Reality stars are a dime a dozen. Hollywood is literally crawling with people who are "famous for being famous," although, not everyone can be a Kardashian. You might be waiting in line for the MCU cast, but admit it, you'll sit there on your couch and watch celebrities eat bugs in the jungle. More often than not, you're also happy to gobble up watching them whine about their oh-so-stressful lives (following their luxury Mexico beach breaks).
"I need a vacay from my vacay" has become the go-to phrase for stressed-out reality celebs. That's fine if you're Kim K. If Honey Boo Boo and Tila Tequila suddenly made your brain wake up though, you need a walk down memory lane.
Reality stars either last or they don't. Some are gracing the red carpet ten years after their show ended. Meanwhile, others haven't had their names mentioned since we dug them out and stuck them on this list. If you're a reality star, you need to stay relevant. Snooki slippers, Kylie Lip Kits, and fragrances are up for grabs, but if you want to make it, you need to get it right. Here are 10 reality stars who kept their fame, and 10 who disappeared off the face of the earth.
20 KATE GOSSELIN: NOW FAMOUS FOR HER UNCONVENTIONAL PARENTING
Jon & Kate Plus 8 gave us plenty to watch. It also made Kate Gosselin plenty of money. Happily ever after wasn't in the cards for Kate and Jon though, which is why we conveniently now have a show called Kate Plus 8. This reality star tends to make more headlines for driving the nannies nuts, though. Kate was so "insane," the nanny quit according to People. Reports of Kate's "meltdowns" came with stories that Kate forced her nanny to clean up chicken muck—apparently "freaking out" if knives weren't cleaned correctly.
People may still be watching the show, but this woman's antics are headlines in themselves.
Despite making a ton of money from the show, The Hollywood Reporter says Kate is "running out of money and fast." Guess you had what was coming to you, Kate.
19 TILA TEQUILA: HAD HER SOCIAL MEDIA SUSPENDED
Tila Tequila takes us way back to the MySpace days (remember that?). The pint-sized cutie was given her own show, A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila, although, it only lasted for two seasons. The Singapore-born singer was raised in Texas, although gaining territory was a rocky road.
In 2016, Tila's Twitter account was suspended after a string of politically angering and white supremacist Tweets. Tila posed doing a highly inappropriate salute, and the reaction was one of anger. Tila has also said she believes "the earth is flat."
Tila has gone back to a quiet and low-profile life— we never see her in the press. Just goes to show, if your fame goes to your head, you might regret it.
18 KIM K: PROBABLY HAS 50 ASSISTANTS
Oh, how the tables have turned. Kim Kardashian started out as Paris Hilton's lowly stylist, but boy, has she climbed the ranks. Kim K only needs to look at something to watch it turn to gold.
Her empire is growing quickly, and over 100 million of us are following Kim on Instagram.
In 2016, Kim tweeted that she was "transferring $53 million" into her and husband, Kanye West's joint account. Her KKW Beauty line sold out in just three minutes. Everything Kim touches turns to gold. The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star doesn't get out of bed for less than six figures. $500,000 is the minimum she'll accept for a single sponsored Instagram post, according to Michael Heller, the CEO of the company managing her deals. Kim is the walking symbol of reality TV, and her #reality vibes aren't disappearing any time soon.
17 WHITNEY PORT: HASN'T DONE MUCH WITH HER CAREER
The closest thing Whitney Port has to fame is that her name rhymes with Britney. A fresh-faced Whitney hit our screens back in 2006, on the reality show, The Hills. To be fair, she and BFFs, Heidi Montag and Audrina Patridge, didn't do much aside from zoom around Beverly Hills going from salon to sun-deck, but we seemed happy enough to watch it.
Now at the age of 32, 6-foot tall Whitney drags her 1.3 million Instagram followers around a life that hasn't changed much. She does, however, have a $1.5 million ranch-style home in Studio City, California.
Whitney has tried to keep her fame afloat as a designer and author, but despite being six feet tall, she isn't turning heads anymore.
16 SNOOKI: BUILT HERSELF AN EMPIRE
Jersey Shore was a definitely a show we "loved to hate." Nicole Polizzi, a.k.a. Snooki took no time to steam ahead of the rest of the cast. She even landed her own show, Snookie & Jwoww. The shows might have ended, but Snooki is a lady who doesn't quit.
Following the $150,000 pay per episode on Jersey Shore, Snooki made headlines for a violent parking lot outbreak. She's since built a $4 million empire. According to The Daily Mail, Snooki can earn $10,000 per public appearance.
Snooki is now a mom. For all the bad press she gets though, there's quite a lot to suggest that's she's a good mother. Her branded lines include slippers, shades, tanning lotions, and she's even appeared on Jimmy Kimmel and The Ellen Show.
15 CLAY AIKEN: RAN FOR CONGRESS, BUT WAS FORGOTTEN
Clay Aiken was a huge deal back in 2003, when he won second place on the reality show, American Idol. Clay became an idol himself, with no less than six studio albums to his name. It's easy to fall off the radar in celeb land, though. After a brief stint on Broadway, Clay ran for governor of North Carolina in 2014, although once again, he didn't win.
