Former Reality Stars Who Think They’re Too Good For Reality TV Now
If it wasn’t for reality television, we would probably never have known them (or at least as not as well as we do now) but these reality stars decided to turn up their noses on the very thing that made them famous or resurrected their careers.
Tia and Tamera Mowry
Identical twins Tia and Tamera Mowry first gained fame as twin teens separated at birth on the sitcom “Sister, Sister.” The twins took a break from Hollywood to attend college before resurrecting their acting careers again. For six seasons, Tia played Melanie Barnett Davis on the hit show “The Game” but the sisters would work together again with their reality show “Tia & Tamera” on the Style Network. The show premiered to record numbers on the network but as each season passed so did its popularity and it was canned at the end of 2013, although according to them it was time to them to get back to living their lives off camera.
K. Michelle’s singing career received a much-needed boost once she joined Vh1’s “Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta” reality show. Her funny one-liners and 0 f**ks given attitude helped her become one of the most popular stars and soon she was booking singing gigs and landing a new recording deal with Warner Bros. Relocating to New York, K. Michelle joined the original show “Love & Hip-Hop,” but with all of the drama surrounding the other cast mates, the “VSOP” singer got lost in the shuffle. The Memphis native singer has vowed to leave all of the drama that helped her become so popular in the first place and says her new reality show “No New Friends” will be much tamer. “It’s just me, who I always am, me as a woman, me as a mother and just me as a businesswoman and interacting with my friends,” she said.
LisaRay McCoy was one of the first video vixens to successfully transition to a legitimate acting career. Best known as stripper/single mom Diamond in the 1998 movie “The Players Club,” McCoy had been in numerous films before becoming a sitcom star in “All of Us.” She also tried her hand at reality television after landing her own show, “LisaRaye: The Real McCoy” but the show was cancelled after two seasons. Despite having the highest rated show on TV One, the network wanted to add some drama to the show in the form of new cast members but McCoy was against it and moved on from reality television altogether. Now she spends her time criticizing other women on reality TV.
Before Shaunie O’Neal and reality television came along, no one knew who Evelyn Lozada was. As part of the cast of “Basketball Wives,” Lozada’s fiery personality and temper helped her become a fan favorite. When she found love with former football star Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, cameras followed them to the tropical island of St. Maarten and filmed their wedding but before Vh1 could air it, the couple was headed to divorce court. Now pregnant and engaged to Los Angeles Dodgers Carl Crawford, Lozada refused to do the BBW reunion for the last season and insists the show is on its last leg.
Brandy has lived much of her life in front of the cameras. Television audiences were first introduced to a 14-year-old Brandy on the short-lived sitcom “Thea” before she landed her own show “Moesha.” Jumping into the forum of reality television, Brandy made appearances on her brother Ray J’s dating show, had her own show with her brother, danced her way into America’s hearts on “Dancing with the Stars” and even shared her daughter’s birth with the rest of the world. But ready to get back to her acting roots, Brandy claimed she was done with reality tv. “I don’t want to do reality shows,” she said in an interview. “I watch reality shows here and there, but I don’t think I work well on reality shows. I think I’m too boring for reality. It’s much more fun playing somebody else.”
While Tami came into her own after joining the second season of Vh1’s “Basketball Wives,” this wasn’t her first foray into reality television. In the early 90’s, Roman helped make history by being a part of MTV’s inaugural season of “Real World,” which sparked the craze of reality tv. Brought in to bring more spice to “Basketball Wives,” Roman soon faced backlash after she bullied a fellow cast mate to tears. Ready to rehabilitate her image, Roman doesn’t want to be judged by her actions on the show, which she claims is on its last season. “‘Basketball Wives’ doesn’t and will never define me. It’s just one more step in my life that’s afforded me a certain amount of popularity and vision in the entertainment industry.”
