An exponentially increasing number of people, from Oprah to Mark Zuckerberg to Ronald McDonald, have posted videos of themselves being doused in ice water and then challenging up to three other people to do the same.
The reason: to raise money and awareness for ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, because those who reject the challenge are supposed to donate $100 instead. At first, I thought it sounded ridiculous and ineffective, but my cynicism was proven wrong: it’s worked.
The ALS Association said yesterday it “has received $13.3 million in donations compared to $1.7 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 17). These donations have come from existing donors and 259,505 new donors to The Association.” The organization says that is “unprecedented giving.”
Celebrity participation is certainly contributing to the attention and high visibility, and many reality TV stars have taken up the challenge, with varying degrees of soaking, cold, humor, and awkwardness. Below is a list of reality TV-affiliated people who’ve participated; I’ll update as more people join in, so please let me know who I’ve missed.
American Idol winner Carrie Underwood and her husband Mike Fisher, who win the prize for commitment.
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest and his tiny bucket; he says he’ll also donate the $100 (of his $65 million annual earnings).
American Idol judge Harry Connick, Jr., who takes the “ice machine challenge” at his Clearwater, Fla., hotel.
American Idol judge Keith Urban
American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez, whose kids help out
Duck Dynasty‘s Willie Robertson, who prays for those afflicted by ALS before being doused from atop the Duck Commander building
Whale Wars star and Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson doing “this ice water test” in Paris.
The Real World‘s The Miz, aka Mike Mizanin, who turns his into a pro wrestling-style bit
True Tori star Tori Spelling
Bravo’s Andy Cohen “ruining my suit, studio, and freezing my balls off”
The Voice‘s Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Carson Daly
The Voice‘s Gwen Stefani
American Idol winner Kris Allen
Bachelorette star Andi Dorfman
Keeping Up with the Kardashians star Kris Jenner
Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron, who does it “in triplicate.”
The Simple Life and Candidly Nicole‘s Nicole Richie, who does it alongside Gavin Rossdale and Jessica Alba.
Survivor‘s Jonny Fairplay, who does it shirtless and uses the occasion to promote his stuff.
Shark Tank and Sharknado star Daymond John, who gets super-soaked in a suit.
Former Real Housewives of New York City and Bravo star Bethenny Frankel
The Real Housewives of New York City‘s Kristen Taekman and Carole Radziwill
The Real Housewives of New York City star Ramona Singer
Rising Star host Josh Groban
Former American Idol and X Factor judge Simon Cowell, shirtless and giggling
Big Brother host Julie Chen’s live version; she was challenged by her husband, CBS CEO Les Moonves.
Celebrity Apprentice winner Joan Rivers, doused by Tara Reid.