Savannah Chrisley and her loved ones easily make up the first family of the USA network. Since 2014, cameras have given viewers an insider’s glance at the Nashville bunch, spearheaded by family patriarch Todd Chrisley in the hit show Chrisley Knows Best. His witty remarks have captivated fans since the beginning, along with the hilarious and wholesome exploits of his wife and children.
While people may tune in to see Todd’s colorful commentary on just about anything on a given day — it’s notorious, after all — plenty of folks stay to learn more about his daughter Savannah Chrisley. In fact, fans took to her so much that she warranted a spin-off show of her own along with Chase Chrisley, one of her brothers.
But what was Savannah Chrisley like before all of the fame? Was she always a diva, and does she regret becoming a household name? Read on to witness her stunning transformation from a little girl to a full-blown reality television star.
Savannah Chrisley was close to her grandparents as a child
In order to understand where Savannah Chrisley’s story begins, you have to rewind all the way back to August 1997 in Atlanta, Ga. That’s when she made her big entrance into the world as the second child of Todd and Julie Chrisley. By all accounts, her childhood was idyllic and full of love from both her immediate family and her grandparents. "When I was little, my grandfather and I always used to ride around and listen to old music and I loved Loretta Lynn and George Jones," she recalled in an interview with BuzzFeed.
While Savannah is close to her family, something she’s not shy about sharing with the world, there was one family member who made a serious mark on her when she was a child: her grandfather. "Gene was my BIGGEST supporter and fan," she shared in an Instagram post. "We were inseparable…best friends actually." Aw!
Sadly, he passed away from cancer when she was 15 years old. But Savannah Chrisley treasures every moment she got to spend with him.
Growing up, Savannah Chrisley loved horseback riding
One thing that regular viewers know about Savannah Chrisley is that she loves equestrian activities. She was skillfully riding a horse in one particular episode segment, during which she tried to pass on sage advice to young niece Chloe.
As it turns out, she has been polishing those skills since she was a little girl, as she started competitive horseback riding at an early age. And, of course, her grandfather was there to support her at any event in which she participated. "I remember always looking at him during my horse shows just to see his facial expressions," she recalled in an Instagram post, "because I wanted to make him proud and to no surprise every time I looked he was grinning ear to ear!"
Savannah Chrisley was just 15 years old when Chrisley Knows Best began
While Savannah Chrisley comes off as super at ease with the cameras on Chrisley Knows Best, when the show started filming, it was a bit of an adjustment for her. That’s especially understandable as she was only 15 years old when everything got rolling. "That’s the age when you start trying to figure who you are," she revealed in an interview with USA Today. "So it was a lot of change at once and that was really difficult."
While the entire family had to adjust to the sudden fame and scrutiny, the reality TV star said that becoming well-known so young had a significant and unique impact on her. "It’s caused me to grow up a lot faster, which has its pros and cons," she continued. "I’ve come a long way since the show started." She added that, when the program debuted, she was shy, which certainly explains why the change would be tough for her.
However, Savannah Chrisley is happy that bearing her vulnerabilities to millions of people has helped some folks with their own struggles.
In 2015, Savannah Chrisley was crowned Miss Tennessee Teen USA
In the early seasons of Chrisley Knows Best, Savannah Chrisley was often shown preparing for and competing in the pageant circuit. In one of her proudest moments, she scored a pretty significant win: She took home the top honors at the Miss Tennessee Teen USA pageant in 2015. After snagging the crown, Chrisley took to social media to celebrate her big win. "It was such a blessing to be able to compete with such amazing girls this weekend," she gushed in an Instagram post. "Any one of these girls could have won the crown!"
Of course, Chrisley made sure to thank all of the people who supported her during the competition, as any good pageant queen would do. "Thank you to my parents and friends for helping me prepare for this weekend," she continued. "But MOST IMPORTANTLY thank you God for allowing me to live such a blessed life."
Chrisley later went on to compete in the Miss Teen USA pageant in July 2016, where she made it through to the semi-finals, according to E! News.
At 17 years old, Savannah Chrisley headed off to college
One thing that Savannah Chrisley takes very seriously is her education. But predictably, college was an adjustment for her, something she anticipated as she prepared for her freshman year at Lipscomb University in Nashville. "I’m excited to have a routine of my own, though having quietness when I come home will be so weird," she explained in a 2015 interview with Hola! magazine. "Honestly, I don’t think I’m ready for it!"
