Real Reality Stars

Jason English

We now live in a world where the seventh-best American Idol contestant is an Oscar-winning actress. This got me thinking. Who are the most successful people whose careers were launched on reality shows? It's a short list, and I'm definitely casting a wide net.

"¢ Jennifer Hudson (American Idol), Oscar-winning Dreamgirls actress.

"¢ Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Carrie Underwood (American Idol), recording artists. Kelly & Carrie own Grammy Awards. Clay has sat in for Regis.

"¢ Elisabeth Hasselbeck (Survivor), co-host of The View.

"¢ Rob & Amber Mariano (Survivor), the Rolling Stones of the genre. They've certainly explored the reality show studio space, appearing on Survivor: All Stars, The Amazing Race, The Amazing Race: All Stars, Rob & Amber Get Married, and Rob & Amber: Against All Odds.

"¢ O-Town (Making the Band), the result of an MTV reality series designed to assemble the next great boy band. They hung around for a while, and recorded a few songs for the Pokemon movie.

"¢ Eric Nies (original Real World), went on to host The Grind, which hasn't been on in ten years.

"¢ Steven Bailey (My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance), plays the bartender on Grey's Anatomy. I'm stretching.

Jack & Kelly Osbourne (The Osbournes), though I'm not exactly sure what it is they do now.

"¢ Mike Hall (Dream Job), won the ESPN reality show to find the next great host. Now he's the lead anchor on ESPN U, their college sports network.

I'm sure I'm missing some easy ones.