Birmingham is home to some of reality TV’s biggest competitors

reality tv contestant
Ruben Studdard reps a ‘205’ shirt on the second season of American Idol. photo via

From American Idol to Survivor, Birminghamians are no stranger to reality TV competitions. Here’s a recap of some of the most famous reality TV stars from Birmingham.

American Idol

Birmingham is home to two of the legendary singing competition’s winners. Ruben Studdard rose to fame as the winner of Season 2 of American Idol. Since then, he has gone on to release six studio albums and received a Grammy nomination in 2004.

reality tv contestant
Ruben Studdard – via IMBD

Studdard would return to reality TV in 2013 as the first ever celebrity contestant on NBC’s The Biggest Loser.

reality tv contestant
Studdard also competed on NBC’s The Biggest Loser. Photo via The Daily Mail

Birmingham would claim another Idol victory in Season 5, when Jasper native Taylor Hicks would go on to win the show. Hicks got his start singing all over the Southeast and released two independent albums. After Idol, he signed with Arista Records and released his self-titled debut album.

reality tv contestant
Jasper native Taylor Hicks was the winner of Season 5 of American Idol. photo via

Many people were upset when the show announced that Season 15 would be its final season. But speculation began about a reboot during the finale, when host Ryan Seacrest said, “Goodnight America… for now”. ABC picked up the show and rebooted it earlier this year. One Birmingham singer is hoping to bring victory back to the Magic City.

reality tv contestant
Birmingham singer Dominique Posey wowed the judges during his audition on American Idol. photo via

Dominique Posey is a legal secretary at the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office. For now. He stunned the judges with his rendition of “A Song for You” by Donny Hathaway, receiving a golden ticket to Hollywood. In this week’s episode, Posey survived the first two round of Hollywood week. We will have to continue watching to see if he can bring the Idol gold back to Birmingham. Idol airs on ABC Sunday and Monday at 7PM.


A Birmingham native and graduate of Tuskegee University, Ibrehem Rahman competed on the tenth season of Survivor, Survivor: Palau. He was the 8th person voted out on Day 18. Interestingly, the player voted out before Rahman, James Miller, was a native of Mobile, Alabama, and the player voted out after him, Bobby Jon Drinkard, was a native of Troy, Alabama. The three were the first ever Castaways to be cast from the state of Alabama.

reality tv contestant
Ibrehem Rahman competed on Survivor: Palau. photo via Survivor Wikia
Big Brother

Birmingham has also been well represented on CBS’s Big Brother, which follows houseguest’s every move as they compete for the prize.

Jack Owens, Jr., a former FBI agent from Birmingham, was a contestant on Big Brother 4. He was eliminated in week 7, placing 6th in the competition.

reality tv contestant
Jack Owens, Jr. – photo via Big Brother Wikia

Adria Montgomery-Klein and Natalie Montgomery-Carroll gained recognition for competing on Big Brother 5. The twin sisters competed as one person, keeping their real identities a secret from their fellow houseguests until week 5.

reality tv competition
The Birmingham sisters competed as a single person until week 5 of the season

Have you ever dreamed of being on a reality TV competition? Let us know!

Hunter Drinkard
Hunter Drinkard
Articles: 24