tv

Aussie reality TV stars share exactly how much they were paid.

There are plenty of reasons to appear on a reality TV program. I mean, think of all the career opportunities and… and the extra Instagram followers and… umm, the chance of finding (true, completely) genuine love.

Well, we know now that it definitely isn’t about the paycheck.

After it was reported participants on the most recent season of Married At First Sight received $200 per day, KIIS FM‘s Matt and Meshel Laurie quizzed three other Aussie reality stars about what they earned from their time on the box.

Jono Pitman, Married at First Sight – Season 2.

Jono on Married At First Sight. Image: Channel 9.

Speaking on air this morning, the 'villain' of last year's matchmaking series said he was only paid $150 per week.

"We were just guinea pigs for these superstars to take over this year," he said.

Pitman did note, however, that while 2017 participants were forced to live together in a house for two months, his season was much less restrictive.

"We were able to continue with our normal lives at the same time. So we were able to go to work, and we only had to take maybe a week of annual leave to go on the honeymoon."

'Jono', Big Brother - Season 6

what are reality tv contestants paid
John, on Big Brother. Image Channel 10.
ADVERTISEMENT

Michael Bric, known as John or Jono during his time in the 2006 Big Brother house, didn't manage to score the $1 million prize money, but was pretty happy with his weekly retainer.

"It was 500 a week, if my memory serves me correct, which is more than what I was making at the time anyway," he told Matt and Meshel.

"It sort of varied from $1000-$2000," he said. "For me at that stage, as a 20-year-old, I was loving every cent I could get... I definitely wasn't complaining about it."

Mary-Anne Lowe, The Apprentice - Season 1

what are reality tv contestants paid
Mary-Anne, Image: Facebook.

Wedding venue director Mary-Anne was isolated from the outside world for nine weeks to film The Apprentice in 2009, and says she clocked numerous 10 or 12-hour days.

In exchange, she told Meshel and Matt, she too was paid just $500 a week.

"I did it at the time because it would be a great experience, because obviously it was all based around business and I had my own businesses, so I thought it was a great opportunity," she said.

"But in reality it is a reality show. So it's all scripted, it's all actors that are there - not paying customers - that you're serving. It really left me quite jaded by the end."

Love all things TV? Catch the latest episode of The Binge. Post continues...

Meshel Laurie clearly wasn't as surprised about the revelations as the rest of us.

"This is part of what annoys me about reality TV," she said.

"Networks love it because it's cheap as hell. They don't have to pay proper performers; they'll pay peanuts because people just want to be on TV. And audiences love it."

That they do. More than 1.99 million Australians tuned into The Married at First Sight finale this week, making it the highest rating non-sport programme of the year.

Do you think $500 a week is fair pay for a reality TV contestant? Tell us in the comments below.

00:00 / ???