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Reality TV Magazine’s Top Ten Reality TV Stars of 2006

December 28, 2006 12:01 AM by Joe Reality

Taylor_janelleIt’s once again time for Reality TV Magazine’s lists of the top ten reality TV stars of the year.  Just like last year, we have created separate lists for the top ten male reality TV stars of 2006 and the top ten female reality stars of 2006.  Also, once again we have created a separate category for celebrities.  The classification for celebrity is anyone who was famous before appearing on reality TV or any host or judge for a reality TV show.

It should come as no surprise that stars from American Idol, the #1 show in America, dominate the lists for non-celebrity reality stars.  It should also come as no surprise that stars from Dancing with the Stars, the #2 show in America, dominate the list for celebrity reality stars. 

With the Year 2006 being a banner year for reality TV stars, the list was tougher than ever to create.  For example, the entire list could easily have consisted primarily of the Top Twelve American Idol finalists or the cast of Big Brother All-Stars, but we tried to pick standouts from a variety of shows.  There were several more reality TV stars that we wanted to include, but if we had, then it wouldn’t have been a top ten list.  We did however manage to up the count to eleven by including two Amazing Race teams.

Also, even though the order of the list will likely generate debate, it’s virtually impossible to rank reality TV stars from different types of reality shows.  How can you compare the singing power of American Idol’s Taylor Hicks to the diabolical genius of Big Brother’s Will Kirby or the strategic gamesmanship of Survivor’s Yul Kown?

Top Ten Male Reality TV Stars of 2006
1. Taylor Hicks – American Idol 5
2. Dr. Will Kirby – Big Brother All Stars
3. Yul Kwon – Survivor Cook Islands
4. Chris Daughtry – American Idol 5
5. Elliot Yamin – American Idol 5
6. BJ & Tyler – Amazing Race 9
7. Mike “Boogie” Malin – Big Brother All Stars
8. Ozzy Lusth – Survivor Cook Islands
9. Benji Schwimmer – So You Think You Can Dance 2
10. Jeffrey Sebelia – Project Runway 3

Top Ten Female Reality Stars of 2006
1. Janelle Pierzina – Big Brother All Stars
2. Katharine McPhee – American Idol 5
3. New York – Flavor of Love 1 & 2
4. Heather West – Hell’s Kitchen 2
5. Laura Bennett – Project Runway 3
6. Kellie Pickler – American Idol 5
7. Bianca Ryan – America’s Got Talent
8. CariDee English – America’s Next Top Model 7
9. Storm Large – Rock Star Supernova
10. Lyn & Karlyn – Amazing Race 10

Top Ten Celebrity/Judges/Hosts Reality TV Stars of 2006
1. Simon Cowell
2. Emmitt Smith
3. Flavor Flav
4. Mario Lopez
5. Kathy Griffin
6. Dave Navarro
7. Paula Abdul
8. Drew Lachey
9. Stacy Keibler
10. David Hasselhoff

Do you agree or disagree with our top ten lists?  Who else would you have included?  Who would you have left off on our list?  Please post your personal top ten lists in the comment section below.

Reality TV Magazine is your source for Reality Television news.  For other great Reality Television news, please also check out SirLinksALot: Reality Television.

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68 Responses to “Reality TV Magazine’s Top Ten Reality TV Stars of 2006”

  1. Summer Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 12:41 am

    Janelle Pierzina #1 – LOVE it! Great choice!

    Glad to see Will Kirby on the list as well, they were both awesome on Big brother.

  2. Best of the Best Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 6:37 am

    Great list! Chris Daughtry and Kellie Pickler are #1!

  3. c Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 7:54 am

    lol .. for you NOT to have Carrie Underwood on this list PROVES your list is worthless.

  4. HELLO? Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 8:21 am

    “Reality TV Magazine’s Top Ten Reality TV Stars of 2006″

    Carrie isn’t on the 2006 list because was a TV reality star in 2005. Now she’s a music star.

