13 surprising facts about 'Dancing with the Stars'

ABCThere are some things you might not know about ‘DWTS.’

Since “Dancing with the Stars” burst onto the scene in 2005, the beloved reality show has become a favourite.

Whether the show is creating romances or getting fans wiled 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 the ballroom blitz.


The show almost took a presidential turn.

Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesBill Clinton was invited on the show.

The show’s casting director, Deena Katz, has a wish list of guests she would love to see in the ballroom. One person high up on that list? Former US president Bill Clinton. Katz revealed the dream pick to ABC News. Clinton confirmed the show had indeed reached out, during an appearance on “The Rachel Ray Show”.

“This is interesting – actually they contacted me once about this,” he laughed before adding “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.”


The first ladies were given an invite too.

Win McNamee/Sam Raga/Business InsiderThe former first ladies declined.

Former first lady and previous presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former first lady Michelle Obama were also asked to show their dance skills on the popular show but both declined, according to Us Weekly.


Sundays are for spray tans.

ABC / AdAm TaylorThere’s a reason the dancers look bronzed.

You may have noticed that the dancers and celebs all have the bronzed beachy glow of a tourist returning from an island vacay. Emmy-winning head makeup artist Zena Shteysel spilled the glittery deets with InStyle magazine.

“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.”


Maksim Chmerkovskiy was almost a member of the panel

Daniel Goodman / Business InsiderHe could have been a judge.

Former pro-dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy may have had an opportunity to join the judges. The ballroom dancer told “The Today Show” that in season 18, “I had that option. I can’t reveal a lot, but I was offered a judge’s position on the show.”


Melissa Rycroft almost didn’t win the All Stars season

Adam Taylor/ABCIt could have been Nancy O’Dell.

In season 15, “DWTS” asked former contestants to return for another shot at the mirrorball or in some cases adding a second to the mantle.

Former “Bachelor” winner turned runner-up Rycroft took home the trophy. But it almost never happened since she wasn’t the first choice on her original season. Then “Access Hollywood” host Nancy O’Dell was already training for season eight when was sidelined with a knee injury. According to NBC Chicago, Rycroft replaced her and the rest in “DWTS” history.


Laurie Hernandez is the leader of the youth movement

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesShe was just 16 when she won

Season 23 winner Laurie Hernandez is the youngest champion in the show’s history. The Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast claimed the trophy at sixteen.


Donny Osmond is the oldest champion.

Just two weeks before turning 52, singer Donny Osmond won the season nine mirror ball with partner Kym Johnson.


Kate Gosselin had some trouble with her partner.

ABCThe two didn’t hit it off.

Reality star Kate Gosselin’s time on “DWTS” was controversial and she didn’t get along with her partner.

“There was a lot of therapy involved” after he performed with Gosselin, partner Tony Dovolani said, and he joked that he wouldn’t call what they did “dancing.”


Bindi Irwin reportedly had to prove her father’s death to get paid.

ABCBindi Irwin and Derek Hough dance during the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ finale.

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

As per California law, a Los Angeles County Superior Judge requested that both parents relinquish their rights to her money, according to E! Online. But Bindi’s father, renowned crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, died in 2006 from a stingray piercing. Despite mother Terri already signing, the court still wanted proof of her father’s death. Luckily the matter was sorted out and eventual champ Bindi got paid.


The winner receives up to $US360,000

Adam Taylor/ABCThe base salary is $US125,000.

The standard contract for the show stipulates a base salary of $US125,000 for pre-show rehearsals and the finale, according to People magazine. Then bonuses are added incrementally: $US10,000 per week for weeks three and four, $US15,000 for week five, $US20,000 per week for weeks six and seven, $US30,000 per week for weeks eight and nine, and $US50,000 per week for weeks 10 and 11. This means that the champion walks away with a grand total of $US360,000.


Valentin Chmerkovskiy has the most perfect scores.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesHe was partnered with Zendaya Coleman.

The pro holds the record for the most “first” perfect scores of the season. He accomplished that feat with Zendaya Coleman in season 16, Elizabeth Berkley-Lauren in season 17, Janel Parrish in season 19, Rumer Willis in season 20, Ginger Zee in season 22, and Laurie Hernandez in season 23. Of the six, Willis and Hernandez went on to win.


Keo Motsepe has had some bad luck.

ABCKeo Motsepe was often eliminated early.

Pro Keo Motsepe has the distinction of the most early eliminations with three.


Derek won even when he lost.

ABCDerek Hough has won Emmy’s for his performances.

Derek Hough has led his partners to a record six titles. But two of his biggest wins came during losing seasons.

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

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