The 25 Best Reality TV Stars of 2012

9. NeNe Leakes (The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Bravo)

Generally speaking, reality stars aren’t known for their talent. Sure, most can throw down on camera and give a good, booze-fueled display of hysterics when it’s called for, but what are they actually famous for? Hint: It’s not for having a good right hook (although that's always impressive). In most cases, they’re simply only famous for being famous.

Refreshingly, however, this doesn’t seem to be the case for The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s NeNe Leakes. She may have first popped onto our radar as the most entertaining and over-the-top cast member of the Bravo franchise's Atlanta incarnation, but it’s not her ability to produce the shrillest screech and the most sassy, hilarious catchphrases that’s got us impressed with her this year. Homegirl’s actually proven to be a perfectly decent actress, from her guest spot on the Glee, and her regular role on the freshman NBC comedy, The New Normal.

We never thought anyone would put RHOA star Kim Zolciak’s efforts to break into the non-reality entertainment biz to shame, but life’s full of little surprises.  

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