SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: REALITY TV LAID BARE!
EXPOSED! The TRUTH about those reality TV shows THEY don’t want you to know!
REALITY TV shows often showcase people’s most embarrassing and unflattering moments, so why would anyone in their right mind sign up for that kind of public humiliation?
It’s ALL about the money, honey!
Industry insiders say the top stars are making big bucks from their TV escapades – and even some of the lesser-knowns aren’t doing all that badly.
NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” requires a huge commitment from contestants, but the payoff is just as hefty. The first 18 weeks are spent at the “Biggest Loser” camp, followed by a 30-day period at home for the finalists. And while only the winner gets the $250,000 top prize, everyone gets a $500 weekly stipend. While that may not seem like much, the free nutrition counseling and personal training sessions – not to mention the new, improved bodies – are worth a small fortune.
CONTESTANTS ON ABC’S “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” spend six weeks filming a season, and the hours are often long. Hopefuls get a small fee, room and board, travel expenses and a daily allowance for meals. Winners not only get “true love,” but a shot at future endorsements and appearances. Sean Lowe, the most recent “Bachelor,” was paid around $75,000.
DeAnna Pappas – who was reportedly paid $10,000 to be Season 4’s “Bachelorette” – revealed that she was “bombarded” with offers after the final rose ceremony, as long as she appeared with her fiance Jesse Csincsak. (They later broke up.)
And Trista Rehn – the first “Bachelorette” – cashed in when she tied the knot with her prince charming, Ryan Sutter. The pair got $1 million to televise their December 2003 wedding. But the “Bachelorette” who really struck gold was Season 8’s Emily Maynard, whose base salary was reportedly between $150,000 and $250,000 for taking part in the show.
First-place winners of CBS’ “Amazing Race” get a whopping million-dollar prize – not a bad paycheck for a month-long global adventure! But by far, the biggest moneymakers on reality TV are the ladies of Bravo’s “Real Housewives.”
New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice rakes in $650,000 plus bonuses each season, Caroline Manzo makes $400,000, Melissa Gorga earns $350,000 and Jacqueline Laurita gets $275,000. The top earners of the New York City “Housewives” are old-timers Ramona Singer and LuAnn de Lesseps, who each command $500,000 per season plus bonuses.
The six lead women held out for more money before filming Season 6 but eventually signed for small hikes in pay and other perks.
Over in Orange County, Vicki Gunvalson is bringing home the biggest paycheck – $500,000 a season. She’s followed by Gretchen Rossi ($375,000), Tamra Barney ($325,000) and Alexis Bellino ($175,000).
Over in Beverly Hills, Lisa Vanderpump is the high earner: She’s set to make $350,000 for Season 4.
“The Real Housewives of Miami” scores the lowest ratings in the franchise – and the ladies’ salaries, between $55,000 and $75,000 per season – reflect that fact.
Undoubtedly, the Queen B of all the “Housewives” is Atlanta’s NeNe Leakes, who signed a staggering $1 million contract – plus bonuses – to stay for Season 6.