Don’t believe the cynics: reality TV, as the name suggests, is real. Sure, it’s tailored in such a way that bring the directors’ desired words, actions and reactions out of a cast that was specifically handpicked to stir drama every time the opportunity arises, but it is definitely unfolding in real life. No scripts, no cuts, no second takes—just pure and genuine madness. At the same time, not all reality shows follow the lives of wealthy, influential, attractive, unique and usually volatile people. Some are talent competitions that not only give average Joes and Janes the opportunity to show their skills to millions of viewers around the globe, but also to provide them wholesome, family-friendly entertainment.
And regardless of whether it’s celebrity reality TV or normal people reality TV, reality TV is full of beautiful and extraordinary women. They’re either admired for their looks and the feats they can pull off, or abhorred because of the embarrassing things they do in the name of fame. Here are fifteen reality TV ladies who definitely deserve to have a little bit more recognition.
15. Anfisa Nava
Oh God, Anfisa of 90 Day Fiancé. Where do we even begin? Her crazy drama queen antics? Her ridiculously expensive taste? Well, regardless of what she does, we all can agree that Anfisa is a reality TV star that you either love to hate so much, or just straight-up love because of how unbelievable her act is. A beautiful and voluptuous Russian woman in her early 20s who aspires to be a professional model in America, she married Jorge because she thought he’s a millionaire. He’s not; Jorge lied to Anfisa. With a setup like that, a lot of people think that while Anfisa should definitely be a lot less materialistic, she definitely got cheated, so Jorge deserves being drained dry and having his car keyed. Get your justice, Anfisa!
14. Lindsay Arnold
Yes, dance contests are reality shows, too. Because contrary to popular belief, reality TV isn’t limited to the lives of rich and/or interesting people. After all, singing and dancing competitions happen in reality. And you want to know what else is real? Lindsay Arnold’s talent. She’s an awesome professional Latin and ballroom dancer who has managed to be a part of the top 8 of So You Think You Can Dance season 9. She’s also been in Dancing With The Stars season 16 and made a return in season 21, and she’s been on the show ever since. In fact, she’s even won first place in the latest season—proving that she is one of the best dancers not only in reality TV, but the world.
13. Brandi Passante
Nobody watches Storage Wars to see women, as its audiences are usually traders, pickers or hoarders who like seeing lots of rare and expensive stuff, or like seeing rare and expensive stuff get sold for a high price. And low-key gamblers are also in on the fun, as bidding for a storage unit that you’re unsure of the contents is definitely a gamble. Nevertheless, Brandi Passante is always a bonus, as she gives the show a lot more character and life, thanks to her go-getter personality. This is true for both in her trade and her love life, as she was the one who pursued her husband, not the other way around. Indeed, Brandi is one woman who means business in everything she does.
12. Kayleigh Morris
You have to hand it to Big Brother; they’ve managed to make the Orwellian representation of a dystopian totalitarian state that is powered by the military-industrial complex, and engages in government surveillance, oppression and thought control into a harmless reality show about people trapped in a house, doing tasks, and doing, well, you know, stuff. And since this is reality TV, its cast members should have colorful personalities. That’s why Kayleigh Morris was in this season of Big Brother UK. If Kayleigh had a color, it would be red, as she’s hot, fiery and hotheaded. How hotheaded? Well, let’s just say she threatened a fellow cast member with violence, so she got booted off the show. Remember girls, being hot isn’t a free pass to being crazy.
11. Chanelle McCleary
Yes, we got another sister from Big Brother, and she’s just as hot as the last. Rightfully so, because there’s this open not-so-secret secret about how former Big Brother participants continue to be celebrities, and let’s be honest: being attractive should come with the territory. To be fair though, Big Brother isn’t Chanelle’s first foray into British television entertainment, as she’s appeared in dating shows Take Me Out, Dinner Date and Dating in the Dark. And funnily enough, after all those dating shows, she moved on to join Ex on the Beach season 6. With a career like that, it looks like Chanelle is undoubtedly reality TV star material. And a fine one at that, as she even almost won Big Brother, getting evicted only a week before the finals.
10. Erica Mena
Love & Hip Hop is a cool yet controversial show for a wide variety of reasons. It’s featured various hip-hop and R&B artists, managers and producers, their partners, and all their crazy antics for six years now, making it a popular show among African-Americans and fans of hip-hop and R&B. Among some of the most memorable faces to ever grace this show is Erica Mena. She’s a drop-dead gorgeous vixen that had been on the show for four years, and her notoriety is because of all the crazy drama she’s raised and the love triangles she got involved in. She used to be with Bow Wow until the former child rapper reconnected with his baby momma, and now she’s with music executive Rich Dollaz.
9. Kendall Jenner
We cannot talk about reality TV without mentioning its queens: the Kardashians. And at this point in time, there is no point in saying the title of their long-running namesake show. Everybody knows them and their show, and everybody’s kept up even if they’re not watching. Therefore, unless you’re living in 2009, you already know who Kendall Jenner is. You already know that her mother is Kris Jenner, her father is Caitlyn Jenner, former Olympian and also formerly Bruce Jenner, she’s a model and that she raises drama both on screen and off screen. That’s just how it is when you’re a rich girl surrounded by fellow drama queens, both family and friends, such as Taylor Swift and Gigi Hadid. Oh Kendall, never live it down.
