15 Shocking Reality TV Star Salaries
Chances are when you turn on your TV, no matter what time it is you'll have no less than three to four reality tv shows to choose from. Rewind the clock a few years and this was not the case at all. Now it seems like that's all you're able to watch. Not only that, but the term, "Reality TV Star" seems to be more common than "Movie Star".
Whether it's American Idol, Big Brother, Duck Dynasty, you have your choice of reality tv shows to choose from and they all pretty much follow the same blueprint. One thing is certain, these reality tv stars are getting paid, big time. You have shows like, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" where the family was reportedly getting paid over $50,000 PER EPISODE! What about the "Jersey Shore" star, "Snookie" who reportedly was making $150,000 per episode towards the end of that series.
But, these people pale in comparison to our list of the top 15 paid reality tv stars. These 15 stars banked the most $$$ out of all of them. Wait till you see how much they made.
15. Willie Robertson ? $1 million salary + Bonuses
After breaking records for viewers in 2013, Willie's salary was bumped up from a measily $50K/episode to $1,000,000 per season with a $100,000 bonus for each episode that reaches over five million viewers.
14. NeNe Leakes ? $1.5 million salary
Real Housewives has helped a lot of undeserving women make more money than they...I mean their husbands, already have. None have been a bigger success than NeNe Leakes. The most popular housewife on the Real Housewives of Atlanta, in 2014 they negotiated a $1,500,000 salary per season of the show. Well played, NeNe.
13. Kim Kardashian ? $1.6 million salary
No need for us to introduce you to this one. The queen of reality tv makes $80,000 per episode for a total of $1,600,000 per season, but we all know that's just her going out fund. The bulk of the Kardashian wealth comes from appearances and their fashion line, which is rumored to have done upwards of $600,000,000 in 2013. If you were to combine her total salary for any year, we're sure you'd see her at the top of any of the "wealthiest" list.
12. Nicole "Snooki" LaValle ? $2.275 million salary
Oh this one is fun to think about. If you've ever watched the hit show, "The Jersey Show" you'll know these people got paid to drink, fight, and f...do other stuff. Snookie's salary got a handsome bump on the last season to a modest $175,000 per episode. There were 13 episodes...and her spin off show, "Snookie & JWoww" gave her a nice bump as well. Not to mention shes an 'author' and makes five figures on her public appearances, aka, show up to parties and drink.
11. Gordon Ramsay - $3.6 million salary
The uber successful chef owns 13 restaurants in the UK, 10 in North America, four in other parts of Europe, and six in other international locations. He's rumored to be worth $120,000,000 and earning $225,000 per episode of Hell's Kitchen sure doesn't hurt.
10. Keith Urban - $5 million salary
Already worth a reported $75,000,000, Keith Urban added another $5,000,000 to that number with his American Idol contract. Yeah, he wasn't the top paid judge on the panel, but he beat a lot of other reality tv stars.
9. Blake Shelton - $6 million salary
Well, Blake Sheldon earned a reported $23,000,000 in 2014 for his record sales, tours, and endorsements not to mention being a coach on the voice. His country musician earnings were only two spots away from being top country star earner. First place went to Toby Keith and second place went to Rascal Flatts...we don't think he's to upset about it though.
8. Pharrell Williams - $8 million salary
With a net worth of around $100,000,000 he's no doubt one of the most successful musicians alive. In 2014 he won four Grammys out of eight nominations. He replaced Cee Lo Green as one of the judges on The Voice and they paid him $8,000,000 to do so.
6. Ryan Seacrest - $15 million salary
Known as, "The hardest working man in Hollywood" Ryan Seacrest is absolutely banking. In 2012 he signed a two year deal with American Idol worth $30,000,000 and he signed a one year deal in 2014 with the option of staying on another year. His hustle doesn't stop there though, he's also part of the following...Ryan Seacrest Productions, produces hit reality shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, and Married to Jonas. All-in-all, Seacrest made around $61 million in 2014, making him one of the most successful earners in Hollywood for the year, and $15 million of that came from his salary on American Idol. Not bad for a years work.
5. Howard Stern - $15 million salary
Howards role on America's Got Talent is nothing more than his going out fund. He's worth over half a BILLION dollars and earns over $90,000,000 from his Sirius XM channels. He has two books, one of which became a successful movie called, "Private Parts."
4. Jennifer Lopez - $17.5 million salary
As of 2014 Jennifer Lopez has an estimated net worth of over $400,000,000 and is the highest paid Hispanic entertainer in the US. Lopez joined American Idol as a judge in 2011. In 2012, her second year as a judge, she ranked number one on Forbes' Celebrity 100 list, and left the show in 2013. She joined for a $17.5 million salary, and although the move didn't help ratings as much as FOX would have liked, it was a great platform for Lopez to launch her newest album, A.K.A.
3. Tyra Banks - $18 million salary
While America's Next Top Model hasn't given its winners the success of shows like American Idol, it has made Banks a force to be reckoned with in the reality TV circuit. It was the highest-rated show on The CW from 2007 to 2010, and Banks commands an $18 million salary per season of the show.
2. Judith Sheindlin - $45 million salary
Judge Judy...one of the longest-running reality programs of all time, and it has made retired judge Judith Sheindlin a fortune of $200 million. Since CBS can't really replace the namesake of the show and still hope to keep its ratings, Sheindlin commands a massive annual salary of $45 million. In 2011 and 2013, Judge Judy was the highest-rated program in all of syndication, which led to Sheindlin's contract being extended through 2016-2017.
1. Simon Cowell - $95 million salary
Our #1, head honcho...king of reality tv. In 2004, Cowell launched The X Factor while still serving as a judge on American Idol. The show became one of the most popular TV shows in the UK, and is now produced in 41 countries worldwide. Cowell is by far the most highly-paid judge in reality television, earning a $95 million annual salary for each season that he appears on The X Factor.