There's nothing like the unscripted drama of real people fighting to see their dreams realized, which is why reality competition shows are so addictive. And with Netflix's already stacked library constantly expanding, it's becoming increasingly difficult to figure out which of these shows are worth that weekend binge since most tend to get lost in the mix. If you're among those mindlessly scrolling through the streaming platform's endless titles with that dreaded question of "What should I watch?" weighing in the back of your mind, you can relax now.
From amateur bakers to interior designers, we've got you covered with a carefully curated list of the best reality competition shows streaming right now on Netflix.
1) The Great British Bake Off
Who knew a reality competition show could be so...relaxing? While most others play up the personal conflict among contestants, this surprisingly pleasant series goes in the opposite direction and showcases camaraderie among the competition as contestants try their best to impress the judges. The real drama comes from wondering if someone's bread will rise in time or if their three-tier cake will fall over before reaching the judges' table. Featuring hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc (and their delightful puns), and judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood for the first seven seasons, this series is a breath of fresh air and will have you reaching for the baking pans to try out these seriously delectable recipes. Seasons 1-4 are currently streaming on Netflix.
2) The Big Family Cooking Showdown
In the same vein as the Great British Bake Off, this series features contestants of different backgrounds vying to be named the best family of home cooks. GBBO Season 6 winner Nadiya Hussain and British TV personality Zoë Ball served as hosts for Season 1, while Michelin star chef Giorgio Locatelli and cooking instructor Rosemary Shrager delivered spot-on critiques and surprisingly helpful tips as the show's credible judges. Setting itself apart from others in the genres, the series takes you directly into the homes of participants, adding a new layer of authenticity. Season 2 (with new judges and hosts) is currently in the works but you can stream the first season now on Netflix.
3) Zumbo's Just Desserts
If you were obsessed with those magical treats from the Harry Potter films, you'll probably enjoy this series which is all about creating show-stopping edibles. Hosted by Aussie pastry legend Adriano Zumbo — whose nicknames include "Pâtissier of Pain" and "Lord Voldecake"-- and British cook Rachel Khoo, this series tests amateur chefs with complex challenges like defying gravity or creating desserts inspired by popular Australian cookies. The unlucky bottom two then go head-to-head in the dreaded "Zumbo Challenge" where they must recreate some of the famed chef's most jaw-dropping confections including a floating chocolate hat. If you're down for some culinary drama, the show's first and only season is now streaming on Netflix.
4) The Great Interior Design Challenge
This hidden gem finds amateur British designers making over rooms on a limited budget while also trying to please their clients who have some very specific needs. Host Tom Dyckhoff, who also happens to be a historian of architecture and city design, provides some much-appreciated context for the buildings in which these makeovers take place, detailing the rich and often interesting history of the featured homes. A competition series and history lesson wrapped in one, this fascinating series ran for four seasons, all of which are currently available on Netflix.
5) Ultimate Beastmaster
Netflix's answer to American Ninja Warrior, this intense competition series sets itself apart by showcasing international competitors who run localized versions of a difficult, beast-inspired obstacle course on their home turf. Past competitors for the U.S. included actor Terry Crews, NFL great Tiki Barber and former WWE Champion CM Punk. The series was recently renewed for Season 3 and you can catch the first two streaming right now.
6) Skin Wars
Rebecca Romijn hosts this thrilling competition series where the artists are just as colorful as the bodies they paint. Contestants are pushed to the limit of their skills with creative challenges such as turning tarot cards into body art and painting their models to disappear in the background. Plus, judges RuPaul Charles, Craig Tracy and Robin Slonina aren't afraid to speak their minds which gives the show great authenticity. If you're looking for something weird and different, this might be right up your alley. All three seasons are currently available to stream on Netflix.
7) Nailed It
This super fun series isn't so much about being perfect as it is about trying your best even if your skills are severely lacking. Nicole Byer hosts this refreshing take on the genre which features amateurs attempting to recreate culinary masterpieces with entertaining and at times, truly baffling results. While the show follows the typical format of a mini challenge before the main round, it also offers some humorous twists like the "Nicole Nags" option where a contestant can order Nicole to annoy their opponents for three minutes. Nailed It won't help you discover the next best baker, but you'll definitely have a good time watching. Catch both seasons, which consist of only six episodes each, streaming now.