8. Paola Mayfield
Colombians are hot, and Paola Mayfield is a great example of that. She and her husband Russ were, for the lack of a better term, one of the most interesting couples in 90 Day Fiancé. Sure, they’re nowhere near as volatile as Anfisa and Jorge, but they’re a pretty sweet pair to watch. Russ met Paola when he was on a work assignment in Colombia. She then moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma with him. And once she got to America, Paola, who was a fashion designer in Colombia, decided to pursue a career in modeling. After a rough start, she finally managed to see some success. At first it was tough for both of them, but it looks like Paola and Russ’s stars are shining bright. They deserve it.
7. Lauren Duski
It’s common in singing competition shows for the viewers to have a favorite, and it’s usually not the winner or the leading contestant. For The Voice season 12, it was Lauren Duski, a beautiful blonde with a gentle, touching, yet powerful voice. In fact, in the show’s finale, a lot of people were expecting her to win. Obviously she didn’t, but nevertheless she gave a soul-rending performance that featured an original song entitled “Déjà Vu”. The song is somewhat reminiscent of Lauren’s journey on The Voice. From her blind audition where she sang “You Were Meant For Me” up until the last moment of the season, it was clear that Lauren was going to go far. And she did.
6. Kylie Jenner
We definitely need another Kardashian on the list, because including only one would be a disservice to how big and influential they are. This time, it’s Kendall’s younger sister Kylie. Kylie’s a beautiful and alluring girl who’s already successful at the young age of 20, as she’s a model and an entrepreneur. Remember the Kylie lipsticks? Hers. Those shirts with images of iconic artists superimposed with her and Kendall’s faces? Obviously theirs. It was a bust though, as they got a cease and desist, as artists fired back. It’s not the first time Kylie got involved in a controversy, though. In fact, she probably lives for the stuff. After all, she’s a Kardashian through and through, so she definitely won’t have it any other way.
5. Lala Kent
When you’re working for a glamorous reality TV actress such as Lisa Vanderpump of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, you have to be classy—more so if she has made a spinoff reality TV show about her posh restaurant and its employees. Or rather, it’s more about the latter, and a teensy tiny bit about the former. So it’s no surprise that Lala Kent, hostess of SUR and cast member of Vanderpump Rules, is one stylish and stunning lady. She’s got those thick lips, a curvaceous body, blonde hair and a killer sense of style, so she’s definitely one hot babe. But more important than her looks is the fact that she raises lots of drama, making the show very enjoyable to watch whenever she’s on it.
4. Emma Slater
Dancing With The Stars has been a mainstay in American television. And rightfully so, as it’s clean, wholesome and classy fun. Plus, the show is just teeming with talent, and one of the most talented dancers that have been on it is the beautiful British blonde Emma Slater. As a child, she’s already shown interest in dancing, as she joined stage schools and performed in various productions. And at the age of 10, she began training in ballroom, and shortly after she managed to win various dancing competitions across the United Kingdom. Now she’s been a part of Dancing With the Stars since season 17. In fact, that’s where she met her husband Sasha Farber. Without a doubt, Emma was born to do what she does best today.
3. Drita D’ Avanzo
The mafia may seem like a super exclusive and snobby high society that can get away with all sorts of illegal stuff, but sometimes, the justice system, although broken, works so you can get arrested for organized crime. And if you’re a Staten Island mafioso, you’ll be going to jail, while your wife will be in a reality show simply known as Mob Wives. The quintessential cast member of this pretty unique show is Drita D’Avanzo. Drita D’Avanzo is not only a hot mama; she’s also a fighter—two important things when you’re the wife of a mafia member. And what a fighter she is, as she’s already confronted some of her fellow mob wives during her stay in the show. Sometimes it even gets physical. Yikes.
2. Kim K
Of course, Kim. Despite every hot issue Kylie and Kendall managed to make, Kim is still the most “Kardashian” of all the Kardashians, as none of her sisters managed to create the same level of buzz she’s ever had. Remember her scandal with Ray J? Her picture on the cover of lifestyle magazine PAPER that claims to have broken the Internet? Her frontal nudity photo? All of them are classic Kim K moments that will forever be remembered by everyone who lives in this day and age. And it’s only Kim K that can turn these shocking controversies into an even bigger success for her. Love her or hate her, Kim will always be the biggest Kardashian there is—and possibly even the biggest reality TV star ever.
1. Peta Jane Murgatroyd
If people were asked what they were doing when they were four years old, more than half would say that they don’t recall one bit, and the rest would say things that typical four-year-olds do like playing outside, tripping and accidentally wetting the bed. Peta Jane Murgatroyd of Dancing with the Stars, however, was already dancing ballet at a young age. It’s not just because she’s talented, but because she’s passionate. Unfortunately, she sustained an ankle injury when she was just sixteen years old, effectively ending her ballet career before it can even truly begin. But instead of quitting dancing altogether, she made a shift to ballroom dancing. Now she’s a mainstay at Dancing With the Stars ever since season 13, and have even bagged first place in seasons 14 and 22.
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