The Rise Of The Reality Star: Are They Australia’s Newest Celebrity?

Michael and Martha

When it comes to Australian awards shows, our red carpets have nothing on those of our US counterparts.

For starters, our red carpets are shorter, go for an hour or two max and the celebrities that walk them are mostly only known to Australians.

In the US on the other hand, the calibre of celebrity is far greater — as bona fide movie and rock stars make an appearance.

But, there’s one other noticeable difference when it comes how Australia does it and that’s where our reality stars sit on the celeb scale.

When we say reality TV star — we’re not talking Keeping Up With The Kardashians, we’re talking your bread and butter “d-listers” from shows like Channel 9’s Married at First Sight and Love Island and Network Ten’s The Bachelor — the stars who are literally more famous than most people in the country.

You may have seen reality stars plastered all over your Instagram feeds, attending events, going to parties and spruiking a ton of products.

In fact, at the ARIA Awards in November, stars that had no association with the music industry like MAFS’ couples Cam Merchant and Jules Robinson and Martha Kalifatidis and Michael Brunelli; plus Love Island 2019 winners Anna McEvoy and Josh Packham, walked the red carpet, posing for selfies and causing more of a fuss than even some of our most famous Aussie artists.

And while many claim to “not watch that trash”, these reality TV stars have become more famous than anyone in the country – and truly pave the way as a hot commodity.

But are we really all that surprised?


The premiere of the seventh season of Married at First Sight, drew in a phenomenal national TV audience of 2.611 million beaten its own ratings record from the previous year.

Not only did the finale bring in the big numbers, but the entire season was hugely successful online with a total cross-platform average audience of more than 2.58 million people per episode.

In comparison, the ARIA Awards 2019 only drew in a total of 600,000 viewers — a 1.3 million viewer difference. So, who are the real stars here?

These new so-called celebrities not only benefit from a red carpet or two, but are more likely to have a higher social media following — therefore, are approached by companies to spruik their products.

In fact, the current cast of Love Island catapulted to Insta fame within days of arriving in Fiji, and now majority of them have amassed between 100k and 250k followers each.

After her controversial stint on the hit show, MAFS’ Jessika Power has become a full-time Instagram influencer and just two months after the finale aired in April, was able to buy an investment property in Perth.

Speaking on the Mumbrellacast podcast just after the finale, Max Markson, who represents several of the reality cast, claimed that alum can earn upwards of $10,000 for just one post.


Cyrell Paule was said to have made $27,000 for nine days work doing club appearances and Jules Robinson is earning more than $900 a photograph!

There are certainly some naysayers out there when it comes to reality TV,  but when you compare their star power to the likes of even some of the most popular actors in the country (Bloom actor Ryan Corr has 31k Instagram followers and Home and Away’s Orpheus Pledger 143k), you can’t even compare.

The only thing is, they may be a hot commodity right now — but come March 2020, and a whole new cast will take their place.

But as of now, they are the superstar celebrities of Australia, and based on their numbers alone, have truly earned the right to walk the red carpet of life.