Famecrawler reported this morning that Kate Gosselin made $500,000 for her zombie moves on Dancing with the Stars. Since Kate was eliminated early on, that breaks down to $100,000 per episode. Now that money seems like a ton to me, but in reality TV terms is it really that much? How does Kate stack up against other reality players?
Remember MTV’s show The Osbournes featuring Ozzy and his family? They each got a reported $5,000 per episode for the first season. With a hit on their hands, that number increased to $5 million (million!) per episode for the second season.
My heart just stopped for a second.
Okay, but they were established stars. How much does someone like a Real Housewife make? What are Bethenny Frankel or Kelly Bensimon pulling in?
Robert Galinsky of the New York Reality TV School, which is an actual school teaching people how to get on these shows, has ball parked it and spoken to experts who set the ladies of New York at a paycheck of $30,000 per episode.
Kate made way more than that!
In 2009, Kristin Cavallari supposedly got $63K per episode of The Hills. Meanwhile, Barbie look-a-like Heidi Montag has been reported to take in $100,000 per episode. She’s denied it, but ten plastic surgeries aren’t cheap.
The big winner in the reality racket though has got to be Simon Cowell. The American Idol creator and judge took in $36 million dollars in 2008 alone.
As for other DWTS cast members, Kate is pretty average. Shawn Johnson received $125,000 plus an additional $10,000 per week for weeks 3 and 4. Each additional week she survived after that was worth an escalating bonus: $20,000 each for weeks 5-7; $30,000 each for weeks 8 and 9; and $50K each for weeks 10 and 11. Math done, that’s a maximum of $365,000 for making it to the final show.
Howard Stern’s wife, Beth Ostrosky, turned down the chance to appear but was offered a similar deal that allowed her to make a maximum of $245,000.
The professionals dancers really get shorted, reportedly making $5,200 per episode.
All in all, Kate did very well for herself.