Reality shows present a great stage for celebrities to relaunch fame and fortune. Screen time on a TV show puts stars back in the limelight, opening the door to new opportunities, and most importantly, social relevance. This list of celebrities brought their faded names back into the sparkling marquee of show biz. All with the help of a reality show.
Hip hop icon, Flavor Flav, appeared on the third season of The Surreal Life in 2004 which eventually led him to his hit and very controversial show Flavor of Love. Since then, he’s magically come back bigger and richer than he ever was back in the Public Enemy days. Thanks to reality TV, you can now find Flav’s influence everywhere from video games to movies to chicken.
Neilson was all that back in the Rocky IV days but no one cared way before the 90’s were over. Then she starred in The Mole and The Surreal Life in 2004. The show earned her ongoing spots on reality shows in the U.S. and overseas. Neilson also saw a resurgence of her music and movie career.
Love and Hip Hop Atlanta has resurrected this producers’ career for sure. The only thing anyone knew about Stevie J before this reality show is that he dated Eve back in the day. But now, all his personal business is out there and although a lot of it isn’t pretty, Stevie J is now a household name. That most certainly helped jumpstart his producing career.
Not only did Run’s House introduce a new generation to hip hop pioneer Run of Run DMC legendary fame, it also set the stage for Run’s kids to launch into entertainment. His two daughters have their own sneaker line (Pastry Shoes), along with other ventures, and young Diggy is a fledgling musician.
Prior to Braxton Family Values, Toni’s latest claim to fame was bankruptcy. The show was a clear platform for the diva to revive her stagnant career. Values began in 2011 and was quickly followed by an announcement for Toni’s seventh studio album. Not to mention, all her four sisters are celebrities now so BFV certainly paid off.
Benzino led The Source magazine down a dark path, aimed at ruining Eminem’s rap legitimacy. The scheme failed, making Benzino seem petty and misguided, while damaging the magazines reputation. Zino was finished. And after spewing all that hate, it only took a little Love and Hip Hop to put him back on the map.
Just when you thought Bobby Brown’s last claim to fame was his wife acknowledging him as the king of R&B, he lands Being Bobby Brown on Bravo in 2005. Since then, he’s garnered enough pop cred to release an album and get his group, New Edition back out on tour.
Don’t call it a comeback, Britney’s been here for years, but as a judge on X-factor, she’s around in a whole new way. At $15 million just for showing up, it’s got to be her easiest paycheck ever.
Carey’s E=MC^2 was heralded as one of the best albums of 2008. In 2010, she put out a chart topping Christmas album. Fans will finally get Mimi back in the spotlight. In October, American Idol announced bringing her on as a judge. Right away, she got into a tiff with Nicki Minaj putting her right back on the top of the entertainment news pile. Stay tuned in 2013 for more from Mimi.
Kelly’s reality show debut was mostly the result of her rocker dad and business savvy mom. Despite the show’s Emmy, Kelly’s on screen career floundered until she resurfaced fully grown up and slimmed down on Dancing with the Stars in 2009. Since then, she’s added a whopping 11 screen credits to her filmography.
Scherzinger’s solo career didn’t hit many high notes after the Pussycat Dolls cooled down. That is until she appeared on season 10 of Dancing with the Stars. A year later she hits the top of the music charts in the UK with her solo album, Killer Love and her first acting role in Men in Black 3 in 2012.
Aguilera may have sold millions of records in the 2000’s, but her last studio project dropped in 2010. And in the pop music world, you’re only as hot as your last hit leaving fans to languish over Christina’s public antics. Enter The Voice, which originally aired in 2011. The show offered great momentum for Christina to launch a clothing line in 2011. Move Like Jagger, a single with Maroon 5, became an fast hit and put Aguilera back at the top of the Billboard 100.
Back in the day, Arsenio Hall had one of the hottest late night TV talk shows. Crowds chanted along with the Coming To America start on a nightly basis. Hall interviewed everyone and just like that, it was over. He returned to the spotlight many years later on Celebrity Apprentice and won, and put him back on the radar in a big way. His new late-night show will air in 2013 on CBS and Tribune syndicated stations.