Subscribe To 8 Celebrities Who Are Still Cashing Regular Checks As Reality TV Stars Updates
Reality TV comes in all shapes and sizes, with all manner of personalities finding their ways in front of the cameras. Celebrities and entertainers definitely aren't excluded from that, with the early 2000s being a particularly booming time for celeb-reality, as VH1 so wisely(??) dubbed it. So even though there aren't as many as there once were, you can still find plenty of famous faces using reality series to make that money, either on the side or as a full-time gig. Here are 8 such faces.
After adopting the shiveringly flavorful rap persona, Robert Van Winkle went To the Extreme as Vanilla Ice and later became intrinsically linked with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before fading away from the public eye. He resurfaced briefly for his rap-metal remix of the inescapable "Ice Ice Baby" before finding a temporary home on The Surreal Life, solidifying his reality TV placement. Seemingly out of nowhere in 2009, the DIY network decided to pay that funky white boy not for his music, but for his home renovation and house-flipping skills, and The Vanilla Ice Project has been on the air for six seasons so far. That's a load-bearing mind that it boggles.
Once an Olympic athlete that graced the front of a Wheaties box, Caitlyn Jenner found a completely different kind of spotlight (as Bruce), appearing on Keeping Up with the Kardashians for years before reaching yet another previously untapped pinnacle of fame once the full transition to Caitlyn became public knowledge. Her journey would not be one experienced in secret, either, as E! picked up the docu-series I Am Cait to let the world get a peek into an increasingly common lifestyle that TV formerly tiptoed around. No news on any future seasons of I Am Cait has come out, though one can easily imagine Jenner finding another corner of the reality TV world to call her own if it's cancelled.
For over a decade now, Adam Levine has been selling albums like hotcakes with the Grammy-winning band Maroon 5, occasionally making other pop culture appearances on things like American Horror Story, Saturday Night Live and Pitch Perfect 2. But the easiest way for fans to get to watch Levine on a regular basis is through NBC's hit reality competition The Voice, on which he has appeared for all ten seasons, with Season 11 coming in September. At the TCA press event (via Variety), NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt joked that Levine and co-coach Blake Shelton "love the paycheck" before saying the pair's relationship over the years has been the heart of the show. (Stands up on chair and claps.)
Easily the world's most popular drag queen by several orders of magnitude, RuPaul has been a household name for over two decades now, working it as a musician, an actor, a talk show host and another paragraph's worth of accomplishments. But there are many out there who think he changed the world in the biggest way through Logo's fab-fab RuPaul's Drag Race, the competition series in which the whole point is becoming a drag superstar, gifting TV with its unique lineup of contestants. (It had its own spinoffs in RuPaul's Drag U and RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race, too.) Still going strong after eight seasons, RuPaul will will once again bring the mighty judgment down for Season 9 in the future.
2005 was a really big year for the then-20-year-old Playboy model and Hugh Hefner girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson, who made a splash on the small screen with the Playboy Mansion-set reality series The Girls Next Door, as well as a cameo on Curb Your Enthusiasm. (She was also on the high-diving competition Splash, though that didn't go so well.) She went on to get her own E! spinoff, Kendra, before cutting ties with the network and moving to WE tv for Kendra On Top, which ended its fifth season in May. Not to mention stints on Worst Cooks in America, the Australian version of I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!, Dancing with the Stars, Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars and more. Reality series have been quite kind to Wilkinson and her fans.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Steve Austin spent many years telling people what the bottom line was as one of the WWE's greatest superstars, along with pulling off a decent small-scale acting career. Though his ring presence is now minimal, his podcast The Steve Austin Show Unleashed offers fans some far more unadulterated fun. And if you're looking to catch the verbally gifted beer-guzzler on the reality show front, you'd be doubly in luck. He's hosted the ridiculous elimination-based Redneck Island for five seasons so far on CMT, the same network where he's spent three seasons (with a fourth on the way) hosting the athleticism-focused competition series Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge. He's good at it, too, cause he said so.
In the early 1990s, you couldn't turn on the radio or MTV without hearing and seeing the award-amassing Toni Braxton, and the multi-hyphenate entertainer has sold over 67 million records over the years. While there's no proper way for someone's reality TV career to match up to such a staggering feat of success, Braxton has settled quite nicely into her role as part of WE tv's Braxton Family Values, which has been on the air since 2011, with two episodes left to air in Season 5. The sister-filled series has been a big hit for the network, especially in the female demographic, so don't expect her to give this gig up anytime soon.
So many child actors take wrong turns in their lives that lead to hardships, but Saved by the Bell star Tiffani Thiessen kept her career on point following her Kapowski years with TV series such as Beverly Hills 90210, White Collar, and Fastlane, along with a handful of features. Strangely enough, the former teen magazine mainstay is now on the small screen as Tiffani Thiessen - Herself for the Cooking Channel series Dinner at Tiffani's, where she entertains guests (normally fellow celebrities) and involves them in cooking a meal that they eventually share. The second season's finale featured SBTB's Zack Morris himself Mark-Paul Gosselaar and his wife Catriona. Nobody call Screech.