Appearing on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette means traveling the world, making new friends, sharing your story with a national audience — and if you’re lucky, finding love. It’s also incredibly time-consuming, and as Business Insider notes, not every contestant enjoys their time on the show. There’s no guarantee you’ll even make it past the first night. So do the people who appear on The Bachelor get paid for all the time they spend on camera? It turns out, not all of them are actually paid. But that doesn’t mean they don’t get opportunities to bring home a different kind of paycheck.
Bachelor contestants are paid nothing
Despite the amount of time they spend on camera, contestants are not paid to appear on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. Plus, they have to leave work for up to six weeks of shooting, which means missing out on a significant amount of income. In some cases, they even have to quit their jobs. Cheatsheet reports that past contestants Lauren Himle and Olivia Caridi left their jobs to appear on Ben Higgins’ season of The Bachelor.
While some jobs allow Bachelor stars to take a leave of absence, a few have left the show mid-season to return to work. Former contestant Ali Fedotowsky left Jake Pavelka’s season in 2010 to return to her job at then-startup Facebook ー only to quit again a few weeks later when she was offered the lead as the next Bachelorette (via Today.) If she had stayed at Facebook, Fedotowski might have made millions, though she told Life & Style that she didn’t regret it.
People on The Bachelor spend thousands on styling
When people are cast on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, they’re provided with a basic packing list. “We received a general list of items to pack before the show. It was basically: Pack for the North Pole, and the beach, and casual, and also formal, because we can’t disclose filming locations,” former Bachelorette contestant Luke Pell told E! Online.
The show does provide styling help on the first night, as well as proposal dresses for the final two contestants (via Fashionista.) After that, they’re on their own. Former Bachelorette Jillian Harris said she even re-mortgaged her house to purchase her TV wardrobe. “I remember when I went on the show we got goodie bags filled with some stuff that they wanted us to wear but half of it didn’t even fit … I had re-mortgaged my house and I spent something like $8,000 on clothing,” Harris blogged. And of course, women on The Bachelor tend to spend more than men on The Bachelorette, dropping big bucks on make-up and hair.
Bachelor alumni rake in money as influencers
Contestants might lose money appearing on Bachelor shows. Once they’ve left the mansion, though, they have a chance to earn some of that back as an influencer. Before Instagram, Bachelor alums could sometimes make cash with club appearances and tabloid photo shoots (via The Ringer.) The advent of influencer culture changed the market entirely. Now, contestants usually start hawking ads for FabFitFun, HelloFresh, and Diff Eyewear with their newfound following (via Money).
The farther a contestant goes on their season, the more followers they get. Those followers translate to some serious influencer paychecks. Sarah Boyd, the manager for many past contestants, told Refinery29 that influencers with over a million followers can make $10,000 for a sponsored Instagram post.
Bachelor in Paradise pays the cast
Contestants might not get paid for appearing on The Bachelor or Bachelorette, but that doesn’t mean they’re out of luck for other TV shows. Anyone who looks for love on Bachelor in Paradise can expect to take on a paycheck. Reality Steve reported that in the first season of Bachelor in Paradise, “the range was anywhere from about $7,000 [to] $15,000 total. Not everyone made the same amount.” Does how long the contestant remains on the beach determine how much they’re paid? It depends. “Some get paid per day they are there, some get paid per episode they’re on, and some get paid a flat rate,” Reality Steve said in another post.
A Bachelor in Paradise appearance can be an opportunity for more Instagram followers, or, if you’re really lucky, a promotion. Nick Viall had come in second place on two previous Bachelorette seasons, and when he appeared on Bachelor in Paradise, his friendship with Ashley I. increased his popularity with fans (via Flare.) Viall’s Paradise popularity led to him getting the coveted Bachelor gig, which led to a paying gig as the Bachelor.
Bachelors and Bachelorettes are paid the big bucks
While contestants go unpaid, these days, official Bachelors and Bachelorettes can expect a six-figure check (via Marie Claire.) Most leads take home at least $100,000, though for some, the number can go even higher. Single mom Emily Maynard is rumored to have had the largest Bachelorette paycheck yet at a whopping $250,000. And that’s not counting the clothes. Bachelor leads get to take home their wardrobes, which often contain pricy designer clothing. Again, Maynard reigns supreme, with her wardrobe’s budget set at $350,000, the show’s highest ever (via The Hollywood Reporter.)
Former leads participate in the influencer market, too. Rachel Lindsay recently posted an ad for Cadillac; Colton Underwood has made posts for Old Spice. And influencing isn’t a Bachelor alum’s only opportunity. Franchise leads Hannah Brown, Trista Sutter, Jake Pavelka, Sean Lowe, Chris Soules, and Nick Viall went on to appear on Dancing with the Stars, which reportedly has a $125,000 base pay, plus an additional $10,000 for every week the dancer lasts (via TV Insider.com.) Emily Maynard, Andi Dorfman, and more wrote bestselling books. Considering how few final couples remain together, at least leads have a few monetary reasons to be grateful for their time in the Bachelor franchise.
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