Top 10 Reality Stars of 2011
Another year of magazine covers, marriages, pageants, breakups, drunken dancing, margaritas, teen pregnancy, and cable ratings has come and gone—so which reality stars came out on top? Hint—you may already be sick of them.
10. The Situation (Michael Sorrentino)
It pains me to put The Situation on this list due to his vile and unsavory character, but outside of his Jersey Shore co-star Snooki, he is the only cast mate to have broken out of teen and MTV fandom to become a household name. After reportedly making a cool $5 million in 2010 and starring on ABC’s hit show Dancing With the Stars, Sorrentino continued on his path of GTL domination by becoming embroiled in a lawsuit with fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch. The company wanted to pay the reality star to stop wearing their clothing and The Situation later sued the clothing store for making t-shirts (saying “The Fitchuation” and “GTL…You Know The Deal) that violated his copyrights. Although the star may even turn the viewers of Jersey Shore off, Sorrentino won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, season 4’s premiere raked in 8.8 million viewers, and he, along with the rest of the cast are reportedly making around $100,000 per episode.
9. Toddlers & Tiaras
Although not an individual reality star, the toddlers (and parents) that star on TLC’s reality show Toddlers & Tiaras have caused a great amount of controversy that warrants the entire cast of the cult cable hit to be awarded the #9 spot on this year’s list of Top 10 Reality Stars. Whether the young girls are getting spray tans, fake teeth, or wearing fake breast implants to mimic the large breasted Dolly Parton, or mothers are screaming and possibly, maybe, borderline mentally abusing their children on camera, viewers have sat in shock while staring at the television screen.
8. Farrah Abraham
A polarizing figure on MTV’s hit docu-reality show Teen Mom, Farrah Abraham has made headlines and graced the cover of gossip magazines for giving up her child (to her mother) in order to finish college and for most recently attacking 31-year-old Kourtney Kardashian for her pregnancy. (After getting word that she was given this honor, she began to cry).
7. Amber Portwood
Indiana’s biggest celebrity, Amber Portwood, also of MTV’s hit Teen Mom, had a difficult year between her restraining order with her daughter’s father, losing primary custody of her daughter in May, attempting suicide in June, and being rushed to the hospital, again, for suffering a severe panic attack. Despite going through hell and back personally, Portwood managed to stay as a fixture on gossip blogs and continually making Teen Mom viewers wonder if she’s fit to be a mother.
6. Taylor Armstrong
Get out the tuna tartare! Real Housewives fans rejoiced when news of Taylor Armstrong’s filing for divorce broke this summer. The star’s relationship with her husband was always questionable, and his socially awkward and suspiciously controlling behavior was not meant for reality television. One month later, the life of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star changed forever when her husband committed suicide, less than a month before the premiere of the upcoming season on which he starred. After fans of the show and non-viewers questioned the future of the show, the season continued on as planned, even showing marriage counseling sessions between Armstrong and her now deceased husband, Russell. While one may think that Taylor would remove herself from the spotlight after such a horrific incident, the reality star has done the complete opposite, staying on as a cast member of the hit reality show and even releasing pictures of her husband’s alleged abuse and preparing to write a tell-all book. Death may be sad, but she’s still got to make a living…right?
5. Nene Leakes
Hi haters! Nene Leakes, star of Bravo’s hit Real Housewives of Atlanta and self-proclaimed rich bitch, made the transition to network television in this past spring’s Celebrity Apprentice, and now that she stands on her own without former not-so-trusty sidekick Kim Zolciak, the reality star has flourished, amassing over 500,000 Twitter followers, breaking into acting, and even investing in restaurants. Oh, and she’s selling bedazzled t-shirts with her quotes on them and drunk dials Anderson Cooper. Sounds like a successful year to me.