Clay earned $1.5 million from records in 2010, according to IMDB, but let's face it, he's kind of been forgotten. Clay still fights for great causes, like LGBT groups.
Clay isn't getting photographed on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, but he is an avid LGBT rights activist. He's also made surprise guest appearances on more recent seasons of American Idol.
14 CARRIE UNDERWOOD: WORTH $80 MILLION
Carrie Underwood is definitely not the underdog. This plucky singer fought tooth and nail to win her title on season four of American Idol. With seven Grammy awards and 12 American Music awards, she's on the cover of every magazine, and we know that gorgeous smile when we see it.
With $80 million to her name, according to The Daily Mail, Carrie's superstar status is undeniable.
She's also way richer than her husband, Mike Fisher. Their 11-acre estate has stone indoor fireplaces and is worth $2.2 million. Carrie's fresh-faced beauty has won us over by the millions, and her country songs keep hitting number one slots, which is proof that you can live out your reality days in style...
13 SPENCER PRATT: WAS CARELESS WITH HIS $10 MILLION
Celebs might earn millions, but they aren't always too good at managing their money. Spencer Pratt was all over our screens on The Hills in the 2000's, where he was best known for his relationship with the blonde bombshell, Heidi Montag.
"Me ego was so big, I was like, Oh, I'm going to be Tom cruise," he told ET Online. Revealing that he "blew" $10 million on jewelry and fancy meals, Spencer said he managed his cash like a "straight lunatic."
Spencer's name still rings a bell, but he isn't getting cast in anything these days. Aside from an appearance on UK Celebrity Big Brother, Spencer is just a full-time dad. He has been married to Heidi Montag since 2008.
12 PARIS HILTON: $2 BILLION FRAGRANCE SALES
Paris Hilton might not have the best reputation, but she's proving that she knows how to last. The Simple Life that made Paris shoot to fame ended over a decade ago, but the Californian socialite still going strong. Her Instagram shows her jetting around the globe for top DJ appearances, and this lady gets paid.
$1 million per DJ set and $300,000 per party appearance is what The Daily Mail reports as her earnings. Her fragrance empire is worth a staggering $2 billion, although she's nowhere near as huge as Kim K.
Paris is now 37. After a string of failed relationships, she is engaged, but we've yet to see her walk down the aisle. Paris might not be the "it girl" she once was, but she's doing more than okay.
11 HONEY BOO BOO: GOT HEALTHY WITH MOM (BUT NOT MUCH ELSE)
Is this a blast from the past or what? Honey Boo Boo danced her way to fame with mom, Mama June, by her side back when Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was actually a thing. After some scandal with Mama June's relationships, the show was canceled, and the filmed episodes never aired.
Mama June has lost 150lbs and found her health, according to The Daily Mail. Honey Boo Boo reportedly earned a total $1 million from her career, and in 2016, she spent $150,000 on a house.
A lot of memes and parodies came out of Honey Boo Boo (the name kind of helps), but this is one more reality star who just fell off the map.
10 BETHENNY FRANKEL: CURRENTLY RULING NEW YORK
Hard-hitter, Bethenny Frankel is busy doing two things— filming The Real Housewives Of New York and making money. The 47 year-old is known for her super fit body and boss attitude, and she's raking in a fortune from every direction.
Bethenny was offered $1.5 million for Season 9, according to The Daily Mail. Add on the $1.6 million profit she made from selling her NYC apartment and her Skinnygirl beverages, she's worth $25 million. Producers have reportedly said she is "controlled chaos."
Bethenny knows how to make money from being on camera. She also announced that coming seasons would really show her mean streak. For Bethenny though, that'll just mean more viewers.
9 KEVIN FEDERLINE: GOT CUSTODY (BUT NOT MUCH ELSE)
Being married to Britney Spears will get you famous however you started out. Kevin Federline isn't exactly Mr. Popular on account of his rocky relationship with Britney, but it was enough to land him a reality TV career. The back-up dancer married Britney in 2004, and got custody of their two kids following their divorce.
"Being called K-Fat made me lose weight," Kevin told People in 2010. Tipping the scales at 240lbs, Kevin used to "love to eat pizza and pasta." Kevin battled his demons and got into shape on Celebrity Fit Club, saying he "had to do something about it."
Kevin pretty much fell off the map afterwards, although, his name still floats around whenever Britney gets mentioned. The dad of two isn't likely to be back on our screens any time soon, though.
8 KYLIE JENNER: MORE FAMOUS THAN EVER
Kylie Jenner tends to introduce herself, so we'll just say this young lady "needs no introduction." Kylie was very young when Keeping Up With The Kardashians started, but she's elbowed her way past her sisters.
Forbes has predicted Kylie will be the first Kardashian billionaire after her Kylie Cosmetics line turned $420 million in 2017 sales. Up to $500,000 per sponsored Instagram post means she's rolling in cash, and she's only 20.
Kylie has her own show, Life Of Kylie. It didn't prove too popular though, because when she felt bad because "we never take the Lambo out," viewers didn't exactly relate. Still, with the most-liked Instagram post in history, Kylie's following is set to overtake Kim's.