The reason for that anticipation was — you guessed it — being so far away from her parents and siblings. "I’m a huge family person so leaving them makes me so nervous," she continued. "I never do anything without them." Chrisley also said that she considers her family to be her best friends and that she would miss them immensely.
Later, in 2016, Chrisley told People that being at college had helped her become more of herself. "It’s just given me a chance to come into who I truly am," she explained.
Savannah Chrisley survived a bad car accident in 2017
Regular viewers of Chrisley Knows Best know that Savannah Chrisley isn’t exactly the world’s best driver. Unfortunately, that led to quite the scare in January of 2017, when she got into a serious car accident after briefly taking her eyes off of the road. "As soon as I hit the guardrail my airbags came out and because of the airbags and seatbelt the injuries weren’t near as bad as they could have been," she confessed in an Instagram post. "But what I do remember is going in and out of consciousness screaming for help and cars just continued to pass."
Fortunately a Good Samaritan stopped and helped her, and the police and paramedics were able to get Chrisley to safety. "The next month or so I will be recovering from a broken vertebrae which has caused numbness in my hands and fingers and pain all throughout my neck, back, and shoulders," she continued. Chrisley also shared that she planned to spend time reflecting on her spirituality, as she feels that the accident was a wake-up call from God.
In 2017, Savannah Chrisley launched her own clothing line
While pageants were Savannah Chrisley’s main thing for a while, she eventually focused the majority of her attention on fashion design. To that end, she launched her own clothing line in 2017, calling it Faith Over Fear. "I feel like so many people, especially my generation and younger, we let our fear consume us so much that we just don’t pursue our dreams," she told People magazine. But Chrisley wasn’t going to let her fear stop her from taking the plunge with the brand.
The name of the line is super personal for Chrisley, as she’s called upon the phrase many times to help her get through the rough patches in her life. "Little words can truly change your day so that’s how I incorporated it," she continued. "I’m saying this is because I’m speaking from experience." In particular, she cited middle school and high school as especially difficult times.
While Chrisley was super excited to debut her clothing line, she also said that her father had been super supportive, and she thanked him for his help and enthusiasm.
In 2018, Savannah Chrisley got engaged
On Christmas Eve in 2018, Savannah Chrisley’s boyfriend Nic Kerdiles, a professional hockey player in the NHL, popped the big question. Of course, Chrisley said yes, and the couple became officially engaged.
As for the wedding itself, Chrisley wanted to make sure that everything was kosher before making things legal. "We’re taking our time when it comes to the wedding," she explained in an interview with People magazine in 2019. "Obviously, it’s an engagement for a reason. You can figure things out and work together, get to know each other better." That’s why she didn’t feel the need to rush things.
As for whether or not things would get dramatic in the interim? "I don’t think I would a bridezilla, but I probably will," Chrisley continued. "I have my wedding dress picked out, I want a huge cake — there’s so many different things that I want."
Savannah Chrisley doesn’t believe her sister’s allegations
The Chrisley clan found themselves in a bit of hot water for two sordid reasons in 2019. For one, Todd and Julie Chrisley were indicted by a grand jury for tax evasion and wire fraud, according to Entertainment Tonight. In response, the family patriarch proclaimed their innocence on Instagram, blaming a former employee instead. Then Todd’s eldest child, Lindsie Chrisley, whom he had with his first wife, claimed that her father and her brother Chase were blackmailing her and had threatened to release a sex tape with her in it.
When it comes to how Savannah Chrisley felt about these matters, her support was unwavering. "I stand behind my mom and dad. I know how they’ve raised us and the values they taught us," she revealed in a video obtained by Entertainment Tonight. "So, if they taught us those values, it means they have them themselves."
As for how she feels about the accusations leveled by her sister? "It’s extremely sad that someone is using a sex tape that doesn’t even exist in order to get five more minutes of fame," she said.
In 2019, Savannah Chrisley moved to LA… for a while
Not all of 2019 was a bust for team Chrisley, as that year Savannah Chrisley and brother Chase debuted their spin-off reality show Growing Up Chrisley on the USA network. In it, the brother-sister duo moved to southern California in order to prove that they can make it in the city of angels; Chase focused on his acting, and Savannah worked on her fashion career.
