Working a 9-to-5 job provides ample opportunities for us to dream about how we might strike it rich. Some play the lottery. Others get creative and audition to be the next big 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 choose your poison wisely. Not all reality shows reap big rewards in exchange for airing your dirty laundry to all of the world. Some shows pay their contestants next to nothing, while others could be your stepping stone to something bigger and better. Here’s everything we know about how much Chip and Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper, the contestants on American Idol, and popular reality TV stars get paid.
1. Shark Tank
How much: $50,000 per episode
The sharks pad their million- and billion-dollar fortunes on Shark Tank, but contestants risk a lot to appear on the show. In exchange for exposure, entrepreneurial hopefuls must agree to give up 5% of their company, or 2% of future royalties, just to appear on the show. However, many past contestants believe the exposure was worth the risk — even if most of the deals agreed to on air were tweaked and modified off air later.
Next: The Tribe has spoken.