Top 10 Successful Post-Reality TV Careers

It’s not a secret that most reality stars find themselves doomed to obscurity after the success of a hit show. Amazingly, though, there have been an astounding  number of reality stars who have taken the Big screen or the music scene by storm, going far beyond what we ever could have expected of them to become. Here are ten examples of personalities whose participation in reality TV shows led to a booming career:


#10. Jamie Chung



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Jamie became famous as a cast member on the MTV reality series The Real World. She later set out to break into the Big Screen and has since become famous for films such as The Hangover II, Grown Ups, Premium Rush and many more. She has also popped up on TV shows such as Once Upon a Time and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. She has also done some Disney Channel movies and voice-over work. Chung was awarded the Female Stars of Tomorrow Award in 2009.


#9. David Giuntoli


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Giuntoli’s first career break came in 2003 when MTV’s scouts discovered him, and he became famous through the network’s reality series Road Rules. His participation in the reality show and subsequently on the seventh season of Real World/Road Rules Challenge was critical in cementing a permanent career as an actor. He currently stars in the cult favourite series Grimm and has also popped up on TV favourites such as Veronica Mars, Grey’s Anatomy and Nip/Tuck.


#8. Elisabeth Hasselbeck

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Hasselbeck’s first moment in the sun was in the second season of Survivor that she didn’t win. She then auditioned for The View, an American infotainment program aired on ABC and became a permanent co-host. She was awarded a Daytime Emmy Award and later became one of the hosts of Fox and Friends. 


#7. Analeigh Tipton


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Tipton became famous through America’s Next Top Model where she came third. She then appeared as a guest star on an episode of The Big Bang Theory along with Samantha Potter and made her film debut in The Green Hornet. She has also appeared in Crazy, Stupid Love, Warm Bodies and most recently, Lucy.


#6. Jacinda Barrett


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Barrett became famous as a cast member on The Real World: London. She then established herself as a popular actress in well-known films, and TV shows like Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Ladder 49, Suits, The Following, The Human Stain, Poseidon and The Last Kiss. So far, the Australian-American actress counts more than 25 appearances in TV shows and movies.


#5. Katharine McPhee


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It’s incredible to notice that the most renowned and successful reality show contestants are the ones who didn’t actually win. Katharine McPhee is an example of such case and became more famous for her success as an actor than as a singer. Some of her most prominent appearances are in CSI: New York, Shark Night: 3D, Ugly Betty and Community. She has won a Teen Choice Award in 2006 and 2007 and was recognised as a Choice Breakout Female Artist and another Teen Choice Award in 2012 for her participation in Smash.


#4. Bill Randic


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When you end up being a breakout star on a show like The Apprentice, it can be safely assumed that at some point you pursue a career in business. Bill Randic, not only won the show and took the job that went with it, but he also capitalized on the fame he got from TV to host Kitchen Casino with his wife Giuliana on Food Network. He’s the author of You’re Hired: How to Succeed in Business and Life from the Winner of The Apprentice as well as several other publications.


#3. Mike Mizanin


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Michael Gregory known as “The Miz” first rose to fame as a cast member on MTV’s The Real World: Back to New York. After that, MTV decided to throw him into the reality wrestling series Tough Enough in which he became a first runner-up and one of the most famous wrestlers in the business today. Miz has won 13 championships in WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.) and a the 25 Triple Crown Champion in the WWE.


#2. Emma Stone


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Stone got her break in VH1’s talent show In Search of the New Partridge Family  through which she won the role of Laurie Partridge. This role was a stepping stone into a vast movie and TV career  with appearances in The House Bunny, Easy; Zombieland; Crazy, Stupid Love, The Help and so on.


#1. Jennifer Hudson


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Jennifer Hudson might not have won the third season of American Idol, but later on she hit a home run, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, an NAACP Image Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award as well as a Grammy Award for her debut album, Jennifer Hudson. So, if you have been awarded an Oscar and so many other awards, who cared if you were the seventh place finisher on American Idol?

These are just a few examples of personalities who saw their careers skyrocketing after their appearance on TV reality shows. Have we missed anyone out? Let us know in the comments section below!