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Reality TV Fans Need Someone New to Hate

The secret to a truly fantastic season for any reality show is having at least one juicy character to be the recipient of our collective wrath.

With "Project Runway" sauntering toward its conclusion — and taking Jeffrey Sebelia and a lot of that wrath with it — I don’t think I speak only for myself when I say that we need a new person to hate.

"The Amazing Race" is doing a good job of convincing us that that person should be Peter, the clinical prosthetist who, when he’s not fake pep-talking his clearly-soon-to-be-ex girlfriend, threatens to quit the race, annoys other teams and preaches passive-aggressively.

To be fair, I think I’d be an absolute nightmare if I were having to contend with airport hassles, crocodile-wrangling or any of the tasks these people willingly take on — though the Indian driving test, which everyone seemed to enjoy (even Peter!) and treat more like a video game than a task or potential life-ender, looked quite fun.

Meanwhile, on "The Bachelor," we lost the delightfully repugnant Erica, the socialite who’s logged more obnoxious statements — among them, that she’s just flown coach for the first time, that Lorenzo belongs with her and not with the other “common” girls and that she’d like
to pay one of her rivals to clean her room — than Paris Hilton could dream of uttering on 10 seasons of "The Simple Life."

Jami, an event planner from Texas, was also ousted right after having a full-on "Pretty Woman" moment where she borrowed jewelry to go with her red dress for the opera (though Julia didn’t have to deal with Erica watching and calling her white trash for having tattoos).

Are they really just leaving us Lisa — who seems to be stuck on repeat, talking only about some asinine multi-year plan she has for marrying Lorenzo whenever she's not gloating about the fact that she got the first rose — to dislike?

"Dancing With the Stars," meanwhile, features only sweet, happy, sweating celebrities with nary an obnoxious person in sight. Sure, we could try to summon up some ill will toward Mario Lopez, but do you know how difficult it is to hate someone with dimples?

On a show that manages to make even Jerry Springer look adorable, the only bad guy seems to be Craig Schelske — country singer Sara Evans’ husband who, with his alleged secret photography projects and ample Craig’s List ads, caused his wife to drop out of the competition this week.

Comparatively speaking, Peter and Erica never looked so good.

Anna David has been on staff at Premiere and Parenting magazines and wrote a sex and relationship column for Razor. She’s done celebrity cover stories, first-person essays and reported pieces for The L.A. Times, Vanity Fair, Cosmo, People, Us Weekly, Redbook, Self, Details, Stuff, TV Guide, Women’s Health, Ocean Drive, Vegas, The Saturday Telegraph, Esquire UK, Teen Vogue, Variety, The New York Post, LA Confidential, Distinction, Calabasas, Tatler (Hong Kong), King, Fade In, Emmy and Maxim, among others.

She’s the sex expert on G4’s Attack of the Show, appears regularly on Reality Remix (FOX's Reality Network) and the "Today" show and has also been on "The Best Damn Sports Show Period," "The Other Half," "Cold Pizza," "The Modern Girl’s Guide to Life," CNN, E!, and VH1. Her first novel, "Party Girl," is coming out in July 2007 from Regan Books (HarperCollins).