HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


serial reality show contestants

I was watching the "Worst Cooks" first episode last night (yes I'm embarrassed) and one of the contestants (who as I recall actually won from her team) I'm pretty sure was also on "Millionaire Matchmaker". She's an attractive woman who is a "professional poker player" (she was the millionaire). It reminded me that Naesha (sp?) on Top Chef was also on the show that was about chefs trying out for executive chef positions, and that another "millionaire matchmaker" guy trying to find a partner was the same guy that was a real estate agent on one of those "million dollar real estate" shows. Some of these, as far as I know, are even "cross-network" (I don't think Bravo and Food Network are connected, are they?)

Are there really so few people out there who want to be on TV that they need to try out in multiple genres?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think she was on "The Amazing Race."

    8 Replies
    1. re: Firegoat

      I've never seen "Amazing Race" so if she was, she's been on three shows....

      1. re: Firegoat

        OMG, you're right. I didn't even recognize her. http://www.pokernewsdaily.com/amazing...

        And, yeah, being attractive doesn't hurt...


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I kind of laughed when I went to the foodnetwork site for the show. It has Anne and Bobby with all their cheftestants to the side in their aprons.... except for the poker girl, her head is bigger than anyone else's (looks like a paid head shot) and no apron. I also noticed that we didn't get to hear who nominated her. Nor did we get to see her grilled cheese sandwich.

          1. re: Firegoat

            That is funny.

            I notice the bread for her grilled cheese sandwich was torn. C'mon, really?


        2. re: Firegoat

          And there was a team on Amazing Race who raise goats and have a show on the Cooking Channel.

          1. re: chicgail

            yep, the Beeman Bria or something like that.
            and.......Stasshi (sp?) from AR is on Vanderpump Rules.

            1. re: iL Divo

              Interesting. What did she do on AR? She annoys the hell out of me.

              1. re: southernitalian

                she was on during the family version of Amazing Race so her family participated. she was annoying then too

        3. It's a network thing. You see Bravo contestants on other Bravo shows, VH1 on VH1, MTV on MTV, etc. The networks get to produce more for less work and money.

          4 Replies
          1. re: viperlush

            But in this case I don't think it was same network-- the Poker player was on FN, on Bravo, and apparently whatever network "Amazing Race" was on. I'm not so surprised when a single network finds an "interesting" character and then re-uses them, but if it's cross-network it seems to be more that the contestant has figured that this is going to be their "career" for awhile.

            1. re: DGresh

              I wouldn't be surprised if they were some how connected. It seems like they all are. But I do agree that some of these participants are career "reality stars". Might as well.

              1. re: DGresh

                I don't think it hurts that she's an attractive woman and pretty telegenic. The TV camera really likes her, that probably counts for a lot when they are casting these shows. Plus it gives her something to do during her downtime when not playing poker.

                1. re: DGresh

                  There are a lot of companies that produce shows for a variety of networks

                  http://www.optomen.com/ - worst cooks

                  Earthview inc - amazing race


              2. Jay on (FOX) Hell's Kitchen was previously on FN's Chopped.

                1. ... another "millionaire matchmaker" guy trying to find a partner was the same guy that was a real estate agent on one of those "million dollar real estate" shows"

                  Yes, that was Madison Hildebrand from Million Dollar Listing. <http://themalibulife.com/> It makes sense for Bravo to try to generate new watchers for MDL by putting him on Millionaire Matchmaker and vise versa.

                  I've never seen a "cross-network" example. That is harder to explain.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: woodleyparkhound

                    Many of these "reality contestants" are wanna-be actors/musicians/ miscellaneous trying-to-make-it Hollywood transplants, and try out for these shows just like a role in any "scripted" program or series. They are certainly not discouraged from "fleshing out" their characters, to the point of borderline fabrication/lying, and would have "applied" to a different network for, literally, a new job in the "cross-network" cases you've cited, IMHO. (I had a musician GF who'd tried out for a network "reality" series, and was encouraged to come up with a more exciting background story for herself; she went in "lying her ass off" and made the cut, only to bow out for personal reasons.)

                  2. It might also be an audition thing. As in, there is a casting call for all sorts of reality shows. Your CV is submitted, and your agent has an eye out for these things. You have experience on one reality show so you know the ropes. And the advantage of hiring you is because you have kind of a "face recognition" so it may entice more people to your show if a familiar face is there.
                    I think being a reality show contestant is almost a profession these days, instead of a "one of" sort of thing.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: freia

                      Another contestant on "Millionaire Matchmaker" (she was picked by one of the millionaires to go on the final date" is now a regular on that horrible show on the Style network, "Big Rich Texas"... Also, the "house mother/counselor" on Celebrity Rehab was hanging out with Brandi Glanville at the Sur opening on RHOBH...

                      Yes, I watch too much "reality" TV...

                    2. A lot of the shows you site are just overblown game shows. When game shows were in fashion and every channel had a lineup of them, you often saw familiar faces. I guess the same goes for some reality shows. Some people just like the competition and idea of a big payoff.

