Women Are Taking Over Talent Shows and Getting Paid More Than Men
@arianagrande / Instagram
Women are taking over talent shows these days. And we’re not talking about the female contestants — although they’re obviously amazing. Rather, we’re talking about the judges and coaches.
Women like Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Sofia Vergara, and now, Ariana Grande, are sitting at the table with their male colleagues and making even more money than them.
It was recently announced that Ariana will be joining The Voice for Season 21, and she’ll be making more money than any coach in the show’s history.
How Women Are Dominating TV Talent Shows
Ariana Grande Joins ‘The Voice’ Season 21
The news recently broke that pop star Ariana Grande will be joining The Voice next season. She’ll be replacing current coach Nick Jonas. A source told Page Six that Nick will “remain on rotation” and will likely return in a future season.
The source also shared, “Ariana is a huge fan of The Voice and her management team has been negotiating to get her on the show for a while.”
In fact, Grande tweeted about watching The Voice all the way back in 2011, when the show first premiered.
“I’m so honored and excited to join ‘The Voice’ family! I have been a huge fan of the show for such a long time,” Grande said in a statement. “I can’t wait to go head-to-head with the incredible coaches, get to know these new artists and help to take their craft to the next level.”
How Much Will Grande be Paid on ‘The Voice’?
Grande is a huge star with an enormous following (229 million followers on Instagram and 82 million followers on Twitter), so she’ll probably bring a lot of new viewers to the show. Fans on Twitter have already predicted that her artist will win with the voting strength of her following.
Because of this, it’s no surprise that Grande will reportedly receive a huge paycheck for her time on the show. In fact, she’s set to make history with her salary.
Sources say Grande will make between $20 million and $25 million for appearing on The Voice next season, which would make her the highest-paid coach in the talent show’s history.
This salary would put her on par with Katy Perry on American Idol, and surpasses fellow The Voice coach, Kelly Clarkson, who is currently making the most out of the celebrities on the show’s panel. Both Perry and Clarkson are paid more than their male co-stars.
How Much Does Kelly Clarkson Make on ‘The Voice’?
A source recently told OK! magazine that Clarkson “negotiated a whopping $15 million when she joined the show.”
The singer reportedly received such a high salary because she joined the show in 2018, when American Idol was returning to TV.
The source explained that “getting their first ever winner on The Voice was a huge get for NBC.”
Clarkson has gone on to coach the show’s winners three times, and is currently coaching in her seventh season.
Clarkson may not make as much as new coach Grande in the upcoming season, but she’s still making more than her male co-stars. John Legend and Blake Shelton both reportedly make $13 million for their roles on the show. Jonas, meanwhile, was estimated to make around $10 million for his first season.
The show’s first female coach, Christina Aguilera, also made a pretty penny during her time on The Voice. According to The Wrap, she made $17 million in Season three, although it was decreased to $12.5 million in Season five. (Still, not too shabby.)
Kelly Holds Her Own Against the Boys
This season, Clarkson is the only female coach on the panel. In a video promoting the season, she said she’s “cool” whether or not there are other women on the panel with her.
“I do love hanging with the guys, too,” she said. “This is a fun group. I love Nick, John, and Blake. It’s like having three brothers on set.”
She went on to compare their dynamic to a “family Thanksgiving dinner.”
“Boys, the queen is back,” Clarkson said at the end of the video. She and Grande will have to be co-queens when the pop star joins the show next season.
“Next season we are bringing y’all some powerful female energy!” Clarkson wrote on Twitter after Grande was announced as a coach.
How Much Does Katy Perry Make on ‘American Idol’?
Katy Perry was the first celebrity added to the panel of American Idol when it was rebooted on ABC in 2018. Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan joined her, and the three are currently in their fourth season together.
Perry’s paycheck for the show is supposedly around $25 million per season. This reportedly caused some drama at the show, as a source told Page Six that ABC’s Ben Sherwood “blew the budget” on the pop star’s salary.
This meant that Perry’s fellow judges “had to be paid way less.” Bryan and Richie were each offered $2.5 million initially, but demanded more. Their salaries were apparently brought up to $7 million each. Longtime host Ryan Seacrest, meanwhile, makes $15 million.
An ABC rep later denied the source’s claims to “Page Six,” saying that “the deals were done within the original ABC talent budget for the show.”
