13 surprising things you probably didn't know about 'Dancing With the Stars'

ABCThere are some things you might not know about ‘Dancing With the Stars.’

Since “Dancing With the Stars” premiered on ABC in 2005, the beloved reality show has become a fan favourite.

Whether the show is creating romances or getting fans riled up with an upset win, there’s no denying the show knows how to keep its viewers hooked.

Here are a few surprising facts for those who just can’t get enough of “DWTS.”


The show almost took a presidential turn.

Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesBill Clinton has been invited to compete on the show.

The show’s casting director, Deena Katz, has a wish list of guests she would love to see in the ballroom, and she told ABC News in 2016 that one person who’s high on that list is former US President Bill Clinton.

She even went on to say that she’s asked him to come on the show several times.

The former president confirmed during an appearance on “The Rachael Ray Show” that the show has indeed reached out to him in the past.

“This is interesting actually, they contacted me once about this,” he said. “And I told them I didn’t have the time to train for it. You know you actually go out there and train – you really work at it.”


A few first ladies have been given invites, too.

Win McNamee/Sam Raga/Business InsiderThe former first ladies declined to compete on the show.

Former First Lady and previous presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former First Lady Michelle Obama have also been asked to show off their dance skills on the popular show.

But they both declined. according to Us Weekly.


For contestants, Sundays are for spray tans.

Adam Taylor/Walt Disney Television via Getty ImagesThe contestants reportedly get spray tans once a week.

You may have noticed that the dancers and celebs all have the bronzed beachy glow of a tourist returning from an island vacation while they’re competing on the show.

During a 2015 interview with InStyle, Emmy-winning head makeup artist Zena Shteysel shared the secret behind the contestants’ tans.

“We have what we call spray tan Sundays, where everyone comes in on Sunday to get tanned,” she said. “We have two body makeup artists who take care of the whole cast, and we also use the South Seas Island Glow Body Bronzer to give shimmer at the base and make everything look flawless.”


Pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy was almost a member of the judging panel

Fred Prouser/ReutersMaksim Chmerkovskiy has competed on several seasons of ‘Dancing With the Stars.’

Former “DWTS” professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy may have had an opportunity to join the judges.

The ballroom dancer told “The Today Show” that on season 18, they offered him a different role on the show.

“I can’t reveal a lot, but I was offered a judge’s position on the show. This was my decision (to return as a pro),” he said.


All-star winner Melissa Rycroft almost never competed on “Dancing With the Stars”

AP imagesNancy O’Dell was slated to complete on season eight.

On season 15, the show asked former contestants to return for another shot at the Mirrorball trophy – or in some cases, the chance to add a second one to the mantle.

TV personality Melissa Rycroft, who took third place when she first competed on season eight, took home the trophy during the all-star season.

But it almost never happened since she was an alternate on her original season.

Former “Access Hollywood” host Nancy O’Dell was already training for season eight when she was sidelined with a knee injury.

According to NBC Chicago, Rycroft replaced her during season eight, and the rest in “DWTS” history.


Laurie Hernandez is the youngest contestant to win “DWTS.”

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesLaurie Hernandez was just 16 when she won ‘Dancing With the Stars.’

Season-23 winner Laurie Hernandez is the youngest champion in the show’s history.

The Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast claimed the trophy with partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy when she was just 16 years old.


Donny Osmond is the oldest “DWTS” champion.

AP ImagesDonny Osmond was 51 when he competed on the show.

Just two weeks before turning 52, singer Donny Osmond won the season-nine Mirrorball with partner Kym Johnson, and he’s still the oldest “DWTS” champion to date.


Kate Gosselin had some troubles with her partner.

Kelsey McNeal/Walt Disney Television via Getty ImagesKate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani reportedly didn’t get along.

When reality star Kate Gosselin competed on season 10 of “DWTS,” she reportedly didn’t get along with her pro partner, Tony Dovolani.

Per Today, the professional dancer told Anderson Cooper that “there was a lot of therapy involved” after they competed together on the show, and he joked that he wouldn’t call what they did dancing.

“Wait, wait. Anderson, did you just call it a dance? We didn’t dance,” he said.


Bindi Irwin reportedly had to prove her father died to get paid for the show.

Adam Taylor/Walt Disney Television via Getty ImagesBindi Irwin and Derek Hough on the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ season-21 finale.

When wildlife conservationist and TV personality Bindi Irwin competed on “DWTS,” she was only 17, so she was considered a minor for payment purposes.

As per California law, a Los Angeles County superior judge requested that both of her parents relinquish their rights to her money earned from the show, according to Entertainment Tonight. But Bindi’s father, renowned crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, died in 2006.

Despite the fact that her mother, Terri, already signed the contract, the court reportedly still required proof of her father’s death to finish the deal.

Luckily the matter was sorted out and the season-21 champ was able to get paid.


All of the contestants get a base salary for competing, but the champion can reportedly win up to $US295,000.

Adam Larkey/Walt Disney Television via Getty ImagesThe base salary for ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is reportedly $US125,000.

In years past, the standard contract for the show has stipulated a base salary of $US125,000 for the rehearsal period and the first two episodes of the show, according to multiple reports.

After that, bonuses are added incrementally for the contestants who make it through to the next round. Sources told Variety in 2019 that contestants could make up to $US295,000.

But contestants reportedly used to be able to make a total of $US345,000.

In 2010, Gawker reported that, in addition to their base pay for the first two episodes, contestants got $US10,000 each for the next two episodes, $US20,000 each for the two after that, $US30,000 each for the next two, and $US50,000 for appearing in the final two episodes.


Valentin Chmerkovskiy holds the record for the most “first perfect scores.”

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesValentin Chmerkovskiy was partnered with Zendaya on season 16.

Perfect scores don’t happen every week on “DWTS,” but every season there is a race to see which couple will get the first one.

Pro Valentin Chmerkovskiy currently holds the record for the most first perfect scores throughout his run on the show.

He accomplished the feat with Zendaya on season 16, Elizabeth Berkley-Lauren on season 17, Janel Parrish on season 19, Rumer Willis on season 20, Ginger Zee on season 22, Hernandez on season 23, and Heather Morris on season 24.

Of the seven, Willis and Hernandez went on to win the Mirrorball.


Keo Motsepe has had some bad luck over the years.

ABC/Eric McCandlessKeo Motsepe has often been eliminated early.

Pro Keo Motsepe has the unfortunate distinction of the most early eliminations on “DWTS.” He’s been sent home in the early weeks six out of the eight seasons he’s competed as a professional dancer.


Derek Hough won even when he lost.

ABCDerek Hough has won Emmy awards for his performances on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’

Derek Hough won a record six titles between 2007 to 2016. But two of his biggest wins came during seasons where he didn’t take home the Mirrorball.

He won an Emmy for his quickstep with gymnast Shawn Johnson on season 15 and another for a routine performed with sister,Julianne, during the season-20 finale.

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