EW grades the acting careers of ex-reality stars -- We assess the progress of former reality TV contestants turned actors

Lately, reality TV has become a better résumé booster for wannabe actors than several semesters at Juilliard. How have recent reality graduates-turned-thespians fared when working with scripts? A rundown of the best and worst.

Playing a pool boy on The Young and the Restless starting May 13, the Survivor: Palau castoff smiles, asks about pool supplies, and looks hunky. If you think you smell a Daytime Emmy, it’s probably just chlorine. C-

The Starlet winner earned Faye Dunaway’s respect and a guest spot on One Tree Hill. But her acting is as grating as her Midwestern accent. She should study Dunaway’s ’70s classics instead of old Fastlane episodes. C

Last season’s America’s Next Top Model champ returned to UPN with a role on Kevin Hill. Pigford looks great on camera, and she and star Taye Diggs have chemistry. Guess those Top Model hospital scenes paid off. B+

The Real World: London‘s model went sapphic in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, playing a lawyer in love with Renée Zellweger. Fortunately, she played to her strengths: She spoke with an accent and looked pretty. A-

The Real World: Chicago stud brought his good looks and lack of personality to Days of Our Lives. Playing kidnapped soldier Philip Kiriakis, Brandt has mastered the fine soap art of pausing and looking confused. C+