5 Times Country Stars Held Their Own on Reality TV
There's a fine line between music and television, and country stars seem to cross it ... a lot. From shows such as Nashville that feature real-life artists acting to cooking shows hosted by Trisha Yearwood and Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman, country singers always seem to find reasons to show up on the small screen -- including on reality TV.
Of course, there are countless country stars who actually got their start on reality TV shows such as American Idol and The Voice (Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery and RaeLynn, just to name a few), but there are also a handful of artists who were country singers before making the leap to television. Read on to learn more about some of the best moments when country music and reality TV collided.
Most people know that before Donald Trump became president, he had his own reality television show on NBC. But did you know that it was Trace Adkins who won the sixth season of The Celebrity Apprentice in 2013? The country crooner beat out other stars including Bret Michaels, Dennis Rodman and Penn Jillette to hear those magic words from Mr. Trump: "You're hired."
When Kellie Pickler joined Season 16 of ABC's Dancing With the Stars, she was no stranger to reality TV. The singer had already been featured on the fifth season of American Idol, during which she placed sixth and then launched her recording career. On DWTS, Pickler and her dance partner Derek Hough took home the mirror ball trophy, beating out 11 other power couples to place first in the competition. Pickler has since starred in two other television shows: the CMT reality show I Love Kellie Pickler and the daytime TV talk show Pickler & Ben.
Jennifer Wayne of Runaway June made her reality TV debut in the 22nd season of The Amazing Race on CBS. Along with her team partner (and fellow country singer) Caroline Cutbirth, Wayne fought her way to fourth place, crossing three continents in the process! Wayne and Cutbirth, who were in the country trio Stealing Angels together and charted two singles, returned to the competition two seasons later, for The Amazing Race: All-Stars; that time around, they placed second.
Chase Rice rose to fame in the country music scene in 2013 with his hit song "Ready Set Roll," but before that, he was fighting to outlast 20 other contestants on the CBS reality competition Survivor: Nicaragua. Rice duked it out to the very end of the show's 21st season in 2010 (the same year he released his first album), losing by one vote to winner Fabio Birza.
When it comes to reality singing competitions -- particularly when it comes to American Idol and The Voice -- country artists have proven themselves to be invaluable. Superstars Luke Bryan and Keith Urban have served as judges on American Idol, while Blake Shelton is a longtime coach on The Voice, giving country hopefuls a shot at a real career. And since so many country stars have been made via these shows, it's nice to see artists giving back!