Top 10 Christian Reality TV Stars of All Time
Christian reality shows are starting to pop up on many networks as ratings continue to rise, indicating that America is ready and thirsty for more wholesome and family-friend television. The Duggars were one of the earliest Christian shows, debuting in 2008. Christian performers have gained popularity on talent shows like American Idol, The Voice and America’s Got Talent. Many newer shows have captured an audience and caused a stir, including Preachers of L.A., Duck Dynasty and Mary Mary.
Here are my top 10 Christian reality TV stars of all time. This may change as I hope more networks bring us the inspiring, unsung Christians of our time.
"The Truth": Romans 1:12 “That is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.”
10. Jill of Surrender the Secret
The show Surrender the Secret on KnockTV is a reality Christian show that walks through the healing of five women who have gone through abortion. Jill leads this group through the Bible study Surrender the Secret to help the ladies learn what the Bible says and God’s will for their lives.
9. Danny Gokey of American Idol
Danny Gokey had experienced tragedy four weeks before his audition for American Idol after his wife of four years died from congenital heart disease. Paula Abdul commented that Danny’s audition was very soulful and he put his heart into every performance, which lead to finishing third in season eight. After the show he launched into a Christian music career and he uses his life experiences to help others, especially through his non-profit organization Sophia’s Heart.
8. Si Robertson of Duck Dynasty
Si Robertson is often referred to as Uncle Si on Duck Dynasty. He is redneck through and through with many of his quotes leaving you wondering if you heard him correctly. His faith is strong and the importance of his relationship with God is shown through his actions. He has said, “That's what got me through 65 years of life, my belief in God and what He's done for us and what He will do for us.”
7. Todd Hoffman of Gold Rush
The show Gold Rush is not explicably a Christian reality show, but it’s clear that many on the show carry Christian beliefs, including Todd Hoffman. He is the leader of the gold mining team in Alaska and he has leaned on his faith to overcome trying times while trying to make a living. During the first season of the show, Todd and his crew were using old equipment that kept breaking down. After the season ended he tried hard to secure investors and was able to purchase some new equipment, but a major investor fell through. They also lost rights to the mining location and had to scramble to secure a new spot. Life was clearly hard on the mining crew, but Todd does not give up and often prays with the group to find strength and courage.
6. Holly Tucker of The Voice
Holly Tucker didn’t need to win season four of The Voice to make a big impression and captivate an audience. She was more conservative on the show than some of the other contestants and in one performance she sang ‘How Great Thou Art.’ After she was eliminated she returned to Baylor University while maintaining a busy schedule performing in churches and singing Christian and country music.
5. Carrie Underwood of American Idol
Back in 2005 no one could predict that sweet, country girl Carrie Underwood would become the music phenomenon that she is. She got her start on the fourth season of American Idol in 2005 and has been outward about her faith since the early days and was very humble on the show.
4. Jim Bob Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting
Jim Bob accepted the role as father and leader of the Duggar family long ago and truly treats his children as individual people with separate interests and dreams. He takes God’s commandments for fathers seriously. It’s very sweet how he guards his daughters’ hearts while letting God guide their lives. As busy as Jim Bob is, he’s always available to lend a helping hand. He has said, “You never know when a kind deed you for someone will make a big difference in that person's life. It might seem like a small thing to you - like giving someone a free haircut - but it could be something big for the other person. Every talent God gives us, we use to honor him.”
3. Mandisa of American Idol
While Mandisa was on American Idol she took opportunities to sing gospel songs, including ‘Wanna Praise You’ by Mary Mary. During the season Simon said hurtful comments about her weight and she replied, “I want you to know that I have forgiven you that you don’t need someone to say apologize in order to forgive somebody. I figure that if Jesus could die so that all of my wrongs could be forgive I could certainly extend that grace to you.” Since Idol, she has launched a Christian music career that encompasses her faith.
2. Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty
Duck Dynasty is well-known for their redneck ways and not being afraid of sharing their strong Christian beliefs. Willie Robertson is one of the most prominent characters on and off the show as he has jumped into a public speaking career. Many of his quotes from the TV are funny reactions to what’s happening in a particular moment, but Willie quickly becomes serious when he’s asked about his faith. He was recently part of the movie God’s Not Dead and said this, “My life and my whole eternity belongs to God. All this stuff is temporary. Money, fame, success…temporary. Even life is temporary. Jesus…that’s eternal.” Willie doesn’t just say quotes like this; he lives it each day.
1. Michelle Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting
I have watched many episodes of the show 19 Kids and Counting and I’m amazed at how calm Michelle Duggar is and the wisdom with which she handles situations. She works as a team with her husband Jim Bob and has shown a Christian example that her children follow. She’s open about struggles from the past and is secure in her beliefs and faith, regardless of the criticism of others.
"The Truth": 1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”
A reason I enjoy some Christian reality TV shows is that it brings the spotlight to real, normal people living positive lives. Some people view Christians as self-righteous people who have no fun and are not influential in our culture. God calls different types of people to fulfill His will in varying ways and I think it takes a lot of courage to open your life up on TV, knowing you may gain many critics for your “strange” lifestyle. What are some of your favorite Christian reality TV shows?