Grantland’s Reality TV Fantasy League: The Complete Rules and Draft Results

MTV The Challenge: Rivals (Cast)

Comedian Fred Allen once called television “chewing gum for the eyes.” If that’s the case, reality TV is chewing tobacco for the eyes: It’s unhealthy, addictive, and sometimes makes you want to puke. But unlike dip, reality shows have an appeal that stretches beyond just dudes who wear overalls for function. Reality TV is popular because it’s fun. And it’s about to get more fun.

One thing sports have taught us is that almost anything can be improved by creating a scoring system and holding a draft. Try it. Assign point values and draft your coworkers before a meeting. Or family members before Thanksgiving dinner. I once participated in a celebrity DUI draft (Shia LaBeouf was a late-round steal). And this summer we’ll use a similar model for the inaugural Grantland Reality TV Fantasy League.

Single-show reality fantasy drafts have been attempted before, but in this league, we selected our rosters from the casts of six different shows. Earlier this week, our owners — Bill Simmons, Joe House, Connor Schell, Jay Caspian Kang, Lane Brown, and myself — drafted teams from the summer seasons of The Bachelorette, Basketball Wives, The Challenge: Rivals, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, and Love in the Wild. Bachelor Pad, which premieres in August, will serve as our playoff round, and its contestants will be placed on teams at a later date.

These shows were selected via a sophisticated process that took into account ratings, cultural impact, and critical acclaim. Oh, wait — no, they weren’t. They were chosen pretty much because they were ones we’d planned to watch anyway.

Our scoring system is equally scientific. Points will be awarded to team owners whose players engage in the kind of socially irresponsible behavior that reflects the moral bankruptcy of these shows — fighting, intemperance, making Dr. Drew cry, etc. (Note: Grantland condones none of these things. Kids, please don’t make Dr. Drew cry.) Scores will be tallied each week by league commissioner Katie Gorman, and at the end of the season a winner will be crowned.

In the coming months, Grantland will cover this league with a level of passion and analysis typically reserved for more important things, such as politics and LeBron James’ hairline. Below, you’ll find our scoring system and the results of our draft. Look for our first scorecard post next week. We encourage you to start your own leagues, suggest changes to our system, or just read these posts and mumble to yourself, “I thought this site had Malcolm Gladwell?”

Scoring System

If the commissioner determines that a team member has committed any of the following, that team receives the corresponding number of points. Gray areas abound, so all scoring is at the discretion of the commissioner.

Global Scoring


  • Female Crying: 5 points
  • Male Crying: 20 points
  • Asking if a fellow cast member is there “for the right reasons”: 10 points
  • Saying, “I didn’t come here to make friends”: 10 points
  • Trying to make someone cry and succeeding: 25 points
  • Trying to make someone cry and failing: -5 to -25 points (commissioner’s discretion)
  • Blaming parents for poor behavior: 10 points
  • Calling a friend or relative at home, crying, and saying, “Everyone here hates me”: 20 points
  • Threatening to sue fellow cast member: 25 points
  • Being subject of an intervention: 30 points (Celebrity Rehab stars excluded)
  • Plugging an acting, modeling, or singing career: 10 points
  • Singing song in front of two or more people: 20 points


  • Open-mouth kissing: 5 points per participant
  • Coitus (or pulling over covers in bed): 25 points per participant
  • Denying coitus: 10 points
  • Fraudulent denial of coitus: 20 points
  • Fraudulent claim of coitus: 25 points
  • Participating in threesome: 50 points per participant
  • STD scare: 30 points per sexual partner
  • Pregnancy scare: 50 points per sexual partner
  • Intentional nudity: 20 points
  • Unintentional nudity: 5 points
  • Hitting on the show’s host: 5 to 15 points (commissioner’s discretion)
  • Possession of concealed erection: 10 to 25 points (commissioner’s discretion)
  • Revealing past career in pornography: 50 points
  • Going on a show-sanctioned overnight date and not hooking up: -25 points per participant (The Bachelorette and Love in the Wild only)


  • Verbal Fighting: 5 points
  • Physical Fighting: 25 points
  • Decisively winning physical fight: 25 points
  • Throwing drink in someone’s face: 5 points
  • Having unexplained black eye, fat lip, or bloody knuckles: 25 points
  • Being restrained or lectured on camera by security or production staff: 25 points
  • Requesting to be assaulted: 10 points
  • Invoking show’s rules as only reason for not committing assault: 10 points
  • Attempting to fight show’s host: 100 points


  • Extreme intoxication: 5 to 25 points (commissioner’s discretion)
  • Vomiting: 10 points
  • Having car keys taken away: 5 points
  • Being kicked out of bar or club: 20 points


  • Violating stated religious beliefs: 25 points
  • Attending church: -10 points
  • Non-court-ordered volunteer work: -25 points

Early Departures

  • Being kicked off show: 100 points (must be eliminated outside of game play)
  • Causing others to threaten to leave show: 15 points
  • Threatening to leave show and not following through: 15 points
  • Threatening to leave show and following through: 30 points

Hot Tub/Helicopter Bonus

  • Any points earned in hot tub and/or helicopter are scored at double value.

Show-specific Scoring

The Bachelorette (premiered May 23 on ABC)

  • Calling Ashley a pet name: 5 points
  • Giving Ashley a gift: 10 points
  • Mentioning Brad: 10 points
  • Winning final rose: 50 points

Basketball Wives (premiered May 30 on VH1)

  • Plugging an entrepreneurial venture: 20 points
  • Attending an event without an invitation: 10 points
  • Using the word “classy”: 5 points

Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (premieres June 29 on VH1)

  • Abusing a substance while in rehab: 20 points
  • Making Dr. Drew cry: 25 points
  • Mentioning comeback plans: 10 points
  • Saying a child/spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend is “everything to me,” “my life,” and/or “my world”: 10 points
  • Attempting to escape and failing: 30 points
  • Attempting to escape and succeeding: 50 points
  • Getting arrested and/or going back to rehab before airing of show’s finale: 100 points

The Challenge: Rivals (premieres June 22 on MTV)

  • Making T.J. say, “You Killed It”: 25 points
  • Winning elimination challenge: 10 points
  • Winning final challenge: 50 points

Love In The Wild (premieres June 29 on NBC)

  • Winning elimination challenge: 10 points
  • Winning final challenge: 50 points
  • All Love in the Wild hookup points will be scored at half value

David Jacoby is Grantland’s Reality Czar.

Filed Under: Bachelor Pad, Basketball Wives, Grantland Reality TV Fantasy Draft, Love In the Wild, Reality TV Fantasy League, The Bachelorette, The Challenge: Rivals

David Jacoby is an ESPN producer who somehow became a writer and editor for Grantland.

Archive @ djacoby