Live and learn! Two years after starring on Big Brother 19, Elena Davies was ready to fight for more money when she was cast on Ex on the Beach.
“We’re paid a stipend per week. $1,000 a week for as long as you film. Say you are the first person sent home and you only spend six hours in the house, you get $1,000,” Davies, 30, said of her time on the CBS reality show in 2017 during the Monday, July 12, episode of Dear Media’s “Trading Secrets” podcast. “I was in the jury house, so I technically filmed the entire season. I got paid the entire 13-week stipend.”
After host Jason Tartick noted that added up to about $142 a day, the former radio personality explained that when it comes to Big Brother, nothing is negotiable. The winner wins $500,000, the runner-up gets $50,000 and the rest of the cast receive their stipend and any challenge winnings that they may have earned during the show.
Plus, she noted, she spent around $5,000 before going on the show, making sure she had enough clothing, makeup, hair products, etc. for what could be up to 110 days.
On MTV’s Ex on the Beach, things were a bit different.
“I got paid almost as much as I got paid for Big Brother filming Ex on the Beach, but I only filmed Ex on the Beach for five days because I was the first person that they sent home,” the Dropp Collective cofounder shared of her time on season 3 of the dating show. “I just negotiated better than other people that I know.”
The “MiscELENAeous Podcast” host added that MTV really wants to cast talent from CBS, so they will usually pay them more over cast members from Are You the One? or The Challenge.
“That works for my favor a little bit, but I demanded a pretty high weekly stipend, and then I demanded guaranteed pay, which they don’t normally offer because I was like, ‘I’m not doing all this and then get getting sent home the first week,'” she explained. “Pay me what I want or no, thanks.”
The Texas native originally was going to be a main cast member but because they needed more men, they decided her ex, Mark Jansen, would be a cast member and she’d be brought in as his ex — something that made her price point go up.
“I was like, ‘No, you have to pay me at least three weeks’ pay.’ I want to say that my stipend was $4,500. I made it out with maybe $17,000 from this show, and that was just me really playing the game,” Davies said. “Even when they wanted to fly me back to shoot just my headshot — because why wouldn’t I shoot that while I was there? — I was like, ‘I want my weekly stipend.’ I flew in at 11:00 at night, and I was on the flight the next day at 9:45 in the morning. And I got paid my weekly [stipend] for that.”
She joked that she went on to “spend $3,500 on therapy” after being on the show.
“I kind of s–t on MTV a little bit more, but if I’m being candid, I was filming a show during one of the hardest times in my life,” Davies shared. “It was exploiting that [relationship] and I was aware of it so I can blame no one but myself. They want to make good TV.”
While she didn’t return to her old job after being on TV, Davies did launch a podcast and now makes most of her money on Instagram and OnlyFans.
“If you’re a female and you go on reality TV, sell your feet pictures online,” she explained, noting that she has sold photos of her feet for up to $450. “I have moved over to OnlyFans. … I’ve had a secret OnlyFans for two months that’s paid me way more than anything that I made in the year 2020. I only post fans. It’s just me and fans.”
She went on to explain that the photos are literally of her, fully dressed, with electric fans. Plus, the account has some “sexy selfies” thrown in. She charges $17 a month and has around 300 subscribers, which equals out to around $61,000 a year.
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