7 HEIDI MONTAG: LEFT THE HILLS AND BECAME A MOM
Heidi Montag earned herself a KimYe moniker with her husband, Spencer Pratt. Together, they were "Speidi" on The Hills, but that was many moons ago. The reality star and mom has made more headlines with her drastic appearance changes than anything else.
Heidi was paid $700,000 to appear on Celebrity Big Brother UK, but both Heidi and Spencer have admitted to The Daily Mail that they were careless with their millions. Despite a $2 million a year salary, they dropped $15,000 on nights out with full bodyguards and meals worth $4,000.
Heidi still gets the attention from the occasional paparazzo. Let's face it, though, they're likely taking pics of her while waiting for one of the Kardashians to come out of their homes. Heidi had her fame, but her moment has passed.
6 KENDRA WILKINSON: HAS HER OWN SHOW
Doing way better than Holly Madison (and making way more money), Kendra Wilkinson started out on the reality series, The Girls Next Door, as well. Kendra is making more headlines following her just-announced divorce from ex-husband, Hank Baskett, but she's also making a ton of money.
Kendra has revealed she earned $500,000 in six months with her former career to The Daily Mail. "I was a pizza delivery girl and a dental assistant," she said, before realizing she wanted to join Hugh Hefner's mansion.
Kendra On Top is airing, but it's looking like it'll be without Hank. TMZ reported that Hank "wants to reconcile," but the response seems a bit frosty from Kendra.
5 TYRA BANKS: BEING UNPOPULAR DOESN'T KEEP YOU FAMOUS
Tyra Branks may have made millions from her modeling career, but she made her fame on reality TV. The America's Next Top Model judge quickly made headlines for her fiery temper and short fuse, and watching her was quite entertaining.
After slamming the haters on account of her weight gain, Tyra proved she can continue earning. Forbes reported her net worth as $90 million, with $16 million earned in just one year. But money doesn't buy you popularity...
Tyra's angry face has launched a thousand memes, and she was even made fun of on cartoon show, Family Guy. Tyra proved herself to be a bit too much of a "tyrant" to stay relevant though, and her Instagram is struggling when it comes to followers.
4 LAUREN CONRAD: HIGHEST PAID BEHIND KIM K
Another success from The Hills is Lauren Conrad. Lauren might not have appeared to be doing much on-screen, but she was building herself an empire and it's still going today. Her super-successful Kohl's clothing line was called Paper Crown, and it looks like she's still wearing one.
According OK!, Lauren raked in $5 million in 2010, and her annual salary on The Hills was over $2 million. Amazingly, she was the highest-paid reality star behind Kim Kardashian.
To be fair though, that was back in 2010, before Kim had reached global fame. It's highly unlikely Lauren is earning anything near what Kim is today.
3 HOLLY MADISON: TRIED TO STAY FAMOUS BY WRITING BOOKS
Being blonde and good looking will get you a long way in Hollywood. Everyone knows that. Holly Madison was Hugh Hefner's "number one girl" on E! show, The Girls Next Door. After leaving the show in 2009, she briefly had her own show, Holly's World, but that didn't last.
E! reported that Holly was head over heels with Hugh, despite him being old enough to be her grandfather. "She wanted to marry him and have his babies," apparently.
Holly is desperately trying to stay famous in an industry that is cut-throat. She has written a memoir: Down The Rabbit Hole, but it didn't sell too many copies. We do want to know what goes on in Hugh Hefner's mansion, but we're too busy watching Kendra Wilkinson.
2 BILL RANCIC: LEFT THE APPRENTICE FOR BIGGER THINGS
Bill Rancic isn't quite up there with his famous and beautiful E! host wife, Giuliana Rancic, but he's done pretty well for himself. Bill showed what he was worth as an entrepreneur on the first season of The Apprentice.
In 2018, Closer reported that Bill and Giuliana were selling their Gold Coast mansion for a staggering $6.8 million, netting a sweet $2.1 million profit.
Bill and Giuliana are a super charitable couple who are often seen on the red carpet. Although Giuliana has quit E!, she and her husband have their sights set on the restaurant business. Given that Bill is a natural businessman, we're guessing he'll do well.
1 KELLY OSBOURNE: KIND OF FIZZLED OUT
Kelly Osbourne had a good run. The daughter of the rock star, Ozzy Osbourne, and the reality judge, Sharon Osbourne, got famous on the family show, The Osbournes. She then went on to feature on Dancing With The Stars, but long-term fame wasn't written in the stars for Kelly.
Kelly is worth $15 million, but she may need to be careful how she spends it. Her appearance on Australia's Got Talent and Fashion Police may still give her TV exposure, but it's not exactly huge stuff. Kelly is now 33. She's a great advocate for body positivity and female rights, but her days as a famous star are numbered. She seems to have a good heart though, so we wish her all the best.
You likely recognized a lot of faces on this list. And we know we jogged your memory with Tila Tequila and Clay Aiken. If you've got friends who spent the 2000s watching TV, hit share and leave us a comment. Who do you think earned their fame? Who do you wish would disappear?
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