Reality TV was supposed to be a flash in the pan as a television phenomenon when The Real World debuted on MTV in 1992. Twenty-seven years later, reality television is a dominant television force with whole networks and nightly schedules dedicated to unscripted television. Through it all, almost since the beginning has been Tami Roman, the constantly reinvented reality star.
“Her fight with Evelyn has spawned a decade-long feud that has kept Roman as one of the most talked-about stars in the game.”
Roman first appeared on the second season of the upstart Real World series and was immediately a game-changer. She was, after all, involved in the very first removal of a cast member in reality TV history. But beyond that, the larger discussion of David’s ousting from the show allowed for a nuanced conversation on consent on a national platform. Roman’s Real World appearance came before the idea of turning reality TV into a career was even a thing, so, like many stars from those early years, she disappeared from the national spotlight. And if we never heard from her again, we still would be enshrining Roman in our Hall of Fame. However, she didn’t end there.
A mere 17 years after her landmark Real World season, Roman was back on reality TV. This time jumpstarting another reality franchise: Basketball Wives, thanks to her marriage to former NBA star Kenny Anderson. Roman appeared in the show’s second season and, again, turned a reality show from an experiment to an institution. Her fight with Evelyn has spawned a decade-long feud that has kept Roman as one of the most talked-about stars in the game.
So welcome Tami Roman to our Hall Of Fame, but we’re not done writing the story of her career because she most likely has more years left to shake up the game.
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