While the brother and sister had fun during taping, when it came time to head back east, they were ready to go. "Living in L.A. was great, it was just a lot," Savannah confessed in an interview with People. "I like it for a couple of weeks, but then I start missing home." That’s because she found it difficult to be away from her family and the city she loves, Nashville.
The pair were also happy to be back to their preferred living situations, as their personalities clashed a bit living together in the Hollywood Hills.
Savannah Chrisley launched a second line in 2019
Savannah Chrisley topped off 2019 in a big way when she launched a collaboration with fashion brand Rampage, which is under the umbrella of the Iconix group. As the creative director, Chrisley was able to helm the line, making it exactly what she wanted. "It’s bold and it’s feminine, and that’s who I am," she revealed in an interview with WWD. "I like to make a statement but at the same time, I like to keep it cozy and fun, and that’s possible to do." She added that being fashion-forward is especially important to her, especially in the age of social media.
Although this wasn’t Chrisley’s first fashion rodeo, she said the experience this time around was much more positive than the previous one. "It was fun, not everything turned out how I wanted it to," she continued. "It wasn’t the best partnership."
Fortunately, partnering with Iconix allowed her to truly blossom and to create the line that she hoped for. "I feel like we did a great job with this line," she added.
This is how Savannah Chrisley lost weight
While you might not know it simply by looking at Savannah Chrisley, she’s had her struggles with body image over the years. "Being on TV since I was 15, you have all these people on the outside giving you their opinions on what they think you look like or you need to eat or you don’t need to eat and it truly wears on you," she shared in an interview with Fox News.
So when she was able to shed 20 pounds, something she credits to the South Beach Diet, she felt more at home in her own skin. "It’s hard, but if you feel good about yourself, then no one else’s opinion matters," she continued. Louder again for the people in the back, Savannah!
Chrisley was also able to put on ten pounds of muscle, something that she accomplished by lifting weights. But regardless of any body changes, Chrisley allows herself to be a work in progress. "It’s about progress, not perfection," she explained.
Savannah Chrisley says being on television made her family more honest
Clearly being a reality television star hasn’t always been easy for Savannah Chrisley or her family members. With their fame came scrutiny, as evidenced by people’s comments on Chrisley’s appearance, among other things. And that’s likely not the easiest thing to have to take in stride.
But there are also good things that came with reality stardom, something that Chrisley has acknowledged. "We’re an open book so, if anything, it’s made us more honest," she told WKRN. "Sometimes that can be a negative thing. Because okay, you need to watch what you say. You can’t say everything, you know?" But overall, it’s been a positive experience, she said.
Chrisley has also enjoyed meeting fans of the show, another perk that comes with the territory. "When people stop us it’s always so much fun because you never know who you’re going to encounter," she continued.
Through it all, Savannah Chrisley will always be a daddy’s girl
In 2020, Savannah Chrisley went through quite the ordeal when her father was hospitalized for three days after catching a nasty case of coronavirus. "Those were the hardest 3 days I think I’ve ever endured," she explained in an Instagram post. "My dad was sitting in a hospital room by himself and I had no idea how he was." That had to be utterly terrifying.
Fortunately the Chrisley family patriarch was able to beat the virus, something that Savannah Chrisley was beyond grateful for. "At one point I fell on my hands and knees and begged God to not take him…to not take my [best friend]," she continued. "I would give everything I had if it meant keeping my daddy."
That just goes to show that no matter what kind of transformation the reality TV star undergoes, she’ll always be a daddy’s girl, through and through.
In 2019, Savannah Chrisley postponed her wedding
Although Savannah Chrisley and Nic Kerdiles got engaged back in 2018, by 2020, not only were the couple still not married, but also they made the decision to postpone their nuptials. The reason? "We both realized that things moved way too fast and we needed to go back to dating," Chrisley revealed in an episode of Chrisley Confessions. "I just knew we had to work on things on a different level." Clearly our girl takes marriage very seriously. If she didn’t, she might have gone ahead with everything just for the show of it.
As it turns out, Chrisley and Kerdiles dodged a bullet anyway, as the date they’d previously selected fell through due to the coronavirus pandemic. "If it would have been May 9, we would have been screwed," she continued. "That would have been so bad."