We watched as they broke hearts, guzzled booze and faced disgrace. Get an update on six of reality TV's most colorful characters. Who: Trishelle Cannatella
Claim to Fame: Sinful Southerner, The Real World 12: Las Vegas
In its 10-plus years on the tube, MTV's hit show has put up many a naughty roomie, but few wagged tongues like the babe from the bayou. One part naive sugar pie, six parts sexpot, Trishelle's Real World resume boasted a lesbian tryst in the penthouse's hot tub, an eating disorder and an awesome appetite for booze and parties. Then there was the ill-fated romance with housemate Steven and their devil spawn, namely grainy "sex, lies and videotape"-esque footage and a pregnancy scare. Suffice it to say she had Sin City spinning.
Back to Reality: Since the gang packed up its thongs, bad blood and hangovers to reenter the real real world, Trishelle's been a busy bee. In addition to campus tours and nightclub promotions, she's popped up on MTV's candid camera show, Punk'd, Playboy's Girls of Reality TV DVD as well as a tour of Amsterdam with Johnny Knoxville and the Jackass gang. She's also flirting with an acting career, recently appearing in the ensemble Off-Broadway production Pieces of Ass. Described by its producers as "a series of original monologues from a rotating cast of beautiful women, all dealing with themes uniquely common to the physically blessed female," the play also showcased the acting assets of The Bachelor III's Kirsten Buschbacher and Survivor: Amazon winner Jenna Morasca. One place you won't see Trishelle much is in her hometown -- Cut Off, La. Once the local folks started jabbering about her exploits, said Trishelle, "I decided that Cut Off was not for me anymore. The South was just not the place I needed to be anymore." She's now in L.A., bunking with fellow reality TV star and southerner Katie, from Road Rules 10.
Who: Frenchie Davis
Claim to Fame: Big Disgrace, American Idol II
She coulda been a contender. America voted the plus-sized Howard University senior to the semifinalist round alongside would-be kings Ruben and Clay, but her checkered past stepped in to steal the thunder. Turns out that at age 18, Frenchie, hard up for cash, posed in seductive garb on an adult Web site targeted toward the prurient taste for kiddie porn. Though she reportedly 'fessed up to show producers before AI's run, execs didn't stand by her when the story hit the fan -- and the newsstands. A spirited "Save Frenchie" campaign couldn't sway the judges, so an incensed Frenchie was forced offstage a few weeks before the finale.
Back to Reality: Down but not out, Frenchie finessed a speedy recovery from her dishonorable discharge. Among those eager to embrace her -- and the publicity -- was Entertainment Tonight, which scooped Frenchie up as a "special correspondent" for its Grammys coverage last February. After chatting with celebs like Sheryl Crow and Justin Timberlake on the red carpet, she linked up with legend Aretha Franklin and reportedly belted out a tune or two for star-maker Clive Davis. She landed an even bigger break in May, when she was tapped for the revamped production of the hit Broadway play Rent. Backstage visitors have included none other than Ruben and Clay, who smooched their fallen brethren for a few dozen photo ops. Frenchie's agents say their big talent is mulling over some movie scripts, is up for a recording contract and is on the short list for the role of Effie White in an upcoming Broadway revival of Dreamgirls. On her missed opportunity, Frenchie's still defiant. Responding to the question, "Who needs American Idol?" the diva-in-training retorted, "I don't."
Who: Evan Marriott
Claim to Fame: Phat Phony, Joe Millionaire
Plucked off his tractor for a turn on TV, construction worker Evan had to play a millionaire en France and hide his blue-collar roots from the 20 sexy suitors out to bag his alter ego (and alter bank account). Heavy on hunkiness, light on wits, Evan "Wallace" confessed early on that lying in front of America would "eat [his] brain out." Keeping his secret successfully from the lady friends proved equally challenging. Witness that fateful "I was just driving a tractor two weeks ago. I mean? years ago" blunder. But the smoke and gold-framed mirrors trick nonetheless kept the catfighting harem suitably deceived. He chose sweet, selfless Zora above snide Sarah (who, it turned out, has an unsavory career in fetish films), bestowing a diamond bauble to serve as a "promise" ring. The pair were rewarded with $1,000,000 to split.
