Filming of Big Brother VIP started last Friday at Olympic Park but there has already been quite a lot of controversy before the cameras even started rolling!
The latest furore is how much the cast is getting paid, especially when so many Aussies are hurting financially right now. However, the one thing that is getting us all through is entertainment so perhaps it is money well spent – something we'll be able to judge very soon.
With production company Endemol and TV channel Seven reportedly paying around $60,000 just to get the international celebrities into the country and through hotel quarantine – just what kind of money are they handing out to the celebs themselves? Here we give you a rundown of the reports:
Caitlyn Jenner - $500,000
With her connection to the Kardashians, the most followed family in entertainment in the world, it's no wonder that Big Brother signed Caitlyn Jenner up.
Caitlyn, 71, has over 11 million followers on Instagram, and also has a fascinating history as an elite Olympic athlete and bravely coming out as a transgender woman. She is now looking to go into politics, running for the governor of California this year as the Republican candidate - well if Arnold Schwarzenegger can do it, why not Caitlyn?
Her experience filming Keeping Up With The Kardashians should make this a piece of cake for Caitlin – especially since she is only doing two weeks in the house.
Jessika Power - $20,000
Jessika, 30, took part in arguably the most explosive season of Married At First Sight back in 2019. Since then she has stayed in the spotlight and built her insta following, spruiking products in return for a paycheck - and fair play to her.
Now she is ensuring that her star doesn't fade too quickly, and is hoping to show Australia she has changed from the feisty woman she once was.
When asked whether she was upset that her fellow MAFS contestant Martha Kalifatidis received an extra $10k for appearing on Celebrity Apprentice, she told the Daily Mail Australia diplomatically: "I would never be envious of people that are succeeding and I don't care for any 'crown or title', I'm not the same Jess I was 3 years ago!" Let's hope there is some feistiness left for Big Brother!
Imogen Anthony - $20,000
Model and ex-girlfriend of shock-jock Kyle Sandilands, Imogen Anthony, 30, may give Jessika a run for her money in the outspoken stakes. These two will either be best buddies in the house or clash - which we're guessing is exactly why they've both been hired.
While we don't know exactly how much she is getting paid, given Jessika and Imogen have the same agent, and she can still make the headlines, we suspect it will be similar.
Omarosa Manigault Newman - $450,000
Many people will be asking 'just who is Omarosa?'. The 47-year-old from Ohio is a seasoned reality TV show contestant and former President Trump advisor. She won the first-ever season of The Apprentice in the States in 2004 before returning for Celebrity Apprentice in 2008 and All-Star Celebrity Apprentice in 2013 before entering the Celebrity Big Brother House in the US in 2018.
When Donald Trump became president of America, he made her assistant to the President and director of communications despite Omarosa being a lifelong Democrat and voting for Hilary Clinton. In 2018 she published her biography about her time in the White House criticising Trump and his administration entitled Unhinged.
Omarosa is rumoured to become an intruder, arriving later on in the competition.
Thomas Markle Jr – $X00,000?
He may have been a late ring-in to replace Katie Hopkins (see below) but let's face it, we'll definitely be watching Tom, 55, in the hope that he drops some doozies about his estranged half-sister Meghan Markle.
Whether you love or hate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, since they disappeared from the UK, we've seen and heard scant about their lives except for very curated photos and interviews. There is something in all of us that wants to hear they are just like us and having a less than storybook family life is part of that.
However, our interest in Mr Markle Jr will wear off pretty quickly if he doesn't have much to add to the conversation. But who knows - maybe he'll turn out to be hilarious and endearing...
Katie Hopkins - $200,000
She didn't even make it through quarantine before the right-winged commentator fell foul of Australia's tight quarantine rules and was frogmarched back to the airport for the next flight back to the UK.
She left Australia with these parting words: "You may “deport” the Hopkins. But you cannot silence the truth. We will fight to TAKE BACK our freedoms.”
Others rumoured to be joining the show include actors Bernard Curry, best known for roles in Wentworth and Home and Away's Ellie Gonsalves, model Josh Carroll, NRL player Matt Cooper, AFL player Dayne Beams and Australian Survivor 2017 contestant Luke Toki.
Seven Network has defended bringing celebrities into Australia during the pandemic. "Any international artists associated with Seven are on arrangements that exist outside of the flight cap on international arrivals and have been granted exemptions by the Government to come here," a spokesperson for the network told News.com.au.
"Much like the arrival of world-class international actors bolstering Australia’s film industry at present, these artists are contributing to the making of leading TV productions, creating jobs for many people at a difficult time for the creative and production sectors."
Big Brother VIP is coming to the Seven Network soon.
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