  5. Sagie Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 8:21 am

    Taylor Hicks, Janie and Simon all number 1. I gotta say that I agree 100% with your list!

  6. CaraJay Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 9:20 am

    Dr.Will Kirby #1 in my book.

    Janelle is the right #1 female. She won the hearts of fans everywhere.

    Chris Rocks!!!

    Love Elliott Yamin he sure has a great voice and great fans.

    I can’t for the life of me understand the hype for Flavor Flav.

  7. kathy Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 11:09 am

    Love that Taylor is #1 and that he’s getting a bit of recognition for being a genuinely “good” guy. His recent tv appearances and his upcoming Orange Bowl half-time headlining gig, along with being named Grand Marshall of the MardiGras Parade, are great indicators of his huge popularity.

  8. debbie Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    Excellent choice. Taylor Hicks is definately the # 1 Reality star of the year!

  9. bill Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 12:28 pm

    Taylor is an excellent choice. A great Southern Gentleman with a heart of gold and 2 gold records to go with it. The new CD is great and I look forward to his upcoming tour. Thanks!

  10. Cheri Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 12:29 pm

    Taylor Hicks #1…Great Choice, that is where he belongs, always.

    Great to see Yul there as well.

  11. helen camp Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    KUDOS to you for choosing Taylor Hicks as #1…. That he is for sure. Great guy, great musician, great choice. Soul Patrol Forever.

  12. Pamela Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    As the charismatic winner of the most popular show (reality or otherwise) Taylor is unarguable as #1. Benji is also a charismatic winner and should have been ahead of Chris and Elliott. Kellie should be ahead of Laura. Emmitt should definitely be ahead of Simon, and David Hasselhoff just needs to go away!!!

  13. eclecticlady Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 12:44 pm

    Taylor being #1 is perfect, wont find any argument there!!!

  14. Missy Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    Taylor definitely deserves the #1 spot!!!! Keep going strong in ’07, Tay!

  15. lola Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 1:43 pm

    Taylor Hicks is your #1 pick and ours as well.

    And yesterday, his new CD went gold after only 2 weeks!!

    Congrats, Taylor!!

    Great choice, Reality TV!!

  16. Bob Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 2:04 pm

    Who is Janelle Pierzina? I loved that Katharine McPhee made your list though.

  17. Jessica Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 2:10 pm

    Who is Janelle Pierzina? I loved that Katharine McPhee made your list though.

    Janelle Pierzina is the baddest ass reality tv contestant ever, she was on Big Brother 6 and 7 and she was great on both.

    I also love Kat Mcphee!!!!

  18. tishlp Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    You guys got it right, Taylor Hicks is the Real Deal, he belongs in the #1 slot. I think BJ&Tyler should have been second. And for the ladies, I would have liked to have seen Kellie Pickler higher, she is hilarous, a natural comedian.

  19. Cora Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    Taylor Hicks is not only the best reality star of 2006, he is a breath of fresh air to a stale music industry full of clones and cookie-cutter, manufactured “stars.”

    Thank you!

  20. Rugratnat14 Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    That’s awesome! Taylor completely deserves it. He does so much to help. He’s what we need in Hollywood!

    And his cd is amazing!

    Great list!

  21. Monique Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Taylor Hicks is a great pick for #1 Reality TV Star. Thanks for picking him! He’s achieved so much this year, and really deserves it!

  22. Helen Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 3:19 pm

    Glad to see Taylor as #1 you got that right.

  23. Jonesy Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 3:24 pm


    The most touching AI moments EVER were provided by Mr. Yamin !! Elliott’s Wonderful Talent, his transformation, blowing the Roof Off with A Song for You and Elvis Night….and then the SAD Departure. These were the highlights of 2006 TV !

  24. Deb Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    No Tim Gunn? I find that shocking and unfathomable.

  25. ruby Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 3:38 pm


  26. Sharon Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 3:45 pm

    Taylor Hicks! Woo!

