Reality Rich List: The Most Successful Stars to Emerge from Reality-TV
Who has become the most successful since their stint on the telly box?
Back in the early noughties, global TV audiences were witness to a new wave of fame-hungry contestants seeking their fortune and becoming the talk of the headlines, thanks to the epic rise in popularity of reality tv shows.
And while, to begin with, these stories were nothing but tabloid fodder that mocked and perpetuated a lack of admiration for these so-called ‘Z-listers’, over time, the rise of the reality star has become an entirely new phenomenon. Fast forward to 2021, and multi-million-pound business ventures and influencer statuses have become easily attainable for those brave enough to try their hand at launching their careers on reality TV.
From Gemma Collins to Kylie Jenner, the team of data specialists from SlotsUp have crunched the numbers to reveal the reality TV stars that are the most financially successful off-screen.
Taking a seed list of the top-ranking UK and US reality TV personalities, we’ve used a weighted ranking system to assign a score to each star in the report, ultimately crowning the most triumphant reality stars.
The Most Successful UK Reality Stars
From Big Brother to TOWIE, British telly has been overloaded with different reality shows during the past two decades, all ready to take on almost any willing contestant wanting their 15 minutes of fame.
Looking at a variety of factors including net worth, IG earnings, IMDb rankings and Google search data, we’ve established which of these contestants broke out of the mould and went on to have the most successful careers after becoming a reality star.
Perrie Edwards takes the top spot as the UK’s most successful reality TV star, with a score of 65.8 out of 100. The English born singer, who has an eye-watering net worth of £5.9m, rose to fame in 2011 on The UK X Factor as a member of Little Mix, which now boasts 23,631,619 monthly listeners on Spotify.
The pop star also has a significant social following of her own, with 13.7 million Instagram followers and 943,900 TikTok followers, meaning that brands looking to collaborate with Perrie should be expecting to pay an average of £41,800 per sponsored post.
Securing her place as the second biggest reality TV star success on the list and in the hearts of many is Stacey Solomon, with a score of 43.9 out of 100. Boasting an impressive net worth of £3,755,875, the lovable celeb and mother of four – previously known for her appearances on The X Factor, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and Gogglebox – is now better known for her honest, open and family-orientated social media presence and a full-time role on ITV daytime show ‘Loose Women’.
And beating out Molly-Mae Hague and Charlotte Crosby to fourth place was in fact Susan Boyle, with a score of 43/100. Susan doesn’t have too much of a presence on Instagram, but she still manages to hold a net worth of over £30m and has the highest number of YouTube searches from all the stars, thanks to her stunning vocals and Scottish charm which we first on the X-Factor.
With 4.8m Instagram followers and 1.6m TikTok followers, Solomon’s loyal audience makes her an ideal celeb to collaborate with, but it will cost you a hefty £18,800 for a sponsored post.
Battle of the reality TV cliques: Which show holds the key to success?
Smart and savvy reality stars often go on to achieve more success following their initial TV appearances with huge brand collaborations on offer. Some start their own brands, take offers to star on their own TV show, or even attempt to transfer their talents to singing or acting roles. But is it Geordie Shore, Made In Chelsea or The Only Way Is Essex that’s the best show for setting up stars to build their own empires of success?
Geordie Shore takes the win as the reality TV show that has provided its cast members with the most success overall.
Charlotte Crosby is the most successful Geordie to come from the show, with a net worth of £3.6m and 7.5m Instagram followers. Since leaving the show, Charlotte has appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, Celebs Go Dating, hosted Just Tattoo Of Us and even landed her own series, imaginatively titled ‘The Charlotte Show’.
Crosby also boasts many partnerships, including such brands as In The Style, Mark Hill Hair and Bondi Sands, alongside her own companies like makeup offering Flique and homeware collection Naked Lane.
Following closely behind as the second most impressive Geordie to emerge from the programme is Vicky Pattison, with a net worth of £4.2m and an Instagram following of 4.8m. Vicky has starred in Celebrity SAS Who Dares Wins, been a panellist on Loose Women, had her own show called Judge Geordie and was the winner of 2015’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. The reality TV star has also recently collaborated with Pour Moi, a lingerie brand that’s all about body positivity.
The TV show Made in Chelsea lives up to its royal status as it takes second place as the show that has created the most successful stars.
Finding the most success since Made in Chelsea is Spencer Matthews, who has an astounding net worth of £47m. While Spencer had made a good fortune of his own before the show whilst working as a foreign exchange broker at ICAP, much of his fortune is owed to his time on the hit reality show. A string of high-end property investments as well as his business venture into the low-alcohol market with his company, CleanCo have managed to more than double his wealth this year. And to top it off, he has also made a string of TV appearances on shows such as Celebrity MasterChef and The Jump.
Matthews’ best friend and fellow Made In Chelsea cast member Jamie Laing has also become extremely successful since first appearing on the show, and as well as attaining a net worth of £7.5m, he has also amassed a following of over 933,000 Instagram followers.
Jamie famously founded confectionery company Candy Kittens, has appeared on Celebrity Hunted, Strictly Come Dancing and also landed a presenting role on the BBC Three show, I Like the Way You Move.
Ranking in third place as the TV show setting its stars up for the most success is The Only Way Is Essex better known as Towie.
Gemma Collins – or the GC as she prefers to go by – has had the most success since The Only Way Is Essex, with the reality TV star amassing a net worth of £7.3m and an Instagram following of 2.2m. The GC has graced the screens of Celebrity Big Brother, Dancing On Ice, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, and her own iconic show Diva Forever; she’s even got her own brand, Gemma Collins Clothing.
