With this year's reality TV shows under way, we look back on past winners who may have stepped out of the limelight slightly, and those who didn't quite get the top spot but are a complete success now.
Let's start with the show which is most notorious for having successful losers; The X Factor. Each week we watch as the singers perform for that top spot, but is it always the best place to be? In some cases, yes - Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke and Little Mix have done incredibly well.
However, there are a few names whose spotlight has faded slightly over the years. Who remembers Steve Brookstein? Anyone? He was the first ever X Factor winner, but now he is virtually unheard of in the music industry, unless you were in Cornwall in 2010 when he played in a 100-capacity pub. He has since slayed the show calling it a 'scam'.
Another winner that has not had much success in the music industry is Leon Jackson. He won the show the year after pop-sensation Leona Lewis, yet he has not had the same success. After just three singles, he was dropped from his record label, but it was said that he did sing on stage with Michael Buble at one point - jealous!
Leon Jackson won the fourth series of The X Factor (Photo: WENN)
Britain's Got Talent is responsible for introducing a host of talent to the world, but can you remember these winners? Jai McDowall won the series after beating 12 year old singer, Ronan Parke, but his career has not been a complete success since the show finished. The same could be said for teenage winner, George Sampson. He won the show with his incredible street dance skills and since the show has been in Street Dance 3D and has starred in a west end show, but recently he has not been as successful - he did star in the BBC drama, Waterloo Road.
The Idol contests have given us a lot of superstars over the years with the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Will Young and Jordin Sparks.
However, there have also been a few unsuccessful 'winners'. Taylor Hicks won the American version of the show, but he lacked charisma and failed to sell enough singles to sustain his music career. Similarly, Michelle McManus won Pop Idol (UK) back in 2004, a year after Will Young, and after two singles she was dropped by her label. She has released a new song in 2012 so perhaps she could make a comeback? So, as we have proved, winning is not always the best option in a reality talent show.
Kelly Clarkson is one of the most successful American Idol winners (Photo: WENN)
There have been many success stories that have come from the X Factor - and half of them were 'losers' in the show. One Direction finished the show in third place but, as we're sure you are aware, they have taken the world by storm! Everyone knows these five boys and they have had a monumentally successful career in the music industry. Similarly, JLS came second on the show - behind Alexandra Burke - yet they have toured around the world and have sold out shows in the O2 and various other big arenas. You can't really call these boys 'losers', can you?
Around this time a few years ago anyone with access to Youtube was watching Susan Boyle's surprising audition on Britain's Got Talent. Everyone, along with Simon Cowell, was shocked when they heard her sing 'I Dreamed A Dream'. However, even though she had caused such a stir, she did not win the series, but still went on to have an amazing career to this day. She has since sung on the Royal Variety Show, at the Diamond Jubilee Paegant and even for the Pope.
JLS came second on The X Factor but they have been extremely successful (Photo:WENN)
American Idol has also created a lot of winning 'losers', including superstar Jennifer Hudson. Miss Hudson came seventh in the competition, yet she went on to win an Academy Award for her role in Dreamgirls and she has had an extremely successful career in the music industry, proving you do not have to win to make it work in the industry. Katharine McPhee had a similar success story after losing out at idol, but she decided to take the acting path and is now starring in the drama/musical TV show Smash.
Celebrities have also proven that it isn't always the winners that are the best in talent competitions. Kim Kardashian and Pamela Anderson are worldwide superstars and were introduced to reality talent competitions with the intention that they would be there the whole way through, supported by their large fanbase. However, both ladies were unsuccessful and it seems that even though they are winners in the real world, in the reality TV world they are 'losers'. This proves just how unpredictable these shows can be and how 'losers' can be the true winners in the real world off stage.
Kim Kardashian was not as successful as expected on Dancing With The Stars (Photo: WENN)
The world of reality TV is definitely a puzzling one, but it has been proved that winning isn't everything, in this case it actually is the taking part that counts!