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Top 10 Most Successful Reality TV Stars

VO: DM WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
Script written by Savannah Sher These are the most successful reality tv stars! We’ve included celebrities like Kelly Clarkson, Paris Hilton, Lauren Conrad, Bethenny Frankel, Christian Siriano, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Jamie Chung!
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Top 10 Most Successful Reality TV Stars


 These stars have come a long way since their humble beginnings. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Successful Reality TV Stars.

For this list, we’re looking at the reality TV personalities who made it big after their initial 15 minutes of fame.

#10: Jamie Chung

This actress made her reality TV debut on “The Real World: San Diego” back 2004 and is now considered one of the most successful personalities to ever be on the show throughout its many seasons. She has gone on to act in many major feature films like “Sucker Punch” and “Grown Ups” and starred in a TV miniseries called “Samurai Girl.” You also might recognize her from her recurring role on “Once Upon a Time” where she plays Mulan. But wherever you know her from, she's come a long way from her reality roots.

#9: Carly Rae Jepsen

Before she took the world by storm with her mega hit “Call Me Maybe”, Carly Rae Jepsen was actually a candidate on the Canadian version of “Pop Idol”. In 2007, several years before she became a household name, Jepsen made it to the top three in the fifth season of “Canadian Idol” before ultimately being voted off the show. Jepsen went on to find global fame in 2012 when her signature track became a hit in 18 countries. The same cannot be said for singer Brian Melo, who actually won season five of Idol.

#8: Katharine McPhee

 “American Idol” has managed to churn out many serious stars and ironically it’s often not the winner who makes it big. In season five of the show however, both the winner and runner up ended up having successful music careers. Taylor Hicks may have taken the top spot, but Katharine McPhee has arguably seen more success in the years that followed. She has acted in several films and TV shows and as of 2017 is part of the ensemble cast of the drama series, “Scorpion”, in addition to her post-Idol musical successes.

 

#7: Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Some people might not even be aware that this popular talk show personality actually got her start on a reality show. In 2001, Elisabeth Filarski was a contestant on the second season of “Survivor,” which was titled “The Australian Outback”. She came in fourth place on the show, but used her popularity to springboard her career, and by 2003 was the latest cohost on daytime talk show, “The View.” There she became known for her controversial right wing views and clashing with some of the other hosts and guests. She also had great success with her health and diet books, which focus on gluten free eating.

#6: Christian Siriano

“Project Runway” has been around since 2004 and there is arguably no alumnus of the show more successful than season four winner Christian Siriano. His designs impressed the judges and celebrity guests and have gone on to be successful in the collections he has released since 2008. While his runway shows are popular at New York Fashion Week each season, his real draw is the looks he creates for the red carpet. He has a big celebrity following with actresses like Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Sarah Jessica Parker and many more sporting his gowns.

#5: Paris Hilton

While this wealthy socialite may have been known before she launched her reality TV career, it was “The Simple Life” that really put her on everyone’s radar. If you weren’t privy to this FOX show, it depicted two wealthy women – Paris and BFF Nicole Richie - taking on demeaning jobs and struggling through you know, the things that most people have to put up with every day. The show was a hit and went on to carve out careers for both of its stars, although it's fair to say Hilton came out further ahead.

 

#4: Bethenny Frankel

Love her or hate her, Bethenny Frankel is far and away the “Real Housewives” cast member who has made the most of her time in the spotlight. This controversial figure from the New York version of the popular reality show has created a line of diet friendly cocktails, penned four books and even has her own spin off show, “Bethenny Ever After.” After leaving “Real Housewives” before its fourth season, fans were thrilled to hear that one of their favorite OG housewives would be back for season seven, especially with all the drama it would inevitably bring.

#3: Lauren Conrad

Considering her success as a lifestyle guru and social media maven, it’s easy to forget Lauren Conrad’s origin story. If you were in high school in the early aughties however, you undoubtedly remember her from the MTV hit “Laguna Beach”. She was the good girl to Kristin’s bad girl and had her share of both fans and detractors. After that show wrapped, she went on to star on her own reality show, “The Hills” which chronicled her life in LA while attending fashion school, all of which worked as a springboard for her lifestyle empire.

 

#2: Jennifer Hudson

 Of all the contestants to come out of “American Idol”, this star undoubtedly had the most success considering where she placed in the competition. Jennifer Hudson may have been relegated to a seventh place finish on the singing competition show, but she went on to be cast in “Dreamgirls” soon after. For her role, she received a Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG Award and an Oscar in the category of Best Supporting Actress. You can’t really do better than that! She has gone on to star in more movies and has continued to keep up her singing career as well.


Before we unveil our top pick here are a few honorable mentions.

 

Maddie Ziegler

 


NeNe Leakes

 


Lisa Vanderpump

 

 

#1: The Kardashians

While “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” undoubtedly launched Kim’s move into the spotlight, it also created careers for every member of her family. From clothing brands to fragrance and cosmetics lines as well as almost countless spin-off shows, it looks like this family’s path to greatness isn’t tapering off anytime soon. Any list of the most financially successful reality TV stars will be dominated by the Kardashian/Jenner clan, with numbers varying on who is worth more. As time goes on though, it seems that Kendall and Kylie, the youngest members of the pack, are the ones to keep up with.


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