    Great first album! Still have all of the American Idol episodes on my Tivo awaiting being recorded onto DVD :) He made American Idol a must see and I don’t think it will ever be the same! Check out his older music-blues and soul that will mesmerize you!

  27. Barbieflausa Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you GOD for sending us Taylor Hicks…The return for of the All-American southern gentleman…it has been a long, hot, dry sell. woo hoo!!!

  28. Teri Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    So glad to Taylor in the #1 spot where he belongs… He will be a big influence for years to come.

  29. Teri Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 4:21 pm

    So glad to see Taylor Hicks in the #1 spot where he belongs. He will be a very positive influence for a very long time.

  30. Stephanie Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    You certainly got the top spot on the male side right – I’m Canadian and I love Taylor, he really is a breath of fresh air. If you haven’t checked out his album yet, go out and get it…you won’t be disappointed! SOUL PATROL!!!

    PS: Thank you for putting Elliott, Ozzy and Benji on the list, I love those guys too

  31. Bonnie Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    YEAH, TAY!!!! So glad to see Taylor as #1 male reality star. Did he ever give America a great year, or what! Can’t wait to see how bright his star will shine by this time next year. He’s God’s gift to music and he’ll be creating great music for as long as he has a mind to. Glad to see Elliott there, too and Kelly Pickler for the female stars.

  32. MANDA Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 5:06 pm

    Taylor!..yep, got it right!

  33. sandy Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    I love that Taylor is #1 on this list, I also love Chris,Elliott and Benji on this list, and so glad Kellie Pickler is here too.Whoever chose your list did a real good job.

  34. Jen Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 5:52 pm

    Taylor and Will are the best reality stars ever!

  35. Sarah Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 6:43 pm

    WHOOOOOOO!!!!! Taylor is definitely the #1 reality star!!! He is the best American Idol ever and will always be #1 in my book.
    GO SOUL PATROL!!!!!!!!!!! He is a awesome performer and singer and a southern gentleman to boot. You can’t beat that. He is the sugar on top of the grits!

  36. c Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    to: hello????????

    Taylor H was on the SAME SHOW as Carrie ….

    and …

    it is clear to see the same folks that believe Taylor ‘can sing’ would believe in Joe’s list .. lol.

  37. Bobbie Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 7:08 pm

    Taylor is the perfect choice for #1 male reality star. He is the REAL DEAL! With two gold records, this talented performer is halping to change the face of music today. His kindness and generosity has also inspired his fans to support several worthy charities.
    I would also replace Simon with Randy Jackson who, as a musician, is a much better judge of talent. I believe Kellie Pickler deserves to be above Kat. With her talent and personality she has more potential in the entertainment world.

  38. Scooter Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 7:18 pm

    Although unfamiliar with most of reality TV, I enjoyed American Idol this past year. It is wonderful to see a great guy like Taylor make the #1 position in the reality TV poll.
    He is perfect, as he is the real deal, performing for years before getting his break on American Idol….can’t get more “real” than that. He is, as another poster said, a breath of fresh air for the music industry and for the entertainment industry in general. Great job on this poll!

  39. STF Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 8:13 pm

    The male list is probably right. Katharine “I don’t wanna go on tour, I don’t wanna be a singer I wanna be an actress” McPhee shouldn’t be on it at all. Kelli Pickler and The Rappin’s Granny should be at the top. And the Top Ten Celebrity/Judges/Hosts is all wrong. The top three should be Emmitt, Mario and Drew. Followed by Stacey and Paula Abdul’s medicine cabinet. But it’s your list, screw it up if you want.

  40. LisaR Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 8:35 pm

    Janelle has won every America’s choice award, she is an American and Canadian princess.

    So glad she is getting this recognition, everyone that knows her loves her.

    And Taylor Hicks was a great choice for male reality star.

  41. Kay Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 8:38 pm

    Love seeing Taylor Hicks is number 1! He is a great guy and singer. Love that Chris D and Kat McPhee made the list too! Ozzy is a good one too!

  42. Sorry, c Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    c, Taylor and Carrie were on the same show — but NOT in the same year. Carrie was on in 2005, which is why she’s not on the list for 2006.

