If you’re anything like 80% of the American population, we’d say the chances are pretty good that you spend the majority of your weeknights sitting on the couch, eating junk food, and watching TV. Your poor daily habits aside, chances are ALSO good that you’ve tuned in to a reality show once or twice during those lazy nights. Seeing as your attention span is astronomically small, you’ve probably never noticed how many Veteran TV stars have graced your screen while you’re watching your weekly programs.
We’ve got the scoop on Veteran TV stars from some of the most popular reality and competition shows. Read on if you want to see Veteran TV competitors from your branch and laugh at those from other branches who failed miserably during their short, sad TV stints (and there are plenty of failures, here).
Veteran TV Stars
If you’re a TV-watching Veteran of shows like Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Big Brother, then you’ll likely see a few familiar faces in the Veteran TV competitors below. We’ve got the winners, the losers, and even controversial casts below.
We hope you’re not here to see competition and reality TV stars nude. If so, you better go right back to Google search, you sicko. Unless, of course, you’re a fan of Naked and Afraid, but all you’ll get there is a bunch of pixels. We’re here to look at the successes and failures of D-list and F-list reality TV stars from the military.
1. Cody Nickson – Big Brother
Cody Nickson is here reppin’ the U.S. Marines, with four years and two deployments under his belt. During his time in the Marines, he reached rank E-4 Corporal. Apparently, he has a ton of honors and medals to his name, as well.
His time in Big Brother was rough, as he found himself on the outs early on due to his rather obvious “showmance” with co-star Jessica Graf and blatant hatred for another fellow co-star who was a Big Brother vet. Though he only placed 11th in Season 19, his underdog status and blunt honesty about the show won hearts and earned him the title of America’s Favorite Houseguest. Everyone loves a Vet who doesn’t give a sh*t!
2. Jubilee Sharpe – The Bachelor
Jubilee Sharpe was a bad*ss lookin’ for love in Season 20 of The Bachelor. She’s here representing the U.S. Army. She joined the service at age 18 and served in Afghanistan.
Sharpe ended up in the middle of the pack during Season 20, landing in 11th place while vying for the heart of Ben Higgins. She opened up about her time in the military while on the show, explaining how proud she was to wear her Army uniform. Ben doesn’t deserve you, anyway!
3. Richard Hatch – Survivor
Gear up for this one, Army Vets! Survivor has been on since 2000, and Richard Hatch was the very first winner, taking the title of “Sole Survivor” in Survivor: Borneo. He enlisted in the Army in 1980 and served for five years before being honorably discharged.
This is where things get dicey. The winners of Survivor receive a $1 million prize. However, Hatch failed to report these winnings in his taxes, and he was sentenced to a different kind of service: 51 months in federal prison for tax evasion. He was also accused of inappropriate conduct during his appearance in a subsequent season of Survivor, leading castaway Sue Hawk to quit due to the emotional toll it took on her. Way to do the Army DIRTY, Hatch! We do not claim this Veteran TV competitor.
4. G. David Brown Jr. – The Amazing Race
Brown Jr. ran The Amazing Race alongside his military spouse, Rachel Brown. He served in the U.S. Army National Guard as an officer. He has flown Blackhawk helicopters and served as Assistant Professor of Military Science.
Together, G. David and Rachel DOMINATED Season 20, coming in first place in eight of the 12 legs of the race and finishing first overall. Those eight first-place wins got them a spot in an Amazing Race record for the most times a single pair of racers has come in first, shared with three other pairs of contestants.
Did someone say National Guard? Learn more about them here: National Guard Birthday: Celebrating Those Always Ready, Always There
5. Laura Thomspon-Nelson – Naked and Afraid
Laura Thompson-Nelson is an Air Force Vet who served on AWACS planes and embarked on several deployments to the Middle East. Because of the nature of her service, she had to attend survival school and resistance training, which is the perfect set of skills for Naked and Afraid.
Before she and her partner were sent out to fend for themselves, Laura Thompson-Nelson was given an initial survival rating of 6.1/10. Laura might have had the survival skills, but apparently, she didn’t have the mental capacity to tough it out for 21 days.
She went, for lack of a better word, batsh*t crazy during her time naked in Australia. We’re talking total, 100% insanity. She tried to sabotage the team’s fire by dumping water on it and made numerous threats against her teammate. Her behavior led to production’s decision to kick her off the show on just day seven. Her teammate, however, made it to day 21, extraction day. Maybe she should’ve stuck to the Chair Force. More like a Veteran TV flop!
6. Kelly Murphy – Tough As Nails
The title of this show makes perfect sense for our next addition to be cast in when you consider Kelly Murphy’s 22 years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Murphy remarked that the show posed almost no challenge to him physically. Being a Marine, what WOULD challenge him?
Suffice to say, this hardcore Marine was, indeed, as tough as, and TOUGHER than, nails. He won the whole season after a series of physically-grueling challenges, leaving the competition in the dust and winning more challenges than anyone. Now THAT’S some Marine representation!
Wanna be Tough As Nails like Murphy? Check out what it takes to be a Marine in our blog: Marine Basic Training: Everything You Need To Know (2021 Edition)
Did you know about all these Veteran celebrities from reality TV? We know we did the Army a little dirty with #3, but we also know you guys ain’t afraid of a little dirt. Are you a Veteran? Have you been on a reality show? Tell us about your experiences in the comments, or tell us what you think about the failures and successes of the Veteran TV stars we’ve talked about here on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.