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Make or break time for this summer’s reality stars

September 3, 2009

It’s make or break time for some reality stars — minor celebs who this summer in the U.S. have lingered on television and in the pages of celebrity magazines, making headlines for getting divorcedkourtney-kardashian, getting pregnant or singing a song on stage, and then talking endlessly about the experience. How long will they stay in the news?

Jon Gosselin, the Octodad who audiences of the TLC show “Jon & Kate Plus 8″ rooted for when he was a homebody husband, has endured some negative headlines since the June announcement of his pending divorce. The paparazzi these days are more likely to photograph him with a scantily clad woman in Las Vegas than being a doting dad, and that does nothing for his image. Jon is out there on his own now, his prized Ed Hardy T-shirts blurred out by TLC in his recent appearances on the show, as the program’s ratings continue their freefall.

In recent days, Gosselin has attracted some less than flattering headlines. There was US Weekly’s “Tim Gunn Slams Jon Gosselin’s Style,” in which the fashion maven said Gosselin’s too-big clothing choices represent the “slobification of America.” In a headline that sums up a whole story, a blog writer at the Los Angeles Times wrote “Jon Gosselin whines that Kate called him a ‘lame fish.’ Um, that’s lame duck, Jon.”heidi-spencer

It’s clear that Jon Gosselin is not feeling the love these days. But the real question is, how long will he continue to make headlines simply for living the life of a bachelor, a life not that different from many other American bachelors? Will the declining ratings for his show spell the end of his fame?

Elsewhere, reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian is making headlines for something Jon Gosselin could never accomplish even if he wanted to — she’s pregnant. The socialite, who stars in the E! Network shows “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and “Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami,” has often lived in the shadow of her more famous sister Kim, but since announcing last month that she is pregnant, Kourtney has eclipsed Kim in the level of attention she is getting.

Kourtney Kardashian made headlines for talking about her food cravings, the possibility of posing nude while pregnant and the fact that she considered an abortion. Will the public lose interest, or will the stream of headlines continue all the way to the delivery room? If so, that could make Kourtney Kardashian a celebrity who went from a minor deal to a big deal, simply for getting pregnant. If not, she will likely end up in her sister’s shadow — again. Not to be outdone, Kim Kardashian this week was back to making headlines the old fashioned way for a reality star, by being photographed in her underwear.

Then, there’s perennial reality stars Heidi Montag and husband Spencer Pratt, who were at the top of the celebrity news for a short time last month, after Heidi performed for a few minutes at the “Miss Universe” pageant. With her venture into the music business, Heidi seems aware that she needs to show some talent to stay in the spotlight, but critics were largely unimpressed, and she may have to head to “The Hills” again for another season of the MTV show. Does the Montag-Pratt team show signs of wear, or will they still be around as a quote machine for years to come, no matter how Montag’s music career goes?

One thing is certain, reality TV is here to stay, and if Jon Gosselin, Kourtney Kardashian and Heidi Montag fade from view, there will be plenty of others happy to take their place. After all, they have enough competition for the spotlight just within their own families.

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