Reality television is here to stay. You might still think (hope?) it’s a fad that will die-off, but over a decade of superb ratings says otherwise. In 2015-16, 22 of the top-100 programs across all of cable and broadcast TV were/are reality shows.
For some reality TV actors, er performers, er let’s just call them “stars,” the exposure and fame that come with a successful stint on a hit show can be life-changing. But not all of these TV supernovas continue to shine after they explode onto the scene.
Today, I get down and dirty and go dumpster diving into reality TV, sorting out which of today’s stars are poised for bigger (and hopefully better) things post-reality.
Who do you think will become something more than just a reality TV star? If you quarrel with my list, add your own in the comments!
I’m sort of cheating with this one. The 18-year-old socialite, who appears on her half-sisters’ reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, is already a success outside of the show. She’s modelled, designed clothes, launched a jewellery line, and so much more. She even got into the mobile app game with the “Kylie Jenner Official App,” which has become one of iTunes’ top downloads. Her life outside of reality TV is already pretty set.
One of the original cast members on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, NeNe has achieved a rare feat, becoming not only one of reality TV’s biggest personalities, but also one of its most likeable. Those two don’t usually go hand-in-hand.
By running the reality gauntlet with appearances on Dancing with the Stars, Lip Sync Battle, etc., NeNe proved that she’s more than just a Housewife. She’s also dabbled in acting with appearances on Glee, The New Normal, and a few theater roles on Broadway. The fact that she’s gone to part-time status on Housewives makes it apparent that she sees bigger and better things in her future. So do I.
If you’ve ever watched Dance Moms, you know that it’s a show about talented young dancers and their crazy moms. Maddie Ziegler was one of the most talented girls on the show, and she’s already used the show as a stepping-stone, having to walk away from the program to focus on her busy dance schedule.
Ziegler, who’s appeared in five Sia music videos, is currently fielding movie and television offers. Not bad for a 13-year-old. Now all she has to do is get her former coach Abby Lee out of jail.
Starring in VH1’s Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta for the last four years, this Puerto Rican princess has had her fair share of drama. Considered the baddest b**** on the show, Hernandez also appears to be the most talented. Just ask her. Here style of music is considered “reggaeton,” a blend of dancehall and salsa with hip-hop and electronica influences. The show has definitely become trashy and hard to watch, but it could be Hernandez’s launching point into music stardom.
If anyone knows how to win reality TV shows, it’s Nyle DiMarco. He won America’s Top Model in 2015 and he also won season 22 of the Dancing with the Stars. Oh, did I mention he accomplished that as a deaf man? This impressive human being has used his new-found fame to become an activist for deaf culture. He’s now a professional model and is starting to land television and movie roles. We’ll see how long his star shines.
VanZant was on season 22 of Dancing with the Stars and finished second to Nyle DiMarco. When she’s not dancing on a reality show, she’s dancing in a UFC Octagon, but not as a ring girl, instead beating up other women for a living.
Since her time on DwtS, VanZant has been getting movie role offers and even turned down a contract from the WWE. She wants to focus on fighting, but at some point VanZant may follow fellow fighter Ronda Rousey into Hollywood.
Rodgers, brother of famous NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, is a contestant on the 12th season of The Bachelorette. He considers himself a former professional football player, although he spent most of his career holding a clipboard. According to sources, he “wins” the arranged marriage to Jo Jo Fletcher on this season’s Bachelorette. There are also reports that he is a big-time womanizer and is only using The Bachelorette to further his career. Apparently he already has a TV offer with The SEC Network, which covers the NCAA powerhouse Southeastern Conference and is owned by ESPN. I guess we’ll find out if he can make it in broadcasting. If not, I don’t see how he stays relevant.
Some people shouldn’t have a reality show and Farrah Abraham is the perfect example. She started out as a teenager on 16 and Pregnant. Eventually, that led to a spin-off show called Teen Mom. From there, she released a porno called Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom and the riveting sequel Farrah 2: Backdoor and More. She also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother but didn’t last long.
You might disapprove of her life choices and career trajectory, but I’m not here to judge. She has been making money with porn and stripping. Ultimately, though, she doesn’t have the talent or personality to maintain success outside of the reality TV world.
Photo Credit: Marc Zapanta YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMionF6mfEk)
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