Latinos in Reality TV: MTV Looking to Create Jersey Shore Spinoff Mexico Shore, Mexican Version of Ridiculousness and More
Reality shows are known for spicy and sexy behavior, so it's no wonder that plenty of Latinos have gained fame through reality television. Of course, most reality stars don't see more than 15 minutes of fame. These next Latino stars, on the other hand, know how to make the most out of their time. Here is the list of realty television's Latino stars that are shining today.
Juan Pablo Galavis, The Bachelor
Galavis broke reality show barriers when he became the first Latino and minority to star in ABC's The Bachelor. The 32-year-old was born in New York, but both of his parents are from Venezuela. The former professional soccer player currently watches girls play for his heart in the show's 18th season.
Besides his good looks, Galavis is well-known another reason. Earlier this month, the current bachelor and former The Bachelorette contestant said that neither homosexuals nor bisexuals should be on The Bachelor during an interview with The TV Page.
"There's this thing about gay people -- it seems to me, I don't know if I'm mistaken or not -- I have a lot of friends like that, but they're more pervert in a sense," he said. "To me, the show would be too strong, too hard to watch on TV."
ABC, Warner Horizon Television and producers condemned Galavis for his remarks.
"Just 'cause I respect them but, honestly, I don't think it's a good example for kids to watch that on TV," Galavis continued. "It's hard. It's hard. It's a very thin line."
Galavis has since apologized for the remarks.
"The comment was taken out of context," the bachelor explained via Facebook. "If you listen to the entire interview, there's nothing but respect for Gay people and their families. I have many gay friends ... The word pervert was not what I meant to say and I am very sorry about it. Everyone knows English is my second language and my vocabulary is not as broad as it is in Spanish and, because of this, sometimes I use the wrong words to express myself. What I meant to say was that gay people are more affectionate and intense and for a segment of the TV audience this would be too racy to accept."
Whether it's for his good looks or his Duck Dynasty-esque remarks, Galavis is definitely one of reality television's most recognizable stars.
Briana DeJesus, The Teen Mom
DeJesus made her reality debut on MTV's 16 and Pregnant before graduating to Teen Mom 3, but that's not the only graduating the American-born Puerto Rican mother plans on doing.
DeJesus is one of the most respectable mothers to grace MTV's pregnant teenager franchise. Despite finding herself dumped and pregnant at 16 years old, she gave birth to healthy Nova. With the support of her mother and sister, she seems to be one of the most mature young ladies on the show. Tantrums, cursing and borderline-violent wars with the baby's father are kept to a minimum.
In addition, the 19-year-old is attending Valencia College to get her associates degree in general studies as a step to starting her and Nova's life on the right track.
When it comes to being a mother, DeJesus believes her heritage is a benefit.
"We are nurturing, right?" she told Latina.com. "We are loving. We are patient, and we grew up with such a big family. I think that is all that really matters."
She plans on teaching her daughter Spanish.
"I think I want Nova to know Spanish, so I wanted to buy the Rosetta Stone so me and her can learn it together," DeJesus said. "We need that because she is half black, so she needs to have some spunk in there like, "I speak Spanish, and I'm black!'"
Mario Lopez, The Host
Lopez was by no means unknown before entering the world of reality television. Since entering the reality game, however, his fame has only grown.
The 40-year-old star was born in California, but is of Mexican descent. He first gained fame as muscular jock A.C. Slater in Saved by the Bell. Afterwards, his career was saved by reality television.
Lopez did not take the typical route of child stars, which often involves starring in a reality show just to stay in the spotlight. Instead of fighting for the spotlight, he fought for the microphone.
In addition to plenty of acting gigs, Lopez has hosted reality competition shows. From 2008 until 2012, he hosted MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew. Since 2012, he has hosted The X Factor.
After establishing himself as a respectable actor and host, Lopez eventually did star in his own reality show. VH1's Mario Lopez: Saved by the Baby documented his and girlfriend Courtney Mazza's life as they prepared for their new baby.
With the help of reality television, Lopez has become a household name.
Steph and Gigi, The Bad Girls
Oxygen's Bad Girls Club documents the lives of seven self-proclaimed bad girls from across America who decides to live in a mansion, party, fight, and if they're as lucky as Steph and Gigi, bond.
This past season, Stephanie "Steph" Rivera and Gina "Gigi" Lopez instantly bonded over their Latina pride. The show has had had Latina stars before, but these girls were some of the proudest Latinas in the show's history.
Rivera, a half-Dominican, half-Puerto Rican Connecticut native, made it to the season finale, one of only three original cast members to do so. Some remember the 21-year-old for wearing a SARS-like mask for many episodes (in an effort to battle the flu) and for being relatively calm, cool and collected for the whole show. When she finally did get into a physical fight, it was one of the biggest of the season and resulted in a girl going home. What finally sent Steph over the edge? Shanae took her socks off, to which Steph replied, "Oh, you taking your socks off. I see that as you want to fight."
Although Lopez entered the show later than the original cast, the 23-year-old Brooklynite of Columbian descent had no problem earning respect and making friends. She bravely defended herself against Sarah Oliver, "The Bootylicious Blondie" who some say attacked Gigi, whose Latina curves rivaled her own. Despite being a replacement, Lopez was one of the last girls standing, and thus, one of the most memorable cast members.
The pair showed even more Latina pride when Rivera brought the cast to salsa dance classes and during a house trip to Puerto Rico.
The Cast of Mexico Shore, The Guidos
A Mexican spin on a New Jersey classic will soon be guido bumping its way to television.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, MTV Latin America is working on a Mexican version of MTV's 2009-2012 hit Jersey Shore. The channel has already ordered 13 episodes of the show, which is tentatively titled Mexico Shore. The location of the show has yet to be announced.
The stars of Mexico Shore are not yet finalized, but because of the enormous popularity of the Jersey Shore franchise, these soon-to-be Latino reality stars are the talk of the town.
The cast will join another Spanish-speaking version of Jersey Shore, MTV Spain's Gandia Shore, which is currently under production of its second season.
The Host of Ridiculousness Mexico, The Viral Sensation
MTV Latin America is also developing a Mexican version of Ridiculousness, a viral video show hosted by Rob Dyrdek that premiered in 2011.
"For 'Ridiculousness,' we know that viral videos are a dime a dozen, so it's all about finding a witty host with good comedic timing and a fresh perspective," Sofia Ioannou, managing director of Viacom International Media Networks for the Americas, told The Hollywood Reporter.
The show is making headlines because viral video shows are incredibly popular these days. The format is reminiscent of America's Funniest Home Videos, and we all know what that did for Bob Sage. Dyrdek and comedian Daniel Tosh have both seen greatly increased fame through the medium.
The key to Ridiculousness Mexico is finding the most charismatic Mexican host around, which will surely result in a future Latino reality star.