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Reality television has become the go-to production machine of instant fame and notoriety.  While the general connotation with reality-born celebrities is often more negative than not; some were able to make the leap to stardom, fame and fortune with ease and others didn't get close.

Megan AndersonOne of, if not the best example of such a successful transition, is Kim Kardashian.  Kardashian has capitalized on her good looks and socialite image and turned out an enterprise of products and business ventures.  From perfume to an online shoe boutique, Kardashian has found her marketing niche in marketing beauty and style.

Jillian Michaels, of The Biggest Loser has similarly cashed in on her unique image as a strong, fit woman.  Her business enterprise includes sales of diet pills, protein powders, fitness videos and other weight-loss, get-fit products.  

The key to success is defining an image and working to profit based on making that image available to a target demographic.  Kim Kardashian would not make the best face of Lysol cleaning products, but she does an excellent job promoting Quick Trim and PerfectSkin where her radiant charm and good looks are put to good use.

The other key to successfully becoming a positive household name is to be well behaved on the respective reality show of fame.  Omarosa did herself no favors with trade marking her image as hysterical and temperamental.  

Kelly ClarksonSome shows aimed at kicking off or enhancing careers can create stars on previously-chosen paths, or realize otherwise unreachable dreams. Kelly Clarkson, and other winners of American Idol had to prove to not just a panel of judges, but also to the nation that they had the stuff to be the next musical sensation. And for the most part, winners and runners-up have found great success after their time on the show.
Other shows don't have such a high (nearly guaranteed) success rate, but nevertheless provide the opportunity for people to compete for a significant monetary prize while showing off their skills and prove their worth.

Whether it's a competitive cooking, fashion design, singing, or dancing, it's undeniable that the American public still loves to see rags to (reality) riches stories in action; after all, that is the quintessential American dream.

What’s your favorite performer that went from rags to riches with the help of the reality show?

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Jun 1, 2010
    • I think for me it would be Rachel Ray. I’m not a big fan of her show but she went from working in a kitchen store, doing a cable television cooking show in her area in upstate New York and now with the Food Network she makes, last time I checked, about 6 million dollars annually.

      And she gives a lot of time and money to charity organizations.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Jun 1, 2010
    • I agree Cynthia, Rachel got really lucky with Oprah, but behind that luck was hard work, determination and upbeat personality that propelled her forward.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denis B wrote Jun 1, 2010
    • I don’t exactly think Kardashian came from “rags” if you will. She came from a well off family where her father Robert Kardashian was one of the attorneys backing OJ Simpson in the OJ Simpson trial. Which if I believe correctly is what brought the Kardashian name into the spotlight in the first place. Call me crazy but that does not sound like anything close to rags to me.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Jun 1, 2010
    • True Denis, but after Kardashian’s dad (attorney) passed away, Kim was trying to make it as a stylist in Hollywood, she had nothing really going for her, if it wasn’t for the reality TV she   probably would still be struggling.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cristina Corral wrote Jun 1, 2010
    • Actually, I disagree.  Her “accidental’ sex tape release was what catapulted KK into the spot light!  

      I think rags to riches is someone who doesn’t come from a well to do family of any sort.  This is someone who has seen poverty their whole childhood, perhaps even homelessness.  If their life took them on a path that made them wealthy later on, then that would be a rags to riches story for me.

      Memorializing KK’s stardom is kind of sickening to me because of how she got there.  Sorry. My opinion only.  She’s probably a fantastic woman! Now because she is famous, she definitely is marketable, no doubt!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Critcher wrote Jun 2, 2010
    • When I think of Rags to Riches I think of Dolly Patron. She came from a one room shack that her family lived in TN to a world entertainer. She got to be who she is because of her perseverance.  She may be a little out there but she has the money to back her up now.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Jun 2, 2010
    • What about all those American Idol winners, the last guy that won has been selling paint in the store, can you imagine what kind of contracts he is going to sign now with record deals in place?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cristina Corral wrote Jun 2, 2010
    • The last American Idol, I think might be a legitimate rags to riches scenario!  Or the couple from Pico Rivera here in Los Angeles who one 265million dollars last month.  They lost their house they were renting (they never owned one), the husband was laid off 2 weeks prior to the winnings!  Those are stories that i LOVE to hear about!heart



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