelly, calling her a rat and casting the deciding vote for Richard. Years later, when she returned for all-stars, she quit in epic fashion thanks to an alleged sexual assault that viewers still argue over to this day.
Was Richard’s balls touching Sue’s leg gross? Yes. Was it a reason to quit the game? That answer depends on who you ask, but Sue would sure as hell say yes. When asked about the incident, she stepped forward and belligerently screamed at host Jeff Probst for a solid minute before getting in a boat and leaving the show for the final time. The whole thing may have been unexpected, but for a woman who always prided herself on shooting from the hip, it was a strangely fitting way for her career on Survivor to end.
Big Brother's Chima throws a tantrum… or a microphone.
Chima's "choice" to leave the Big Brother house was a bit more indirect. She was technically expelled after refusing to listen to Big Brother and eventually chucking her microphone pack in the jacuzzi. She did just enough to make them throw her out. The outburst earned her a swift exit through the backdoor with no chance to pack her things or say goodbye. She wasn't a part of the jury and didn't appear at the finale.
While we wouldn't excuse Chima's behavior, which was basically a slap in the face of the show, her alliance and in some ways, the fans, it wasn't difficult to understand why she was so angry. She spent the week prior as Head of Household, attempting to orchestrate the eviction of Russell, a fellow contestant she didn't get along with. And then, during the live episode, which would have seen Russell sent packing, Jeff used his secret Coup d'etat power to overthrow the nominations, putting Jessie and Natalie up, which resulted in Jessie's eviction. The only thing Chima got out of her week as HoH was safety and the fancy bedroom. The power she should have had was flushed down the toilet when Jeff took over, and the following week, she was nominated. So she was angry, and disappointed that her reign was upended and one of her own (kind of) alliance members was sent out the door. Her anger was justified. Her actions and attitude weren't, but the drama sure was jaw-dropping, and a rare example of what happens when houseguests don't abide Big Brother.
The Real World's Irene gets slapped on her way out.
Irene McGee wasn't the first Real World housemate to leave the house before the season ended, and she wasn't the last. At the time her her exit from the seventh season of the long-running MTV reality show (The Real World: Seattle), she said her choice to leave was due to her issues with Lyme Disease, though she admitted later that she had issues with the production of the show. Her reason for leaving is far less memorable as her exit from the show. On her way out the door, she pulled fellow housemate, Stephen, aside and smiled at him as she told him that they could never be together because he's gay.
Her antagonistic goodbye might have warranted him chucking her stuffed animal off the peer, but Stephen took his irritation too far when he chased after her car as she and her friend were driving away, got her to open the door, then smacked her in the face. The brutality might have been minimal in terms of physical damage, but it was a bad move and a major line crossed on Stephen's part, no matter how many buttons Irene may have pushed. And it went on to become one of the more memorable moments in the series' long history.