The ‘Dancing with the Stars' Cast Is Making That Money, Honey!

Dancing With the Stars has been on television for literally (*breaks out old-lady-from-Titanic voice*) 84 years, aka 29 seasons, with the 30th season premiering tonight on ABC at 8 p.m. ET. And no, the celebrities featured on the show certainly aren’t sashaying their way around the stage in humiliating outfits for free.

While I’m sure there are some “celebs” who would go on this show just for the press, Dancing With the Stars contestants get compensated. And the more effort they put into their dancing, the more checks they cash. Let’s break it down, shall we?

The First Two Weeks

The contestants are cut a check the second they sign their lives away. According to Variety, everyone on the show makes $125,000 for the rehearsal period and the first two weeks on air.

This season, DWTS is kicking things off with 15 contestants…

…meaning the show spent about $1.87 million just to get people to agree to be on it, lol.

And Then There’s the Rest of the Competition

Everyone who makes it to week 3 of DWTS starts earning extra money per episode on a sliding scale, although Variety reported in 2019 that the most they can take home is $295,000.

^Me cheerfully saying hi to my empty bank account.

Back in 2010 (so, a long time ago), Gawker reported that contestants earned $10,000 for weeks 3 and 4, $20,000 for weeks 5 and 6, $30,000 for weeks 7 and 8, and $50,000 for weeks 9 and 10. That’s clearly a lot of money, but here’s the thing…

Contestants Used to Make Way More

$295,000 is no doubt a huge sum, but in previous seasons, the winner of Dancing With the Stars could earn up to $345,000. Here’s to hoping they go back to that in season 29, because everyone’s literally dancing their way through a pandemic. Either way, we won’t find out who takes home the final paycheck till this season is over, but I’m personally rooting for Skai Jackson, who’s actually donating a portion of her earnings!

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