What Is a Reality TV Star? Full Explanations With FAQs

what is a reality TV star

Reality TV has become a staple of modern entertainment, offering viewers a glimpse into the lives of everyday people, celebrities, and personalities. And one of the most important aspects of a reality show is the reality TV star.

Thus, a reality TV/show star is someone who has gained fame and notoriety through their appearances on reality TV shows. If you want to learn about a reality show star, continue reading this article.

Here, we will explore the meaning of a reality TV/show star, the different types of reality TV stars, how much they earn, the impact that reality TV has had on their lives, and more! 

What is a Reality TV Star?

A reality TV show star is someone who has gained fame and popularity by appearing on reality TV shows. 

These shows can range from talent competitions like American Idol and The Voice to shows that follow the lives of celebrities and personalities like Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Real Housewives

Although reality TV stars can come from all walks of life, their fame is typically based on their personality, behavior, and actions on the show.

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Why Do People Want To Become Reality Stars?

One question many people have is why anyone would want to subject themselves to the scrutiny of being a reality show star. This section will explore why people are drawn to this type of fame.

1. The Desire For Fame And Attention

One of the most apparent reasons anyone wants to become a reality TV star is because they crave fame and attention. For some, the idea of being recognized in public, having their social media accounts blow up with followers, and being interviewed by the press is incredibly appealing. Meanwhile, this desire for attention can be fueled by a need for validation, a sense of self-worth, or a desire to be seen as essential or unique.

2. Financial Motivations

Another reason why people are drawn to reality TV is the potential financial rewards. Depending on the show, reality TV stars can earn significant amounts of money, either through appearing on the show or the opportunities that arise after the show ends. 

For example, contestants on The Bachelor reportedly earn between $100,000 and $250,000 per season, and winners of shows like Survivor can earn over a million dollars. In addition to these payouts, a reality TV star can make money through brand deals, sponsored posts, and appearances.

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3. Opportunities for Career Advancement

For some people, appearing on a reality TV show can be a springboard to a career in the entertainment industry. 

By showcasing their personalities and talents on TV, contestants can catch the eye of casting directors, agents, and producers and potentially land more lucrative roles in film or television. 

Reality TV can also provide a platform for entrepreneurs to promote their businesses or products or for aspiring musicians to showcase their music.

4. The Thrill of Competition

Many reality TV shows are competition-based, and contestants are drawn to the thrill of competing against others for a prize. 

Whether it’s fighting for a rose on The Bachelor or battling it out on Survivor, the competition aspect of reality TV can be incredibly exciting for some people. And this can be especially true for naturally competitive people who enjoy pushing themselves to their limits.

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5. The Desire For a Unique Experience

For some individuals, the appeal of reality TV is simply the opportunity to have a unique experience. 

Whether traveling to unfamiliar locations, living in a luxurious mansion, or experiencing something entirely out of the ordinary, reality shows can provide contestants with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they wouldn’t have had otherwise. 

Meanwhile, this can be especially appealing for those looking for adventure or wanting to break out of their daily routine.

6. The Illusion of Control

Finally, some people may be drawn to reality shows because they believe they can control how they are portrayed on the show. 

While producers and editors have much control over the final product, some contestants may feel they can manipulate their image through strategic behavior or by playing with the cameras. 

This illusion of control can appeal to those looking to craft a specific image or persona.

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How Do Reality Stars Become Famous?

Reality stars become famous through a combination of factors, including the following:

The most common way for a reality TV star to become famous is by appearing on a popular show. This exposes them to a large audience and can launch their career in the entertainment industry.

2. Creating drama and controversy

Reality shows often thrive on drama and controversy, and contestants who generate buzz through their behavior or actions can quickly become fan favorites and gain a large following.

3. Leveraging social media

In today’s digital age, social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok have become powerful tools for building a following and promoting a personal brand. So, reality stars who are savvy at using social media can grow their fanbase and monetize their online presence.

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4. Pursuing other opportunities

Successful reality stars often leverage their fame to pursue other opportunities, such as book deals, merchandise lines, or hosting gigs. By capitalizing on their popularity, they can extend their 15 minutes of fame and build a lasting career in the entertainment industry.

Again, it’s important to note that becoming a reality star and achieving fame is not easy, and many who try do not succeed. It often requires a combination of talent, luck, and hard work to make it in the entertainment industry.

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The Impact of Reality Show Stars On Society

Reality stars have a significant impact on society, both positive and negative. On the positive side, reality stars can be a source of inspiration and entertainment for viewers. They can be role models and demonstrate how hard work and determination can lead to success.

On the negative side, reality stars can perpetuate negative stereotypes and promote unhealthy behaviors. Some reality TV shows depict excessive partying, promiscuity, and substance abuse, which can influence viewers to engage in these behaviors themselves. 

Additionally, the pressure to maintain a particular image and stay in the public eye can take a toll on the mental health of these celebrities.

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What Do Reality TV Stars Make?

