Then, again maybe it started after VH1 began creating spin-off after spin-off featuring reality stars from previous shows and making them overnight sensations, like “Flavor of Love” season 1 star, New York (also known as Tiffany Pollard, pictured left), whose undying devotion to Flavor Flav was only eclipsed by her prompt opening of a can of whoop a$$ after being spit on by fellow contestant Pumkin.
While few could blame New York for her volatile response, it was also her personality that made her a standout contestant on the show. Like Omarosa before her, outrageous, confrontational and sometimes stereotypical behavior brought attention and more opportunities at stardom. New York soon starred in her own reality series, “I Love New York.” Omarosa followed suit with her own dating competition show, "The Ultimate Merger."
For the millions of watchers with dreams of fame, reality TV started to look like a possible route. Unlike the casts of some early reality shows, who were arguably participating for the experience, now more series were casting wannabes who hoped to outshine their co-stars, become fan favorites and exchange those 15 minutes for an unlimited plan.
With that ambition came more money for the wannabe celebrities. The more popular a show, the more money the stars receive.
Next: Networks? Producers? Stars? Viewers? Who’s to blame?