Can you believe we’re almost at the end of the CarterMatt Awards this year? For the hundreds of thousands of you who’ve voted so far, we want to thank you for taking part! We’re glad to see this year that the competition has been lively and fun, and that it’s given everyone a chance to reflect on some of the best things about TV in 2016. It hasn’t been an easy year in some ways, but at least it’s offered up some great entertainment.
For the penultimate category today in Best Reality Star, it should be self-explanatory — highlighting the five people who have proven to be extremely entertaining in the genre, and who also bring something really interesting and original. When we first pondered over the nominees among the CarterMatt staff earlier this month, it was difficult to narrow down the field because the nature of reality TV is that everyone has their preferences, and the people that they like and don’t like. Yet, in the end we settled on five who brought a lot to the table.
After you check out the nominees below, it’ll be then time for you to vote! You can do so as many times as you’d in the attached poll, and the voting will last between now and December 24, two days before the results will start to be announced. You can read more about the categories and the result reveals by heading over the link here.
Best Reality Star – The Nominees
Paul Abrahamian, “Big Brother 18” (CBS) – He wasn’t always a saint, but he was certainly one of the more entertaining, compelling players of the game we’ve ever seen — and that’s saying a lot given that this show’s been going for eighteen years. This is a guy who entered the show with little knowledge of how to play the game, but over the course of the summer he became strategically dominant and a catalyst behind a number of key moves. If he made one move differently, there’s a reasonably good chance that we’d looking here at the winner of the season. Also, he managed to completely change the meaning of the word “friendship,” which before him didn’t exactly have a great connotation in the “Big Brother” world.
Mark Cuban, “Shark Tank” (ABC) – Was 2016 the biggest year to date for Cuban? There’s no denying that this was yet another great year for him receiving time in the spotlight for a variety of different purposes. In the context of the show, he continued to make some smart deals, spar with his other sharks, and his back-and-forth with Guest Shark Chris Sacca was one of our favorite moments about this year’s edition of the ABC show. As a whole, we’d say that this was a banner year for the tech titan and owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
Kelly Dodd, “The Real Housewives of Orange County” (Bravo) – Being a newcomer on any edition of “The Real Housewives” is not easy, and it certainly was not easy for Kelly. She often clashed with many of the other women on the show, but isn’t the point of this particular series to provide compelling, entertaining drama? We certainly feel that way, and she livened up this version of the franchise in a way that few others have over the years. Not only that, but much of what we saw of her away from the other Housewives (with her family and with her husband Michael) proved to be equally fascinating in its own right.
Ryan Ashley Malarkey, “Ink Master” (Spike) – We’re always looking on this list for people who managed to shake things up in the genre, and with “Ink Master” Ryan Ashley did that in two separate ways. Obviously, the most notable one is being the first-ever female winner of the competition, which is saying something given that it’s been going on for eight seasons. That’s incredible! Now, add to that the fact that she utilized game strategy better than anyone else in the history of the show. She forged a dominant cross-team alliance that she used in order to get advantages in certain challenges, and also to help make decisions — given that most of the season was split between Team Peck and Team Nunez, it made this alliance all the more impressive.
Nick Viall, “Bachelor in Paradise” (ABC) – What a crazy year 2016 was for Nick, given that he started things off as someone perceived in the eyes of many as a two-time “Bachelorette” villain before eventually becoming far more universally loved and eventually getting the ticket to become the next “Bachelor.” Through his time on “Bachelor in Paradise,” Nick established himself more as the sort of character most reality TV fans love: Someone who comes across as genuine, and who can be funny while also being the voice of reason for the absolute insanity that is going on around them.
Now, we’ll turn this over to you! Happy voting, and be sure to check out other CarterMatt Awards categories. Also, be sure to leave us a comment below and tell us who your pick is and why you love them.