Stars use real life and reality TV to maintain fame

We love them. We hate them. We can’t get enough of them. Or can we? The recent trend of reality TV overload has caused many of us to wonder “What ever happened to … ?” Thankfully, some of our favorite stars of reality television have come back into the spotlight, or at least refused to fade out.

Richard Hatch – The self-proclaimed “fat, gay, naked guy” of the first-ever “Survivor” has made headlines lately that are worthy of another reality show – “Cops.” The 43-year-old recently agreed to plead guilty to charges of tax evasion for failing to report his highly publicized one million dollar “Survivor” prize. He faces up to five years in jail. He may have been tough on the island, but it will take more than nudist mind games for Hatch to “outwit, outlast and outplay” his future friends in the Rhode Island prison system.

Eric Nies – The Garden State’s own reality TV star, Nies first hit the spotlight as a cast member of the original “Real World: New York.” Thirteen years later, Nies is still living off the MTV dollar. In 1995 he came back into the spotlight as the host of MTV’s hip-hop workout show “The Grind.” Since then, Nies has appeared in multiple Real World/Road Rules challenges. His participation in the recently aired “Battle of the Sexes 2” gave Nies notoriety as much for his love affair with his jump rope as being a part of the men’s winning team. How many more shows can MTV invent to keep Nies and fellow castmates Coral, Rachel, Veronica and Mike off the unemployment line?

Dave Coulier – He stole our hearts by telling the Olsen twins to “cut it out,” but now the man who supposedly took Alanis Morissette’s virginity and inspired the anthem to bitterness better known as “You Oughta Know” has been better known for his role as himself on VH1’s third season of “The Surreal Life.” He has continued acting and added executive producing to his credentials, but Uncle Joey seems to feel his 15 minutes are up. Although “The Surreal Life” can be a platform for future work (see Brigitte Nielsen and Flavor Flav’s series “Strange Love”), it is hard to imagine the man whose jokes were as important to my childhood as Uncle Jesse’s hair in such a spin-off.

Evan Marriot – He fooled the 20 women who wanted his cash into believing he had some on “Joe Millionaire.” Since wrapping the show, construction worker Marriot has attempted to stay in the spotlight, appearing in KFC commercials and a Mariah Carey video. Most recently, he was paired up with “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire” winner Darva Conger in a charity round of the game show “National Lampoon’s Funny Money.” He may still be seen on television, but it doesn’t look like Evan will become a self-made Joe Millionaire any time soon.

Trishelle Cannatella – We first met Trishelle as one of the seven housemates of “Real World: Las Vegas,” the show’s most provocative (read: sleazy) season. Garnering attention for her threesome hot tub escapades and pregnancy scares, Trishelle made a name for herself in a cast rife with provocation and shame. Unlike most Real Worlders, Trishelle realized her status as a washed-up star even before we did. She joined the cast of the second season of VH1’s “The Surreal Life” shortly after “Real World,” alongside Ron Jeremy and campus favorite Vanilla Ice. Season highlights include lots of drinking (reminiscent of “Sin City”) and a late-night make-out session with actor Andy Dick. Gentlemen, if you crushed on Trishelle on “The Real World,” it seems you may have a legitimate chance.