Reality television shows are quite the entertainers! From bringing together a bunch of contestants who go at each other in different ways to win the show as well as the support and votes of the audience to ardently wowing the world with their talent, grit, and determination, there is plenty going on when it comes to reality shows. Of course, one other reason the fight to the finish is an exciting one on every show is that the winner takes home a prize. And while not all reality shows involve stakes in the form of a prize, here we are with Popular Reality Television Shows and Franchises Where Winners Pocket Real Money that tells you all about one of the driving factors that help contestants through their journey.
The Survivor Franchise
The Survivor franchise, created by Charlie Parsons and Planet 24, has been around since the year 1997 and in all these years, has proved to be quite the entertainer for audiences. We can’t say the same for contestants though, for they have to go through a lot even to be able to survive on the show. Maybe that’s what makes the name of the show an apt one! As a reality competition television franchise, Survivor has several avatars and is now produced in several countries, from Australia and Brazil to Ukraine and Turkey. And as far as grand cash prizes go, the Survivor franchise sure boasts of some big money all the way! Let’s peek into some of the prize money only for the current seasons. Australian Survivor: Blood V Water has a grand prize of A$500,000, the Brazilian season that’s named No Limite 6 has a prize of R$500,000, the season in France named Koh-Lanta has a grand prize worth €100,000 and so does the one in Greece that’s named Survivor Greece. The Italian season that’s titled L’isola dei Famosi has a prize of €100,000 too while the Swedish version that’s nicknamed Expedition Robinson has a cash prize of 500,000 SEK waiting for the winner. And these are only a few of the winnings from a handful of versions of the franchise in different countries. And numbers for only the current season! Surely, survival has never been so rewarding as it has in the Survivor franchise!
The Big Brother Franchise
The Big Brother franchise is not just big on scandals and scandalous behavior, it’s also big on prize money! Originally a Dutch reality competition television series that soon blew up into a worldwide franchise, with more than 62 regions and nations now on the list, Big Brother is all about bringing in a bunch of contestants (celebrities too) into a house and locking them in for a few weeks, only to let their original faces come out in the open. Filled with entertainment and scandal, the show has proved to be a hit in almost every territory it has played out in, and of course, at the end of it all, there’s a cash prize waiting for the winner! In the American version of the show, for example, the winner takes home a prize of a whopping $500,000, while even those that come in second and third take home $50,000 and $25,000 respectively — quite a lot for simply spending time locked up with other people! And then there are biggies! Big Brother: The Game gave winners a chance to take home a shocking $1,000,000 prize. When you add up all the money that the franchise has spread out among winners since it first aired way back in 1999, it easily adds up to millions of dollars in prize money alone!
The Voice Franchise
Yet another reality competition franchise that took birth in the Dutch entertainment industry, The Voice is a franchise that is well-loved all over the world, and for more reasons than one too! Firstly, it gives talented singers the chance to grab on to lessons that come from the experience of successful singers who play the role of judges and then mentors. Then, it gives winners the chance to win prizes ranging from cash wins to contracts with record labels. Of course, there have even been instances where those who lost in the competition have still managed to use their few frames of fame to find success in the industry outside. Created by John de Moi and Roel van Velzen, the show originally began with The Voice of Holland before moving on to several more countries and territories. Consisting of several steps, the blind auditions, the battles, the knockouts, and the live shows, the format of the franchise is one that allows contestants to truly explore their talents, even giving judges the chance to test them in every way they can. At the end of it all, while the cash prize bestowed on the winners is always a blessing, it is the fame and the recording contracts that come their way through The Voice franchise that offers even more traction to the careers of these singing stars.
The Amazing Race Franchise
An adventure reality game show that has contestants pitching their physical strengths as well as mental capabilities against competitors from other teams, The Amazing Race franchise first took root in the United States and soon moved into other territories. Created by Elise Doganieri and Bertram van Munster, the show soon moved into other regions around the world, giving both audiences and contestants a thrill that was never seen before. With the prize money running into thousands of dollars and every season in every territory bringing to audiences truly amazing races, the very format of the show is highly gripping. With a wide variety of elements like clues, routes, gameplay rewards, penalties, detours, roadblocks, tasks, partner swaps, passes and tickets, and different legs, The Amazing Race franchise sure makes it pretty difficult for participants to take home the huge prize monies at stake!
Previously known by different names such as The Real World, Road Rules Challenge, and Road Rules: All Stars, The Challenge is a reality competition show that plays out on the MTV network and is a spin-off that brings together the most interesting elements from two different show formats, Road Rules, and The Real World. Created by Mary-Ellis Burnim and Jonathan Murray, the competition has participants being pitted against each other and making their through the most grueling of challenges to reach the end of the competition. And of course, waiting for them at the end is the winner’s title and an impressive amount of cash in the form of a prize! The popularity of the show has helped it move into three more territories, with The Challenge: Argentina, The Challenge: Australia, and The Challenge: U.K. all proving to be just as popular as the American version. In addition to the usual series that allow contestants to compete with each other for the prize money, there are also specials like Spring Break Challenge, The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars, The Challenge: CT’s Getting Married, The Challenge: All Stars, and The Challenge: War of the Worlds series that have even more at stake.