Back to Reality: By our watch, Evan's in overtime with his 15 minutes, yet still, he lingers. He's snacked on KFC in ads with Jason Alexander, lent his voice for a The Simpsons cameo, spoken at colleges (some students complained about the high fee for his lame lecture) and mugged for a Mariah Carey video ("I try to keep it as professional as possible, because you never know when you are going to get slapped down. But she was really nice and super attractive," Evan opined about the songstress when the shoot wrapped). This summer, the Game Show Network's National Lampoon's Funny Money pitted Evan against Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? winner Darva Conger in a charity round. He's also just accepted the role of Oscar in a Canadian production of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple. His career's unexpected endurance has far outlasted that romance with Zora -- the two took the money and ran soon after Joe's finale.
Who: Aaron Buerge
Claim to Fame: Hack Heartbreaker, The Bachelor 2
The boy from Missouri seemed to possess ideal ideals -- at least when compared to his predecessor Alex, educated purveyor of smarm and sleaze. Billed as a former frat boy/Renaissance man hybrid, our Aaron, a bank vice president, also enjoys business, piloting, water-skiing and playing Yanni-esque ditties on the piano. Suspicions were raised about the sweet boy bit when his trail of tears started racking up discards from the initial pack of 25 bachelorettes. Whether he was out for true love, or just a lotta play, perhaps we'll never know. Ultimately, it was Helene, the school psychologist from New Jersey, who rose above the din of hissy fits, tears and accusations to win Aaron's heart -- and a Harry Winston engagement ring.
Back to Reality: Without network spin doctors behind him, Aaron's image has taken a hit. First off, he and Helene didn't make it much past the season finale -- reportedly, he dumped her unceremoniously at a Starbucks. He was too wrapped up in mugging for the cameras, she snipped in an interview, and she also caught him flirting with other girls. This wasn't the first time he walked away from the aisle; turns out Aaron had been engaged once before and ditched because of cold feet. A cameo as Sarah Rue's suitor on the show Less Than Perfect failed to kick-start a career onscreen; reports in the National Enquirer and Us Weekly claim the retired "Bachelor" was frustrated with the slim pickings of small-time gigs, namely local Missouri-area print and radio ads for a local business called Mystic Tans of Springfield. He also raised the ire of ABC execs when he referred to himself as "The Bachelor," a no-no according to his contracts with the show. Now a Hollywood hot potato, that desk job of yore is looking like his best bet.
Who: Shannon Oliver
Claim to Fame: Steel Magnolia, The Bachelor 1
She loves food, hates PDA, adores animals and was clever enough to catch on early in the game that sweet nothings lose a little something when you know other girls are getting the same lines. For all that, Texas star Shannon had us at "hello," and played a good foil for Alex Michel, smarmy Ivy League grad and compulsive groper. But then, she turned cold and pouty, her sage critiques grew whiny, and the hard-to-get tricks -- I'm in the game! I'm out of the game! -- came to a head when she was eliminated in a finalist round, stormed out and then returned for "an explanation." She left the love shack shamed.
Back to Reality: After espousing a moral victory on the talk TV circuit, Shannon returned to Dallas, her beloved pooch and nights out with a gaggle of girlfriends, including many ex-rivals from the show. She even popped up as a discerning buddy on The Bachelorette, evaluating potential mates for ex-Bachelor cast mate Trista. Dividing her time between a hosting gig for the Plano Television Network and volunteering for the Weimaraner Rescue of North Texas, Shannon's changed her tune, now saying that her experience was "an amazing journey, and I feel truly blessed to have been included in such an incredible group of women."
Who: Charlie Maher
Claim to Fame: Second Fiddle, The Bachelorette
Self-described as "loyal, generous and jovial," the hottie from Hermosa Beach was thisclose to getting the girl, but lost out in the 11th hour to rival Ryan, the fireman whose lovesick poetry likely sealed the deal. Ever the charmer, Charlie had Trista's family in his court, and Trista in knots. "The fact that I'm falling so hard for two guys at the same time is very stressful to me" she confessed. This, despite Charlie's confession that he grooms his chest hair.
Back to Reality: "I wasn't in love with her," Charlie's since said of Trista. "I'm not going to fall in love in six weeks." Despite the engagement ring he picked up for her on finale day, we're of the mind he's considering an agile rebound since the season wrapped. Ever the good sport, he appeared in a primetime interview alongside the beaming couple, claiming he couldn't have lost to a better guy. And while lots of ladies would like to ease his pain, Charlie says he's been dating someone seriously for several months and it's "a big relief" that they can now go public with their budding romance. Though he says he'd like to try his hand in Hollywood, he still needs to see "if there's an interest in Charlie outside The Bachelorette." For now, the financial analyst isn't going to ditch his day job.