…In that way that winning the lottery is something that seems fun to most people but ends up ruining more lives than it improves. Today Entertainment Weekly has a slideshow-slash-as-told-to-interview series with ten former reality show stars, some of whom you have heard of (Joe Millionaire) and some you probably haven’t. (Who remembers Married By America?) Their tales are mostly depressing, like the sad story of Matthew Kennedy Gould, aka Joe Schmo, the guy who was tricked by Spike TV into thinking he was on a regular reality show, but was really surrounded by actors:
I was so embarrassed about the whole premise of the show that I never wanted people to think, ”Oh, here’s this guy who didn’t even know the show was about him. It’s a big joke, and now he’s some reality star trying to be a TV host.” So I holed up in an apartment in Santa Monica, and spent a lot of the money on marijuana and alcohol. I lived there with a girl who broke up with me. The next day I flushed a half ounce of pot down the toilet, packed my car, came home to Pittsburgh, and I got help. I haven’t done drugs or alcohol for four years.
But it’s not all bad! At least one reality show contestant seems to have not only perspective but potential for a fulfilling life ahead of her — possibly because she’s still only 12. It’s Taylor from Kid Nation!:
Sometimes my friends would help me when people would come up to me and make fun of me and say ”Deal with it” or ”Ugly chickens deserve to die.” It’s like my friends kind of knew that some of it wasn’t real. Even though I was the bad person, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I’d love to go back. It was fun.
It’s good to see Taylor, whose loveableness eventually came through despite the producers, is dealing with it. There are enough former reality show stars to do this every week for ten years.