What reality TV stars make can vary widely depending on the show’s popularity, the star’s level of fame, and the specific contract terms. Some reality TV stars may make little or nothing, while others can make substantial money.

For example, the stars of famous reality shows like “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” reportedly earned between $500,000 and $1 million per episode during the show’s later seasons. However, it’s worth noting that these are exceptional cases, and most reality TV stars earn much less.

Furthermore, many reality TV stars may receive a flat fee or a per-episode rate, while others may earn a percentage of the show’s profits or merchandise sales. Also, some stars may receive bonuses for appearing in reunion shows, spin-offs, or another related programming.

Overall, what reality TV stars can make varies greatly, but top-tier stars on popular shows can earn significant amounts of money.

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What Are Some of The Biggest Controversies Surrounding Reality TV Stars?

There have been numerous controversies surrounding reality TV stars over the years. But here are some of the biggest ones:

  • Racism

Many reality show stars have been accused of making racist comments or exhibiting racist behavior, including former “Big Brother” contestant Aaryn Gries, “The Bachelor” contestant Lee Garrett, and “Survivor” contestant Dan Spilo.

  • Sexual misconduct

Manu reality show stars have been accused of sexual misconduct or assault, including “Bachelor in Paradise” contestant DeMario Jackson, “The Bachelor” contestant Chad Johnson, and “Dance Moms” star Abby Lee Miller.

  • Fraud

Fraudulent behavior is another thing some celebrities have been accused of. These celebrities include “Dance Moms” star Abby Lee Miller, who was sentenced to prison for bankruptcy fraud

  • Substance abuse

Many reality show stars have struggled with substance abuse, including “Jersey Shore” star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Kim Richards.

  • Feuds

There have been numerous feuds between reality TV stars, including the ongoing drama between “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” stars Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards and the rivalry between “The Hills” stars Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag.

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Can Reality TV Stars Sustain Their Fame?

A reality TV or show star can sustain their fame to some extent, but it ultimately depends on their personality, appeal, skills, and the type of reality show they appear on. Some reality TV stars have stayed in the limelight for years, while others have faded into obscurity soon after their show ended.

One of the most significant factors determining the sustainability of a reality TV star’s fame is their ability to keep audiences engaged and interested in their lives. This may involve continued participation in other reality TV shows or leveraging their social media presence to maintain a following. 

Additionally, suppose they possess talents or skills that can be further developed, such as singing or acting. In that case, they could transition into a career in entertainment and maintain their fame that way.

However, it’s important to note that the nature of reality TV is such that it often promotes a culture of instant fame, and many participants cannot sustain their fame beyond the initial buzz of their show. Furthermore, the public’s interest in certain reality TV stars may wane over time, leading to a decline in popularity.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does it take to be a reality show star?

To become a reality TV/show star, you must get hired first, then exhibit a captivating persona to the public. Whether a program is already well-known or when it achieves success, the next stage in maintaining a career is to use agents.

Do reality TV stars get paid?

Reality television stars always get a paycheck, and the size of that paycheck might surprise you. This is true whether they compete on television for a financial reward or are filmed while going about their daily lives.

Why is reality TV so cheap?

Producing one on a broadcast network might cost approximately $950,000 per episode, compared to $1.7 million for a scripted drama. This is primarily because reality shows do not utilize expensive performers and writers. Also, advertisers value the fact that reality TV may provide them with low-cost air time in exchange for the producers receiving free goods and services.

Who funds reality TV shows?

Reality shows are original programming wholly funded and owned by a network, streamer, or other production platforms, and they are content exclusive to their library.

Why is it called reality TV?

This is because it is a genre of a television program that documents purportedly unscripted real-life situations, often starring unfamiliar people rather than professional actors.

Why are people against reality TV?

Reality television shows, according to critics, reflect reality in deceitful or even fraudulent ways because of misleading editing, coaching participants on what to say and how to behave, generating storylines ahead of time, and staging or re-staging scenes for the cameras.

What attracts people to reality TV?

Reality TV offers viewers the chance to get away from the monotony of their own lives, to get away from the stresses and strains of their situations, and to provide opportunities for emotional release.


While the reasons why people want to become reality TV stars can vary, it’s clear that the appeal of fame, fortune, and adventure can be strong. However, it’s important to remember that a reality TV show is a highly-produced form of entertainment and that the reality of the experience may differ significantly from what viewers see on screen. 

For those considering pursuing reality TV fame to become a reality show star, it’s essential to carefully consider the potential risks and benefits before diving in.


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Deadline.com – Ex-‘Dance Moms’ Host Abby Lee Miller Sentenced To Prison In Fraud Case

Newidea.com.au – Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller in prison sexual assault nightmare

Usatoday.com – ‘Bachelorette’ alum DeMario Jackson sued for sexual assault, false imprisonment by 2 women

People.com – ‘The Bachelorette’s Chad Johnson Sues Female Movie Producer for Sexual Harassment and Assault

Latimes.com – ‘Big Brother’: Aaryn Gries, who made racist, anti-gay slurs, evicted


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