  43. Judy Norris Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 10:02 pm



    Taylor is the perfect choice for Number 1 Male Reality Star!!! Taylor turned American Idol on its ear…the show will NEVER be the same again!!!

    Taylor has a most AMAZING and AWESOME voice!!! Taylor is the epitome of REAL TALENT!!! Taylor is also a genuinely good person and A TRUE Southern Gentleman!!
    On stage, Taylor is a ball of ENERGY and PASSION!!! A FABULOUS performer!!! Taylor’s new CD is equally amazing!!! There’s something for EVERYONE on his CD!!!
    It is AWESOME!!!!

    Taylor deserves EVERY GOOD THING that comes his way!!!


  44. Phyl Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 10:22 pm

    I only watch American Idol and Survivor and I would say you got it right on those. TAYLOR HICKS–transcends the genre, fantastic star with great charisma. First time I rushed out and got an Idol’s album and it is great. Oh, and I think Yul was a worthy Survivor in every sense.

  45. Cindy Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    Taylor Hicks #1 yes I agree also #1 American Idol, #1 Best Mannered #1 Most Eligible Bachelor the list just goes on and on. Also love Janelle as #1 Kelly should have been next though and what about Kazar from Big Brother

  46. Cheryl Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 11:05 pm

    Good choice–and I totally agree! Taylor Hicks is #1 in my book…talented, friendly, and a genuine person–nothing fake about Taylor! (And his new album is amazing!)

  47. Donna Southern Says:
    December 28th, 2006 at 11:25 pm

    Janelle Pierzina from Big Brother is an excellent choice. She won the hearts of America, with her beauty & fighting spirt. She has more of a true heart than anyone I have ever seen. Just love her!!!!!

  48. Sue Ann Joslin Says:
    December 29th, 2006 at 1:08 am

    OMG~Where is KAYSAR!!!! How in the world could you put Mike Boogie on there and not “Kaysar”!!!

  49. Sherry Says:
    December 29th, 2006 at 1:56 am

    Taylor Hicks was a great choice for #1. He is such a unique talent. I don’t think that I have ever seen so many people get so involved in a tv show. I’v never bought an idol cd before but I bought his and it is truly a work of art. Every song is completely different just like his AI performances. From what I have heard, he has worked really hard to get where he is today and is very deserving of the recognition.

  50. flashgordon26 Says:
    December 29th, 2006 at 2:09 am

    I would replace Mike Boogie with Kaysar from BB all stars. I know Boogie won but on the CBS polls Kaysar was like 15times more popular every week. If the audience doesn’t like or care about you I don’t see that it makes any difference if you win in terms of stardom. Good going for Elliot Yamin and Janelle, but Lynn and Karlynn?

  51. Sara Says:
    December 29th, 2006 at 12:50 pm

    I would place Kellie at number 2 far above that cunt

  52. Jen Says:
    December 29th, 2006 at 1:16 pm

    Good for Kat Mcphee being number 2! Although, I think she deserves number 1, but hey, 2 is still awesome. Nice to see Kellie on there too!

    Thank you so much for putting Benji on the list too! I would have had him at #1, but you know, as said before, that’s still awesome. He totally deserved to be on here and it’s nice some people acknowledge him even though SYTYCD isn’t as popular as AI, etc.

  53. CarMay7 Says:
    December 29th, 2006 at 5:29 pm

    Taylor Hicks #1. You got it right. The most talented and best all around guy you could meet. I would have had Kellie Pickler as #1 for female group.

  54. KellyR Says:
    December 30th, 2006 at 2:30 am

    Yay for Janie at #1, right where she belongs. I disagree with Mike Booger Malin being on any list though, yuck.

  55. Mike C Says:
    December 30th, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    Its a fair list. Of course, we knew Janie would make #1 female. Her loyal fans have been in awe of her competitive natutre since BB6!! She is Awsome!!!
    As for the Idols, of course, the tremendous Chris Daughtery had to make it. His talent is incredible.
    And for pure trash, Our New York of course is in there scrathcing and clawing!!!
    An extremely accurate and for once, a true list of winners!!!

