Win or Lose, SoFla Reality Stars Winning

Locals finding fame after reality TV show game ends

Ft. Lauderdale's Beverly McClellan is getting worldwide exposure thanks to NBC's singing show, "The Voice." And win or lose, she's about to become the next in a long line of South Florida reality stars who use the platform to catapult their careers.

Celebrity chef Ralph Pagano is a perfect example. The executive chef at STK in South Beach was a contestant on the first major reality cooking show called "Hell's Kitchen." Pagano didn't win the show, but thanks to being on it, he's winning now.

"I joke around that I made a career out of coming in second," said Pagano.

Besides his gig at swanky celeb-haven STK, Pagano parlayed his reality fame into spots on "Iron Chef" with Bobby Flay and became the host of his own show called "Pressure Cook."

"The experience of reality TV," Pagano said, "maybe none of this would've happened without it."

Pagano has always been a gifted chef, but reality TV allowed him to show of his sizzling personality.

"Opportunities don't come around often," Pagano said, "So you have to open your arms and hug it with lots of love."

Former "Apprentice" star and Miami native, Katrina Campins, is another reality-show loser turned big winner. After making a name for herself on "The Apprentice," she got fired by Donald Trump.

But Campins' career took off. She was cast on another show called "Miami Social," and has expanded the scope of her sports and entertainment real estate company.

But Pagano warns that being on a reality show is not an automatic recipe for success. It opens doors and gets people to listen, but you still have to deliver once inside, he says.

"I feel like the TV stuff helps, but you still have to make the right decisions," Pagano explained. "I've been lucky to make the right decisions."

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