In 2012, TLC unleashed Breaking Amish and treated the world to yet another inside look at Amish and Mennonite culture. We followed five young people as they engaged in the Amish tradition of Rumspringa, or a year spent living fully in the modern world. Despite how much the show misrepresented the lives and experiences of its cast, the show became a huge hit. It’s gone onto have six seasons and a spin-off based in Los Angeles. Later seasons are titled Return to Amish and allow audiences to get an inside look into Amish culture as the original cast members readjust to their lives after their time away. Breaking Amish: LA introduced us to five new cast members, several of whom had connections to the first series.
Of course any show about Amish people checking out the outside world would feel incomplete without giving them all modern makeovers, and some took that experience and ran with it. We’ve gathered 15 of the steamiest photos the internet had to offer of Breaking Amish and Breaking Amish: LA former cast members. Some are taken from their time on the show, and some are cobbled together from their adventures post-filming. Read on to decide for yourself who rocks the “English” look better than their former co-stars. We’re willing to bet you’ll be surprised by some of the entries on this list.
This side-by-side view of Kate Stoltz shows you just how far she’s grown away from her Amish roots in Pennsylvania. She’s barely recognizable from her days of getting up before dawn to tend to her family’s farm before heading to school. It might surprise you to know that Kate actually had broken away from her Amish community before she appeared on Breaking Amish.
Pulled out of school at 15 because her family feared it was encouraging too much curiosity about the outside world, Kate remained with her family until she purchased a car at 19. Her father was so incensed at her decision to break with Amish tradition that he told her to get rid of the car or find a new place to live. She took him up on it and moved to Florida that year.
Betsy Yoder appeared on Breaking Amish: LA, a spin-off of TLC’s original concept set in (drumroll please) Los Angeles. This shot of the recently married reality star was taken just after the ladies of the cast received makeovers. Her blown-out hair, smoky eyes, and stained lips are all a far cry from the demure, innocent look she sports in her hometown. But the more we learned about Betsy, the more appropriate this style seemed.
Fun fact: Betsy practices witchcraft. Society’s smartened up a bit regarding such practices since the days of Salem, so it’s not like this is hugely scandalous… in Los Angeles. Back in Betsy’s Amish community, such practices are considered dangerous blasphemy. When she announced that she not only practiced witchcraft, but also claimed to have had sexual encounters with Satan and other demons in her sleep, her cast mates were… unnerved to say the least.
Iva actually appeared on the original Breaking Amish as Jeremiah Raber’s faithful girlfriend. When he came home hoping to win her back after cheating on her in New York, Iva wasn’t having any of it. She slammed her front door in his face and never looked back – though, there are those who are suspicious about the veracity of their relationship.
Iva was portrayed to be a pretty devout follower of her Amish faith, and soon after Breaking Amish started airing, it was uncovered that Raber had already broken Amish years before. During that time he married, fathered three children, and then later got divorced. It’s highly, highly unlikely Iva would’ve dated someone like that, but it did make for decent television. It also made it extremely awkward when she engaged in sexual behavior on Breaking Amish: LA that contradicted her beliefs.
Sabrina High is a Breaking Amish OG. She appeared on the first season as the young Amish kids explored an “English” lifestyle for the first time in New York City. Sabrina actually wasn’t Amish, but raised Mennonite by her adoptive parents, and she’s been courting scandals ever since.
During the first season of Breaking Amish, she gave birth to a daughter, Oakley, and became an unwed mother. Later seasons saw her fight a heroin addiction that resulted in a loss of custody for Oakley, a second daughter out of wedlock and legal troubles. Both of her children are in the care of Children and Youth Services.
Fans of the show speculated that her relationship with abusive, on-again, off-again boyfriend Harry Kreiser III, contributed to her downward spiral. The two are no longer together, so hopefully we can expect to hear some good things from Sabrina soon.
This photo of Devon was taken after he and the other men of Breaking Amish: LA received some beachy makeovers to cement their new lives on the West Coast. From the start, Devon was nervous about leaving his home behind, but seemed to embrace the perks of an “English” life. Those perks included but were not limited to partying and girls — specifically fellow cast member Iva.
Devon managed to get himself in to some pretty hot water on the show. Both Betsy and Iva seemed to enjoy his company, but certainly not each other’s. Iva went so far as to lie about Betsy sexually assaulting her to cover-up the fact that Betsy and the supposedly devout blonde had been grinding on Devon at a club the previous night, despite the fact that Iva had a boyfriend. Unfortunately, once everything came out in the wash, Devon was the one who went home empty-handed.
Model-turned-fashion designer Kate Stoltz is easily Breaking Amish’s most recognizable face. Shortly after her stint on the TLC show, Stoltz (formerly Stoltzfus) moved to New York to pursue modeling and never looked back. She’s appeared in dozens of magazines, including, famously, Maxim, and she’s walked in countless runway shows both domestically and abroad.
After the first season of Breaking Amish, Stoltz enrolled at FIT to pursue a career as a fashion designer. She simultaneously interned at Cynthia Rowley and in 2015, launched her own fashion line, Kate Stoltz NYC. Her pieces will set you back a bit, but they should. Using her expert sewing skills honed during her Amish childhood, every article of clothing is made to order in her studio apartment in New York.
Abe Schmucker appeared on the first season of Breaking Amish alongside wife Rebecca Schmucker nee Byler, and despite his unassuming, traditional nature, he and Rebecca found themselves in the middle of one of the season’s biggest controversies. The two pretended to have just met and fallen in love, even going to so far as to get married at the end of the season. Then, like so many other elements on the TLC hit, that entire storyline turned out to be staged.
