Reality TV

The shocking amount of money My Kitchen Rules contestants actually get paid

Don't quit your day jobs aspiring chefs.
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The life of a reality TV star may seem glamorous, but if you’re thinking of signing up to My Kitchen Rules, we wouldn’t recommend you do it for the money.

While the winners are rewarded with $250,000, if you don’t make it all the way to the very end, it’s another story.

With the 2022 season of My Kitchen Rules just three weeks away, we’ve lifted the lid on how much contestants actually get paid – and and we suspect it’s a little bit less than what judges Manu Feildel and Nigella Lawson make.

According to a report from the Daily Telegraph, contestants on reality shows including My Kitchen Rules are given a meagre $100 per day to cover expenses. That’s less than minimum wage!

However an unnamed source revealed that contestants were each paid $1000 a week, but it was “a stretch” seeing as they had to pay for their groceries out of that amount during practice.

“It’s hard. We were spending up to $600 a week on food because you’re encouraged to cook as much as possible,” the insider said.

Regardless, contestants aren’t left with much cash to splash.

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Season five runner up Kelly Ramsey, who told in 2014 that she was falsely painted as a villain with partner Chloe, said that she even had to move back home with her parents.

She added that while they were offered a counsellor by the network, “that doesn’t help you find a job or pay your mortgage”.

“We have no money, I have people trolling my work to fire me, I was in hospital on Sunday with exhaustion. It cuts your whole soul, it cuts your being,” Kelly said at the time.

“I’ve got Chloe’s wedding (she’s getting married in New York in June to long-term partner Luke), and I’m having to pay for that, moving back home with my parents, I think it all just got a bit too much.”

Chloe James and Kelly Ramsay were the 2015 runners-up but their financial troubles brought a lot of stress.

(Image: Seven)

Piper O’Neill competed on the show in 2019 and was later awarded $22,000 a year in compensation from Channel Seven for psychological injury. In April 2021 she shed light on what she was paid while on the show.

“I was paid $500 per week for being on the show. I was given an additional $500 a week for food for myself to eat and to aid in the purchase of food that would need to be bought and to practise cooking for the show,” she told the personal injury commission of New South Wales.

In early seasons of the show, the winners received $100,000, but since then, the prize money has climbed to an eye-watering quarter of a million dollars.

And that’s nothing compared to what the judges must get paid!

We can’t hack into their bank accounts, but we doubt the judges are strapped for cash.

French native Manu Feildel, whose restaurant L’Etoile closed four months after opening in 2014, bought a Maroubra property for $1.9 million in 2015 and former judge Pete Evans and his family purchased one in 2013 for $1.44 million.

Manu will return to MKR alongside new co-judge, international dessert queen Nigella Lawson.

(Image: Seven)

But perhaps the hosting gig is tougher than it looks, as Manu admitted to The Courier Mail that he unleashed on a contestant.

“I remember when someone giggled at me and I just lost it. I said, “You want to swap jobs, because I can win that money cooking but you couldn’t do my job,” and that was it,” he said.

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