These Stars Paved The Way For Many To Come!
Reality Television has shaped the entertainment in our lives. You cannot deny that since MTV’s Real World hit the airwaves, we’ve been glued to our screens taking a peek into the lives of strangers who eventually become friends in our heads. Reality Television has evolved from Real World or even reality in modern times.
For one reason or another, women are primarily the ultimate source for Reality Television entertainment. Think about it: Finding Prince Charming and Fire Island did horrible with the public and ratings. No one wants to see a group of men be catty to one another, but we are anticipate watching women bicker back and forth. Through this obsession, we’ve eventually seen these reality women evolve from all-female alliances and befriending one another through differences. Now, instead of watching a blossoming friendship or scattering to eliminate other contestants, we are subjected to view women throwing wine at one another, women viciously beating one another up, or underage pregnancy. Check out social media during the weekdays, the most popular and trending reality shows consist of girl-on-girl crime.
Unfortunately, it appears that the tradition of women being at each other’s throats will not end anytime soon. For as long as we’re watching, producers will keep multiplying the same characters and storylines in a never-ending cycle. During my teenage years, I was just as obsessed with reality television as the next flamboyant twink. The seemingly animated characters that we see daily were once endearing women who were original and made us love them.
I began thinking about those originals. There have been some powerhouse women who have changed the face of Reality Television. Many after them have tried to take their thrones, but the following ladies have cemented themselves in the Reality TV Hall of Fame:
“New York is in the mother f-ing house!” Was a catchphrase that nearly everyone was screaming during sophomore year of high school. I must admit, I was chiming right along with them. Everyone didn’t just love Tiffany Pollard – who went by the nickname of New York – we wanted to be her. First appearing on Flavor of Love in 2006, Pollard would eventually dominate reality television for years to come. She still makes appearances today. Fortunately for us, Pollard gave us the role of a lifetime. I would petition for her to win an Emmy Award if I didn’t believe she doesn’t act like this in real life. She branched off a few of her own spin off shows, including where she finds love for herself and makes her way in Hollywood after her overnight celebrity. Pollard is and will always be The Entertainer. She was abrasive, calculating, and honest each time she appeared on screen. Combined with the antics of her mother, Sister Patterson, and you certainly have a number one show on your hands. While Pollard’s love was too much for Flava Flav, America gave her their clock.
Likely Inspired: NeNe Leakes, Kenya Moore, Tanisha Thomas
"We're people, too!" If you watched Survivor's sophomore season, chances are you despised Jerri Manthey. She was nasty, manipulative, and determined. While watching the season, Manthey's once horrifying antics almost seem vanilla. She was ruthlessly bullying anyone or banging pots and pans, she was trying to win a million dollars on the most popular reality show (at the time). Manthey would return to Survivor two more times vying for the grand prize. She was once again ridiculed in her second season and nearly beloved by her last round. She also broke the mold for reality girls doing Playboy. Say what you want about her, but Manthey was in headlines and they didn't stop after her fiften minutes of fame. We have witnessed women go on shows who "aren't here to make friends", but Manthey was the first.
Likely Inspired: Heidi Montag, Omarosa Manigault, Jade Cole
"Who is she!?" Please don't tell me you're using Nikki Grahame's Classic catchphrase against her! Grahame appeared on Big Brother UK and remarkably became the first "Internet" celebrity in my life. She is primarily the reason I've become a YouTube wiz. I had to discover everything about this young woman who was endlessly entertaining. She was an outright basket case who would scream, cry, and rant at the slightest inconvenience. Her antics were natural and honestly, made sense! No one has been as well-liked for their outrageous behavior like Grahame. It's easy to believe no one ever will!
Likely Inspired: NaOnka Mixon, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Megan McKenna
"I'm looking for love." Besides Julia Roberts and Carrie Bradshaw, America wanted to see their reality-sweetheart, Trista Rehn, find love. Fortunately for her, she was rejected in the first season of The Bachelor's finale. Her lost love opened a can of worms for Reality Television. Rehn became the first Bachelorette. We cannot deny as it worked in her favor, she married her suitor, Ryan Sutter, and they both have two children. America and our Sweetheart got one big happy ending. Many have tried to play the role of Prom Queen or Sweetheart, but no one will quite live up how much faith we had in Rehn since the beginning. Come on, do we honestly believe any Bachelor(ette) contestants are looking for love anymore? We know you're all chasing after the People Magazine cover!
Likely Inspired: Kate Gosselin, Danielle Murphee, Any Bachelorette Contestant
THE Over-Protective Mother
"Prostitution Whore!" How many times have you said it?! Arguably the most household name of this list, Teresa Giudice has proved that she is The Mother of Reality Television. She flipped a god damn table for heaven's sake! Giudice is sharp, funny, and an absolute loveable mess. She managed to pull the wool over our eyes as a criminal mastermind until it all caught up to her. Nevertheless, Giudice went to prison and we welcomed her back into our lives, and Reality Television, with open arms. Although she's now selling products on Instagram with discount codes, her fellow Housewives have nothing on Giudice. They cannot even compare and will simply be known as women who were a part of the franchise Giudice rocked.
Likely Inspired: Kyle Richards, Kim Richards, Any of the Dance Moms
"Buxom and Brains are a deadly combination." The demise of Big Brother's credibility began once their ultimate warrior princess, Janelle Pierzina, failed to win the show twice. In my conspiracy theory, the uproar from the show's audience has caused them to rig the show for fan and producer favorites. Pierzina was essentially cast as fodder for bigger characters. She was the beautiful blonde model who would be eliminated early and make an ass out of herself like those before her. Not this girl. Pierzina, dubbed the "buxom blonde" quickly was beloved by America for her wit, strength, and bluntness. She defeated what some could argue is the most hated alliance in Big Brother history (The Friendship) and hilariously drove them crazy when America voted for her time and time again to win special prizes. She was the ultimate underdog in a competitor reality show. While CBS has tried to recreate Pierzina, they can never capture the essence she brought to our screens.
Likely Inspired: Britney Haynes, Parvati Shallow, Sugar Kiper
THE Loveable Freak
"I look spooky, but I'm really nice!" Was the opening line of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4 winner, Sharon Needles. Yes, Needles is not a woman, technically, but her character and artistry are clearly female. Immediately, Needles rubbed one particular contestant the wrong way. The two would be at one another's throats throughout the season as Needles' "one look" had her winning challenge after challenge. Needles confessions of being bullied and the constant fear of failure had audience's fall in love with her. She was kooky and fresh, the perfect oddball to watch on television. She continues to be one of Drag Race's most noted contestants.
Likely Inspired: Sasha Velour, Alaska Thunderf-ck, Jinx Monsoon
Who are your favorite Reality Television game changers?!