Being a reality TV star seems pretty easy. All one has to do, in most cases, is be themselves. However, paychecks from the gig can be incredibly high. In fact, many of today’s hottest celebrities are either starring in a reality show, or got their start on one and have built a career upon that fame.
From the everyday reality stars, like Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, who starred for years in “Jersey Shore,” which captured her fun times in Seaside Heights, to the reality competition judges, like Simon Cowell, who have made a career out of giving their opinions, the salaries are out of this world.
In a new report by Business Insider, fans are learning which 23 reality TV stars made the most in 2014.
1. Simon Cowell: $95 Million
At the top of the list is Simon Cowell who raked in an impressive $95 million in 2013. The majority of Cowell’s earnings are the result of his work with “The X-Factor.” In addition to appearing on the show as a judge, he is also the show’s producer and co-owner.
Also last year, Cowell was ranked at #10 on TV Guide’s list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time.
2. Jennifer Lopez: $17.5 Million
Jennifer Lopez made her name in music, but earned millions in 2013 on “American Idol,” Cowell’s claim to fame. After starring on the series 10th and 11th seasons, the singer/actress returned to the show for season 13 which began airing on FOX last week.
3. Howard Stern: $15 Million
Howard Stern used to be known as nothing more than a foul-mouthed radio host (a successful one), but in 2012, he went mainstream on “America’s Got Talent” and it has continued to paid off.
4. Ryan Seacrest: $15 Million
Ryan Seacrest continues to be the busiest man in Hollywood, working with E! News, “American Idol,” and behind the scenes on a handful of reality shows, including “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” However, his main source of income is from Idol. In 2009, the host made $5 million and he made $15 million by 2013.
5. Christina Aguilera: $12.5
Christina Aguilera took off filming for the fourth season of “The Voice,” but now she signed back on for season five, debuting this fall. She will make $12.5 million for her gig this season.
6. Adam Levine: $10 -12 Million
Aguilera’s fellow judge, Adam Levine, isn’t far behind her. Ranking at number 6, Levine is said to make somewhere between $10 -12 million for his participation on “The Voice.”
7. The Kardashians: $10 Million
The Kardashian family has become one of the most, if not the most, famous families in pop culture today, so it’s not surprising to see them on this list.
8. Cee Lo Green: $6 Million
Although Cee Lo Green and Aguilera sit next to each other on “The Voice,” their paychecks are much different, with Green making under half of what she brings in.
9. Keith Urban: $5 Million
For his second season with “American Idol,” Keith Urban, the husband of actress Nicole Kidman, will bring in $5 million.
10. Blake Shelton: $4 Million
Blake Shelton’s singers have won The Voice three seasons in a row, and it continues to pay off for Shelton who made off with $4 million after filming last year’s season.
11. Demi Lovato: $2 Million
After two seasons with The X-Factor, Demi Lovato is making $2 million per season. Although she made $1 miilion during her first go-around, she was able to get quite the raise once she returned.
12. Paulina Rubio: $1.5 Million
After telling press her gig on “The X-Factor” was “one of the biggest opportunities right now in my career,” Paulina Rubio signed on for $1.5 million.
13. Kelly Rowland: $1 Million
Former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland is having a blast with her hosting duties on “The X-Factor” and making $1 million each season.
14. NeNe Leakes: $1 Million
NeNe Leakes is the highest paid “Real Housewives” star, making at least $1 million per season of the Atlanta installment. In 2013, Leakes also starred in her very own wedding special, “I Dream Of NeNe.”
15. Teresa Giudice: $650,000
Also making the list from the “Real Housewives” is New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice. After flipping a table during season one, Giudice quickly became one of the series’ most popular housewives.
16. Vicki Gunvalson: $500,000
Leakes and Giudice may make more, but Vicki Gunvalson has been with the “Real Housewives” franchise the longest.
17. Kandi Burruss: $450,000
Leakes’ co-star Kandi Burruss may not be quite as outrageous as she is, but she does command a hefty paycheck for her gig on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
18. Tamra Barney: $350,000
In addition to appearing on season eight of “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” Tamra Barney followed in Leakes’ lead and starred in her own wedding special on Bravo.
19. Melissa Gorga: $350,000
Also making $350,000 per season is New Jersey housewife Melissa Gorga, the nemesis and sister-in-law of Teresa Giudice.
20. Gretchen Rossi: $300,000
Although she is no longer on the “Real Housewives,” Gretchen Rossi made an impressive $300,000 for appearing on the show’s eighth season last year.
21. Cynthia Bailey and Phaedra Parks: $300,000
These two Atlanta housewives have been with the series for the same amount of seasons and are getting paid the same amount.
22. Lisa Vanderpump: $250,000
She defines the essence of Beverly Hills, and because of it, Lisa Vanderpump is the highest earner of all the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” ladies.
23. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi: $200,000
Nicole Polizzi may not be making as much as she did when she was on “Jersey Shore,” but she’s still making plenty, raking in $200,000 last year for appearing on “Dancing With the Stars” as well as her own spinoff, “Snooki & JWoww.”
Who is your favorite reality star? Do you think they deserve to be making this much cash?
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