I’m sorry. You’re out. You’re inadequate. Get the f*** out. For reality TV elimination-style shows, there are many different ways to say the same thing: It’s time to return to your boring, off-camera life. But what makes a great reality TV show dismissal line?
We reviewed more than 60 reality show send-offs to try to find out. Then we pared those down to the 33 best. Some of the lines are clever, some are simply bizarre, and one is just vulgar. But they all share a common thread: They reflect the style of the show, its level of competitiveness and the personality of the host. Heidi Klum coldly delivers “You’re out,” not bothering with a windup like “Work of Art,” which uses effective but drawn-out wordplay. Meanwhile, “Chopped,” a cooking show, stirs up some violent kitchen imagery and uses the show’s title in the line, a contrast from “Hell’s Kitchen” where Gordon Ramsay orders contestants to remove their jackets–the essence of being a chef.
An elimination line is perfect when it can succinctly and cleverly knock a contestant with, of course, impeccable delivery. Sure, it helps if it’s funny. And it never hurts to highlight someone’s shortcomings. But these elimination lines truly rise to a level of excellence when they achieve notoriety on their own–when they rise above the show itself and start getting plastered on T-shirts. That’s when a reality TV elimination line has truly made it.