15 Celebrities Who You Forgot Appeared on Reality TV

Emma Stone

Emma Stone | Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Reality TV is full of people that haven’t quite made it in the music or acting industry. That’s partially the reason it has such a bad reputation. It’s not the first choice for those who want to make it in the entertainment industry, but a lot of current well-known celebrities got their start on reality TV shows. So who appeared on reality TV? Here are 15 celebrities who got their start on reality shows.

1. Emma Stone on In Search of the Partridge Family

The actress has been in huge blockbusters like The Amazing Spider-Man and has also starred in Oscar winners like The Help and Birdman. Before becoming a leading lady however, she was showing off her singing skills on In Search of the Partridge Family. At the time, she was just 16 years old and rocking brown hair. She also had the stage name, Emily Stone back then. On the show, she sang Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch.” Stone won and was named the new Laurie Partridge. The actress later talked about her time on the TV show.

“You go in there rolling your eyes,” she told Vogue, “thinking, ‘this is just a reality search competition,’ but then you’re there for seven weeks, and you just really, really want to win.”

The good news is that Emma Stone was able to use her singing chops eventually. She starred in the musical La La Land, which got a lot of critical acclaim.

2. Lady Gaga on The Hills

The reality show, The Hills, followed Lauren Conrad after she graduated high school and was trying to make it in the fashion industry. On the show, Conrad starts interning with Whitney Port at Teen Vogue. One of her assignments is to help a future pop star get ready for a performance. One of their ordeals in the episode, was zipping up Lady Gaga’s latex cat suit. We also get a glimpse of Gaga performing her first hit, “Just Dance.”

3. Laverne Cox on I Want to Work for Diddy

The Orange Is the New Black star competed on a reality TV show before getting her big break. I Want to Work for Diddy gave contestants an opportunity to try and become Sean John’s assistant. She actually got a GLAAD award for Outstanding Reality Series for her work on the show.

4. Jamie Chung on The Real World: San Diego 

The Real World

The Real World | MTV

The actress stars in Once Upon A Time and Gotham, but before that she was on The Real World. It doesn’t seem like she’s very proud of it since she doesn’t let her husband, Bryan Greenberg watch the show. “I can’t find it,” he told ET Online. “She won’t let me see it. I’ve never seen it. All I asked her was, ‘Did you embarrass yourself?’ And she said, ‘No.’ So I was like, ‘Alright, fine.’ She was like, ‘I was the boring one.'”

5. Heather Morris on So You Think You Can Dance

You probably know her as Brittany on Glee, but before that she auditioned on Season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance. She made it through Vegas Week, but didn’t make the cut for the top 20. After the show, she went on to become a backup dancer for Beyoncé, Britney Spears, and more.

6. David Giuntoli on Road Rules

The actor now stars in Grimm, but before that he competed on Road Rules: South Pacific in 2003. After that he appeared on reality TV again, on Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Years later he got his first acting role in Ghost Whisperer in 2007.

7. Josh Henderson on Popstars

The actor appeared on The WB’s Popstars, a show that follows the formation of a musical group. Josh Henderson got a spot in the group, Scene 23, which ended up recording seven tracks. He later started acting, and appeared on Maybe It’s Me and Do Over. Now you can find him on The Arrangement.

8. Analeigh Tipton on America’s Next Top Model

The actress was competing on America’s Next Top Model in Cycle 11. Analeigh Tipton did pretty well, and made it into the top three for seven consecutive weeks. However, she was kicked off the show. After that, she was signed to Ford Models, and acted in 2011’s The Green Hornet. 

9. Ke$ha on The Simple Life

The “Tik Tok” singer responded to an advertisement asking eccentric families to host Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. In the episode, the reality stars try setting up Ke$ha’s mom by interviewing potential dates. Ke$ha is also there to make sure the men are a good fit for her mom.

10. Janel Parrish on American Juniors

You probably know her as the untrustworthy Mona Vanderwaal on Pretty Little Liars. But before that, Janel Parrish was singing on American Juniors at just 14 years oldThe competition show was hosted by Ryan Seacrest and kids competed for the chance to be part of a pop group.

11. Lucy Hale on American Juniors

Here is another Pretty Little Liars star who was on American Juniors. Lucy Hale was part of a vocal quintet, however the group disbanded in 2005. Hale still sings and recorded a country album in 2013 titled Road Between.

12. Jackie Cruz on Kourtney & Kim Take Miami

Now Jackie Cruz is Flaca on Orange Is the New Black, but before that she was on Kourtney & Kim Take Miami. There, she took an art class with Kourtney and eventually kissed her in a club! “I always wanted to take art classes,” explained Cruz to Hollywood Gypsy, “and I always passed by this art school on Lincoln road. I decided to sign up and Kourtney was in my class. It was all very random. I thought she was really funny and we hit it off quite well.”

13. Aaron Paul on The Price Is Right


Before Aaron Paul was Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad, he was trying to win on The Price Is Right. He was so excited when he was called on stage, but ended up losing out on a sports car. After becoming famous he got a second shot on the show thanks to a segment on The Late Late Show with James Corden.

14. Yaya DaCosta on America’s Next Top Model

The actress now plays April Sexton on Chicago Med. But before that, Yaya DaCosta was trying to be a model in Cycle 3 of America’s Next Top Model. She stood out from the rest, given her style and look on the show. She made got second place and did some modeling after the show, before switching to acting.

15. Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Survivor: The Australian Outback

The blonde is now a television personality and has been on Fox & Friends and The View. But before that, Elisabeth Hasselbeck was on Survivor: The Australian Outback in 2001. She was a great competitor and won often. After that she began hosting Miss Teen USA, and her career continued from there.

Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice

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