4. Andy Cohen
Although not a true reality star himself, Andy Cohen is definitely a king of reality TV, and sometimes even more popular than the casts who star in his shows. As Executive Producer for Bravo’s Housewives franchise and host of the shows’ reunions and his soon-to-be-nightly talk show Watch What Happens: Live that regularly features the Housewives, Andy Cohen is the man behind the latest reality television domination. Whether he’s breaking ratings records with his reunion specials or talk show, tweeting with his stars, writing his upcoming book, blogging about his reality shows, or preparing to expand his popular talk show to five nights a week, Cohen is crafting himself to become the next Ryan Seacrest and is bringing the Housewives and a smattering of chefs, designers, and C-List celebrities with him.
3. Bethenny Frankel
It’s easy to forget that about two years ago Bethenny Frankel was walking the streets of New York with the cast of the Real Housewives of New York, squabbling with Jill Zarin and worrying about her future. Now the health guru is the first, and so far only, star to have broken away from the show and create an empire to rival A-list celebrities and reality stars. In addition to her well-rated Housewives spinoff, Frankel sold her Skinnygirl bottle alcohol business for $100 million and has created a slew of additional business opportunities such as her bath and body line for Walmart, a cleanse system, an online personal training package, yoga DVD, shapewear line, and her bestselling series of health books, leading Forbes magazine to wonder if the reality star powerhouse can crack a billion dollars.
2. Snooki (Nicole Polizzi)
Between blacking out, and hooking up with roommates, Nicole Polizzi, the reality star better known as Snooki, has made herself a household name, even if it is built on humiliation and ridicule. Polizzi has not let the public’s disapproval affect her, releasing two books in 2011, appearing on top-rated daytime and late night talk shows, being paid $32,000 to speak at Rutger’s University, starring in two top-rated seasons of Jersey Shore, releasing a perfume, and signing on for a spin-off with on-screen BFF, JWoww. So although Snooki may not remember a lot of 2011, she definitely came out on top.
1. The Kardashians
With one season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, two seasons of Kourtney and Kim Take New York, a two-part fairytale wedding special, a divorce heard around the world, a pregnancy, Dancing With the Stars, a momager biography, a sweet 16 birthday special, countless radio and television interviews, magazine covers, guest appearances, and gossip blog stories (yes, all of these happened in just this year), and Kim Kardashian and her incredibly large family (Kourtney Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Lamar Odom, Scott Disick, Kris Jenner, Bruce Jenner, Kyle Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Mason Dash Disick) are easily the biggest reality stars on the entire planet. Coverage of the family is so pervasive and all encompassing that it has even driven some to call for a boycott. But unfortunately for the family’s detractors, they’re here to stay. They’re still pumping out babies, covering magazines, and creating highly-rated television, and that’s how you become the top reality stars of 2011.
And some honorable mentions who did not make the cut this year: Milania Giudice (daughter of Teresa Giudice on Real Housewives of New Jersey), the woman who ate rocks on My Strange Addiction, and the woman who pushed Jeana Keough into a chair on the sixth season finale of Real Housewives of Orange County.
images via: poptoxic.com, viprumor.com, blogspot.com, wordpress.com
Follow us on twitter@thefastertimes
- 1 Amanda Bynes’s Behavior Revealed to Be Elaborate PSA
- 2 Obama Horrified by the Grammar in Our Emails
- 3 Monster Fart Prompting Management to Rethink “Open Office”
- 4 NSA Demanded Access To Un-Filtered Instagram Photos
- 5 Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Ambushed By Alan ‘The Paper’ Rubinstein
- 6 Vice Magazine Now Only Hiring Writers Who Fail Drug Test
- 7 ‘Licensed to Kim Jong Il’ Records 27th Straight Year Atop N. Korean Charts
- 8 Henry Cavill to be Replaced by Stack of Pancakes in “Man of Steel” Sequel
- 9 Taco Bell Now Just Dumping Bags of Doritos Into Everything On Menu
- 10 Stanley Cup Final One Blowout Away From “Boston Massacre” Headline Outrage