While some reality shows are just that, other shows are scripted. Some reality shows are competitions such as Survivor, Top Chef, RuPaul Drag Race, and The Circle. In particular, fans are curious about the Netflix reality show The Circle. Is the financial compensation is worth it to come on the show?
What is 'The Circle'?
Created by Michelle Buteau, The Circle is a competition reality show where players all move into a building where they stay in their own apartments. Throughout the competition, the players don't meet face-to-face. Instead, they get to know each other through an app. The app allows each contestant to portray themselves in any way they choose, even if it's as a "catfish" (a common tactic used online where people pretend to be a different person).
As the game progresses, each player is pressured to make sure they receive the highest rating possible from the other players. The two people with the highest ratings become "influencers" and have the power to "block" other players. If a person is blocked from the game, they get the chance to meet another (current) player in person. A day after the blocked person is gone, a video is shown to the other players that reveals if the individual was real or a catfish.
How much do 'The Circle' contestants get paid?
You may be surprised to find out that the only monetary compensation available on The Circle is the winning prize of $100,000 and the Fan Favorite Award that comes with $10,000. This seems pretty shocking given that contestants are away from their homes and jobs to participate. The reason for the lack of per-episode compensation may be due to how long it takes to film the show.
For some reality shows, the shooting schedule demands that contestants also be paid per episode. Shows like Big Brother reportedly take around 96 days to film. The Circle only takes a whopping 15 days to film. One can assume since the contestants are part of a grueling process of filming that the network may not be required to pay contestants beyond the prize money. Another factor that may come into play is viewership.
How long a show has been around impacts the number of viewers that tune in. The Circle is still a fairly new show and concept since it didn't start until January 1, 2020. It's possible that as the show continues to put out more seasons, the network may be able to pay contestants per episode as well. However, even though there isn't monetary compensation just for being on the show, contestants oftentimes are able to become influencers after being on the show whether or not they won.