Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough took home the Mirror Ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars Tuesday night, but by the next morning, all the congratulations turned to speculation after the race car driver announced he has terminated his engagement with jewelry designer Aliette Vasquez. What kind of speculation? Only the romantic kind, of course! The dancing partners have long insisted their relationship is strictly professional, with Helio reinforcing that notion in recent weeks with wedding talk galore. But that big smooch he laid on Julianne during the finale suggest otherwise. The truth remains to be seen, but the chummy duo isn’t the first reality show couple to be synonymous with romance and scandal.
Take a look at five other pairs who’ve rocked our reality on screen and off.
#5: Jeff Probst and Julie Berry
There’s nothing naughtier than an illicit affair in the wild. Survivor host Jeff Probst defied authority on the ninth installment of the CBS staple, Survivor: Vanatu, by getting up close and personal with contestant Julie Berry. The two swear on their lives they didn’t embark on a relationship until after the show finished filming, but many feel this is just a PC-denial. At least we know it wasn’t rigged in her favor — Julie finished fifth.
#4: Byron Velvick and Mary Delgado
Byron and Mary looked like they were on the road to becoming the next Bachelor/Bachelorette success story (the first being Trista and Ryan, naturally) after their appearance on The Bachelor: After the Final Rose revolving incumbent Bachelor Brad Womack’s double dissing of two gals. They announced they were set to walk down the aisle this month, but not before they come to blows — literally. An inebriated Mary took a knockout punch to her beau’s face Nov. 23 and was charged with battery. No word if the wedding’s still on, but November’s almost up!
#3: Reichen Lehmkuhl and Lance Bass
No, they were never a reality show couple, but they caused an equal amount of drama, if not more, with their much-publicized coupling, confirmed after the ex-N Syncer finally came out of the closet in July 2006. A notorious playboy, Reichen came under fire, by Perez Hilton no less for doing crystal meth, cheating on his significant other with a bevy of men, and for using Lance as a leverage for fame. A reality contestant as a famewhore? You don’t say. So offended he was, the Amazing Race contestant threatened to file a lawsuit against the blogger, which was dropped after their January 2007 break-up. Suspect?
#2: Rick Rockwell and Darva Conger
Don’t remember those names? They were the unhappily married couple from Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? fame. Rick, who claimed to have earned his millions from real estate, chose ER nurse Darva to be his bride on the FOX show and the two married on the spot. Less than two months later in April 2000, Darva filed for an annulment for fraudulent misrepresentation. It turned out good ol’ Rick’s income is more cubic zirconia than blinging diamonds — he was never in real estate, instead making the necessary buck through sporadic screenwriting and standup comedy gigs. Exacerbating his case were unearthed restraining orders filed by ex-girlfriends and roommates. Plus, Darva contested, the marriage was moot anyway because they never did the deed. Who would?
#1: Kristy Swanson and Lloyd Eisler
Original Buffy Kristy Swanson slayed her Skating with Celebrities partner Lloyd Eisler on and off the rink. Only problem? He was already married. Conveniently enough, he files for divorce and shacks up with Kristy seemingly right afterwards, but he maintains his marriage was done long ago. Isn’t that what they all say? That doesn’t seem to be the case though as the two women in his life got into a catfight in June, leaving Kristy charged with alleged assault. The charges were eventually dropped though, just in time for the two, whose affair produced a son, to continue with their wedding plans.