Reality TV stars furious after contract detail prevents influencer career: 'Nightmare'

It’s almost impossible to launch a career from reality TV in 2024.

MAFS 2024 cast looking shocked at a dinner party.
Reality TV stars are struggling to launch their influencer careers in 2024. Photo: Channel Nine

Australian free-to-air networks are under fire from reality TV contestants who are struggling to launch their influencer careers after the show due to a clause in their contract.

While shows like Married At First Sight, The Block and The Bachelor used to create overnight celebrities with huge followings online, this opportunity is almost non-existent in 2024 as participants are required to hand over their social media accounts while the show airs.

“Fans of reality TV may not know that when they interact with their favourite participants online, their messages are being viewed by a third party,” an industry executive tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “More than 70 per cent of current shows require that you hand over your passwords before, during and after the shows are screened.”


Our source reveals that there have been several official complaints from the recent group of reality TV participants which has led to networks “workshopping new strategies”.

“A few networks are coming up with some new plans that might loosen their grip on their talent,” they share. “It was only time before those harsh restrictions were evaluated.”

 The Block’s Leah and Ash standing with Liberty and Eliza at the auction.
Contestants have said it’s a ‘nightmare’ having to hand over control of their Instagram accounts as the show airs on TV. Photo: Channel Nine

Reality stars across a variety of shows have shared their frustration over the social media ban with Yahoo Lifestyle, with one MAFS participant admitting they “would’ve never signed up to the series” if they knew how strict the contracts were in terms of making money off the show.

“It has been a nightmare and the access you give to a complete stranger feels like a massive invasion of privacy,” a former competitor on The Block adds.

A contestant on this year’s season of Farmer Wants A Wife says they considered pursuing an influencer career after the show but it was "too late" once they regained full control of their social media accounts.

“I had so many messages about collaborations/sponsorships in my inbox when I was allowed access to my Instagram but by the time I was in the driver’s seat those opportunities had dried up,” they reveal.

Meanwhile, a former MAFS bride who relied on social media as a marketing tool for their business tells Yahoo Lifestyle there are a “few loopholes” to get around the ban.

“Make sure you put it in your contract early that your social media is considered your business and that will throw a few spanners in the works,” they share. “Most participants with over 50k followers are eligible for so many paid opportunities but those numbers are not achievable if you’re not active during the show's peak popularity.”

MasterChef season 16 cast.
MasterChef is one of the few reality shows that allows its participants to use social media as the season airs. Photo: Channel 10

Channel Nine is most notorious for keeping their talent off social media while their shows air, with MAFS and The Block participants forced to wait months before they can access their personal accounts.

“Once the show wraps they are required to run every opportunity by the network and then they will make the decisions on whether they allow the proposition,” our insider spills. “Some shows like The Block have a 12-month requirement before they can make decisions for themselves.”


MasterChef is one of the few reality shows that allows its participants to use their social media freely as the season airs, which begs the question of why some of these other shows can't permit the same.

“Not everyone is on these shows for ‘Insta fame’ and regardless of how cringe the idea of signing up for reality TV to be famous is, that should be up to each individual who has every right to want to push their 15 minutes,” the source adds.

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