Reality television “stardom” can lead to cash

Like many American television viewers, I have one or two reality television guilty pleasures. Though I sometimes take a few minutes to catch the occasional “Wife Swap” or “Super Nanny,” the show I really enjoy is “America’s Next Top Model.” This season features the show’s first transgender female contestant. Nigel Barker, one of the show’s judges, discusses the contestant in Newsday.

One of the things about the fashion industry, is that there have been many transgender models over the years. It’s very legitimate in our industry,” says “Top Model” judge and “noted fashion photographer” Nigel Barker. “It’s a bit shocking for prime-time TV, but it opens peoples’ eyes.”

And many people who have started out on reality television shows go on to turn themselves into household names, as the Associated Press reports.

Increasingly, reality TV shows are no longer just voyeuristic journeys into the failings of real people, but launching pads for fame-seekers looking to parlay publicity — good or bad — into a career. At a recent open casting call in Costa Mesa, California, a shot at fame


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