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A few years back, for a span of several months, pop-culture writers played an ongoing game of "Who's More Irritating, Jon or Kate Gosselin?" A definitive winner never really emerged. Since then, the stars of TLC's Jon & Kate Plus 8 have taken separate roads to near obscurity, with Jon arguably arriving first.
Now heading back into the spotlight, Jon will appear on the upcoming episode of OWN's Where Are They Now? (Sunday at 10 p.m. ET). During an interview, he expresses regret about allowing his children -- Mady, Cara, Aaden, Joel, Hannah, Alexis, Leah, and Collin --to be filmed for reality TV. And Kate has taken to her blog to respond to his remarks.
Watch Jon here:
"When our kids grow up, they may see their father’s latest interview and wonder why he made untrue and hurtful statements about them," she wrote. "I know that I risk stirring up an unwanted public and private 'frenzy' by commenting on this, but, if our children ever stumble upon that interview, I want to be able to point them to this statement so that they know that I publicly set the record 100% straight on this one, for their sake." Indeed, from a mother's perspective, she probably felt she had little choice but to defend her cubs.
Yes, Jon handily takes the prize in this latest round of "Who's More Irritating?" When he cites his kids' problems "with wants and needs and manners and morals and what's right and what's wrong," he concludes that his kids are worse than your average 9 and 12-year-olds. This is quite an accusation, considering that more or less all 9 to 12-year-old kids are grappling with these issues. There's a reason the tween years are known for being fraught with drama. It's ain't easy being a tween. No doubt many dads out there are alarmed by the poor decisions and bad attitudes of their 9 to 12-year-old kids. Most kids are lucky enough to not have dads who go on TV and tell America about it.
In the landscape of reality TV shows, there isn't always a happy story after the cameras are turned off (and often while the cameras are still rolling). Just look at the couples who developed reality TV shows based on their relationship, only to see their very reason for filming implode. Remember any of these attempted unions?
Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica
Starting in 2003, the show about Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson's marriage lasted three seasons. Their marriage lasted three and a half years.
'Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen & Dave
The show about Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro's love lasted for seven episodes in 2004. They were divorced by 2007.
Britney & Kevin: Chaotic
This mess of a show chronicled the courtship, engagement and wedding of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. Within three years they'd produced two children, and divorced.
Meet the Barkers
Blink 182's Travis Barker, his wife Shanna Moakler, and their two kids filmed two seasons of this reality show. A third baby was born in the show's final episode, at the end of season 2. The couple divorced in 2006; then got back together several times; and eventually went their separate ways in 2009.
Bethenny Getting Married? (and Bethenny Ever After)
The reality show about Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy's love lasted three seasons. Their marriage lasted less than three years, and the nasty, public court battle over assets and custody of their daughter, Bryn, continues.
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an iVillage contributing writer. Follow her on Google+.