Reality TV Stars Taking Austin by Storm
Catch up with on-screen personalities from The Bachelorette, Twentysomethings, Are You the One? and I Love A Mama’s Boy
By Katerina Cotroneo
Lead photo courtesy of Netflix
It seems that once you’re on TV, you never truly go back to reality. If even a tiny fraction of the billions of people in the world “fall in love with you,” and then have the ability to follow you day-to-day as an influencer, podcaster or entrepreneur, they want that glimpse into your life.
Although there can be haters, most of the time these are good folks who want to support their favorite “character.” To followers, they are the dream, the one that made it, someone that possibly inspires their wardrobe, workout routine, decor, dating life attitude or whatever it may be. It used to be tabloids and BBC interviews, and now it’s candid Instagram stories and TikToks where beloved reality stars can share exactly what they choose to share when they want to share, all in real-time.
Connor Saeli — who was on season 15 of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” with Hannah Brown, and later on “Bachelor in Paradise” season 16 — is unique.
He used his fan following (395K) and business brain to form brand deals and other influencer-type, money-making deals. Then with partner Mike Xhaxho, they created a business called Waterboy — a hydration company with 5/5 reviews that started organically via TikTok and crowdfunding and became a viral sensation company that “cures your hangover” and “helps you stay hydrated post-workout.” Waterboy is projected to do over 20 million in sales in 2023.
If you follow him on TikTok, you’ll quickly understand that Saeli is not your average 9-to-5er. As co-owner of the company, he documents all the hard work and fun so his followers can see how far he’s come. He frequently posts montages showcasing his time on “The Bachelor” to where he is now in Austin to keep up his social media presence. Though his passion is certainly business nowadays, Saeli says he had a great experience on the show and felt it made him come out of his shell.
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Kimberly Cobb, who appeared on TLC’s “I Love a Mama’s Boy” and started a podcast called “My Lips Aren’t Sealed,” became a full-time influencer and started taking part in brand deals. With her follower count increase (92K+), she is finding her place in Austin.
She sees others in her community as her “girlfriends” and still references the show to discuss boy drama or how far she has come since her time on TLC. She loves attending events, meeting new people and continuing to grow the community she formed post “Mama’s Boy.” She helps other women with relationship advice and showcases lifestyle content. Her podcast has featured additional TLC cast members, and she has lots of intriguing guests in store for the future.
Cobb is grateful for the support she has received since her time on the show. “Everything I learned was a stepping stone to get to where I am today,” says Cobb. “I’m proud of how far I’ve come and excited for what’s in store ahead!”
Amber Diamond — who grew up in Austin and went to Westwood High School — appeared on MTV’s “Are You the One.” She found love on the show and has built a beautiful family from the opportunity AYTO gave her and her husband Ethan.
She is an influencer, but her #1 priority is her children and family life. “Family is truly my passion,” shares Diamond. If she hadn’t done the show or had quit (which she almost did), she wouldn’t be where she is today. MTV even hosted her baby shower! She obviously wouldn’t change her experience for the world since she was part of the one in 35,000 who found real love on a reality show.
Now she has a fantastic community with whom she loves to share her everyday lifestyle (206K). Diamond is authentic; what you see is what is really happening in her life, and that is why her followers love her.
Keauno Perez was on Netflix’s “Twentysomethings: Austin,” which was filmed right here in the heart of Austin. “Twentysomethings” is now an Austin-loved staple. Perez used the show as an opportunity to come out to his friends and family, and his first kiss was even filmed on the show. He stole the hearts of Austinites and, frankly, fans worldwide after his show aired.
“The love I feel daily makes my day,” shares Perez.
If you see him walking downtown, the odds of someone asking to take a picture with him, or telling him to “live your best life” (as he is famously quoted on the show) are high! He’s always collaborating on fun events and having the time of his life. He turned his up-ticking following (94.1K) into a career of influencing and hopes to partner with a company in the future and make his own line. He’s constantly partnering with Equality Alliance by promoting their events and attending as a TV personality. ATX is lucky to have “KEKE.”
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