Reality television has created more infamous characters than social media can count. From fame to obscurity to stepping out of the limelight entirely, these reality stars ended up all over the place.
Find out which ones have their own shows, which ones have had heartbreak, and which ones finally found love in the end. Who ended up where might surprise you, unless their name starts with "Kar" and ends with "dashian."
Heidi Montag from "The Hills" Before
In 2006, Heidi Montag was well on her way to becoming a fashion icon, taking classes at the Fashion Institute of Design & merchandising while filming “The Hills.” But she soon became known as one half of “Speidi” and became a reality show fixture unlike any other.
Heidi Montag from "The Hills" After
Unlike her co-star Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag will feature in "The Hills: New Beginnings." It's no surprise coming that someone who reportedly filed for divorce purely for publicity would clamor to be back on television. She'll appear alongside husband Spencer Pratt. Will their relationship be as tumultuous as it was in the original show? Or has their son Gunner forced them to change their habits? Only time will tell.
Wells Adams from "The Bachelorette" Before
Wells Adams has worked for over 10 years as a radio host in Nashville, Tennessee, and he even has a podcast co-hosted by Miley Cyrus’s older sister Brandi Cyrus titled “Your Favorite Thing.” He became a household name when he first appeared on “The Bachelorette” on JoJo Fletcher’s season, before he appeared on “Bachelor in Paradise.”
Wells Adams from "The Bachelorette" After
This former "The Bachelorette" contestant spent a lot of time looking for love. After being eliminated, he appeared on "Bachelor in Paradise." After that elimination, he returned not as a contestant, but as the hotel bartender. But he's not looking for love anymore! He's engaged to "Modern Family" actress Sarah Hyland.
Snooki from "Jersey Shore" Before
The pint-sized “Jersey Shore” star first appeared on MTV in an episode of the show “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” This proved to be enough of a testament to her star power to get her cast on “Jersey Shore” immediately after. Snooki was such a cultural icon that she became a popular Halloween costume and was getting paid $150,000 per episode of the reality show by its last season.
Snooki from "Jersey Shore" After
Recently, the former "Jersey Shore" star came under fire for, of all things, using a stroller for her 3-year-old while at Disneyland. She and husband Jionni Lavelle have three children together. The youngest, Angelo, was born in June. Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi has been hitting the gym post-baby, and sharing her return-to-fitness journey on Instagram.
Adrianne Curry from "America's Next Top Model" Before
Adrianne Curry was the first model to win “America’s Next Top Model” in its first season in 2003. She was then signed to Wilhelmina Models in New York City and got her own reality show, “My Fair Brady,” which chronicled her relationship with former “The Brady Bunch” star Christopher Knight.
Adrianne Curry from "America's Next Top Model" After
The winner of the inaugural season of "America's Next Top Model" recently had a sci-fi and fantasy inspired wedding with her new husband, Matthew Rhode. Their wedding borrowed elements from "Game of Thrones," "Westworld," "Harry Potter" and "Lord of the Rings," among others. She and her husband moved to Whitefish, Montana where she blogs about their lives on her website.
Javier Colon from "The Voice" Before
Javier Colon had a long career in music before his appearance on “The Voice” in its first season in 2011. Colon was signed to Capitol Records from 2002 to 2006, before he became an independent artist under his own label, Javier Colon Music.
Javier Colon from "The Voice" After
Season one winner of "The Voice" Javier Colon has said he hopes to release a new album in 2020. Since leaving "The Voice," he dropped his record label and signed with a new one. He also performed in the musical "Big River." "I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a recording artist and share my music with folks all over," he said.
Lauren Conrad from "The Hills" Before
Lauren Conrad first found her way onto the screen when she was cast on the reality show “Laguna Beach” in 2004. The show proved to be a hit on MTV, and soon Conrad got her own spin-off series, “The Hills,” in 2006. She appeared on the show for five years before being replaced by her former “Laguna Beach” co-star Kristin Cavallari.
