“ABC was originally going to spend no more than $50 million on talent. They had to expand their budget for Lionel,” a show insider told Page Six. However, we all know Katy Perry landed $25 million of that, not leaving enough for Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. Apparently Katy was offered so much “because of her appeal to a younger audience and huge social-media following. But Katy is effectively taking money from the other judges, who then had to be paid way less,” their source said.
“The negotiations with Luke and Lionel have been fraught and difficult because of [Katy’s paycheck],” an insider added. “They expected similar deals to Katy, but are, in fact, getting a hell of a lot less. In the end, ABC had to cough up a second round of money to sign the other judges.” Both Lionel and Luke were reportedly offered $2.5 million each, but both demanded more; now they’re each making $7 million.
“This has become a very expensive show,” the network source said. Well, we can definitely see that. Host Ryan Seacrest also took his time signing back on, and is allegedly getting paid around $15 million — which is still quite the salary, but much less than Katy’s.
As for what to expect from the judges, Katy told reporters on Oct. 4 she doesn’t think any of them will be “nasty” to contestants. “I think what we believe in is being constructive and giving constructive criticism because it doesn’t help anyone and people are really sensitive and we understand because we’ve all walked into a room like that at one time in our lives,” she said, Lionel added, “I think I’m going to change the word ‘nasty’ to ‘brutally honest.’ Because we don’t have time to warm up here. We only have a couple of months to get this right and so if we had a couple of years to work with these acts, artists, fantastic. But I don’t like the word ‘nasty.’ I think nasty only implies that we’re going to hurt someone.”
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