During the actors strike, facing a bleak landscape of scripted television, many viewers turned to reality TV — but we at Variety are already devoted fans of the unscripted arts, and have been forever. We watch it all, peering into every corner of the reality multiverse.

We watch new romances begin on the shows of Bachelor Nation, and long-term relationships deteriorate on “Vanderpump Rules.” We’ve seen women thriving as competitive beasts on “The Challenge,” and discovering their previously unknown strength on “Special Forces.” We’ve watched “Real Housewives” flourish, buy and cry, as contestants on “Love Is Blind” find relationships in the pods (some of them even last).

It wasn’t easy, but, for the first time, we’ve gathered a list of the most powerful women on reality TV over the last year. These women have not only helped make unscripted television entertaining, but have also found a way to reach audiences in a fresh way — some of them even answered our nosy questions below.