  56. jay Says:
    December 31st, 2006 at 5:10 am

    should have been melrose and not caridee.

  57. angela from florida Says:
    December 31st, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    Pretty accurate list IMO. Awesome that Emmitt Smith got 2nd. Glad to see other DWTS stars on there too, and CariDee from ANTM.

  58. Linda Says:
    December 31st, 2006 at 7:30 pm

    WERE’S KAYSAR? How could you not list Kaysar in the top ten but put instead Mike “Boogie”?
    Where can I find the 2005 list?

  59. msgramsci Says:
    January 1st, 2007 at 8:26 am

    Lyn and Karlyn are great choices. Bama got shafted in the finale and no one noticed.

    Will Kirby is a joke, and Mike Boogie is even a bigger one. Proves that arrogant white men without intellect will make any list.

  60. Shel Says:
    January 1st, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Taylor Hicks may be a #1 Reality TV star, but in the “real world” of pop music, he can’t even beat Chris Daughtry in sales. He can’t even beat Hannah Montana for that matter. His major base of support is what the New York Times describes as “fawning” 40+ year old women who become all fangirly because he excites them. Very similar to the Claymates.

  61. magellan Says:
    January 2nd, 2007 at 12:15 am

    American Idol

    1. Taylor Hicks-shel hit that nail right on the head.

    2. Elliot-Surreal Life or Battle of the Network stars?

    Big Brother

    The Kaymates ask, “How could you not list Kaysar in the top ten but put instead Mike “Boogie”? That’s easy one to answer. Kaysar couldn’t strategize his way out of a paper bag(the third time wasn’t a charm) and he did nothing on All-stars.

    Janelle-I can’t wait until she’s on Flavor of Love 3.

    Dr Will and his f$#@# buddy are a joke. Boogie is Amber without the good looks-he would not be on All-stars on the first place unless his friend whined to the producers “I won’t play unless that 40yr K-Fed can.” I am sick of the smug quack and his lame CT phone calls. Will won’t survive without his blow dryer on TAR.

  62. Katelyn Says:
    January 2nd, 2007 at 2:04 am

    DISAGREE! Mike Booger should not be up there. Lyn and Karlyn before DUSTIN AND KANDICE?!?!?! you’re nuts! Also I think Caridee should be higher.

  63. Lynn Says:
    January 2nd, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Great that Janelle was #1 for females. She dominates competitions and her beauty is internal as well as external. Wish Will Kirby had been #1 as well because he is the greatest BB player of all time but at least he was #2. Taylor Hicks was a great choice as well.

  64. jen Says:
    January 2nd, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Lyn & Karlyn finished ahead & were better races than Dustin & Candice. That’s why Lyn & Karlyn made the list.

    And why shouldn’t Carrie Underwood be on the list? She’s an Idol winner and won a ton of awards for her debut CD.

  65. Chris Says:
    January 2nd, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    Janelle #1 female is right on!!!
    She is the best reality tv star ever, not to mention that she is beautiful, funny, and kicks butt seriously in competitions.

    Ozzy is my choice for male. He is a male Janelle.

  66. Dave Says:
    January 13th, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Who is Janelle Pierzina ???
    how can a nobody from a low rated show be #1 ?? sounds like the votes were slanted by her or a small handfull of fans stuffing the ballot box to win a meaningless vote LOL.

  67. Lauren Says:
    January 18th, 2007 at 4:15 pm


  68. M.L Says:
    February 13th, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    “Ozzy is my choice for male. He is a male Janelle.”

    If you mean clueless and good at sucking d—-, than I agree with you. Ozzy deserves to lose for bragging that he threw the challenge to get rid of Fat Billy(threw a wrench in his whole “I played the game honestly” plan)

    The trolls are busy this year!


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