Becoming a judge on a hit broadcast reality show, like American Idol or The Voice, has become a highly coveted gig in recent years — and for good reason. In an effort to boost and maintain ratings, networks are now shelling out huge paychecks in order to get high-profile names to serve as coaches and mentors on their respective talent competition series. Case in point? These 17 popular celebrities earned big money by appearing on reality TV, even for a single season.
Note: We only included stars who were already famous in the entertainment industry prior to joining a show and are not primarily known for reality TV.
1. Katy Perry
Katy Perry took the first judge’s seat on ABC’s revived American Idol in exchange for a massive paycheck. The pop star earned a whopping $25 million for serving on the panel of the reality TV singing competition.
The huge salary, which the network reportedly agreed to in order to secure a big name for the show, is millions more than any judge previously earned on the original Idol.