Here’s How Much You Get Paid to Be a Reality TV Star These Days

14. American Idol

American Idol stage

American Idol paid its performers. | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

How much: $450 weekly stipend

The wildly successful singing competition, American Idol, was known to pay out big bucks. The final 12 contestants each receive a $450 stipend per week for wardrobe. Although many dipped into their own pockets to fund the rest; $450 doesn’t go very far on Rodeo Drive.

According to Fox Business, finalists received a performance fee through The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. This means contestants got $1,571 plus meals for two-hour Idol shows; $1,303 for one-hour shows; and $910 for half-hour results shows. But they had to pay over $1,600 to join the federation in the first place.

Payment for Idol winners wasn’t consistent. Carrie Underwood earned $13 million for her yearlong appearance while Kelly Clarkson earned $11.7 million and Chris Daughtry won $10.2 million. And let’s not forget about Ryan Seacrest, who reportedly earned $45 million on a three-year deal just to announce Idol results and stir the pot.

Next: So much money to spend on those storage containers

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