When Keeping It Real Goes Right & Wrong: Celebs Who We Like More And Less After Doing Reality TV

July 9, 2012  |  
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Celebrities airing out their personal business on reality TV shows have become the new normal instead of the standard back in the day when celebs used to ask, if not beg for privacy. Some make guest appearances while others devote an entire show to putting their lives under a microscope. The exposure has either helped or hurt the following celebs.

Tia and Tamera
Tia and Tamera are just like any other sisters and that’s a good thing. They can mix like oil and water but there’s nothing thicker than blood. They might get on each other’s nerves on the show, like when Tamera thought Tia wasn’t doing her part to help with her wedding in the first season of their show, “Tia & Tamera.” Tia was pregnant and was limited in what she could do but still wanted to be her maid of honor. However, the famous twins definitely have each other’s backs. The second season is already showcasing the unique dynamic between the twins, but at the end of each episode, we know that they’re going to be solid. “Tia & Tamera” the second time around is still must see TV and after showing a more personal side of themselves, we like them a lot more (though some say Tamera works their last nerve sometimes…).

Lamar Odom
Lamar used to be recognized as a sixth man in the NBA and a key player in the Laker’s franchise but it seems he wanted more. He wanted to be a star and a marquee name. If he couldn’t get on Kobe’s level on the court, he settled for notoriety and married Khloé Kardashian in record time in an E! televised affair. After that, you couldn’t keep him off of the television screen or in front of the cameras with the Kardashian clan. He pitched a fit when the Lakers opted to trade him with one of their reasons being their annoyance with his side hustle as a star on “Khloé & Lamar.” Once in Dallas and in a Mavericks uniform, he played some of the worst basketball of his career. Lamar has since pulled the plug on his reality TV show for now, choosing to focus on his career and to get back in the league. Being focused on ball has worked already, because he’s back in the league and will play the upcoming season as a L.A. Clipper. Being on reality TV hurt him professionally, and after all of that, we can’t say that it made us like him. But he got what he wanted, everybody knows him…

There used to be rumors that T.I. had Tiny shut down her and Toya’s reality TV show on B.E.T because he didn’t think it was a good look. He had a change of heart with VH1’s ‘T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle.” The show came after T.I.s revolving door stints in jail for guns and drugs, and the more we saw him with his people, the more we liked him and his comical brood. Tiny has always shown that she’s ride or die but in ‘The Family Hustle’, T.I. is putting his family first. The show might’ve been a ploy to rehab his image, but the love that he has for his family is real and nice to see on TV .


Shaunie O’Neal
Shaunie used to only be known as Shaq’s wife and with only a few glimpses into who she was. Folks felt sorry for her because she was cheated on, but the “Basketball Wives” series has given audiences a fuller picture of the ex Mrs. O’Neal and some don’t like what they see at all. Shaunie’s been accused of being an instigator, scornful and enlisting sisters in arms to not only trash their exes but give black women a bad name by instigating drama so they can bicker and fight. In a lot of ways, the VH1 ratings winner has hurt her rep but she’s a real person with many dimensions. The cameras only seem to film and broadcast some of the worst parts.

Mary Mary
Erica and Tina are proof positive that you don’t need to throw bottles or punches in order to be a ratings draw. “Mary Mary” on WEtv has allowed the cameras to follow these Christian women on their walk as they balance motherhood, marriages and their careers. But just because they sing gospel doesn’t mean that their lives are perfect and they never pretend that it is. It’s honest and real without being over the top, and just like “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle,” it’s a nice change for reality TV.

Jackie Christie
Back in the day, the little we used to know about Jackie Christie was that she and former NBA baller Doug Christie were a tight couple who liked to renew their vows like people change draws. She seemed nice and like a good wife and mother. But after doing “Basketball Wives LA,” Jackie’s cast members have gone on the record calling her psychotic and don’t even want anything to do with her. Even if those words hadn’t come out of their mouths, the rest of us still have eyes. It’s great that her marriage is still intact and that she’s actually a wife but Jackie is just so extra. She and Doug get married every year (and watching the thing go down made it seem even more “extra), she’s at every game clapping the loudest and doing the absolute most, and she’s a gossip monger. Jackie likes it and loves it. We don’t.

Tashera Simmons
DMX’s wife has been on a rough ride with X. She’s seen it all from his drug abuse, back-to-back arrests, cheating, baby mommas and verbal abuse. On VH1’s “Couple’s Therapy,” people finally got to know her story in-depth and began to understand why she stayed for so long and why she ultimately left him. DMX might’ve been a rap god to the masses but no woman deserves to get talked to like a dog. Tashera was only a young girl when they met, but she’s matured into a wife, mother and a woman of strength. The spotlight should have been hers all along.

After Chilli and Usher broke up, everyone was either rooting for a reconciliation or for her to find a happy ending with some other man. The TLC singer starred in her own reality TV show, “What Chilli Wants” on VH1 to help find the next love of her life. As the episodes wore on, it would’ve been easier trying to broker world peace. Chilli seemed to have a problem with every dude that showed interest. They were either too this, too that and just not meeting up to her standards. There’s being particular and then there’s just being too picky. By the time the series ended, some of us couldn’t help but to think she was the problem.

Toni Braxton

Toni on reality TV!? When we first heard about the singer and her family’s reality show coming to TV, folks were skeptical that it was a desperate move by the star (who would already get shade for dressing like a teenybopper) and that we wouldn’t like what we saw. But aside from her sisters being messes, Toni came off very likable and was more sensible, mature and level-headed then most would have thought. Plus, the insight into her health battles made her relatable, endearing and explained a lot.

Stephanie Guerilus is a multimedia journalist and author. Follow her @qsteph

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