Where did reality TV go wrong?

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    The names Irulan Wilson, Alton Williams and Arissa Hill may seem slightly familiar to reality TV fans who tuned in for the debauchery that ensued on the “Real World: Las Vegas” (the 2002 edition). But like reality TV stars before them, the trio and their roommates faded into the annals of pop-culture history after their 15 minutes of fame.

    Fast forward 10 years to 2012, and the concept of a reality star going away quietly is as laughable as the idea of “Basketball Wives” starring women who are actually married.

    With a few exceptions, it used to be that previously unknown reality stars on shows like “The Real World” or “The Apprentice” returned to their lives when they were done living with six strangers or competing for jobs. Whether or not they wanted to become successful actors after getting a taste of stardom, few actually achieved that. However, things evolved.

    It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when Regular Joes and Josephines decided to parlay those brief opportunities at stardom into actual careers. Maybe it started after “Survivor” season 1 contestant Elisabeth Hasselbeck ended up co-hosting “The View.” Surely, that had to give ambitious reality stars, like Omarosa Manigault-Stalworth (pictured above), hope that there’s life after hearing Donald Trump say, “You’re fired.”
     

    Next: How does VH1 fit into the picture?

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