MAFS, SAS and Big Brother: The highest paid reality stars of 2021

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  • Bingeworthy
    Bingeworthy
  • Michelle Bridges
    Personal trainer, author, television personality

If you want to make money on reality TV, it appears that it pays to be already a celebrity. 

It is well-known that budding stars only get paid expenses of around $100-$150 a day to appear on shows such as Married At First Sight, but those with a public profile can really have a nice payday.

Some shows are known for splashing the cash more than others and, of course, luring an international star can mean having to fork out more than you would for a local celebrity.

So who managed to make coin by appearing on our TV screens this year?

Celebrity Apprentice

Michelle Bridges and Michael 'Wippa' Wipfli on Celebrity Apprentice
Michelle Bridges and Michael "Wippa" Wipfli, pictured with winner Shaynna Blaze, earned the most on this year's Celebrity Apprentice. Photo: Instagram/@wippa1

Although The Block's Shaynna Blaze may have won this year's Celebrity Apprentice, raising a fantastic $489,000 for charity Voice of Change, it was personal trainer Michelle Bridges and radio DJ Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli, who reportedly cashed in.

Michelle and Wippa each allegedly managed to negotiate a fee of $50,000 to appear on the show, according to reports.

SAS Australia

The contestants on the 2021 season of SAS Australia standing together on a rock in the outback
The contestants on the 2021 season of SAS Australia. Photo: 7 Network

While we haven't calculated rates per hour, as some of the SAS Australia recruits conceded pretty early on in the show, we do know some celebrity agents negotiated pretty good rates for their clients.

"I was paid 100 grand," Koby Abberton openly told Triple M Sydney's Moonman In The Morning.

And Koby is thought to be one of the higher-paid celebrity contestants on this year's show. 

Koby Abberton and former NRL player Sam Burgess
Bra boy Koby Abberton and former NRL player Sam Burgess were the big winners financially of SAS Australia this year. Photo: Instagram/@kobyabberton and Instagram/@samburgess8

However the 2021 SAS Australia winner, NRL star Sam Burgess, not only walked away with the knowledge that he had what it took to be among the world's elite soldiers, he was also reportedly paid between $150,000 to $200,000 for the opportunity.

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here

TV Presenter Grant Denyer in a bush tucker trial and Collin Fassnidge sitting on a giant toilet in I'm A Celebrity.
Grant Denyer and Collin Fassnidge managed to negotiate good pay packages for I'm A Celebrity. Photo: Instagram/@/grantdenyer and Instagram/@cfassnidge

The big winners in I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here this year were reportedly TV host Grant Denyer and TV chef Colin Fassnidge, who according to Woman's Day apparently both earned a whopping $150,000 to appear on the show – not bad for three weeks' work. 

However, it is a lot less than the $2 million Shane Warne got for appearing on the show in 2016 as he revealed in his autobiography No Spin.

The Bachelorette

The Bachelorette Brooke Blurton in a group shot on an island for Bachelor in Paradise, a close up of Brooke and Brooke's home visit to meet Nick Cummins' family
The Bachelorette's Brooke Blurton also looked for love on Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelor. Photo: instagram.com/brooke.blurton

This year's Bachelorette Brooke Blurton reportedly negotiated a healthy $250,000 pay package for starring on the show. 

It is thought the amount she was paid equals that of NRL star Nick "Honey Badger" Cummins, whose season of The Bachelor Brooke first appeared on.

She is still not the highest-paid, with TV presenter Sophie Monk allegedly receiving $300,000 for her time on the show in 2017.

Big Brother VIP

Big Brother VIP contestants Caitlyn Jenner, former Trump advisor Omarosa Manigault Newman and Meghan Markle's half brother Thomas Markle Jr. Photo: Instagram/@caitlynjenner; Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Sky News; Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images
Big Brother VIP contestants Caitlyn Jenner, former Trump advisor Omarosa Manigault Newman and Meghan Markle's half brother Thomas Markle Jr. Photo: Instagram/@caitlynjenner; Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Sky News; Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

With so many high profile international celebrities booking into the Big Brother hotel this year, it is not surprising to learn they got some pretty hefty pay cheques for their time Down Under.

Meghan Markle's half brother Thomas Markle Jr was rumoured to have received a six-figure pay package to appear on the show, which wasn't bad for entertaining us for 18 days.

Caitlyn Jenner is said to have earned a massive $500k for her eight days on the show while former political aide Omarosa Manigault Newman reportedly made $450,000 for just four days.

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