Best of 2014: Marquel Martin, Tony Vlachos, Emily Elegado, Neda Kalantar up for Best Reality Star

We love reality TV at CarterMatt, and while there are many awards shows that recognize every other aspect of our favorite medium, reality stars are often left in the dust.

This category within our Best of 2014 series changes that. Like last year, we’ve picked who we feel are the top entertainers of the year within the reality TV category, and are giving the power up to for voting! There is not a real criteria when it comes to our selection process, other than that we tended to pick people who at least lasted on their respective shows for a reasonable amount of time, and were both entertaining and also pretty good at what they were setting out to do.

Voting remains open for this category for two weeks (until December 20), and you can all of our other categories at the bottom of this article.

Emily Elegado, “Ink Master” – If you’ve been watching Ink Master: Rivals this season then you know why we are nominating Emily Elegado in this category. She is easily one of the most polarizing personalities we’ve seen on the show where fans either love her or hate her (personally, we love her). She was the last standing female artist left in the competition this season (there has never been a female winner) and often said that after she wins they will change the name of the show to “Ink Mistress”. Emily played the game hard, producing some rad tattoos, and she also left a lasting impression on her competitors as she found a way to get into people’s heads and shake up the game. She may not have won the show, but we expect her appointment book will be filled for the next 10 years.

Neda Kalantar, “Big Brother Canada” – While we have a nice readership of “Big Brother” fans north of the border, we also know that there are some out there who may have never heard of Neda. The best way that we can sum her up is that she is quite possibly the best “Big Brother” player on any season to not make the final two. She was a brilliant strategist, was more than capable in competitions, and worked to orchestrate many big moves on was overall an excellent season that, for the second straight year, beat the pants off of the American version of the show. The only thing that ended up dooming her in the game was having Sabrina, someone who was obviously not going to win the game, in the final three with her and Jon Pardy.

Marquel Martin, “The Bachelorette” – He loves cookies, romance, really nice suits, and cookies. Did we mention cookies? Basically, Marquel may have been one of our favorite contestants on “The Bachelorette” ever, and the fact that he managed to be funny, open to the experience, and true to himself at the same time is pretty remarkable. It is very rare that anyone on this show can turn us into something other than a complete cynic. Also, bonus points for extra screen time on “Bachelor in Paradise.”

Jim Raman (of Misti & Jim), “The Amazing Race” – While the viewership may be down this fall for “The Amazing Race,” this may be the best cast we’ve seen for any season since the early days of the show on CBS. Jim and his wife are a big reason why. They’re extremely competitive, confident through the roof, and occasionally both intentionally and unintentionally funny. Jim especially is a great character for TV; he may be the most intense / terrifying dentist in reality TV history, and is the perfect intersection of entertainment and skill. Last year, an “Amazing Race” contestant in Marie (from Tim & Marie) won this award; will the tradition continue?

Tony Vlachos, “Survivor” – Quite possibly one of the most entertaining “Survivor” castaways ever. Not only that, but he is one of the few big characters who was also a great player, and managed to win the season at the same time. In between his bag of tricks, his spy shack, his llama talk, and his sharp decisions (keeping Spencer around as a human shield), Tony may have been so good that we’re sorely missing an equivalent this season.

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