The Mastermind Award Nominees 2017: Best Reality TV Personality

Although it might not seem like it from the last few months of posts, The Mastermind focuses nearly 50% of its attention to the world of Reality TV.  2017 was not the strongest of years for the genre, but there were still several characters that strutted their stuff and became household names in the industry. Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that they make for a good TV experience. Here are your 2017 nominees for Best Reality TV Personality. 

Sarah Lacina

Sarah was absolutely stellar in Survivor Game Changers. She came into the season being highly underestimated and completely surpassed expectations with her fantastic social and strategic play. The way she maneuvered through the game, swinging back and forth yet still maintaining positive relationships with everyone in the game was incredible to watch. Sarah by no means played a flawless game but she was the driving force behind practically every single vote without ever making herself into the next big target, something very few others have been able to do in this game. By constantly playing the middle, she was able to always be able to vote for the person that went home and simultaneously stay in good faith with every single person in the game regardless of where her vote actually went. Sarah was also highly entertaining in Game Changers not only was she driving the story, but she was so eloquent in the way she spoke and always allowed great insight into her game and what she was trying to achieve. She might not be the most entertaining person on this list, but Sarah Lacina certainly deserves credit for being one of the biggest names of Reality TV this year.

Sandra Diaz-Twine

Although Sandra Diaz-Twine was only around for five episodes of Survivor Game Changers she further established her reputation as one of the greatest characters and players to ever play. Every single episode that she was a part of, she dazzled and amazed with her hilarious confessionals, persona and uncanny ability to survive each and every vote when realistically, as the only two-time winner of the game, she should have been the first person voted off.  Although she was out early, this incarnation of Sandra was possibly the most hilarious and interesting of all three. Instead of taking a back-seat approach and letting others do the talking, Sandra was ruthless in Survivor 34 and powerhoused her way through those first five vote-offs, sending home every single person she targeted.  Sandra is a true legend of this game, only enhanced her reputation as an amazing character and player on Survivor Game Changers and could be named this year’s Reality TV Personality of the Year. 

Ika Wong

When you think of Big Brother Canada 5, you can’t help but think of the show’s star character, Ika Wong. Ika was the face of the season and the driving force behind vote after vote and every major power move up until her eviction. Ika always had the reputation as being a hilariously entertaining character, but who would have thought she’d turn out to be such a capable player as well. Sure it’s debatable as to whether or not she would have won the game against anyone else, but she led the season the entire way through, so much so that Demetres was seen by the jury as her lap dog despite their relationship being pretty much equal. Ika is the type of character that will scream in someone’s face and still get every single fan on her side. That takes some mad skill.  Usually players like that are the most unlikable on a Reality show. But Ika, Ika is something else. But beyond all the hilarity in the diary room and in her in-house explosive behaviour, she actually proved to be an excellent player and that is so much of what made Ika so much fun to watch on Big Brother Canada 5.

Scott Flannery & Brooke Camhi

Although two very distinct and separate individuals, what made this duo so spectacular to watch on Amazing Race 29 was that they were forced to work together despite having almost nothing in common whatsoever. Scott, often the sensible and strategic one was often outshone by the explosive and hilarious Brooke Camhi, who claimed she couldn’t do nearly every single task, only to knock it out of the park more often than not. Scott and Brooke’s ability to build relationships helped them significantly on the show in that any task that they struggled with they always had someone else to help them along the way. They used that strategy to surpass every other team, making it to the final three and then winning the season. Both Scott and Brooke had incredible personalities on the show and were the main reason why Amazing Race 29 was such a good show to watch.

Dino Angelo Luciano  

MasterChef is not the show where you’d expect to find the most dynamic and interesting TV personalities, but Dino Angelo Luciano proved to be a standout star in television this year, and not just for entertainment value. At the start of this illustrious season, who would have ever predicted that Dino Angelo Luciano would have come out victorious? The Italian-American was highly entertaining, had strange catchphrases, metaphors, an interesting look, was constantly comparing food to dance and had a lovable Italian accent that couldn’t help but make him distinct. But a massive character although he was, he was never a likely winner nor a front runner. Yet somehow on finale night the ballet dancer pulled it off and came out with the $250,000 prize. Dino winning the show was a shocker, but one that capped off a brilliant season in fantastic fashion. What made it more was that he was possibly the most interesting personality to ever win the prize and so often on a show like MasterChef, the entertaining characters are only kept around for specifically that: entertainment value; and not because they actually have the cooking skills to last as long as Dino did. But Dino was a different breed and came out with the ultimate prize, shocking everyone and going down as one of the greatest MasterChef characters ever.

Luke Toki

What would Australian Survivor be without Luke Toki? In all honesty, probably almost as good. But it would not be complete without the king of the forest. Luke was one of the most hilarious characters Survivor has ever seen. Every single episode was something different with Luke, yet every single episode he still made everyone watching laugh their head off. It was amazing how self-aware Luke was, even when he was getting that Russell Hantz-esque, “I’m the king out here” edit. The thing with Luke was that he actually was the king out there for a long time and like he kept on saying, nobody was even aware. And that is what made Luke so much fun to watch. He was pulling the strings for a massive period of time in the game, yet nobody knew, and he just kept on giving the cameras amazing confessionals about how he was controlling the game and nobody knew. He always seemed so over-the-top and he definitely was, but he was also very much in control. Luke was so much fun to watch on Australian Survivor, was one of the funnies to ever play the game and the season would not have been the same without him.

So there it is! The nominees for Reality TV Personality of the Year. Like what you read? Subscribe for more and make sure to be back here on December 5th to begin voting for all the awards! See you soon!

♥ = The Mastermind‘s choice for each award category.


2016 –  Aubry Bracco (Survivor Kaoh Rong)


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