Lisa Vanderpump Says It Would Be ‘Brave’ of Star to Quit Show Ahead of Season 12

Lisa Vanderpump hinted that veteran “Vanderpump Rules” cast members are making too much money to pass up.

In a June 2024 podcast interview, the Sur owner spoke out about rumors that longtime cast member Ariana Madix may quit the Bravo reality show that made her famous. Vanderpump strongly hinted that Madix would be foolish to leave.

Madix’s ending scene on the season 11 finale, titled “Plot Twist,” sure looked like a final act. She refused to film a conversation with her estranged ex, Tom Sandoval, and instead walked out of a finale filming event.

Madix was also visibly upset when she saw what her co-stars said about her after she left the event. Her real-time reaction was captured during the “Vanderpump Rules” season 11 reunion.

Lisa Vanderpump Hinted That Ariana Madix Makes More Money on VPR Than in Musical Theater

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Vanderpump spoke in an extensive interview on the “Not Skinny But Not Fat” podcast on June 18. When host Amanda Hirsch asked her if she thinks Madix may decide “I don’t need this anymore” and focus on other endeavors, Vanderpump said it would be a bold move.

“It’d be brave of her because she’s been, you know, a cast member for a long time and your pay kind of goes up exponentially as you long, you stay on a show,” Vanderpump explained. “But if she could find a job in musical theater…which is hard to do though, let’s be honest.”

Madix did land a lead role in the Broadway musical “Chicago.” Vanderpump told Hirsch she was too “busy” to go see the performance. She also admitted she was disappointed that Madix chose to walk out during the VPR season 11 finale filming.

“I wasn’t there [ to stop it],” she said. “No, I wasn’t there. I mean, it was the last day of shooting. Listen, it’s up to them to make their decisions. The show isn’t produced. You do this and you do that. I mean, of course producers would like you to put everything on the table. But if you’re not going to, you’re not going to. We’re certainly not gonna say you can’t leave till you said it.”

While no season 12 decisions have been made, Madix has already said she is looking beyond “Vanderpump Rules.”

“There’s a lot of things on the horizon that I am excited about,” she said in a March 2024 interview with CNN. “As someone in the entertainment industry, I started out with a theater degree, but I started out with zero connections to anything. I have gone through many, many years where I could not find work.”

Madix added that she was “really grateful” for the opportunities she has been given over the past year.

Other ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Stars Have Talked About Their Pay

Tommy Garcia/BravoThe cast of “Vanderpump Rules” season 10.

While Madix’s exact paycheck for “Vanderpump Rules” is not known, her former co-star Rachel Leviss previously talked about her pay. Following her involvement in  the “Scandoval” cheating scandal with Madix’s ex, Tom Sandoval, Leviss tried to negotiate for a higher salary in order to return to the show for season 11.

“I asked for equal pay with Tom and Ariana. They refused to pay me equally,” Leviss alleged on Bethenny Frankel’s podcast “Rewives” in August 2023. “I feel like when you pay your employees, it really shows how much you value them.”

Leviss also shared, “One of the things that producers also told me is that you get paid based off of your performance from the season prior. So that already set me up to want to perform well going into season 10. I was like, ‘OK, this could be my season. I could really stand out and I’m single for the first time. Like, I wanna embrace that.’ And I took direction well.”

That same month, co-star Scheana Shay alleged that she knew how much Leviss’ salary was.

“I know for a fact [how much Raquel made] because she thanked me for getting her with the attorney she was with last season,” Shay claimed on her “Scheananagins” podcast. “He was able to negotiate her $19,000 an episode. For 19 episodes, that is $361,000.”

Leviss didn’t join “Vanderpump Rules” as a full cast member until season 9, so veterans such as Shay and Madix likely make a lot more than she did.

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