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L.A. “Reality Rocks” Expo Concludes With High And Low Points

Mike Vulpo |
April 10, 2011 | 10:01 p.m. PDT

Associate Entertainment Editor

Audrina Patridge screened her new Vh1 show "Audrina" (photo by Mike Vulpo)
Audrina Patridge screened her new Vh1 show "Audrina" (photo by Mike Vulpo)
Two types of people attended this weekend’s “Reality Rocks” expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center: the ones who want to be the next reality star and those who are obsessed with the television genre. Both groups were few in quantity and many were expecting just a little more.

Saturday afternoon was nothing special. Many D-list reality stars were friendly and gracious to fans during autograph sessions. People were dressed to impress for ABC’s “Wipeout” casting. In addition, panels were intriguing such as “The History of Bunim/Murray Productions” featuring stars from “The Real World,” “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” and “Married To Rock.”

The A-list stars stayed home (no Paula Abdul, Ryan Seacrest, Heidi Klum or Jeff Probst to name a few), but many visitors saw the list in advance and weren’t expecting them. When Sunday rolled around, however, the enthusiasm and star power grew even smaller.

“The Hills” star Audrina Patridge gave a sneak-peak of her new self-titled Vh1 show “Audrina.” When the show and discussion ended, Patridge and her team seemed rushed to leave the venue after fans only with wristbands were allowed a photo with the star.

As the autograph sessions schedule was posted, numerous celebrities were supposed to be present but were instead, no where to be found. Mischa Barton and Karina Smirnoff were scheduled to make appearances for their new products (Barton for handbags, Smirnoff for makeup) but couldn’t be located. When Omarosa from “The Apprentice” was scheduled to be signing autographs, she was instead rushing to get inside the VIP room, away from fans. 

On a better note, the “Big Brother” panel, held on Sunday, was enjoyed by many fans. The wide variety of contestants including recently engaged Brendon Villegas and Rachel Reilly, Chima Simone, who quit during her stay on the show and ‘Evel Dick,’ who claimed the top prize during his season, were open and honest. Chima even said that on day one, producers know who they want to win and called the common game twist Pandora’s Box, “Producer’s Box.” 

In addition, fans loved when several stars of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” showed up on Saturday. From Ali and Roberto to controversial Vienna, each star from the show was extremely welcoming and approachable to fans.

It’s hard to image why stars from popular shows such as “The Real Housewives,” “The Biggest Loser,” “The Apprentice,” “Top Chef” or “Project Runway” wouldn’t be free or willing to participate for a few hours during the weekend. There are so many shows out there and “Reality Rocks” could have used some more variety during the weekend.  

Overall, the weekend expo had many opportunities for reality fans to learn more about the genre and meet their favorite stars. In order to increase crowds and buzz in the future, however, bigger names, additional activities and more reliable stars need to be added to create a memorable weekend.

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