Lauren Conrad from "The Hills" After
Even though "The Hills" is being rebooted, Lauren Conrad isn't going to be on it. She's too busy with other ventures. She started a nonprofit called The Little Market which sells handcrafted items from all over the world, and the money goes directly to the artisans who made the items. She also has a podcast and a clothing line. And a son. Phew. No wonder she doesn't have the time!
Ashley Iaconetti from "The Bachelor" Before
Ashley I. first appeared on the Bachelor franchise during Chris Soules' season of the show, but it wasn't until she let her tears flow on "Bachelor in Paradise" that she became a reality show icon. Even though she pined over many boys during the run of the show, it wasn't until after the cameras stopped rolling that she got her happily ever after.
Ashley Iaconetti from "The Bachelor" After
This former "The Bachelor" contestant managed to find love through the franchise, though it was a long road to get there. After getting kicked off, she went on "Bachelor in Paradise." She dated Adam Wells for a short stint, but the two ultimately didn't end up together. She recently married fellow "Bachelor in Paradise" contestant Jared Haibon.
Jon Gosselin from "Jon and Kate Plus 8" Before
In 2000, Jon Gosselin and his wife Kate Kreider were just like any normal couple. They had just celebrated the birth of their twins and decided to try to have more children. Then, in 2004, Kate gave birth to sextuplets, changing their lives forever. The couple’s first TV special premiered in 2005 which lead to a series in 2007.
Jon Gosselin from "Jon and Kate Plus 8" After
The former "Jon and Kate Plus 8" star has had a tumultuous time since the end of the show. There has been a divorce, a custody battle, and even a break-in. Currently, Jon has custody of two of his children, Hannah and Collin. Gosselin has said that he's not on speaking terms with his other children.
Tila Tequila from "A Shot at Love" Before
Tila Tequila sure has had a wild ride. First becoming famous on the now-defunct social media platform Myspace, Tila went on to star in her own dating show, "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila," followed by "A Shot At Love II with Tila Tequila."
Tila Tequila from "A Shot at Love" After
After her reality show fame, she was kicked off of "Celebrity Big Brother" for posting anti-semitic comments on social media. Though she's faded from the public eye, she's recently resurfaced, posting many videos about finding Jesus.
Ruben Studdard from "American Idol" Before
Ruben Studdard became a household name when he appeared on the second season of “American Idol” in 2003. After his rise to fame, he earned a Grammy nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his cover of the song “Superstar,” which was originally a hit in the early ‘70s.
Ruben Studdard from "American Idol" After
This season two winner of "American Idol" is still performing. Since leaving "Idol," he's released seven studio albums, one of which has gone platinum. In 2019, Ruben Studdard went on tour singing Luther Vandross hits. He's already started to list dates for his 2020 tour.
Paris Hilton from "The Simple Life" Before
Paris Hilton has been famous for her entire life. The great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels, rose to fame modeling in the early 2000s. Her reality show, “The Simple Life” premiered with 13 million viewers in 2003, and she soon caught the hearts of America with her on-screen antics.
Paris Hilton from "The Simple Life" After
Though it seems like this "The Simple Life" star may have faded from the public eye, she's been too busy running an empire. Though it would have been easy to take over the hotel chain bearing her name, Hilton has instead forged her own path. Her retail line is worth $2.5 billion. She has the second-best selling celebrity fragrance line of all time, behind only Elizabeth Taylor.
Nicole Richie from "The Simple Life" Before
"The Simple Life" just wouldn't have been as much fun without Nicole Richie by Paris's side! Richie was raised by music icon Lionel Richie and was friends with Hilton throughout her entire childhood. After a feud between the show’s stars, Richie left “The Simple Life” before the filming of its fifth season.