Swiftly securing his place in second is Mark Wright, with a net worth of £13m and 1.8m Instagram followers. Mark has made appearances on several shows including I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and Strictly Come Dancing, hosted This Morning, and presented a Heart FM Saturday radio show. He is also the owner of the modelling agency The Wright Look Models and Chigwell Properties.
Most Successful Love Islander
Many Love Island stars find themselves walking out of the villa and into masses of luxury brand collaborations, which can safely be said of the contestants from Series 5. The season focused on the budding romance of professional boxer Tommy Fury and social media influencer, Molly Mae Hague, along with ring girl Maura Higgins and dancer Curtis Pritchard – but who has been the most successful Love Islander?
First up, we have Love Islander turned business mogul Molly Mae Hague, with a calculated net worth of £14,318,037.
Despite being just 22 years old, the blonde bombshell has accumulated a staggering amount of brand deals since leaving the villa, along with 6.1 million Instagram followers – allowing her to score 32.7/100. Shortly after the show ended, she was offered a lucrative collaboration with PrettyLittleThing worth £500,000 and is now creative director for the brand.
She has since launched her own fake tanning label, ‘Filter by Molly-Mae™’, along with partnering with brands like Starbucks and Beauty Works. Reports also show that a joint appearance with boyfriend Tommy Fury can earn them up to £10,000 per event.
Irish contestant, Maura Higgins, has also remained extremely busy since the end of the series, with a net worth of £1 million and 3.3 million Instagram followers. A successful collaboration with Beauty Works allowed her to release her own line of hair stylers and extensions, while a deal with makeup brand Inglot saw the creation of her own 34-piece collection. But her most impressive collab to date is Ann Summers, where Maura has bagged herself a six-figure sum with the lingerie brand.
Maura has also launched her own line of fake tan, with Bellamianta Luxury Tanning, along with embarking on her Dancing on Ice journey in 2020 and coming sixth, allowing her to score 27/100.
In second place, we have professional boxer and heartthrob of Love Island Season 5, Tommy Fury.
Tyson Fury’s younger brother stole the hearts of the nation, along with winning the affections of girlfriend Molly Mae Hague. With reports showing a net worth of around £1 million and with 3.8 million Instagram followers, the young reality star is a force to be reckoned with. Leaving the villa presented him with a six-figure boohooMAN deal in 2019, alongside brand partnerships with McDonald’s and Disney Plus on Instagram, scoring him 26.3/100 overall.
Reports also showed that Tommy Fury TNT and Fury TNT, firms owned by Tommy and his family, earned around £2,846 a day in 2020. Before pulling out due to an illness and broken rib, Tommy was also set to earn a whopping $1.5m (£1,131,757) for his fight with controversial YouTube star Jake Paul.
The Most Successful US Reality Stars
With so many stars hitting the big time in the US, it’s sometimes easy to forget which ones made their start on a reality show.
Practically everybody knows all the words to ‘Since U Been Gone’, but did you know that Kelly Clarkson rose to fame as a reality star? What about model Winnie Harlow, who found stardom in the modelling world through America’s Next Top Model? Many of us have witnessed Todrick Hall’s iconic dance moves on Rupaul’s Drag Race, but who was aware that he was discovered through American Idol? These reality stars have all forged lucrative careers by appearing as contestants on beloved shows, but who is making the biggest bucks?
Gracing much of the top 10 is the Kardashian family, with Kylie Jenner taking first place, scoring 64/100. Jenner, who has multiple businesses including Kylie Beauty and Kylie Skin, beat out her other famous sister, Kim Kardashian, to the top spot – despite Kim’s net worth reaching over $1B (£1,050,035,000) this year.
In fact, the only Kardashian/Jenner that didn’t make the top 10 was ‘Momager’ Kris Jenner, who is often hailed as the driving force behind all of the sisters.
‘My Life Would Suck Without You’ singer, Kelly Clarkson, first appeared on Season 1 of American Idol, winning the competition and embarking on the career of a lifetime.
The songstress is now worth a jaw-dropping $45m (£38,235,825) and has nine studio albums under her belt, scoring 38/100. She has had a whopping 26 songs in the charts, with three reaching the number one spot – yet her career hasn’t been limited to music alone. Kelly hosts her own programme, ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’, and has been a judge on The Voice US since 2011. She has also branched out into voice acting, appearing in films like ‘UglyDolls’, ‘Trolls World Tour’ and ‘The Star’.
Next on the list is dancer extraordinaire Todrick Hall. The choreographer first appeared on the ninth season of American Idol, reaching the semi-finals before being sent home. With a net worth of $4m (£3,399,673), Todrick now has a portfolio of catchy pop songs under his belt, along with regular appearances on the hit reality show Rupaul’s Drag Race as a choreographer and guest judge. He also has his own TV series, ‘Todrick’, as well as landing a lead role in the movie ‘Mean Boyz’ – scoring him 16/100.
Finally, we have model Winnie Harlow, renowned for bringing awareness about the condition of vitiligo. With 9.2m Instagram followers and a net worth of $3m (£2,270,325), Winnie has come a long way since being a contestant on the 21st season of America’s Next Top Model, equipped with an impressive score of 12/100. She has appeared as a model for world-famous designers such as Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Steve Madden, and Nike, along with being a brand ambassador for PUMA.
Taking 90 reality tv stars from the UK and US, we ranked them to find the most successful against 10 factors, each scoring 10, for a total of 100.
The following factors were used:
- Net worth
- Monthly Spotify Listeners
- Instagram Followers
- Google Searches
- YouTube Searches
- Wikipedia Presence
- TikTok Followers
- Instagram Earnings
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