Katy herself has also cast doubt on her reported salary.
Does Katy Perry Really Make that Much Per Season?
During a 2020 interview with Howard Stern, Perry made it sound like her reported salary $25 million wasn’t quite accurate.
“It’s not always what’s reported,” she said. “I’m not here to confirm or deny. Let’s just say that those things are to be taken with a grain of Himalayan salt for sure.”
However, during the same interview, Perry shared that she’s also involved behind the scenes of the show in addition to appearing on screen as a judge. She takes credit for helping revitalize American Idol for a new audience.
“It’s not something I do passively. I strategize with them behind the scenes,” she explained. “I have a bit of an unspoken producer role in that I bring a lot creatively to the table and try and elevate it.”
“That’s why I wanted to be a part of it, first and foremost, before Luke or Lionel were even confirmed to be the judges because I wanted to help reinvent it with ABC,” Perry continued. “It was on a new platform. It had already done so many seasons on Fox so how do we make it fresh? How do we make it cool?”
Perry’s Fellow Judges Have Her Back
Perry may be making much more than her male co-stars, but it sounds like they don’t hold it against her. Back when American Idol was renewed for a third season on ABC in 2019, the network reportedly asked Fremantle Media to cut costs on the show, which seemed to put Perry’s potential future with the show up in the air.
When asked what it would take to bring them back to the table, both Richie and Bryan shared that they wouldn’t want to do the show without Perry.
“We got the three greatest personalities ever on this show,” Richie told People. “When I started with this group I was a bit worried. I kept telling America to pray for me, but now that I know everybody and their characters, I would not do another show without them!”
“You know, we’ve had an amazing two years,” Bryan chimed in. “It feels like this year we came in and had a clearer vision and developed our identity and our role. We want to keep that going. We’re proud of what people at home are watching.”
How Much Does Sofia Vergara Make on ‘AGT’?
Sofia Vergara is the latest addition to the judging panel on America’s Got Talent. She made her debut last year, and is returning for the upcoming sixteenth season.
In 2020, Forbes named Vergara the highest-paid actress of the year. The outlet reported that she made $500,000 per episode of her sitcom Modern Family, and estimated that she makes “at least $10 million each season” on America’s Got Talent.
Vergara’s salary appears to be much higher than at least two of her fellow judges. Howie Mandel is estimated to make about $70,000 per episode. Considering Season 15 had 25 episodes, that would mean he raked in about $1.75 million.
Heidi Klum, meanwhile, is reported to make $100,000 per episode, which would give her a salary of $2.5 million for last season.
Simon Cowell’s salary for the show is harder to pin down since he serves as a creator and executive producer for AGT as well as a judge. Cowell currently has an estimated net worth of $600 million, so he may be hard to beat.
Are Female Judges Improving Talent Shows?
The female judges on talent shows like American Idol, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent aren’t just getting paid well — they’re also bringing in viewers and boosting engagement. Take Perry on Idol, for example.
According to Billboard, American Idol came in at number three among all primetime and late night shows for 2020 in Nielsen’s Talkwalker Social Content Rankings. The show was also the most social series on broadcast TV last year, with 27 million social interactions.
Perry herself was also the number one most engaging talent for the 2020 primetime shows, with more than 16 million engagements. Not to mention, last year’s American Idol season premiere led the night’s ratings with 8.05 million viewers.
The Voice Season 20 premiere earlier this year also beat The Bachelor to top the night’s ratings, with 7.74 million viewers. Kelly Clarkson’s talk show is also a hit, and has been renewed through 2023. The show won three daytime Emmys in 2020.
Vergara’s debut at the America’s Got Talent judging table was also a hit last season. The Season 19 premiere led the night with 9.65 million viewers. Vergara made history on the show as the first-ever Latina judge on the AGT panel.
Women Are Dominating Talent Shows in 2021
This year is looking like a great one for female judges on talent shows. With Vergara and Klum officially returning to America’s Got Talent, and Grande joining Clarkson on the Voice coaching panel, fans have a lot to look forward to.
We could also potentially have two winning female coaches on The Voice this year. Clarkson has a strong team this season, and the odds will be even greater once Grande balances out the gender divide next season. We can’t wait to see how things turn out.