Reality TV is probably considered to be poles apart from the prestige, respectability and glamor of the Oscars. But from parody dating shows to blockbuster talent contests, the genre has actually given several Oscar nominees their first glimpse of mainstream exposure over the years.
Related: Here’s How To Watch The Oscars Live In The UK
Here’s a look at ten stars whose path to the Oscars began in the world of shows, scripted fights, and sing-a-thons.
1. Emma Pierre
Yes, the 2017 Best Actress winner whose name inadvertently caused the biggest scam in Oscar history first drew attention to a forgotten VH1 talent show.
In search of the partridge family was designed to find a new cast for a cover of the healthy 1970s musical that launched David Cassidy to fame. And Emma Stone, who would later win an Oscar for her performance in the short-lived Best Picture winner. La La Land, impressed the judges enough to land the role of eldest daughter Laurie.
However, the resulting show didn’t make it past the pilot stage and Stone had to wait until 2007. Super bad to get her real big break.
2. Jennifer Hudson
Several years before One Direction finished third on The X factor, Jennifer Hudson also showed that you don’t have to win a Simon Cowell singing competition to launch a career of conquest.
The multi-talented star was controversially knocked out in seventh place during American IdolIt’s season three despite possessing the kind of powerful voice that would later eclipse that of Beyoncé.
Less than three years after her shock release, Hudson was crowned Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars for her stage flight performance as Effie White in Dream girls, a role that she ironically won on herself Idol series winner, Fantasia.
3. Bradley Cooper
Surprisingly snubbed in the Best Director category this year, Bradley Cooper can take comfort in the fact that he’s still in the running for Best Actor and that A star is born is also nominated for Best Film and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Add them to the four nods he’s already received for Silver Linings Playbook, american unrest and American sniper and the star has become the eternal sweetheart of the Oscars.
But other than a brief appearance in Sex and the city, Cooper’s first big concert was as the host of an adventure travel show globetrotter. The A-lister presented nine episodes of the long series Planet alone adaptation at the turn of the century, notably by visiting a Croatian nudist camp.
4. Lady Gaga
Cooper’s A star is born The co-star also made one of her first screen appearances on an American reality show, though she’s more concerned with jokes than practical travel tips.
At just 19 years old, the artist formerly known as Stefani Germanotta presented herself on Boiling points, a mid-2000s prank show on MTV that tested the patience of seemingly oblivious subjects in various stressful situations for $ 100.
Unfortunately, the future Oscar nominee for Best Actress lost her rag before the time limit and therefore lost the cash prize. Indeed, Gaga certainly wasn’t a lady when the restaurant meal she was still eating was taken out and turned over covered in literal garbage.
5. Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy wasn’t always the effortlessly cool, strong, and quiet type who received a Best Supporting Actor nod for The ghost in 2016.
Indeed, nearly two decades earlier, the Londoner had entered a competition to find the next male model on The big breakfast, with slicked back hair, sandals and an inexplicably tall pair of that quintessential 1990s fashion item, combat pants.
Described by host Johnny Vaughan as “a Virgo drama student who loves Eddie Izzard but hates football,” Hardy was crowned the winner of the Cheap Chips Contest and oddly awarded what appeared to be a toolkit blue for his efforts.
6. Morgan Spurlock
Before proving once and for all that eating three full-size McDonald’s meals every day for a month can be detrimental to your health, Morgan Spurlock first encouraged members of the audience to do silly things on a reality show from MTV.
Also created by the documentary maker, I Bet you will asked random people on the street to complete a variety of challenges for cash, ranging from eyebrow shaving and multiple wedgies to being painted from head to toe like a cow.
And instead of Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets, Spurlock also invited attendees to feast on cod liver oil shots and guacamole licking off each other. Barely two years later, his Super size me The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary.
7. Justin Timberlake
Just like Destiny’s Child, Jessica Simpson, Usher and her future Mickey Mouse Club Britney and Christina co-stars Justin Timberlake first showcased his vocal skills on an American institution Star search.
But so far, he remains the only one of his peers to land an Oscar nomination – Trolls number “Can’t stop the feeling!” Won a nod to Best Original Song in 2017.
However, Timberlake as an 11-year-old talent contest contender was far removed from Timberlake, the future King of Pop. In fact, he even performed under a different name, Justin Randall, as he sang an Alan Jackson country song while dressed as a miniature cowboy.
8. Steve Oedekerk
The name and face may not be recognizable. But if you’re a fan of mid-90s cinematic comedies, you should know Steve Oedekerk’s work.
The Los Angeles native directed Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura: when nature calls and Martin Lawrence in Nothing to lose and also wrote the scripts for Eddie Murphy’s The mad professor and Robin Williams Patch Adams. But he landed his one and only Oscar nomination (Best Animated Feature) for his producer duties in 2001. Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
Oedekerk first came to prominence in a 1983 episode of Star search and six years later he returned to his set to play himself as the defending champion in the super-schmaltzy sitcom Full house.
9. Dustin Lance Black
Dustin Lance Black had already directed or written a few independent feature films on the LGBTQ + theme by the time he was appointed producer for four episodes of Pretending. But the US version of the hit Channel 4 reality show was the first time he had used his talents for mainstream audiences.
Future Mr. Tom Daley worked on transformations including from construction worker to interior designer, polo player to cowboy, and drag racer to drag queen. Black also directed the Sheep Shearer in the Hairdresser episode before winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the 2008 biopic. Milk.
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