Reality TV's biggest disasters, from 'Dancing On Ice' to 'The Jump'

·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·5-min read
Reality TV doesn't always go to plan. (ITV/Channel 4/ITV)
Reality TV doesn't always go to plan. (ITV/Channel 4/ITV)

Dancing On Ice 2022 has already hit a slippery patch before the series has even aired its second episode, with COVID and injury hitting the cast again in echoes of last year.

Bez got through his first week's performance but then went into isolation with COVID, while Rachel Stevens has broken her wrist in training and will miss her first live show.

Read more: The most controversial TV moments of 2021

This isn't the first time Dancing On Ice has suffered setbacks after 2021's disaster series, and it's far from the only reality show to have been hit by chaos, as these memorable moments show.

Reality TV's biggest disasters

Dancing On Ice 2021 chaos series

Denise Van Outen suffered a nasty shoulder injury. (ITV)
Denise Van Outen suffered a nasty shoulder injury. (ITV)

Last year's Dancing On Ice went down in history as one of the most difficult reality series ever to have been staged.

ITV bravely went ahead with the production despite various strict filming restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but ended up with a record number of five celebrity drop outs.

Read more: Meet the Dancing On Ice 2022 judges

Rufus Hound and Joe-Warren Plant both tested positive for COVID, while Denise Van Outen fractured and dislocated her shoulder, Billie Shepherd was concussed in training, and Jason Donovan had a relapse of an old back injury.

Even burning through the reserve celeb list wasn't enough to run a full series, but the show just about held things together by taking a week's break at the midway point and then staging the final a week early.

AJ Odudu's Strictly Come Dancing injury

AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington missed the final over an ankle injury. (BBC)
AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington missed the final over an ankle injury. (BBC)

When TV presenter AJ Odudu and her dance partner Kai Widdrington racked up a huge score of 34 points in just week one of Strictly Come Dancing 2021, viewers knew she was set to be something special.

Throughout the series, she turned in performances that the judges told her were practically professional standard, but disaster struck in the very last week of the contest as Odudu injured her ankle ligaments rehearsing for the final.

Read more: The best celebrity TV contest debuts ever

She had hoped to battle on through, but eventually had to drop out of the final just the day before it aired - leaving just Rose Ayling-Ellis and John Whaite competing for the Glitterball Trophy.

A devastated Odudu said as she watched the final from the audience: "I don't know how to describe what it feels like to have a broken heart, but that's what it feels like.

"I've been putting on a brave face, Kai's been putting on a brave face, we've loved the show tonight, they've been incredible, John and Johannes, Rose and Giovanni, but we wanted to be on the dancefloor with them. We've been swallowing tears throughout most of the night."

Strictly 2021 COVID outbreak

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 18/09/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Launch Show (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Graziano Di Prima, Judi Love - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Judi Love was one of the unlucky contestants to get COVID. (BBC/Guy Levy)

Even before AJ Odudu's injury, Strictly 2021 hit a few bumps in the road thanks to COVID.

It began with reports that three of the professional dancers were apparently unvaccinated and that one unnamed celebrity had had to isolate following the launch show.

Next, Tom Fletcher tested positive early on in the series, followed by Judi Love, although both managed to return after their isolation was over.

Read more: All the times COVID caused chaos for reality TV

Judge Craig Revel Horwood also had to miss a week after contracting COVID, as did fellow judge Motsi Mabuse who was traced as a close contact of someone with the virus.

Separately to the show's COVID woes, Robert Webb had to drop out of the BBC contest after a couple of weeks on the advice of his heart consultant, who told him his health was suffering as the tough training was too much with his recent history of heart surgery.

The Jump 2016 wipes out over half of contestants

If you thought Dancing On Ice was a dangerous show, cast your mind back to The Jump - in particular, series three.

The celebrity winter sports contest was high stakes, with anyone brave enough to sign up aware that injury was par for the course.

However, no one could have predicted the carnage of series three, which saw seven of the 12 famous contestants drop out.

Read more: Who's taking part in Dancing On Ice 2022?

The roll call of celebs to withdraw included Tina Hobley, Rebecca Adlington, Beth Tweddle, Mark-Francis Vandelli, Linford Christie, Sarah Harding and Heather Mills.

Incredibly, the series was not cancelled and eventually named Ben Cohen as the winner.

Rav Wilding's Splash! nightmare

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Rav Wilding attends the BBC1's National Lottery Awards 2019 at BBC Television Centre on October 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
Rav Wilding suffered life-changing injuries in 'Splash!'. (Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

TV presenter Rav Wilding could barely have imagined how horribly wrong things would go for him when he signed up to 2013 celebrity diving contest Splash!.

He suffered a terrible injury to his hamstrings in training with left him with life-changing injuries and one leg shorter than the other.

In fact, things were so bad that Wilding sued over the incident, and since then has retrained as an osteopath, saying that he could "easily relate to" people with injuries.

I'm A Celebrity shut down by Storm Arwen

'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!'s weekend shows have been cancelled after the set was damaged by Storm Arwen. (ITV)
Ant and Dec were off air for a few days during the storm. (ITV)

It managed to survive the pandemic by moving camp from Australia to North Wales, but I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! met its match in 2021's Storm Arwen.

Gale force winds ripped through camp, meaning that for the first time ever, the ITV contest had to abandon its live shows for a number of nights mid-series and celebrities were moved from their castle camp to a more secure location for their own safety.

Read more: Ant and Dec's best Boris Johnson takedowns of I'm A Celeb 2021

They were isolated from each other during their time off air and later returned to the main camp to resume the series, although Richard Madeley did not join them as shortly before the storm he had broken the COVID-secure bubble with a hospital visit, forcing him out of the cast.

Watch: AJ Odudu tears up discussing 'traumatic' injury