They may get criticized for lacking talent or offering up fraudulent versions of their lives and personalities, but the reality TV stars who help score the big ratings also bring in the big bucks.
Kris Jenner and her brood just earned
$100 million for four more seasons of Keeping Up With the Kadashians. The imprisoned Teresa Giudice made $700,000 for her final year of filming The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Not bad salaries for a bunch of non-college grads who can’t sing, act, dance or play sports, but you know what’s really shocking?None of those folks are even in the top five when it comes to reality show earners.
Check out the list below to see who’s
really getting rich from what’s arguably America’s favorite kind of entertainment:
Melissa Gorga may have to put up with a lot of crap from her Teresa Giudice, but at least she’s well compensated for it. The Jersey Housewife rakes in a reported $350,000 per season.
The drama is high on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, but so are the salaries. Kandi Burruss reportedly earned $450,000 last season.
She’s been known to call herself the hottest Housewife, and while we’re sure some of her co-stars would beg to differ, there’s no denying that Tamra is one of the franchise’s to earners. She reportedly pulls in $500,000 per season.
Teresa WAS pulling in $700,000 per season on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Now she makes 12 cents an hour in the laundry room of the Danbury Correctional Institution. That’s gotta sting.
The soap-star-turned-Housewife certainly seems to be enjoying life as a fan favorite. She reportedly earned $750,000 for her first season as a Beverly Hills diva.
NeNe is reportedly Bravo’s top-earning Housewife with a salary of $1 million per season. Not bad, especially when you consider that the show is just one of several revenue streams for Ms. Leakes.
At one point, Snooki was earning $2 million a season for partying on the Jersey Shore. These days, the mother of two makes her living running an Etsy store and peddling her diet secrets. We’re sure she still does just fine.
The Aussie country star and husband of Nicole Kidman pulls in a reported $4 million a year for his hosting duties on American Idol.
Speaking of top-earning country stars, Blake Shelton pulls in $3.5-4 million forhis coaching gig on The Voice. A far cry from his co-stars salaries, but still not a bad paycheck.
The K-Clan pulls in about $25 million a season, which sounds like a lot, until you remember how many ways they have to split it. Kim is the family’s top earner (obviously) pulling an estimated $18 million a year from her shows, product lines and endorsements.
Allowing a camera crew to document your life is all well and good, but the real money is in evaluating talent. Sources say Adam Levine pulls in between $10 and $12 million as one of the chair-spinning A-listers on The Voice.
X-Tina comes and goes from her judges’ seat on The Voice, but that doesn’t seem to be affecting her earnings. The pop star brings in a reported $12.5 million for each season as a judge/coach.
Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood aren’t the only ones who got rich off of American Idol. After earning $15 million every season since 2009, Ryan Seacrest is no doubt sad to see the series come to an end.
Divisive personalities do well on the reality stage and Stern has earned $15 by becoming an unlikely favorite amongst contestants and viewers alike on America’s Got Talent. Of course, the show is just one of many revenue streams for the King of All Media.
Cowell raked in a cool $95 million a year for his final seasons on American Idol. Sometimes being a jerk can really pay off. Of course, Cowell is also a producer and co-creator of the former hit series, so he didn’t earn that cash JUST from tearing people down.