What reality shows lack in educational value, they make up for in entertainment and pure insanity. And try as we might to avoid them, we all just can’t seem to get enough of semi-scripted shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Real Housewives, and of course, The Bachelor.
But given that these shows have little plot and even less substance, the reality TV market is constantly facing turnover—meaning that most of our favorite shows from the 2000s don’t even exist anymore for our viewing pleasure. So what happened to the reality stars of yesterday once their shows got the axe? Well, for some stars like Sharon Osbourne, the answer is, and always will be, television—and for other stars like Ashton Kutcher, a cancelled TV show led to the creation of a wildly successful venture capitalist firm. (Seriously.) Read on to find out where your former favorite reality stars are today—and for more celebrity things you probably forgot about, don’t miss the 30 Hilariously Bad Celebrity Products.
Audrina Patridge (The Hills): Swimwear Designer
Everyone remembers Audrina Patridge as one of the golden girls on Los Angeles-based reality series The Hills. However, once the show ended in 2010, so did the peak of Patridge’s television career. After a few more failed on-screen attempts (a stint on season 11 of Dancing with the Stars, for instance), Patridge left Hollywood to try her hand in the world of fashion. Today, she’s best known as the founder and lead designer behind Prey Swim, a women’s swimsuit company.
Ashlee Simpson (The Ashlee Simpson Show): Back to Reality (TV)
Given the younger Simpson sister’s aversion to the limelight for the past decade, after her eponymous program fizzled out in the mid 2000s, you’d be forgiven if you forgot that Ashlee Simpson once made an attempt at a singing career. (A little tune called “Pieces of Me” might jog your memory.)
However, the former wife of Pete Wentz recently announced that she’d be re-entering the music and reality TV worlds with a new album, a new show for E!, and a new clothing line—so get ready to be seeing a whole lot more of the Simpson family once again. And for more celebrity nostalgia, don’t miss 30 Celebrity Couples from the ’90s You’ve Totally Forgotten About.
Stephen Colletti (Laguna Beach): Pivoted to Actual Acting
Teen heartthrob Stephen Colletti didn’t even make it through all three seasons of Laguna Beach, but that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing an on-screen career. Since his last appearance on Laguna Beach in 2005, Colletti left reality TV and landed several acting gigs, including a recurring role in popular teen series One Tree Hill and a cameo in one of Taylor Swift‘s music videos. Currently, the actor is working on raising money for his next project: a web series with fellow One Tree Hill star James Lafferty.
Nicole Richie (The Simple Life): Running a Fashion Empire
The better question to ask would be: What isn’t Nicole Richie doing today? Though Richie was seen as Paris Hilton’s right-hand woman during the days of The Simple Life, today she has a high-end fashion and jewelry line, a successful acting career, and two books under her belt—and she is nobody’s sidekick. And given her foray into the fashion world, it’s little surprise that Richie made the list of The 30 Best Celebrity Style Evolutions.
Flavor Flav (Flavor of Love): Failed Restauranteur
With necklaces made of actual wall clocks, Flavor Flav was perhaps one of the most iconic reality stars of the early 2000s. After his reality show, Flavor of Love, finished its final season in 2008, the Public Enemy hype man used his namesake to open a restaurant in Clinton, Iowa. Unfortunately, Flav’s Fried Chicken (as it was called) only stayed open for four months, but Flav went into business with some other people to open two more restaurants, Flavor Flav House of Flavor and Flavor Flav’s Chicken & Ribs, in 2012.
Thanks to some bad business decisions (the landlord forgot to pay rent), neither restaurant exists anymore—and since Flav clearly doesn’t learn from his mistakes, he is working with yet another partner to open yet another restaurant (Flavor Flav and Vinny’s Pizza and Chicken) later this year.
Nick Lachey (Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica): TV Host and Bar Owner
Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson might not have had the most amicable of breakups after their reality show, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, ended in 2005, but that doesn’t mean that the former 98 Degrees frontman wasn’t able to pick up the pieces and start over again.
After the show (and his marriage’s) conclusion, Lachey channeled his sadness into a successful solo album, married and started a family with fellow actress Vanessa Lachey, and even picked up a few hosting gigs on shows like The Sing-Off and Big Morning Buzz. Lachey is doing so well for himself, in fact, that in 2014, he even ventured into the restaurant business and opened a bar with his brother in Cincinnati, Ohio, aptly called Lachey’s, with a reality show on A&E documenting the entire experience. The bar has since closed.
