Challenge debuts tonight; past RW and RR cast members can make $90K a year.

Challenge debuts tonight; past RW and RR cast members can make $90K a year.
Just when you wonder where your favorite has-been MTV reality stars are, they show up again to occupy Monday nights with another cast member battle. Thirty-six faces from the past will compete for three $60,000 prizes. Because they’re completely out of ideas over at Bunim-Murray, this will be known as The Real World/Road Rules Battle of the Sexes 2. Wondering why these kids, many of whom are now pushing 40, keep showing up for these degrading displays of third-grade pettiness? Because they make a crapload of cash from being famous. In its profile of past reality TV stars, The New York Times reports that ex-The Real World and Road Rules cast members and other “reality stars can make $80,000 to $90,000 in campus talks alone.” They often pull in $1,500 to $2,000 for each appearance. While that’s nothing compared to the $15,000 Survivor‘s Richard Hatch makes per appearance, it is a lot more than they’d be making at the Taco Bell, assuming their limited skills could even get them employment there. Coral Smith, whose participation in this latest series marks her fifth MTV reality show, says, “Fun job, fun job. People are lining up outside–it’s harder to get on ‘The Real World’ than it is to get into Harvard. Who am I to say no?”

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.