For most ordinary Australians, the premise of reality TV is amazing.
Ditch your stable, boring job in an industry you don’t care about for a wild ride on the rollercoaster of opportunity!
Reality TV, after all, is your springboard to a better place. Haven’t you seen that little rundown after people get eliminated from Masterchef? Everyone is a chef now! They’re all “pursuing their food dreams”!
REALITY TV WORKS, PEOPLE!
Well, not quite.
It turns out leaving your career to go on reality TV can harm your finances more than most contestants would like to admit.
Earlier this week, we discovered that the stars of Logie-winning show Gogglebox are paid barely enough to cover the booze for the episode.
Luckily for them, Gogglebox is a once-a-week gig in their own homes, and their participation in the show doesn’t necessitate quitting their day jobs.
Contestants on other programs aren’t as lucky, with the stars of My Kitchen Rules, The Block, Masterchef, The X Factor and Australia’s Got Talent all expected to devote weeks upon weeks of time entirely to filming.
The truth will come as no surprise (except, perhaps, for the contestants themselves): If you don’t win, you’ve very likely wasted your time. Rarely, a first or second runner up will find success as a result of their exposure, but the chances of that are about as slim as the chances of winning in the first place.
Read: if you’ve recently been eliminated from a reality television program, you better get on the phone to your boss and start begging.
But what might shock avid viewers of renovation shows is that those amazing house transformations - you know, the ones where everyone cries and talks about how much it's changed their lives - can actually cost families more to fix up in the long run.
One couple on American reality TV show Love It or List It spoke to Co.Design about their experiences letting amateurs do a "surprise" renovation on their family home. Only months after being amazed by their new and improved abode, Deena Murphy and Timothy Sullivan realised that things were quickly going downhill.