Before they were major stars, some A-listers got their start from a reality show. Some celebs competed on shows like The X Factor while others had brief appearances on a Real Housewives franchise. However, they all have reality roots in common.

Maddie Ziegler, for one, found fame after appearing on Dance Moms alongside her sister, Kenzie Ziegler.

“I started when I was 6 years old, so I had no idea what was happening. I didn’t know why a camera man was following me. I just didn’t understand the whole thing,” Kenzie told J-14 exclusively in November 2021 about her whirlwind rise to fame. “I feel like it started to get more real when we would go to the mall and kids would say our names. I remember we would — the first time someone said our names, we looked at each other and we were like, ‘How do they know us? This is so weird. We’ve never met them before.’ Then it was just crazy after that.”

Despite their fast track to stardom, the dynamic sister duo have only positive memories about their time on the show.

“We had such a great time with all of us girls. I feel, like, even when we were tutoring together — we’d do school together every day — it was really fun,” Maddie told J-14 in the same interview. “But I would say, obviously, the worst part is just, the competitive nature is not fun. We’re so happy we’re out of that now, because now there’s no negativity around our lives.”

Both Pennsylvania natives have since become well-known names in their own right. While Maddie has nabbed tons of acting roles, Kenzie has become a social media star.

“It’s so crazy,” Kenzie told BBC in June 2020. “I mean, my whole childhood was filmed, and my whole life is on screen. It’s definitely been a learning experience.”

These two aren’t the only stars who experienced fame at a young age thanks to reality TV. Did you know, Lucy Hale was also on a competition show before her Pretty Little Liars days? Scroll through our gallery to see which celebs surprising got their start on reality TV. 

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