Not only had Abe and Rebecca already broken Amish, they were married and had a child. As of this year, they’re still together and live in Pennsylvania with their two daughters. Abe drives a truck for a living and still hasn’t returned to an Amish lifestyle.
Before she appeared on Breaking Amish: LA, Betsy lived in Millersberg, Ohio with her husband, Allen. Neither she nor her husband are strict practitioners of the Amish lifestyle, as evidenced by their Instagram feeds. The two were married on November 17th, 2012 and have one daughter, Jolena. Jolena was born via emergency C-section in April, 2015, 12 weeks. Luckily, both mom and baby pulled through with no major complications.
As for what she’s up this year, Betsy filmed a Breaking Amish: LA reunion special that only fueled rumors that the original Breaking Amish cast was gearing up for another season. No word on whether LA will follow suit, though. In addition to caring for her now two-year-old daughter, Betsy also operates an Etsy store called Betsy’s Creative Paper Crafts that specializes in handmade greeting cards.
This photo of Jeremiah hints at a rebellious streak alluded to in his fashion line, Amish Rebel. Unfortunately, Raber’s “rebellious” nature isn’t selling shirts so much as landing him in jail. His recent divorce announcement comes on the heels of a domestic violence arrest in April of this year. His soon-to-be ex-wife Carmela has accused Raber of making several threats to her and of hitting her with a “closed fist.”
He claims in a Periscope video that after he returned home from his stint in jail, he finally wised up and “kicked her out of the house.” After learning what she’s accused him of, it’s probably best they don’t live under the same roof any longer. For his part, Raber’s accused his ex of destroying their property and lying about some of the abuse, though he actually does cop to striking her in an inappropriate fashion.
Matt was a Mennonnite when he appeared on Breaking Amish: LA. He was a sweetheart at first, but he didn’t exactly make any friends when he made a list of house rules for everyone to follow. Not surprising — the show’s called Breaking Amish, not Take a Trip to California and Remain as Amish as Possible.
Titled the Ten ComMatments (bless), they were pretty much as unreasonable and stupid as you’d expect from a reality show like this. Among other things, he ordered his housemates to be celibate, shower daily and, most importantly (seriously, it was number one on the list), no speaking Dutch. Matt’s housemates were Amish and spoke in Dutch when they were around him. And yes, that’s rude, but not as rude as telling someone to shower every day.
Sam Stoltzfus joined his sister Lizzie on a journey to the west coast in Breaking Amish: LA. Like so, so many Breaking Amish cast members before him, Sam had 100% broken Amish before the show started filming. He still lived in an Amish community, but there are numerous pictures of him out with friends and enjoying an “English” lifestyle. Though, we do know he wasn’t comfortable with all aspects of it…
He was noticeably shocked and upset when he got a couple of truth bombs to the face — his sister Lizzie was actually pregnant at the time of filming. The father was a black bodybuilder named James Hoj who Lizzie had been dating in secret. But he got over himself pretty quickly and seems to have a great relationship with his sister’s family (at least according to social media).
Lizzie Ann James appeared on Breaking Amish: LA alongside her brother Sam. She set tongues wagging immediately when it appeared in her bio that she had a deep, dark secret she didn’t want her parents to find out about. That secret turned out to be a very obvious pregnancy, so we’re not really sure what the long-term plan was there.
However, you’ll have noticed that this lovely picture is from Lizzie’s wedding to James Hoj (born Hoji James), the father of her baby Kaden. Amish tradition might not have smiled on the timing, but Lizzie and James seem to be doing just fine. The body-builder met Lizzie in an Amish market in his neighborhood and the two began dating in secret. Sounds like a Diablo Cody movie.
Jeremiah Raber was from an Amish community in Pennsylvania before he appeared on the first season of Breaking Amish. However, the press quickly discovered that his stint on the show was far from his first experience outside Amish culture. He’d broken Amish before and actually started a family before getting divorced.
Like fellow Breaking Amish alum, Kate Stoltz, Raber runs his own clothing line, Amish Rebel. Fans can pick from a number of different items with Raber’s unique designs printed on them, or they can mix and match pieces with designs to create their own looks.
Kate Stoltz appears on this list three times for a reason — the girl can’t take a bad picture. Even wearing a bonnet and sitting under the bright white lights of a reality show reunion, her striking features make her stand out as a truly gorgeous human. Seeing that image next to this stunning lingerie shot reveals Stoltz to be quite the chameleon — in more ways than one.
Not only does Kate run and produce her own fashion line, but she’s also pretty active in philanthropy. She’s a spokesperson and served on the board of directors for Developing Faces, a charity that helps children in developing nations with facial abnormalities acquire surgical care. She even accompanied the charity on their first mission to Guatemala in 2015 and served in an administrative capacity alongside two surgeons.
Devon really took to the laid-back, beachy attitude of his makeover seriously. Rocking some those shades and board shorts, you really wouldn’t be able to guess that normally you’d find him rocking suspenders and a straw hat.
On Breaking Amish: LA, Devon developed some serious feelings for Iva. Unfortunately, Iva very much did not return these feelings. She already had a serious boyfriend, Sam, and the two were engaged by the end of the season. That didn’t stop Devon from heading to her house after returning from Los Angeles and professing his feelings for her. She didn’t exactly let him down easy, shrugging and looking disinterested after he confessed he’d fallen in love with her. Sometimes brutal truth is the only way to get people to listen…
Breaking Amish just finished airing its 6th season this summer on TLC. Plans for a seventh season have yet to be announced.
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