Do 'The Voice' Contestants Get Paid? You Might Be Surprised How the Show Works

Contestants on 'The Voice' have to dedicate so much of their time to the show, but how do they get paid? And how much? We have all the details.

Kori Williams - Author

May 11 2021, Published 3:06 p.m. ET

Tyler Kohrs
Source: NBC

Being on a reality or competition show is a huge commitment. In exchange for chasing dreams, fame, or both, contestants have to leave their lives behind for at least a few months while the shows are filming. For many, the time away and chance to change their whole lives is worth it. Contestants on The Voice know exactly what that's like.

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While that level of commitment is inspiring, eventually, the contestants all need to go back to some kind of life off-camera. So do they get paid for their time on the show? And if so, how much? 

Savanna Woods
Source: The Voice
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Do 'The Voice' contestants get paid?

Aside from that $100,000 cash prize at the end of it all, contestants on The Voice do receive money from the show. But they don't get paid in the same way that the coaches of the show or staff get paid. According to Newsweek, they do get a stipend, not a paycheck. Although it's unclear just how much the stipend is. 

Apparently, this stipend is only meant to cover their living expenses during their time on The Voice. Once they get eliminated from the show, they have to pack up and head back home right away. So the show is probably doing everything it can to not spend more money than it needs to on contestants. 

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The Voice may give contestants a stipend, but they apparently don't get the money until you're on the show for some time. "It was basically like being an adult without having to be one," Jessica Poland (aka Charlotte Sometimes) told Cosmopolitan. "Once you’re on the show for a while, you got money [a stipend] to go out and catering was really great. I ate really well.”

Can contestants make money outside of 'The Voice'?

Even though The Voice doesn't give its contestants a paycheck, that doesn't mean that people aren't allowed to make any money at all. Jessica also said that she sublet her NYC apartment while she was on the show in L.A. But that was the only way she was able to make any money considering that the show took up so much of her time. 

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"I couldn’t make a ton of money," Jessica continued. "And even though I worked as a film writer and played shows, I couldn’t do that while I was on The Voice. I couldn’t really work. No one can work."

On the bright side, there was a lot of food available for contestants. Vicci Martinez from season one told Cosmo that there was Starbucks available to them all day and that she even gained weight on the show. 

Making money as a contestant on The Voice is pretty much worlds away from being a coach. We already know they get paid a lot for their roles. John Legend, for example, reportedly made over $10 million from the show. Although not all of the coaches make the same amount, it's always a lot of money. The story's a little different when you're a contestant, though. 

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