Xzibit (Pimp My Ride): Producer and Occasional Actor
Music fans know Xzibit as one of the leaders of the West coast hip-hop scene, but fans of reality TV in the early 2000s will remember the rapper as the host of Pimp My Ride. While Xzibit has been releasing music since Pimp My Ride’s conclusion in 2007, he recently announced that he plans to retire after the release of his tenth album to focus on producing other rappers through his record label, Open Bar Entertainment, and to spend more time with his family. (Whether we’ll continue seeing X on shows like Empire is still up in the air.) And if you love reality TV, then don’t miss The 30 Funniest Reality Show Moments of All Time.
Ashton Kutcher (Punk’d): Venture Capitalist
If you judged Ashton Kutcher by his most famous character, then you’d assume him to be relatively dimwitted and lacking any common sense. But reality couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the former Punk’d host is one of the most business-savvy men in Hollywood, and now runs a venture capital fund with friends Guy Oseary and Ron Burkle valued at $250 million (thanks to early investments in companies you may have heard of, like Uber and Spotify).
Tiffany Pollard (I Love New York): Still Rocking Reality TV
Given that Tiffany Pollard, otherwise known as New York, found her initial success on reality TV, it’s little surprise that she’s still making her rounds in the reality circuit. After appearing on none other than Flavor of Love, VH1 gifted Pollard her own series, called I Love New York, that stayed on the air for several seasons (if you include the various spin-offs). And in 2016, New York made her fanbase international and entered the Celebrity Big Brother UK house for the show’s seventeenth season (she made it into the top four before being eliminated).
Lauren Conrad (The Hills): Fashionista, Author, and Businesswoman
Lauren Conrad was arguably the most famous of the Hills clan back in the early 2000s, and she remains the most recognizable to this day, thanks to her various fashion lines, book series, and business ventures. When she’s not raising her son with husband William Tell, LC is busy overseeing fashion empires LC Lauren Conrad and Paper Crown, writing book series like L.A. Candy and The Fame Game, and keeping her blog up and running. Basically, Conrad is just the former-reality-star-turned-renaissance-woman that we all aspire to be.
Sharon Osbourne (The Osbournes): Talk Show Host
Long for the days when you could turn on MTV and catch some Osbourne family drama? Well, The Osbournes might not be getting a reboot, but Sharon Osbourne certainly won’t be leaving your television screen any time soon (if she can help it). These days, you can find the wife of heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne either gabbing away as one of the co-hosts on CBS’s The Talk or bossing around artists like The Smashing Pumpkins through her agency, Sharon Osbourne Management.
Rev Run (Run’s House): Published Author and Reality TV Regular
Though it’d be more appropriate for Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons to take up a career as a clergymen, the Run-D.M.C cofounder has stuck to reality TV since Run’s House ended in 2009. Since 2014, Simmons has starred in such series as Rev Run’s Renovations on HGTV, Rev Run’s Sunday Suppers on the Cooking Channel, and Rev Runs Around the World on the Travel Channel. And for more blasts from the past, here are the 30 Most Iconic Celebrity Hairstyles of All Time.
Ted Allen (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy): Food Network Favorite
Since the original Queer Eye ended in 2007, Ted Allen put his culinary expertise to work in another kitchen—the one at Food Network, to be exact. Nowadays, the culinary expert is the host of Food Network shows Chopped, Chopped Junior, and All-Star Academy, and you’ll find a few books with his name on the cover in the cookbook aisle at Barnes & Noble.
Snooki (Jersey Shore): Author and Aspiring Actress
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi seriously managed to turn her life around after the infamous Jersey Shore aired its last episode in 2012. Almost immediately after the show ended, the petite actress became a contestant on Dancing with the Stars and even managed to score some acting gigs on such shows as Supernatural and Cake Boss. From 2011 to 2012, Polizzi also released three novels—though none of them did particularly well.
Bam Margera (Viva La Bam): Back to Skateboarding
Things became bleak for Viva La Bam star Bam Margera after the death of his best friend Ryan Dunn in 2011—but as of late, the Jackass star is sober and back in the skateboarding business.
Jessica Simpson (Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica): Running a Fashion Label
Just like her ex-husband Nick Lachey, Jessica Simpson is happily living the family life. And when she’s not spending time with children Maxwell and Ace, the former reality star is kept plenty busy by her clothing and beauty line, Jessica Simpson.
Donald Trump (The Apprentice): Running a Country
Yup, the man is POTUS.
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