From its 1970 birth via Black Sabbath, heavy metal has mutated and adapted to an ever-evolving communications landscape.
Through the decades, that’s meant going from radio and vinyl records to MTV and CDs, and bringing the hard and heavy to the Internet age from the days of AOL chat rooms to our present existences of hyperactive, 24-7, YouTube and social media connectivity.
Reality television programming is another mass audience trend-turned-cornerstone to which heavy metal has proven to be an unlikely prolific and profitable bedfellow.
With a nod to Steven Tyler’s two seasons on American Idol, C.C. Deville’s one-and-done stint on The Surreal Life, and the hardscrabble, sometimes tragic runs of Steven Adler, Mike Starr, and others on Celebrity Rehab and Sober House, here now are the top 10 heavy metal icons who became reality TV stars. Check out more from VH1’s month-long Keepin’ It Real reality TV package.
Dee Snider - Reality Star of: Celebrity Apprentice; Growing Up Twisted; Rock the Cradle; Gone Country; Celebrity Wife Swap
Twisted Sister’s hilarious, gregarious, sharp-as-nails-but-soft-on-the-inside front-beast Dee Snider first took to the reality TV airwaves via the 2008 season of the singing contest, Gone Country. Alas, he didn’t saunter off with the golden ten-gallon hat.
Dee also didn’t conquer the 2008 MTV competition Rock the Cradle, which featured rock star parents mentoring their musician kids. He did, however, come off super-cool—and was gut-bustingly funny as always—coaching his eldest offspring, Jesse.
Growing Up Twisted (2010), A&E’s late-to-the-feeding-frenzy Osbournes/Family Jewels knockoff, charmingly and amusingly showcased Dee at home with his wife Suzette, aforementioned son Jesse, and three other kids. It was seven airings and kaput.
At long last, Dee Snider made a proper splash on the 2011 edition of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice, alongside Penn Jillette, Lou Ferrigno, Arsenio Hall, Lisa Lampanelli, Clay Aiken, and others. He returned, with Penn, for Celebrity Apprentice: All Stars in 2013.
In between getting Trumped on NBC, Dee traded spouses with iconic reality TV sensation Flavor Flav on a 2012 installment of ABC’s Celebrity Wife Swap.
Courtesy of VH1