Nicole Richie from "The Simple Life" After
And what of Paris Hilton's "Simple Life" co-star? Following the show, she married rocker Joel Madden, and the couple has two children together. She plans to release a rap album under the name Nikki Fre$h. “It’s a conscious trap album, and if you’re wondering what that is, it’s a new genre, I made it up,” she said. The songs will be about growing your own produce and choosing organic.
Pauly D from "Jersey Shore" Before
Pauly D was chosen for the cast of “Jersey Shore” in 2009 because casting directors liked his look on Myspace. This casting proved to be the right choice as he won the 2011 Teen Choice Award for Choice Reality Star. He started his career as a DJ before the show, which is when he first started going by the name Pauly D.
Pauly D from "Jersey Shore" After
While Snooki's settled down as a mom, former "Jersey Shore" co-store Paul "Pauly D" Delvecchio is still looking for love. It was recently announced that he'll be the star of a new dating reality show. He'll be joined by another "Jersey Shore" alum, Vinny Guadagnino. The show will be called "Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D and Vinny."
Katharine McPhee from "American Idol" Before
In 2005, McPhee was urged by her boyfriend and parents to audition for “American Idol.” She sang the song “God Bless the Child” by Billie Holliday and made it all the way to runner up of the season. She then signed with RCA Records in 2006 and toured with other “American Idol” contestants that year.
Katharine McPhee from "American Idol" After
Katharine McPhee was another runner up. She lost in the finale of "American Idol." She's not only gone on to have a singing career, but she's starred in television shows "Smash" and "Scorpion." She recently got married to record producer David Foster. Foster is literally double her age— he's 70, while the singer is 35.
Ali Fedotowsky from "The Bachelor" Before
Ali Fedotowsky first appeared on “The Bachelor” in 2010 on Jake’s season before she was chosen to be the star of the next season of “The Bachelorette.” She became engaged in the finale of the season to Roberto Martinez, but they ended their engagement the next year.
Ali Fedotowsky from "The Bachelor" After
Who could forget this sixth season sweetheart from "The Bachelorette?" Although Fedotowsky broke off her engagement to Roberto Martinez from the show, she found love with radio host Kevin Manno. The couple have two children together. Fedotowsky is also a presenter on "E!"
Ray J from "For the Love of Ray J" Before
Ray J is best known for two things: his VH1 reality show "For the Love of Ray J" and his relationship with fellow reality star Kim Kardashian. The two met while Kardashian was working as a personal stylist to Ray J’s sister Brandy Norwood.
Ray J from "For the Love of Ray J" After
This former reality star is now an entrepreneur. The singer and "For the Love of Ray J" dating show star has a bike sharing company, ScootEBike. Ray J founded two companies: Raytroniks and Raycon. ScootEBike is projected to make over $200 million.
Harold Dieterle from "Top Chef" Before
Before Dieterle appeared on the first season of “Top Chef” in 2005, he worked in the culinary field for years in New York, working at the restaurant Della Femina for two years and working as a sous-chef at the restaurant The Harrison for five years.
Harold Dieterle from "Top Chef" After
After winning season one of "Top Chef," Harold Dieterle was on top of the world. He opened New York hotspot Pirella, followed by Kin Shop. Both places, unfortunately, closed down. Though it seemed he was taking a break for a while, he's recently re-emerged with Williamsburg Mediterranean restaurant Ten Hope.
Honey Boo Boo from "Toddlers and Tiaras" Before
Alana “Honey Boo-Boo” Thompson first appeared on “Toddlers & Tiaras” when she was five years old. Her own spin-off was filmed when she was just six years old and featured other members of her family including her mother Mama June.
Honey Boo Boo from "Toddlers and Tiaras" After
The former "Toddlers and Tiaras" star has had a tough year. Her mother, Mama June, was arrested for felony possession of crack cocaine. Alana "Honey Boo-Boo" Thompson has pled for her to go to rehab. In the meantime, she's moved in with her older sister Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon.
