Brant Daugherty is the latest Mason native to appear on a reality show, but he’s not the first. Here’s a list of other Mason natives who’ve recently had their 15 minutes of fame on national television.
Brant Daugherty hasn’t performed before a live audience since his 2004 class play at Mason High School, but he’s wowing judges on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” (8 p.m., Channel 9).
“This is going to be my biggest (TV) audience ever,” the 28-year-old Mason grad told The Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter. “I think I’m going to do well. I think I’ll surprise a lot of people.”
- Photos: Mason grad appears on DWTS
Aponte’s Pizzeria in Mason got a helping hand this year when it appeared on Food Network’s “Restaurant: Impossible” Sparks flew between Jersey restaurant owner Tony Aponte and brawny celebrity chef host Robert Irvine as crews filmed for two days in June. The episode aired Aug. 25. Look for an update on Tony and the business in the Feb/March Our Town magazine.
- Photos: Aponte’s before and after
Mason native Eric Nikolaides took to the national stage in July 2012 for a chance to win a $1 million grand prize on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” The 2010 Mason High School graduate performed as part of the musical duo, Eric and Olivia, with friend Olivia Applegate. The pair earned rave reviews from show judges Howard Stern and Sharon Osbourne, but did not advance to one of 48 coveted spots in the competition’s finals.
Mason native Krystal Eggerding Mandap was selected for the third season of Fox’s “Masterchef,” which aired in June 2012. The 1999 Kings graduate made it to the competition’s top 36 out of more than 30,000 contest hopefuls, but did not advance to compete for the title of Masterchef and the $250,000 prize.
Mason inventor Eric Corti scored a $400,000 deal from investors when he showcased his “Wine Balloon” creation on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” which aired on Feb. 10, 2012. Corti’s creation, now renamed Air Cork, uses a rubber latex balloon to create an airtight seal in opened bottles of wine to reduce oxidation and prolong shelf life.
Mason native Danielle Withers made it to the final four in the third season of NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” hosted by fellow Cincinnatian Nick Lachey. Withers, a Mason Homecoming Queen who was active in choir and drama before graduating in 2002, performed with the Howard University-based group Afro-Blue.
Withers moved to Los Angeles soon after the show’s finale to pursue a professional career in the music industry. “Being on ‘The Sing-Off’ has been a major game-changer for Afro-Blue,” Withers told MasonBuzz in 2011. “This opened the door of opportunities and now we can make this our life.
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