10 Reality TV Stars Who Earn More Than President Barack ObamaPublished on August 20, 2013. Updated March 12, 2014
The business of television is a lucrative one, even for those who only play a part in the widely popular genre of Reality TV. Some Reality TV stars bring in an exorbitant amount of money, making President Barack Obama’s salary (rumored to be a measly 400k plus perks) seem like pocket change. Donald Trump, Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest and Kim Kardashian have very successful careers but they wouldn’t be raking in the dough if it wasn’t for the reality TV trend.
With two-bit celebrities earning more than one of the most esteemed positions in the world, it makes you wonder what Americans value most…
Simon Cowell brings in a whopping $90 million a year for his role as judge and producer for the famous talent-seeking reality show The X-Factor. Simon Cowell got his big break in the U.S. when he brought his overly-critical role as a judge to American Idol.
Donald Trump became wealthy mostly due to the entrepreneurial work of his father, but he also brings in a substantial amount of wealth through his popular reality TV-series The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice. Celebrity Apprentice puts has-been celebrities against each other in a quest to win Donald Trump’s apprenticeship at the end of the competition.
Ryan Seacrest has been the host for American Idol since it first aired in 2002. Surprisingly, just for hosting the show, Ryan Seacrest rakes in $11 million each year. He has spent time hosting other popular TV shows and events over the years, but nothing has brought in the same amount of wealth that American Idol has produced.
Not many people would guess that Britney Spears would top the list for the highest paid reality TV stars. Her role as a judge on The X-Factor has earned her approximately $15 million each year. The popular singer/songwriter works to bring viewers to the show, so she is compensated relative to her popularity levels on the show.
Kim Kardashian is notorious for her lavish lifestyle and celebrity relationships, but her role on E’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians brings in $19 million alone. Kim is a perfect example of someone that is famous for being famous. Although she did not act in any pivotal roles to receive stardom, she will always have a rich estate to live on.
Bethenny Frankel is one of the lesser known reality TV stars, but she still brings in around $600,000 a year for her role in Bravo’s Bethenny Ever After. She got her initial start on the popular reality TV-series The Real Housewives of New York City. Bethenny Ever After follows Bethenny’s life as a chef and author while she takes on the stressors of marriage and child birth.
It isn’t surprising that Khloe Kardashian is one of the top reality TV-show earners, raking in $11 million per year. She made most of her money on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, but she also earned a substantial amount on her spin-off shows Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami and Khloe and Lamar. She co-hosted The X-Factor with Mario Lopez for the first time last year.
Anyone who has watched television knows of the wild Jersey-girl Snooki. She evidently earned $2 million each year while on the reality show Jersey Shore. Most of her popularity stemmed from her erratic, drunk mannerisms and over-the-top reactions to minute happenings. Thus, the more drama she brought to the table, the more she earned in the long run.
Speaking of the Jersey Shore, Pauly D made $2 million each year on the show as well. Much like Snooki, Pauly D was known for his wild behaviors and frequent alcohol misuse.
Finally, NeNe Leakes reportedly earns $750,000 each year for her role on Real Housewives of Atlanta. The show can be defined as a cat-fight waiting to happen. The drama and backstabbing make for an interesting show, and it certainly pays well for its most dramatic participant.