Come on now, if love can bring you every kind of happiness, why shouldn’t it bring you money too! And following this very rule in life is Love Island, a television reality franchise that has highly competitive haggling hunks and bitchy beauties pitting against one another to win the title of the winning couple. And of course, in addition to showing the world just how strong their love is, these winners also take home a considerable amount of prize money. Now, while the show has been based on the premise of love, what sets this one apart from others on this list is the amount of criticism and flak that has come it’s way. From mental health organizations that have condemned the show for its emphasis on good looks and chiseled bodies that are almost too unreal for the real world to even legal watch groups that have been highlighting the controversies surrounding the show — from sexual assault charges to suicides — there have been many who haven’t been fans of the show. Of course, all this doesn’t change the fact that if it is a combination of love and money that one seeks, Love Island is the show to head to!
American Ninja Warrior
American Ninja Warrior is a show that probably has the most amount of adrenaline being produced than any other show on this list, and even one glimpse of a run that these brave participants undertake will tell you why! Of course, while the prize money of $1,000,000 is a reward that surely makes up for all that hard work and determination, what proves to be even more motivation is the fact that not many participants have managed to reign supreme in the show. To date, ever since the show first began airing way back in 2009, there have been less than a handful of participants who have truly made an impact. While Isaac Caldiero and Drew Dreschel have achieved Total Victory and have to their name the conquest of Mount Midoriyama, only one contestant, Geoff Britten, has been able to win across all the six courses of the show — the city qualifying course, the city finals course, and the four courses of Mount Midoriyama — which means that until now, only Geoff has been able to don the hat of American Ninja Warrior. And even if other participants manage to equal or surpass his feats someday, he will forever be known as the “First American Ninja Warrior”.
The Top Chef franchise may have begun its journey on American television as a cooking show competition but soon enough, the format of the show as well as the positive reactions from audiences enabled it to take on a global avatar. Over the years, the show has won over audiences across countries and territories, and at present, is going strong as Top Chef in the Arab World, Top Chef Canada, Top Chef in France and Belgium, Top Chef Mexico, and Top Chef Panama. Throughout a season, the format of the show allows participants to keep winning prize money as well as other rewards, while still competing for the ultimate prizes that are granted to them at the final showdown. These final prize monies have ranged anywhere between $100,000 to $250,000, with the latter a constant since the show’s seventeenth season. The format of the show has inspired several spin-offs too, from Top Chef Masters, Top Chef Healthy Showdown, and Top Chef Duels, to Top Chef Just Desserts, Top Chef Family Style, and Top Chef Junior, among others. And across all these formats, the prize money that contestants have won has mostly hovered around the $100,000 mark.
The Idol Franchise
The Idol franchise, also known as SuperStar or Search for a Superstar in certain territories, is probably the most well-known singing competition in the world today, with the reality television singing competition even influencing the music industries of different regions across the globe. Thanks to the format of the show, there have been several budding singers, who would have otherwise been lost forever, finding not just a few singing gigs but also full-fledged careers in the entertainment industry. From fame to recording contacts, the Idol franchise opens the doors to a great path for singers, and in many ways, proves to be a catapult that launches impressive careers. And how can we forget the cash prizes that come along with the win! In some versions of the franchise, contestants even win smaller amounts through the season, thanks to sponsors who use the platform to showcase their offerings and pay for smaller conquests in the show in return. But the one thing that proves to be a lot more valuable than the monetary prizes associated with the Idol franchise is the fame that it brings. Winners and even participants in the show are no longer struggling artists. Thanks to the popularity of the show, they are now established singers who accomplish their own share of success and cement their names in their own different ways in the music industry.
The Got Talent Franchise
From America’s Got Talent to Britain’s Got Talent in first-world countries to India’s Got Talent and Ecuador Tiene Talento in the developing world, the Got Talent franchise has a representation like few other franchises on this show, and all along, the larger than life show doesn’t just offer a great platform for those who have extraordinary talents but also gives away millions of dollars in prize money each year! First starting off in America and Britain, the show’s creator Simon Cowell soon took the franchise to other parts of the world and before even he knew it, it was a phenomenon worth reckoning. Today, the Got Talent franchise has a global presence, giving hundreds of contestants a platform to showcase their unique talents and a chance to take home a grand prize. And of course, fame and glory too!
It’s Time We Pocketed This List!
And just like that, in the same way, that the many winners across all these shows pocket their prize money, we think it’s time for us to pocket this list too! We must confess that while there were many other shows that caught r attention too and could very well have been a part of this list that we call Popular Reality Television Shows and Franchises Where Winners Pocket Real Money, it is our penchant for picking out the best for you that has shown us the way to the reality shows that finally make this list. We sure hope you enjoyed the ride!