                      1. Is this the woman with the designer shoe collection that brought her assistant on her date? She has also been on Vine Talk on PBS. http://www.thirteen.org/insidethirtee...

                        1. I'm even more embarassed to admit that I recognized a woman trying out to be one of the ladies at the mixer on Millionaire Matchmaker as Dallas from Rock of Love.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: secondbecky

                            Hah! I blame the fact that I sat through a Matchmaker marathon on being snowbound last winter.

                            1. re: EM23

                              (I actually really enjoy her show - especially when she rips on the girls who are auditioning to come to mixers. If you're not on your A game, why bother showing up? But I love when they talk back to her, telling her she's ugly, bitchy, whatever, and that's why she's not married herself! Also notice that her "stats" have gone down since the show first started airing - first season she had a 99% success rate, now it's an "extremely high success rate." lol)

                          2. yea and then there's the
                            guy that got the boot from the 'x' factor
                            but was on the upcoming future auditions
                            for the 'voice"

                            1. I also watched Worst Cooks, it was as dull as ditch water.

                              But how do they know somebody is really a bad cook, there's nothing to stop a TV reality whore say they are awful, make some mushy muck and pretend to be clueless and suddenly 'learn' after 8 weeks how to make a fancy 3 course restaurant quality meal.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: smartie


                                how many times I've thought to myself that [that] was exactly what they were doing.

                              2. I just read, don't know if it is true, that Anthony on this season's Worst Cooks was on last season's Project Runway.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Firegoat

                                  If that's this guy (from the FN site, and the only Anthony I see on the current season listing): Anthony Schiano (Massapequa, N.Y.), A mechanical engineer, Anthony is often frustrated by the creative aspects of cooking. He is embarrassed that he cannot host dinners for his Italian family and hopes that improved cooking abilities will create more romance in his marriage.

                                  Then, no, that's not the same Anthony.

                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                    No. I am a Project Runway freak, and it's not the same guy. Not even close. The PR Anthony (who is from Louisiana and is named Anthony Ryan Auld) won the All Stars season 2 (in which they win a shitload of money etc), so there would be no reason for him to be on a cooking show. http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/proje...

                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                      I really liked Anthony Ryan, he was adorable and very talented, glad he won

                                  2. Dina Manzo from RHONJ was once on a show called something like "Million Dollar Weddings". Bravo uses the same people a lot. Snooki was on something too before Jersey Shore. I want to say it was on MTV and she was a horse vet tech. I watch really bad TV.

                                    1. Apparently she's been around tv in various forms:

                                      From http://www.carbonpoker.ag/blog/tiffan... ....
                                      Poker player Tiffany Michelle hasn’t spent a whole lot of time on the felt recently, but she’s definitely keeping busy. In fact, Michelle will appear on Season 3 of the Food Network show “Worst Cooks in America.”
                                      As for Michelle, we don’t know much about her cooking background, or if she’ll be coached by Anne Burrell or Bobby Flay. However, we do know that she’s got plenty of reality TV experience since she appeared on the “Amazing Race” alongside fellow poker player Maria Ho. The pair actually made a pretty good run on the show before being eliminated on the seventh episode of Amazing Race 15; they finished 6th out of 12 teams.

                                      Aside from her reality TV background, Michelle is an accomplished actor who’s appeared on several notable shows including “LA Ink,” “ER” and the “World Series of Blackjack.”
                                      <end quote>

                                      I like the fact that this site considers LA Ink and World Series of Blackjack as acting gigs, not reality shows....

                                      1. I know this is old but I was looking into something else and ran upon it. The answer is that if you ever contacted one of the casting agencies to try out for a reality show (on any network) your name gets sold and passed around on lists. If you ever auditioned for one, same thing. You then are contacted about any and everything that comes along to see if you're interested. It's just basic casting like for any other "actor" show.

                                        1. I blame Mark Burnett. Created the reality genre, turned it into tv gold and is now bringing The Bible to tv with his lovely wife.

                                          Imagine, cheesy reality tv rebooted the BIG book.

                                          1. It has to do with the casting companies that these shows use. Once you've been on a show, or even tried out for one, they send you notices about other shows that are casting. You don't have to go out of your way at all.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: roxlet

                                              Combined with nonprofessional cooks making the tv rounds - I also think that television and cooking have become a more defined career trajectory in the professional cooking world. While the shows do not all have the same credibility attached to them, I don't think it's a coincidence that these chefs bounce from these various shows.

                                            2. Do these people get compensated for appearing on some of these shows? I just saw a woman on Chef Wanted who I had seen on Chopped and maybe something else. And it seems like this is not an unusual situation.

                                              Do these candidates/contestants get compensated for their appearance? I'm sure they get their expenses paid, but do Top Chef or Worst Cooks in America or Chopped or other shows pay the people who don't "win" the top spot?

                                              I know some people love to bask in their 15 minutes of fame, but I wonder why some people do this over and over - leaving jobs and families, sometimes for extended periods of time - with only a slim chance of getting paid at all.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                As Jon Stewart told me at one of his tapings - People want to be on TV.

                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                  I bet you knew that before Jon Stewart said it.