Rob Kardashian from "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" Before
Rob Kardashian used to frequently appear on his family’s reality show “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” He was also a contestant on the 13th season of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2011, where he placed second. He also participated in the dating game show “The Choice” in 2012.
Rob Kardashian from "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" After
It's easy to forget about this "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" co-star when all the women around him are larger-than-life. Rob took a much-needed break from the spotlight to focus on his mental health. He's only recently peeked his head back in, posting a photograph to Instagram after more than a year. He's trying to raise his 2-year-old daughter out of the spotlight.
Sharon Osbourne from "The Osbournes" Before
Sharon Osbourne negotiated the idea of a reality show centered around her family, which proved to be a total hit in 2002. The reality show even chronicled her experiences after being diagnosed with cancer. The show brought MTV its highest ratings ever in both America and Britain.
Sharon Osbourne from "The Osbournes" After
Sharon Osbourne has parlayed her reality appearance into stardom. Since appearing on "The Osbournes," she's gone on to be a judge on both "The X Factor" and "America's Got Talent." She's now a host on "The Talk," where she's spoken openly about her recent plastic surgery and debuted her current grey hairstyle.
Yaya DaCosta from "America's Next Top Model" Before
Yaya was the runner-up of the third season of “America’s Next Top Model.” Before her appearance on the show, she attended Brown University and majored in Africana Studies and International Relations.
Yaya DaCosta from "America's Next Top Model" After
This former "America's Next Top Model" contestant didn't win, but that was only the start of her career. She's since moved on to become an actress. She currently stars in TV show "Chicago Med." The show is on its fifth season.
Tiffany Pollard from "Flavor of Love" Before
Even if you've never seen "Flavor of Love," which was on the air from 2006 to 2008 on VH1, you're probably familiar with Tiffany Pollard because the show has been the source for countless memes. You just can't scroll through Twitter today without seeing Tiffany's face a few times.
Tiffany Pollard from "Flavor of Love" After
Tiffany Pollard first found fame on one of the greatest reality shows of all time, "Flavor of Love." She now has her own show, "Brunch with Tiffany," where she has brunch with a celebrity guest. The show is in its second season. Pollard has also appeared as a guest judge on "RuPaul's Drag Race."
BeBe Zahara Benet from "RuPaul's Drag Race" Before
Benet’s first time doing drag was in the ‘90s. He also performed alongside Cyndi Lauper at a bar in Minneapolis before his first “RuPaul’s Drag Race” appearance in 2009 during its first season. He became the first contestant to win the show.
BeBe Zahara Benet from "RuPaul's Drag Race" After
This season one winner of "RuPaul's Drag Race" is back in the spotlight again. BeBe Zahara Benet is on TLC's "Drag Me Down The Aisle." Along with other former contestants Alexis Michelle, Jujubee, and Thorgy Thor, she helps drag queens plan their weddings. She also performed "Little Drummer Boy" on the "Christmas Queens 4" album, which features "Drag Race" contestants covering popular Christmas songs.
Russell Hantz from "Survivor" Before
Russell Hantz originally sent in an audition for the CBS series “Pirate Master,” which was a short lived series which only lasted for one season. He was called by “Survivor” casting directors two years later and asked to appear on the nineteenth season of the series, and he soon became an iconic villain of the series.
Russell Hantz from "Survivor" After
One of the most notorious villains on "Survivor" now runs his own YouTube channel where he comments on reality shows, including "Survivor." Since the show, he and his wife have divorced. He says the persona he created on the show was partially to blame. The two are on good terms now, however, and still support their four children together.
Omarosa Maginault from "The Apprentice" Before
From politics to TV, Omarosa Maginault, also simply known as Omarosa, has had quite the career. Omarosa started with a career in politics. She then went on to be on "The Apprentice" on the first season of the American version of the series.
Omaraosa Maginault from "The Apprentice" After
This first-season contestant then returned to politics under President Trump where she became Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison. She's since left, and has become an outspoken opponent of Trump.