Since the early 2000s reality television has taken a huge leap in viewership and has even influenced some to have goals, dreams, and aspirations of being a reality TV star. Shows like the Bachelor, Real World, Teen Mom, Survivor, and many more have taken the world by storm and changed the way many of us watch television.

Everyone isn't comfortable enough to get in front of a group of people, let alone to get in front of a camera and know that millions of people will have access to the footage.

Nonetheless, many travel long hours and sit through hours of auditions for their chances to be on screens all over the world. The lucky ones make it through and hope they are liked by the world during their time to shine. Now a few Kalamazoo natives are going to give it a try.

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Two Kalamazoo natives have made their way through auditions and are on their way to reality television. One of them is actually already having episodes coming to the public right now, while the other is praying to be cast while preparing for filming. This is a new level of stardom for them and Kalamazoo respectively and you should expect to see the real, fun, wild, and crazy sides of both of them.

Malyk "Simba" Thomas is on Hot Boys Atlanta, which has already been streaming on an online platform at He goes by his childhood nickname Simba on the show and has been showing his fiery, contagious and fun personality to not only his housemates but the whole world. When asked about the experience Simba said

"I'm just a 25-year-old man from Kalamazoo. Grew up homeless with my mother then was adopted by my aunt and uncle and played football in college. When I came home it was time to work, I was told maybe try modeling, I’m about 6 years into a modeling career where I’ve seen my face on camera 20k times but this is different. It’s a different form of expression, and deep within comes out my gratitude. I gave it all I could and I still can’t believe that I have to watch myself on tv without my grandmother and my friend Aaron Holmes. I came out and missed birthdays. Nonetheless, nothing but support is poured into me from Kalamazoo, home. Humbly, TV came to me. I received a call from Milan Christopher, a widely-known producer who was starting a TV show, who told me I could skip auditions and come right out to the show. I was appalled, and I came right out and gave it all I’ve got.

There's also Miyah Bishop who just finished up auditions not too long ago and is still hoping to be a part of the cast but had a lot to say about the opportunity to audition and what it would mean if she was able to represent Kalamazoo on reality TV. Bishop said

"Filming for the audition, it was like there weren’t any cameras there. I felt very comfortable. I’ll be happy to see myself on tv cause it’s like 'Oh my goodness, that’s me!' Even if it’s just a snippet. I’m still hoping to get casted so I can really be there. I always imagined myself doing reality TV when I was younger, but to build my music platform. I used to sneak and watch Love & Hip Hop and The Bad Girls Club like, “Yeah, that’s going to be me.” I knew I was a star in the making since I was younger. I want people to know that Kalamazoo is a small city with lots of talented people, but a lot of egos and repeated cycles keep people stuck. I want to see everybody win, even if they don’t want to see me win. I have been the underdog my whole life so that’s expected. I’d definitely do it again.

Kalamazoo has so much to offer the world in so many different industries, especially the motion picture business. These two are just the first of many from the Kalamazoo area to make breakthroughs in this business and other industries. If we could just support each other a little more, Kalamazoo could make a lot of amazing things happen in the world.

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