My Top 5 Favorite Reality Stars

1. Kim Richards from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

In order for one to truly enjoy reality television, there has to be a total disconnect from your conscience. A lot of the things you see and hear are, quite frankly, disturbing but that’s also what makes it so appealing. These people are here to shock and disturb you as well as make you feel better about your life. This rings particularly true with Kim Richards, who is undoubtedly probably one of the #darkest reality stars to ever exist. Straight out of a movie like Sunset Boulevard or Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, the washed-up former child star slurs her way through The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with a depressing vulnerability. After spending years battling substance abuse problems, Kim appears on-screen as a haunted decrepit ghost—someone who wanders around their decaying mansion, clutching to their People’s Choice Award and a bottle of pills. We’ve heard about these kind of fallen star trainwrecks but thanks to Bravo, we get to see one in action once a week. Kim is a sad person. Most reality stars are but their hearts are so black and full of narcissism that you don’t feel so bad making fun of them. But with Kim, you can tell she’s a genuinely good person who has had the misfortune of living a rough life. That’s probably why she’s so fascinating to watch and secretly laugh at.

2. Snooki from Jersey Shore

I know Jersey Shore is super played out at this point but I will always have a half-erect penis for Snooki’s antics. What I find most endearing about this pint-size wastoid is that she’s unabashedly herself. In fact, she’s obsessed with her lifestyle choices which, in this age of cold calculation, is rare and admirable. Snooki’s awesome because she thinks she’s awesome. I honestly believe that if all of her fame went away tomorrow, she would be like “Whatevs!” and continue to fist-pump her way through life. Another great thing? Along with Jwoww, she’s a sex-positive female. She gets it in (her terminology, not mine) with no apologizes. And thank god because we have enough girl-on-girl slut-shaming on reality TV as it is.

3. Cousin Shelley from The Anna Nicole Smith Show

Cousin Shelley is an obscure reality television star. She was a bit player on The Anna Nicole Smith Show as Anna’s hick and possibly meth-addicted cousin but she managed to make an indelible impact on viewers like me. Besides puking and fighting on camera (at a Christmas party attended by Kathy Griffin, no less!) Shelley also struggled to have a complete set of teeth. Basically she was the white trash cousin from hell who deserved her own spin-off. That might not ever happen though so just tide yourself over with these videos.

4. Jamie Gleicher and Ally Hilfiger from Rich Girls

What made Rich Girls so special was that it was the first in a sub-genre of reality TV: Rich girls behaving badly. (Or, in this case, stupidly.) Because of the naievete of its stars (back in the early ’00s, people weren’t so paranoid of getting screwed over. I’m sure they just thought they could be re-edited to make themselves look better), the show ended up being pure unscripted gold. It showed teenagers puffing away on cigarettes, talking about getting laid, having emotional breakdowns at their country homes, and making references to Klonopin. (In the wise words of Ally, “That’s some strong sh-t!”) This kind of show would NEVER get made today. Aspiring reality TV stars are too savvy and self-aware now to be as honest as Ally and Jamie were.  (Interesting nugget of knowledge: My friend works at Beacon’s Closet and saw Jamie Gleicher come in recently to sell her clothes. Not-so-rich girl.)

5. Kourtney Kardashian from Keeping Up With The Kardashians

Kourtney is the most underrated Kardashian, in my opinion. Kim is too boring, Khloe is too crazy, and Kourtney’s just right. I like her mostly because of the way she talks. I’m OBSESSED with her stoned Zen Valley girl drawl. It makes her sound permanently bored, even when she’s crying about her husband, Scott, or calling her sisters bitches which, incidentally, happens about every five minutes. TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • Seriously

    All these reality stars are brand new… Why not focus on the ORIGINAL stars of reality TV, like Paris & Nicole, New York from Flavor of Love, Flavor Flav, etc.

    • Anonymous

      Dog the Bounty Hunter?

    • http://www.nicholeexplainsitall.com EarthToNichole

      Rich Girls aired from 2003-2004. Pre Flavor of Love.

  • http://twitter.com/tannnyaya Tanya Salyers

    Rich Girls was the BEST.  I never watch reality TV these days, but in HS Laguna and Rich Girls ruled the airwaves. 

  • Spokiejenny

    New York, Flava of Love?
    Given.

  • Niamh Cloughley

    Wait though – the best part of Kourtney Kardashian is that Scott is NOT her husband!  Sorry to be a picky fact-checker but that’s my favorite part about their relationship… Namely, that it works so well and is so solid despite being a non-marriage.  Her drawl really IS the best thing, though.

  • Celeste the Best

    Damn.  We all need a little Kim Richards in our lives.  Everyday. 

  • Mhm!

    MISS NEW YORK! FLAVA FLAAAAAAAAV

  • http://twitter.com/kaimcn Kai

    I’ve only seen one of these people on tv and it was years ago and that makes me feel like I’m mostly a winner.

    (and something of an asshole, obvs)

  • http://www.itsyowyow.com/ Katie

    I’m so glad you mentioned Rich Girls! That show was underrated – I wish it would just come back…

  • KC

    I LOVE COUSIN SHELLEY!!!! What a gem.

  • hrfe

    I wish Vh1 still made those awesome faux-Bachelor reality shows. I know they stopped cause a winner killed someone but they were just so good. Remember Ashley from Rock of Love Bus? Remember Daisy? REMEMBER PUMKIN!?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hannah-Moire/100002582319456 Hannah Moire

      A winner killed someone!? What did I miss?

      • Megan Houserman

        the runner up to Megan wants a Millionaire, and the winner of I Love Money 3 (Ryan) murdered a model after going on these shoes and they had to cancel MWAM and never showed ILM3.

  • _db

    Kourtney Kardashian’s drawl is the best thing about their show(s). You described it perfectly.

  • Pollypocket

    If you like Snooki, you should check out MTVUK’s Geordie Shore… All of the girls in it are like her!

  • A-W

    Pretty Wild. They live their lives by The Secret…. Could not get enough

  • Thats hot

    pre-rehab nicole richie 

    • Kaitlynclement

      pre-hab!

  • http://twitter.com/coriandercivar Mega Niane

    Cammie from Bug Juice! I hope at least one of you knows what I’m talking about.

    • Manda

      OMG yesss!

  • http://twitter.com/kaimcn Kai

    I miss Ashley from Rock of Love Bus. There, I said it.

  • dorito orgasmer

    I am not a big fan of reality tv, but I used to watch this show called Joe Schmoe, and it was like a fake reality tv show where everyone fooled this one person… :) and this one person didn’t find out til the end.

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