A surprising number of your favorite country artists have found success on reality TV.
Whether showcasing their now-famous voices or displaying an entirely different set of skills, country stars dominate reality TV competitions. Here are 10 artists who either got their start on reality TV or have used it to propel their careers even further.
10. Keith Urban
Joining the cast of an established show like American Idol might be intimidating for some, but Urban was up for the challenge when he became a judge in 2013. He is now the longest-tenured judge on the show, alongside former judge Jennifer Lopez and newcomer Harry Connick Jr. Urban also appeared as a judge on the first season of Australia’s version of The Voice.
9. Brad Paisley
ABC’s Rising Star is the latest singing competition vying for viewers, and Paisley has definitely drawn in a large fan base. His honest advice to the contestants and chemistry with fellow judges Kesha and Ludacris endeared him to audiences during the show’s first season.
8. Kellie Pickler
Pickler has been on two very different reality shows throughout her career. She first gained attention on the fifth season of American Idol, where she made it to the Top 6 before being eliminated. In 2013, she joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars, where she and partner Derek Hough took home the coveted mirror ball trophy.
7. Blake Shelton
Shelton has made quite a name for himself as a judge on NBC’s The Voice: The show is currently in its eighth season, and Shelton has coached four of the winners to victory. His sarcastic personality and bromance/rivalry with fellow coach Adam Levine keep audiences thoroughly entertained every week.
6. Scotty McCreery
McCreery was the youngest male artist to win American Idol when he was named the champion of the show’s 10th season. He was only 17 at the time. His deep, mature voice carried him to success after the show, and his singles have performed very well on the country music charts.
RaeLynn auditioned for The Voice with “Hell on Heels,” a risky song choice considering the song was originally performed by coach Blake Shelton’s wife, Miranda Lambert, and her band, Pistol Annies. Ultimately, the risk paid off, and RaeLynn made it to the quarterfinals under Shelton’s guidance.
4. Chase Rice
Before Rice burst onto the airwaves with “Ready Set Roll” in 2013, he attempted to “outwit, outplay and outlast” his fellow contestants on Survivor: Nicaragua. Unfortunately, Rice finished second to Jud Birza, so he didn’t win the million-dollar prize, but he was ranked the 10th most attractive male contestant in Survivor history, so at least he walked away with something.
3. Trace Adkins
Adkins showed off his business skills and was a finalist on the 2008 season of Celebrity Apprentice, but the country tough guy wasn’t satisfied with second best. He returned to compete on the show’s first all-star season, beating magician Penn Jillette to hear Donald Trump say those two magic words: “You’re hired.”
2. Miranda Lambert
Years before Miranda Lambert was the reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, the platinum recording artist was just another hopeful trying to make it on Nashville Star. Though the future Mrs. Shelton ultimately finished in third place, we’d say she’s managed to bounce back from her loss pretty well!
1. Carrie Underwood
When Simon Cowell predicted that Carrie Underwood would not only win the fourth season of American Idol but go on to sell more records than any other winner, he had no idea just how right he was. In 2013, she earned $31 million – even more than all of the show’s judges that season, including Keith Urban.