Bravo had a hit series on their hands with the “Real Housewives of Orange County” reality show and soon it branched out to other cities. Bethenny Frankel joined the cast of “Real Housewives of New York City” and after three seasons, the Skinny Girl business owner had enough. Putting reality television in the rearview mirror, Frankel snagged her own talk show and never looked back. When Omarosa Manigault, one of the most hated reality stars ever, paid a visit to the set of “Bethenny,” she called the novice talk show host out on her disdain for reality television. Frankel did her best to try to convince the audience otherwise but it was clear how she truly felt.
Shaunie O’Neal came up with a genius idea by creating a show that would center around the wives and girlfriends of some of the NBA’s current and former stars. One of the original cast members, Jennifer Williams was all too ready to give up a life of obscurity to have her life play out on national television. But after four seasons, constant bickering with her once bff Evelyn Lozada and a boring storyline, Williams soon found herself fired from the show. Now, Williams warns young people with dreams of becoming a reality television star: “I’ve heard so many young children say that they want to be on reality TV when they grow up. What happened to young people wanting to be doctors and lawyers and just professionals?”
As the wife of one of the most successful sitcom stars on television, Camille Grammer always dreamed of having the spotlight solely on herself. When the producers of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” came calling, she finally had her chance. Camille was one of the original members on the show but when she found out why her husband (now ex) Kelsey encouraged her to do the show, she felt otherwise. While cameras were on Camille in California, Kelsey was gallivanting around New York City with his new girlfriend and figured his last good deed as Camille’s husband was to allow her to do reality television. Camille limited her appearances by season three before leaving the show altogether.
While most “Real Housewives” stars join the show for fame and a little bit of fortune, Beverly Hills alum Adrienne Maloof certainly didn’t need the extra check. She helps run the family business that includes the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and the Sacramento Kings but found time in her busy schedule to join the cast anyway. But after three seasons, a failing marriage and a squabble with cast mates that included gag orders, Maloof was done. Her friends urged her to leave the show in order to save her marriage but it was too late. Her divorce from her husband of nine years was finalized at the end of 2012.
Dancer Royce Reed was thrust into the spotlight after joining Vh1’s “Basketball Wives” and although the show was very popular, Reed was one of the cast members who wasn’t. After appearing on four seasons, producers of the reality show gave Reed the axe, mainly because of her boring storyline. After her stint with reality television was over, Reed expressed how she really felt.” As much as I enjoyed the checks, it wasn’t worth contradicting myself and doing something I didn’t really believe in. I felt kinda like I was selling my soul. I was totally fine with the way I went out last season, you saw me doing my career, you saw me being me.
Gloria Govan was an original member of “Basketball Wives” in Miami but she certainly didn’t get along with her fellow cast mates. Feeling bullied by mean girls Evelyn Lozada, Jennifer Williams and Shaunie O’Neal, Govan, who was engaged to NBA player Matt Barnes at the time, decided she was too good for reality television and wanted out. Apparently having a change of heart, Govan popped up across the country on the spin-off “Basketball Wives L.A.” but her appearances only lasted for two seasons. Govan finally left reality television for good.
She may be a responsible wife and mother now but a decade ago, Nicole Richie was just another hard-partying Beverly Hills socialite when she landed her own reality show with bff Paris Hilton. “The Simple Life” took Richie and Hilton out of the lavish comforts of Hollywood and transplanted them into Middle America doing menial and labor intensive jobs. These days, Richie stays out of the tabloids, completely away from the cameras and has created her own fashion line, House of Harlow 1960.
When she won the third cycle of Tyra Banks’ “America’s Next Top Model,” she was known as Eva Pigford. After modeling for a few years, Pigford wanted to change careers and her identity. With her sights set on acting, she dropped her managers Banks and Benny Medina. She also dropped her last name and went by Eva Marcille because she wanted to land acting jobs based on her talents and not her reality television show past.
Teresa Guidice has lived a lavish lifestyle and it has been well chronicled on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” The married mother of four’s temper and table-turning behavior has also been chronicled on the show. Despite her popularity, Guidice, who is currently facing some serious jail time on fraud charges, regrets having the spotlight on her and her family. “Don’t do it,” she warned for those looking to delve into reality tv. “There’s good and bad but if I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I would do it.”