Working a 9-to-5 job creates many opportunities for us to dream about how we might strike it rich. Some play the lottery. Others audition to be the next reality TV star. About 118.4 million households have TV service, so there’s no denying television stars have a far reach. But the fancy clothes and luxurious settings often cloud the reality of reality TV. In the end, the price of TV fame is quite dismal.
Before you quit your day job, make sure to pick your poison wisely. Some shows pay contestants and stars next to nothing, while others could be your link to something bigger and better. Here’s everything we know about how much Fixer Upper‘s Chip and Joanna Gaines and other popular reality TV stars get paid.
15. American Ninja Warrior
How much: nothing — unless you win it all
American Ninja Warrior‘s cult-like following allows many contestants to cash in on their reality TV fame. But shockingly, the cash does not result from their actual show appearances. The athletes are not paid a dime as participants, unlike other reality shows that provide weekly payouts. Rather, contestants only receive money by winning and completing all four stages of every obstacle in the finals — something that’s only happened once in eight seasons.
However, the most notable contestants have capitalized on minor endorsement deals that ease the pain of losing a million bucks. Kevin Bull signed a deal for $2,000 to $4,000 a month to endorse an LA training course, CircusTrix, while popular female competitor, Kacy Catanzaro, earned money for TV appearances, including her commercial advertising Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel. Still, it seems the time and effort to become the ultimate Ninja doesn’t equal the money made while trying.
Next: The reality singing competition that started it all