16 Stars You Didn’t Know Started Out on Reality Competitions

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We all have to admit…reality television can be a serious guilty pleasure. In fact, Jennifer Lawrence has even revealed that one of her favorite things to do is sit around and watch reality TV! But when it comes to reality competitions, it’s a whole different ballgame. Careers are being built, stars are being discovered, and some serious prizes are on the line. Oftentimes you have no idea whether or not the person you’re watching will be the next big hit. And it can totally happen!

But, how are we so sure? It’s happened before! Whether they were belting their hearts out or fighting to be Diddy’s personal assistant (Yes, that was a reality competition at one point), these stars first made their television marks on the cut-throat, competitive shows we all know and love. And some of these first starts, you’ll have to see to believe!

1. Emma Stone — Who wouldn’t love to be a part of the Partridge family? Well, it seems like this Amazing Spider-Man star sure wanted in! So much so that she actually SANG for the part on VH1’s In Search of the Partridge Family. But back then she went by the name of Emily Stone — despite now being known as Emma — and she was just 15-years-old! We have to admit…We’d love to be friends with the then 15-year-old Emma. This is adorably embarrassing:

2. Lucy Hale — By now we all know that this Pretty Little Liars star sure has the vocal chords for a nice country tune. But, believe-it-or-not, she actually took a crack at singing before heading to Rosewood! Back in 2003, a 14-year-old Lucy auditioned for and competed on the short-lived teen version of American IdolAmerican Juniors! And she even made it into the Top 5! Seriously, looking back at this just makes us feel like proud parents:

3. Janel Parrish — We already know that the Pretty Little Liars cast has quite the talent when it comes to singing. But who would have known two of them would have competed on the same reality TV singing competition?! The actress best-known for her role as Mona on the hit-ABC Family show also competed on American Juniors when she was 14. We guess her and Lucy were just destined to work with each other at some point!

4. Beyonce — Before her solo days — and before the days of Destiny’s Child — Queen Bey was a part of a whole different crew called Girls Tyme (How sweet is that name?!) on the reality singing competition Star Search. It was just 1993 and the “Crazy in Love” singer was already showing off her killer dance moves on television. And she even lost the competition! Good thing that didn’t stop her from following her dreams.

5. Justin Timberlake — What is there to love more about a young, country-singing Justin? We always knew that this NSYNC* member was BEYOND cute, but this video of him competing on Star Search at the age of just 11 years old has melted our hearts completely:

6. Britney Spears — And Justin Timberlake wasn’t the only one to perform on the Star Search stage! In fact, his famous-ex also performed on the reality singing competition at just the mere age of 10. We seriously can not get over how completely adorable Britney is with her little dress and bangs:

7. Christina Aguilera — And the list of Mickey Mouse Club crew that also appeared on Star Search just keeps getting bigger! The “Genie in a Bottle” singer also took the reality singing competition stage back in the year 1990. How does all of that talent fit into such a small body?!

8. Analeigh Tipton — Models turning into actresses happens all the time. But, usually, making your way into the modeling world doesn’t occur over national television! This Crazy Stupid Love actress actually got her start on the popular Tyra Banks reality competition series America’s Next Top Model. She was a Season 11 fan favorite and — while she did make it to the finals — she didn’t end up winning the overall competition. But we really don’t think she minds it — considering all of the success she’s had so far!

9. Heather Morris — You may know Heather as a popular singer and actress from the hit TV show Glee. But it was her dancing that first put her in the public eye! In 2008 the triple-threat talent was spotted auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance and was publicly humiliated after she didn’t make the cut! But, it’s okay. She sure has nothing to be upset about now!

10. Miranda Lambert — When a young Miranda competed on the reality singing competition Nashville Star, the world had no idea what kind of HUGE country singer was stepping onto the scene! Her 2003 reality television stint helped her move on her way to a career in country music. And the rest is history.

11. Laverne Cox — Who knew that this Orange is the New Black star was such a fan of Sean “Diddy” Combs?! In fact, she was so much of a fan that she even competed on the VH1 reality series I Want to Work for Diddy! And the best part of all of this is that she finally did reach the success she was aiming for — whether or not competing to work for Diddy was a part of it or not.

12. Usher — It seems like the “Yeah!” singer always had the moves! He first showed them off while competing on the reality singing competition Star Search at just the young age of 13. And he was already commanding the stage and capturing the hearts of women everywhere! We’re really not surprised that he ended up being such a success after watching this one:

13. Katie Stevens — While so much talent has come out of American Idol, one of the lesser known success stories is that of Katie. The Faking It star first tried her hand in the industry by belting out tunes at the age of 16. And while she made it through to Hollywood, her journey on Tinseltown was FAR from over! It was just beginning and heading into a direction she probably never even dreamed of.

14. Nicole Scherzinger — Before joining The Pussycat Dolls, Nicole tried to make it solo by competing on the reality singing competition Popstars back in 2001! Who knew that her Chicago audition would lead to a full-on career in show business?!

15. LeAnn Rimes — There’s simply no denying LeAnn’s unshakable country talent. In fact, sometimes it’s even hard to imagine the country music industry without her. And one of the reasons why is because she got her start at the mere age of 8-years-old! In the 1991 season of the star-making singing competition — Star Search — she first shared her beautiful voice. And looked absolutely adorable doing so!

16. David Giuntoli — One of the lesser known reality competition shows has to be MTV’s Road Rules. This Real World spin-off show put contestants against one another to perform terrifying challenges in the hopes of winning some serious dough. And, in many ways, it helped David win the real life jackpot! The Grimm actor did some serious stunts and eventually found his way from there to scripted television. That has to be one of the most bizarre reality competition success stories we’ve heard so far!

Now we’re just really curious about the future of talent that may be on our TV’s now. What a perfect excuse to go watch some more reality TV, right?

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