It's weird to think that any Oscar-clutching actress could get their start doing televised karaoke, but in our modern times there's plenty of celebrities who were on reality TV before they were famous. We know some of you are rolling your eyes about that statement alone — after all, some think "fame" and "reality" tend to go hand and hand. But unless you're a Kardashian, a Duggar, or one of the somewhat relevant blondes from The Hills, there's sometimes a clear (or at least blurry) divide between "reality TV celebrity" and "celebrity celebrity." And with big names like Emma Stone, Lucy Hale, and Julianne Hough, some of those early reality TV stars are, eh, a little less than glamorous.
Sometimes it's easy to say that getting in front of a camera, any sort of camera, is that first step towards true stardom. You could definitely argue that Nicole Scherzinger's pop star career wouldn't have come without her big break on Pop Star the show. Other times, a rising talent just happened to be there in the background of a reality show before they made it big. Let's never forget that our first introduction to Kesha was as a garden variety teenager sitting next to Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie on The Simple Life. In fact, it was her mother, songwriter Pebe Sebert, that was the famous one in the fam.
Well, thank goodness for the Internet so we could catch these stars before they really became famous. Check out our gallery to see stars and their awkward, early career appearances on reality TV shows!