While it’s fairly certain that most normies sign up for reality TV shows for fame (read: Instagram followers), I’m sure that another ‘yuge incentive is the dosh that they receive, which begs the question: how much do reality TV shows pay their contestants?
We’ve gone through all the rumours and receipts to see what each show allegedly pays their cast to make fools of themselves on national telly.
Do bear in mind that this is based on tea from industry insiders and gossip reports, not actual facts, so sprinkle each spec of intel with a grain of salt, ploise.
Also, there are instances where contestants went rogue and spilled their salary deets on social media and in spicy interviews, but remember that payments do vary from person to person, depending on their bargaining skillz and star power etc.
The Bachelor (contestants)
The absolute bottom of the barrel here is The Bachelor which apparently pays their contestants less than $100 a day, which will buy you shit all in this economy.
An anonymous ex-contestant told News Corp that “you don’t get paid a wage as such, you get given a weekly expense allowance which is under $100 a day. It is below minimum wage.”
“It’s ridiculous what you get paid. A lot of the girls were excited to get that amount a week, but I was like ‘are you serious I wouldn’t get out of bed for that,’” they claimed.
This year was a slight step-up, however, as according to the So Dramatic! podcast, the gals were offered an additional $5000 if they handed over their IG passwords and didn’t drop any spoilers until a specified date.
Even with that bonus, they’re still the worst of the lot. Will I accept this rose? Yeah, nah.
Coming in at a close second-lowest is another trashfire dating show, MAFS.
In a spicy Q&A on Instagram, former contestant Telv Williams revealed that “you get paid $150 dollars a day, tax free. It’s shit, it’s rubbish. Everything is off your own fucking back.”
Meanwhile on the MAFS reunion, the payments ranged from $3,000 for the two-day shoot (which the idiotic Nasser Sultan accepted without question because he was so desperate to get back on TV) to $40,000 (!!!) which Davina Rankin was offered but turned down because she didn’t want a fucken’ bar of it, according to the So Dramatic! podcast.
Bachelor In Paradise
“Some contestants were able to bargain and get $1,000 a day… and then people like Keira [Maguire] can demand more,” she said on a previous episode.
“I heard Keira’s fee was close to $50,000, but honestly that’s just a rumour and not confirmed because contract negotiations are very confidential,” she claimed.
The host also alleged that garbage fire former couple Richie Strahan and Alex Nation were paid $4,000 a day for their appearance on the Bachie spinoff show last year.
“One contestant offered to do the show for free,” Megan added about last year’s season, keeping said individual’s name under wraps and I would pay GOOD money to find out who the fuck that was.
The Celebrity Apprentice salaries leaked to New Idea yesterday and I bloody love it when that happens. The goss rag claims “tension grew on set” when it was rumoured that designer Camilla Franks was “paid the least” of all the cast.
Not sure how much that is, but for context, Biggest Loser fitness queen Michelle Bridges and radio dude Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli scored $50,000 each – the highest salaries of the cast.
Meanwhile The Veronicas’ Lisa and Jess Origliasso are said to have made a combined $60,000.
And finally, Australian Idol bloke Anthony Callea, comedian Ross Noble and The Block judge Shaynna Blaze are believed to have made $30,000 each for their stint on the show.
Bear in mind though that a large chunk of dosh goes to charity, so they were aware that they’d be earning a lil less for a good cause.
Next up is tough shit reality TV show SAS Australia who, according to the Daily Mail, feed their celebrity guests somewhere between $30,000 and $100,000 for their entire tenure on the show.
The publication estimated that some stars are copping towards the higher end of that dosh due to demands, while others are earning much less.
Meanwhile according to New Idea, Schapelle Corby copped almost double that, compared to the rest of the cast. Allegedly, she is sitting at $80,000 – $100,000 which is pretty damn swanky, especially considering, let’s face it, her celebrity status was earned from less conventional means.
The Bachelor (lead dudes)
The leading lads and ladies of dating reality TV franchise The Bachelor obvs score more dough than contestants and returning cast members on its spinoff show, Bachelor In Paradise.
For instance, Matty J, who competed on Georgia Love’s season of The Bachelorette, is rumoured to have pocketed $200,000 for his gig on The Bachelor.
The Bachelorette (lead gals)
The third highest paying reality TV show is reportedly The Bachelorette, as Brisbane’s Courier Mail claim that Aussie music royalty Sophie Monk scored a whopping $300,000 for her season.
Network Ten declined to comment on the salary rumours (which are still just rumours at this stage), but an “industry insider” told the Courier that “Sophie will earn a lot more (than previous bachelors and bachelorettes) because her management would have negotiated well.”
Get that bread, sis.
Big Brother VIP
As if it’s not infuriating enough that overseas celebs were allowed to enter the country during a pandemic, just wait ’til ya see how much they were allegedly paid for Big Brother VIP.
Thomas Markle Jr, who is refusing to leave the country, also copped a three-figure deal.
As for Katie Hopkins, she was supposed to receive $200,000, but after making an absolute tool of herself in hotel quarantine and being booted out of the country, she won’t be seeing jack shit.
An unnamed senior executive at Channel Seven told the Sydney Morning Herald that Hopkins “won’t get a cent more” than the expenses she copped to travel here, like flights and hotel fees. Suck shit, Katie.
The Masked Singer (judges)
And coming it at numero uno is competition reality TV show The Masked Singer whose judges were paid big, big, BIG bucks.
It was initially rumoured that radio ledge Jackie O was the highest paid of the judges, sitting in at $1M but an insider later told New Idea that those rumours were BS and that “Dannii [Minogue] would flip if it were true.”
Apparently Dannii Minogue earned the highest salary of the four judges, and is on an absolutely crazy $500,000. According to the source she got the “Channel 10 special treatment” with first class flights for her and her son, so they could travel from LA to Australia before the start of filming. Wow.
As for Jackie O’s actual wage, she is said to be earning on par with old mate ‘Hughesy’. Both are rumoured to be on $250,000 each. Newcomer Urzila Carlson is said to be earning $100,000 for the season.
Matty Galea is the Entertainment Editor at Pedestrian who also dabbles in woo-woo stuff like astrology and crystals and has been penning horoscopes since the start of his career. He also Tweets about pop culture and astrology and posts spicy content on Instagram.