The question of whether or not Bachelor contestants get paid, and how much they get paid, has been asked since the dawn of, well, since the first rose was handed out at the show's premiere in 2002.
After all, it takes less than nine weeks to film a season, which means contestants must step away from their jobs and over two months of pay, all for the slim odds of finding a spouse. But are they reimbursed in any way for that time?
Unfortunately, contestants are not paid to be on the show.
This isn't to say they walk away empty-handed. As you may have noticed from stalking past contestants' Instagrams, many former contestants and former Bachelors monetize their fame by appearances and brand endorsements.
When it comes to work, though, and your career, it's a personal choice. E! Online reports former contestant Luke Pell as saying, "The one cost that was the most taxing for me was being away from my business for such an extended period of time."
Contestants End up Spending Money on Things like Wardrobe
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHmus9vSLw8&t=344s expand=1]
Being on the show does mean dropping a fair bit of money, though. Especially for the women. Contestants are required to provide their own wardrobe. (Except for the two finalists—they have their dresses provided for the finale). Multiple sites have rumored that Olivia Caridi spent around $40,000 on clothes before going on Ben Higgins' season.
On her blog, Jillian Harris comes clean about the lengths she had to go to appear on The Bachelor. "I had re-mortgaged my house and I spent something like $8,000 on clothing (which is still a lot) … but now that designer labels are even more important, I can see how someone can spend that … easily!!!!! The funny thing is, Ben and all of the other guys don’t give a sh*t!!! I bet you they don’t even notice a difference."
In a February interview with E! Online, contestant Becca Tilley spoke about how bringing their clothing could get competitive. "Some of the gowns the girls wore were insanely beautiful and crazy expensive," Tilley said. "There were times when I just couldn't believe it. People would wear the most expensive dresses right off the bat, because no one knew how long they would have the chance to."
The Bachelor and Bachelorette Make The Big Bucks
How much does the actual Bachelor or Bachelorette make? They definitely do make a decent amount, but the specific number is up for debate (and many people have, in fact, debated over the topic.)
Bachelor guru Reality Steve claims the stars of the show make up to $100,000. In 2011, however, US Weekly reported that Herbert made only $30,000 from her stint as bachelorette. The magazine did note, however, that "top-tier" bachelor and bachelorettes make $100,000.
In an interview last year, Ben Higgins offered yet another tidbit that we should consider. "... as the bachelor they really just match whatever you’d be making in the real world during the months that it tapes. And then you have the experience that kind of pays for the rest."
As of now, it seems there isn't really a consensus on how much the bachelor or bachelorette makes. What is clear, however, is that they rake in far more than their would-be suitors.