Greatest Reality TV Personalities: Semifinals Round 2

In honor of the 15th anniversary of Survivor (the show that kick-started the reality TV revolution premiered on May 31, 2000), we’re celebrating our favorite reality TV personalities. Now that you’ve picked the winners in all eight categories, we’re pitting them against each other to determine the ultimate champ: The Greatest TV Personality of All Time! Today’s showdown: Four stars who are all-around fan favorites.

Kelly Clarkson, American Idol (Season 1)

Why She Makes the Cut: She’s the American Idol winner by which all others are measured, paving the way for future Idol superstars Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson. The three-time Grammy winner gave Idol major bragging rights and industry cred, which helped parlay the show to an impressive 15-season run.

Best Moment: Clarkson’s winning performance of “A Moment Like This” during the Season 1 finale pretty much explains why Justin Guarini never had a chance.

Victoria Leigh Miller

Capt. Phil Harris, Deadliest Catch (Seasons 1-6)

Why He Makes the Cut: A rock star of the Bering Sea crab-fishing fleet with a wicked sense of humor and a big heart, Capt. Phil finally got the chance to know his sons, Josh and Jake, when they became deckhands on the Cornelia Marie. After suffering a stroke in January 2010, Phil wasn’t expected to awaken from the medically induced coma he had been placed in following surgery, but he did — and he wrote a note telling the cameraman to keep shooting because they needed a great finish to his story. Before he passed away a week later, they got it: Phil had the chance to apologize to Josh for not being a better father when he was growing up, and Josh told Phil he’d been the best father he could be and taught him everything he needed to know to be a man.

Best Moment: The way we choose to remember Capt. Phil: In his wheelhouse, telling Josh with a straight face that the secret to finding crabs was looking for air bubbles. “They’re just fartin’ little machines. We can find those fart bubbles, we got it made.”

— Mandi Bierly

Jeff & Jordan, Big Brother (Season 11 and 13) and The Amazing Race (Season 16)

Why They Make the Cut: A reality TV power couple that appears built to last, Jeff and Jordan are almost scarily stable. Whatever strain being locked in a house or racing around the world places on them, it never exposes obvious fault lines in their relationship. Clearly, they need to host their own couples’ counseling show, stat.

Best Moment: This couple is so comfortable around each other that they’re totally down for discussing their nose hairs in public… and on camera.

— Ethan Alter

Jeff Probst, Survivor (Seasons 1–30)

Why He Makes the Cut: Fifteen years ago, when Probst hosted the first season of Survivor, he seemed a genial, slightly bland host. But since then, he’s shown that he can be insightful and smart, diplomatic yet no-nonsense, and he’s willing to call out players for great moves, terrible decisions, and utter BS. And nobody in the business has more iconic catchphrases — from “The tribe has spoken” to “Immunity is back up for grabs.”

Best moment: Probst completely cut down Dan Foley in this year’s “Worlds Apart” reunion, even playing unedited footage to prove that Dan had lied about misogynistic comments he’d made on the show.

— Kelly Woo