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Reality TV Stars (2010)

In addition to 2009's "Southern Belles" on SoapNet, Kentuckians have starred in many other reality shows, including: "The Apprentice", "The Biggest Loser", HGTV’s "Design Star" and "Endurance", a "Survivor"-like competition for kids. We revisit with a few of them, in Et Cetera.

First up is Rodger Bingham, also known as “Kentucky Joe”.

In 2001 Bingham was able to “Outwit, Outplay and Outlast” on "Survivor" Season Two, which was shot in Australia. As Kentucky’s first reality TV star and that season’s oldest competitor, he placed Fourth Runner Up.

As of 2010, Bingham works for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture - a position he’s held since 2004. He travels the Commonwealth promoting agriculture, farm safety, Kentucky Proud, and healthy living.

Speaking of “the land down under”, Louisville’s Natalie Franzman went looking for love in on TV’s "Outback Jack", in 2004. She won, got married and the couple moved to Louisville. Today, Natalie and husband Vadim Dale have two daughters (born in 2006 and 2008) and Wikipedia states they are expecting their third child in early 2010.

In pairs of two’s, locals have appeared several times on the CBS hit "Amazing Race".

Inarguably, Goth contestants Kynt and Vyxsin have been the most visible since their race ended in 2008. They now reside in Los Angeles, continue to make public appearances and are models for the clothing chain Hot Topic.

However, Debra and Steve Carmody were the first Louisvillians to make that “Amazing Race” in 2003. Steve is the former New Director at Public Radio Partnership; Debra was the executive director of the Mary Anderson Center in southern Indiana.

Today the Carmodys live in Jackson, Michigan, where Debra is executive director of the Cascades Humane Society; Steve a reporter for Michigan Radio.

They tell "Louisville Life" that they’ve enjoyed traveling, meeting fans from around the world, and attending reality conventions.

Etc.:

  • Rodger Bingham’s core alliance on "Survivor" was with Elisabeth Filarski, now Elisabeth Hasselbeck of "The View", who placed just ahead of him in the game. The tribe mates had such a close friendship on the show that Bingham was one of two cast members who attended Hasselbeck’s wedding in 2002.
  • Rodger tells "Louisville Life" that though his time on "Survivor" “was the adventure of a lifetime,” his grandchildren are the highlight of his life.
  • According to Wikipedia, Vadim and Natalie Dale competed as a team on the New Zealand version of "Survivor". They placed Third.

  • Louisville bus driver Sandy Burgin also took a spin on "Survivor", in 2009, the show’s 18th season.
  • 2009 also saw a Louisvillian on NBC’s "The Biggest Loser". Mozziz “Mo” DeWalt, a youth mentor and coach, lost 92 pounds!
  • Sisters and former University of Louisville athletes LaKisha and Jennifer Hoffman took on the world in Season 14 of "The Amazing Race". They were eliminated in the show’s 11th episode.
  • Camille Cothron, sister of Kynt Cothron ("Amazing Race"), has also made her mark on reality TV. The interior designer and U of L alumna is the assistant to Thom Filicia on "Dress My Nest", on Style Network. Thom is a well-known interior designer and author, best known for "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy".
  • Former "Apprentice" contestant Mark Lamkin now owns his own financial services company in Louisville.
  • "The Amazing Race" producer Jerry Bruckheimer and his wife Linda (a novelist and Louisville native) own a home and farm in Bloomfield, Kentucky.
  • Louisville itself has been featured time and again on the reality tube. In addition to being the setting for SoapNet’s "Southern Bells," historic Churchill Downs appeared in Derby episodes of MTV’s "Nick & Jessica" and E!’s "The Girls Next Door." Louisville was also an audition city for pop-culture phenomenon "American Idol."
Program 413
"Louisville Life" celebrates with musical group The Monarchs, meets reality TV star Julie Smith, rocks at the Doo Wop Shop and more. (#413)