Reality television changed the way the public watched TV. After a short-lived and unimpressive stint in the eighties, reality made a huge return at the tail end of the nineties with the likes of shows like Survivor and The Apprentice. Eventually, shows like Big Brother and others followed suit and reality TV became the new ‘Must See TV’ for entire generations of fans.
The world definitely hasn't looked back since, and so many shows have seen great successes. But we ask, what would these shows be without the epic levels of charisma that its contestants and cast bring to the arena?
The stars are pretty much what always make or break a show—with so many of them establishing themselves as big stars—but in this article, we'll showcase those reality stars that have chosen to lead a simpler life than those bright lights of fame otherwise promised.
15 The Jersey Shore's 'Sammi Sweetheart' Has Moved On
MTV's The Jersey Shore was definitely popular. The show's original run lasted a tumultuous six seasons and they came back for more… all but one very important key player, and that was Sammi Sweetheart, pictured here.
She dealt with great peril and drama at the hands of her on-screen and actual boyfriend, Ronnie. For the reprisal of the show, she decided enough was enough, however.
14 Jon Gosselin Ducked Out After Drama With Kate
A lot of these men and women achieved incredible amounts of media coverage—sometimes even more than the many Hollywood celebrities making actual works of art.
Jon Gosselin was no exception, and the drama that unfolded in his private life was even more entertaining to many than what unfolded on screen in his reality show Jon and Kate Plus Eight.
13 Ty Pennington... Still Building But Out Of The Limelight
Ty Pennington is a man definitely knew his way around a construction site. He had the know-how and the charisma to nab himself a job doing the work he loved in front of the camera.
But amidst some controversies and lack of viewership, this man decided it was better to do the work he did so well off-camera instead.
12 Clay Aiken... Still Singing In The Shower
Clay Aiken made huge news when he was a contestant on American Idol. Then again, which contestant didn't during that show's incredible run. It garnered attention for the popular music industry and this man here definitely did his part.
Only his star did dwindle in brightness, as it did for the show in question as well. Just goes to show that a star can't be made—a star has to be born.
11 Spencer Pratt... Sometimes Being Annoying Can Garner Some Attention Too
There are real artists working out there that are hoping for someone to write up a Wikipedia page on them, and they’ve done actual work in film, television, music and in book form, but yet a guy like this gets a Wikipedia page instead. How is that fair?
It isn't really, but it just goes to show how popular reality TV is. Thankfully Spencer Pratt went away for a bit there, but sadly there are rumblings of a Hills reboot!
10 Brian Dunkleman... From Host To A Single Episode of Friends
When it comes to American Idol, many people associate Ryan Seacrest with the role of host. But many will neglect to remember that at the beginning of the show, there were actually two hosts doing the very same job.
It wasn't until the start of the second season that this guy, Brian Dunkleman, was dropped. You may remember him from an episode of Friends in which Chandler swaps wedding rings with him; since then he's dropped out of the limelight.
9 Nick Hogan... The Apple Fell A Tad Too Far From The Old Tree
To say that Hulk Hogan has a lot of charisma would be an understatement. But it didn't translate to both his kids. His daughter Brooke inherited some of the qualities her dad showed, but Nick wasn't able to fill his father's shoes, so to speak.
After the reality show, Hogan Knows Best, went off the air, little to nothing was heard from Nick Hogan.
8 The Gotti Kids... All Grown Up Gotti
In the recent Netflix film Gotti, starring John Travolta, the world was given an inside look at the man, the myth, and the legend of John Gotti.
Travolta did a great job, but before that film, there was a reality show known as Growing Up Gotti, and it showed how the descendants of the former 'Boss of Bosses' fared at living a regular sort of life.
7 Stacy London Is Still Fashionable And Fabulous... But Not On Screen
She achieved great amounts of fame on her show What Not To Wear. She was incredibly popular among fashionistas all over North America and her tips definitely were regarded as helpful, to say the least.
These days Stacy London prefers to work off-camera, but is still passionate about fashion and getting people to dress better. She occasionally gives public appearances but those are scarce.
6 Troy McLane... Still Working On The Art Of The Deal
As we mentioned, The Apprentice was a huge part of the success of what was known as the new wave of reality TV at the turn of the century. Troy McLane was a huge player on the show's first season and even got pretty close to taking the whole thing (which ultimately went to Bill Rancic).
He is now a huge presence in Boise, Idaho, making lucrative deal after lucrative deal.
5 Michael Wray Escaped Hell's Kitchen
You know what they say: ‘Never Trust a Skinny Chef!’ But this man definitely proved that he had what it took to survive Hell's Kitchen and the man that helmed the kitchen, Chef Ramsay.
He won the first season of Hell’s Kitchen but was so bold as to not accept the prize at the end of the competition. He has gone on to teach cooking after a few other appearances on TV.
4 William Hung... Made Ricky Martin's Hit Single Famous For An Additional Fifteen Minutes
Now here's a dude that definitely enjoyed his fifteen minutes of fame after his appearance on American Idol! He not only had a hit single on popular FM radio, but he also got to release a Christmas album.
Now not all singers get that honor. But since William Hung's fifteen minutes were up, he changed direction entirely and apparently now works in law enforcement.
3 Bridget Marquardt... Not Quite A Bunny But Close
Her claim to fame was not exactly as a Playboy Bunny, but she did enjoy the Hefner Dynasty millions (or billions) nonetheless.
Bridget Marquardt was actually one of ‘The Heff's’ three girlfriends and her popularity stems from there and her association in the reality series depicting the life of the girlfriends of the business mogul, The Girls Next Door.
2 Ahmed Kaddour Could Have Been A Contender
It was in 2004 that the creators of Survivor and Sylvester Stallone teamed up to bring The Contender to the small screen. In it, legitimate boxers from around the world would live and train together.
Ahmed Kaddour captured the attention of many, including Stallone himself. But at the end of the day, he couldn't live up to the standards that Jesse Brinkley, Peter Manfredo Jr., and Sergio Mora lived by.
1 Amber Portwood... A Teen Mom Turned Business Mogul
She garnered quite a bit of attention for herself after her appearance on 16 and Pregnant, and of course Teen Mom, but her fame didn't exactly dwindle all that quickly.
Amber enjoyed some time in the limelight, but these days, she runs a business where she flips houses, a lucrative venture, indeed.
Sources: Wikipedia, PostFun