We know that reality TV isn’t always a lucrative career choice. It takes a lot of charisma and a little bit of luck to start pulling in the big dollars. But still, when you think back on an iconic reality show like Laguna Beach, you might expect that those rich Orange County kids were raking in a lot of cash from MTV. However, it doesn’t seem like that was actually the case. Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti just started a Laguna Beach rewatch podcast, where they revisit the classic MTV series for the first time since it aired. As Variety reported, during the podcast’s first episode, the pair revealed just how much they made for their first season, and the figure is shockingly low.
“I think $2,500,” Kristin recalled during the podcast’s first episode. “I don’t even think it was that much. I think it was $2,000,” Stephen responded.
Hopefully, they’re making more money from doing this podcast than what they made on that first season of Laguna Beach because that would barely cover rent these days. Either way, Stephen shared that it was he and Lauren Conrad that went to MTV to try to get more money for the second season.
“Lauren and I renegotiated for Season 2. It was going to be our last season! We were like, ‘We’re out of here,” he revealed.
Even adjusting for inflation in 2004, $2,000 doesn’t seem like a lot of cash to divulge your personal life on television. Plus, because the high school cast members were only allowed to film on weekends, it took them nine months to shoot the first season, which came out to be 11 episodes.
Despite the drama, the low paycheck, and the extremely long shooting schedule, Kristin feels it was worth it. After all, it did jumpstart her pretty lengthy reality television career.
“I honestly would have done it for free,” Kristin said on the podcast. “At that point, in high school, to me, it was more of a competition. Everybody wanted it, and I was like, ‘I’m gonna get this show!’ I’m super competitive, that has not changed. So, when they told us they were gonna pay us, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, great!’”
Laguna Beach wasn’t the only reality show in the early 2000s sending cast members home with an unimpressive paycheck. Last year, a former contestant from America’s Next Top Model criticized the show for only paying the models $40 a day. Similarly, NeNe Leakes claimed that the Real Housewives of Atlanta cast members were only paid $5,000 for their first season in 2007. So, it sounds like sometimes, you just have to take what you can get and then renegotiate later.
TELL US – ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THE AMOUNT THE LAGUNA BEACH CAST MADE FOR THEIR FIRST SEASON? WOULD YOU FILM A NEW REALITY SHOW FOR $2,000?
[Photo Credit: E!]