17 Reality Stars Who Tried (& Failed) To Move Into Mainstream Entertainment Careers

It's hard to make the leap from reality television to a mainstream entertainment career in singing or acting, and while certain celebrities can do it, not all are so fortunate — all reality stars can't be Jennifer Hudson, after all. While some post-reality show careers fizzled out without much drama, other reality stars made a pretty big (read: pretty embarrassing) spectacle of themselves. So which reality show stars should have stuck to unscripted TV? Check out the 17 stars who failed to make the move to mainstream.

by Kaitlin Reilly

Audrina Patridge

Patridge, who hinted at an acting past on her reality series The Hills, went on to have small roles in films like 2009’s Sorority Row and 2011’s Honey 2. Unfortunately the reality star never made the leap into the big time.

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Kim Kardashian

Kardashian has her family’s empire and is still on reality television, but she did try her hand at acting. She played Ava in Tyler Perry’s 2012 disaster Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor and had a four-episode arc on Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva. Let’s just say she won’t be winning an Oscar any time soon.

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Paris Hilton

The one-time Simple Life star attempted to shed her reality-only image with roles in films like the 2005 horror remake House of Wax and 2008’s romcom The Hottie & the Nottie. Neither made a splash or made anyone take Hilton anymore seriously. But credit where credit is due — she was pure excellence as socialite Amber Sweet in the 2008 horror opera Repo! The Genetic Opera and her latest album isn’t exactly “the worst.”

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Heidi Montag

After Montag’s time on reality show The Hills ended in 2010, Montag decided that she wanted to be the next Britney Spears. Unfortunately, her $10-dollar-budget music video for her song “Higher” didn’t exactly take her there. In a bizarre twist, Montag recorded a little-known duet in 2008 with the pop princess herself.

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Kevin Federline

He’s famously known as Britney Spears’ ex… and not much else. However, this former backup dancer did try to get into mainstream acting — he had a three-episode arc on CW series One Tree Hill in 2008.

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Colleen Haskell

Haskell was one of the contestants on the first season of CBS’ Survivor in 2000 and snagged the part of the love interest in the less-than-stellar Rob Schneider film The Animal. Though she was expected to continue acting, the reality star’s last role was a bit part in the 2002 TV series Maybe It’s Me.

Tila Tequila

Tequila could have been a real trailblazer with the reality show A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila, which had both guys and girls competing for openly bisexual Tequila’s heart. Unfortunately, that show was kind of a train wreck. Tequila pursued a singing career at the height of her reality show’s success in 2010 with songs like the very NSFW “I F—– The DJ.” It didn’t work out.

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Ali Lohan

She’s best known as the younger sister of the perpetually-making-a-comeback actress Lindsay Lohan, but in 2008 her and her family capitalized on their familial connection to the starlet with the E! series Living Lohan. The show chronicled the younger Lohan sister’s film auditions and her budding career as a recording artist. Neither her acting or singing career panned out, though Ali Lohan does seem to have found some success as a fashion model.

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Farrah Abraham

She was the absolute worst on Teen Mom and followed the show with a long string of questionable actions. But perhaps the most cringeworthy example of Abraham’s post-Teen Mom life is her (SFW) video for “Blowin” which might make you even more uncomfortable than reading about her home movie with porn star James Deen.

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Kim Zolciak

The Real Housewives of Atlanta star really thought she had a shot at a singing career. If you’ve heard her single “Tardy For The Party,” you already know that the reality star was seriously mistaken.

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Kristin Cavallari

Cavallari is the third person from The Hills to make it on this list. The one-time wannabe actress guest starred on a Season 2 episode of Veronica Mars in 2006 and later in the straight-to-DVD film Van Wilder: Freshman Year. Now the mom of two designs clothes.

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The Situation

Once upon a time, The Situation wanted to be a rapper. He released this painful track that definitely won’t become the new club hit. The Situation should probably stick to club appearances.

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Angelina Pivarnick

Another cast member from Jersey Shore to try her hand at music, Pivarnick released this disturbingly bad song “I’m Hot” in 2010.

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Jake Pavelka

The former Bachelor star claims to be a pilot, but let’s be clear: The guy wants to be an actor. And he’s succeeded, mildly. He was cast as a pilot in The Bold and the Beautiful in 2011 and made numerous appearances on the show since then. But a full blown acting career doesn’t seem to be in the cards for Pavelka.

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Melissa Gorga

The Real Housewives of New Jersey star released a video for her single “I Just Wanna” in 2012, but don’t expect her to win a VMA anytime soon. The reality star released four singles since 2012, none of which made it into the mainstream.

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Stephen Colletti

Colletti, who starred on reality series Laguna Beach, actually made it to a network television show. He portrayed Chase on the CW series One Tree Hill for a solid 52 episodes and was a natural teen soap star. Unfortunately the actor hasn’t done much since, save for two TV movies and a guest role on Hit The Floor. I’m still rooting for you, Colletti.

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Alex Murrel

Laguna Beach’s Murrel dreamed of becoming a singer while on her reality show, but things didn’t exactly pan out. She did, however, have a song featured in the 2009 movie American High School.

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