Charlotte's got a lot of personality. Casting directors are constantly scoping out our city for people to propel to small-screen glory. Some have actually done some good with their fifteen minutes, and some, well, they just went back to reality. We chatted with a few of your favorite Charlotte reality stars to see what they're up to now.
Hell's Kitchen, Season Four
Entertainment Weekly called Petrozza "the most redeeming character on reality TV in a year." But few expected to see the self-described messy pig in the finale.
What now? Petrozza's been doing lots of charity work across Charlotte, such as auctioning off his talents for breast cancer and juvenile diabetes fundraisers and cooking with the masters at Quail Hollow Country Club for cystic fibrosis. And in his spare time he's trying to make some cash, doing private in-home cooking lessons and catering.
Make Me a Supermodel, Season twoWhat now? The smoking-hot twenty-three-year old from Ballantyne has worked in Milan but is heading to New York in hopes of actually becoming a model, not just playing one on TV.
He was the pouty guy who never seemed to like his photos but really liked walking around in his underwear. (Ladies liked it too …)
During the most recent season of Survivor, Sims was the guy everyone thought could win it all, until a nasty stomach virus took him out.
What now? Back at the Catawba power plant he's worked at for more than thirty-one years, Sims recently retired from the Army National Guard. And he plays a lot of golf.
American Idol, Season ThreeWhat now? Currently recording her newest CD, Barrino's getting ready to star in The Color Purple for the second time, this time at The Kennedy Center in D.C. Barrino couldn't get enough reality TV: she's about to star in her second reality show, on VH1 (slated to air in January). This one is all about her, and parts will be shot here in Charlotte.
The single mom with the serious pipes went on to star in The Color Purple on Broadway. But most notably (and recently), she almost lost her Charlotte home to foreclosure.
Top Chef, Season TwoWhat now? Come fall, he's slated to run the restaurant in the Mondrian, a swanky Manhattan boutique hotel opening later this year. Oh, and bad news, ladies, he's off the market: People magazine reported that Talbot married his model sweetheart earlier this year.
You'd remember Talbot as the hottie chef who made healthful cooking fun to watch.
Survivor: ChinaWhat now? Nease recently ditched the Queen City in favor of the mountains and is now working at another Christian station in Asheville. She's also doing motivational speaking and writing a book called Get Gutsy for God.
Nease was the controversial Christian radio talk show host who was the first to go from her own tribe. (She says it was because she was too well liked.)
The Apprentice, Season OneWhat now? Jackson started Krimson by Kwame, a line of silk ties sold at Belk, five years ago and is slowly expanding the business to be a luxury lifestyle line including everything from menswear to bedsheets. He's also interviewing top entrepreneurs for a book, Stay Hungry.
He's the only person (at least on TV) Donald Trump never actually fired on The Apprentice. The runner-up has a place on the East Meck High wall of fame, but now lives in Harlem.
American Idol, Season Five
She got the whole country to pick Pickler thanks to her naive country ways ("What's a minx?"). She may not have won the Idol crown, but she's managed to work it all the way to Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve and the Super Bowl, where she worked the mic as a correspondent for The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.
What now? Pickler's recording her third CD and will be back in Charlotte in September when she tours with her BFF Taylor Swift.