A Decade of Chicago Reality Moments

1999-2009: from Bachelorettes, to Idols to rock stars.

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2002: "Real World Chicago" is shot in a converted bookstore/coffeehouse in Wicker Park and aired on MTV. Things didn't always go smoothly, with a shooting nearby, protests and vandalism by local activists.
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2004: Chicago's Bill Rancic was the first winner of "The Apprentice," outlasting 16 other contestants. His prize was a job heading up the development to Chicago's Trump Tower, but he left his post before the project was completed.
John Hancock
2005: It's been quite a decade of reality show angst for Chicago resident Jen Schefft. She was the chosen one in Season 3 of "The Bachelor" and got engaged to Andrew Firestone, but the relationship went down in gossip-fueled flames. She later resurfaced as the main character on "The Bachelorette," only to choose a fella and reject his offer of marriage. She's now married -- the traditional way -- and still living in Chicago.
Alex Matthews
2004: Englewood's Jennifer Hudson was one of the finalists on the third season of "American Idol." She goes on to win an Oscar and a Grammy.
2007-8: And here's where reality shows intersect. Chicago lawyer David "Punk" Otunga was a contestant on "I Love New York 2" and was eliminated in the 10th episode. But he's known best as Jennifer Hudson's husband after the two wed this year and had a baby. He's now a professional wrestler signed to the WWE.
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2005: Chicago's Marty Casey, lead singer of Lovehammers and L.A. Guns, makes it to the final two of the reality show Rock Star: INXS, which would have given him the opportunity to front the Australian rock group.
2006: Chicago resident Michael Laungani, didn't make it past the boardroom in week 11 of "The Apprentice."
2007: Megan Hauserman is a 2005 graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago where she earned a degree in accounting, but her TV career has been anything but dull. She won the third season of "Beauty and the Geek," was a contestant on the second season of VH1's "Rock of Love with Bret Michaels," competed on the first season of "I Love Money," and came back for more on "Rock of Love: Charm School."
2009: What the heck, VH1 decided to give Megan her own reality dating show, titled "Megan Wants a Millionaire," which premiered in August. But the show was canceled after one of the contestants, Ryan Jenkins, was named a suspect in a murder.
2007: Chicago resident and Wheeling, IL native Mookie Lee was the 12th castaway cast away from "Survivor: Fiji."
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2007: Humboldt Park's Jaslene Gonzalez wins Cycle 8 of America's Next Top Model. The Puerto Rican beauty attended Notre Dame High School for Girl.
John Hancock
2008: Stephanie Izard was the winner of the fourth season of Bravo's Top Chef, and the show's first female winner. Izard will open her much-anticipated West Loop restaurant, "The Drunken Goat," in 2010.
2008: Former Chicago resident Ambre Lake outlasts the competition Rock of Love 2. She got props for staying somewhat conservative amongst the skankfest the show is known for. But alas, the romance with former Poison lead singer Bret Michaels did not last.
Radikah Desai
2009: Local chef Radhika Desai was booted off the fifth season of "Top Chef."
2009: Patti Blagojevich grabbed headlines for a few weeks during the summer as she competed on "I'm a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here" in the Costa Rican jungle. And yes, she ate a tarantula.
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2009: Her husband was originally supposed to be on the show, and even shot some promos, but a judge said no.
2009: Rick Bayless wins the first "Top Chef Masters" competition, wowing judges with his Ahi tuna smothered with Oaxacan black mole sauce.
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2009: Ah, Jill and Ed -- can we call them "Jed?" -- are the latest reality show couple to make waves. Jillian Harris chose Ed Swiderski, a River North stockbroker, on "The Bachelorette," moved to Chicago and the two have been seen canoodling all over Chicago ever since.
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2009: Rancic and his wife, Giuliana DePandi, premiere a Style Network show called "Giuliana & Bill," which follows their lives.
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