How Much Do ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Judges and Contestants Earn?

Ever seen the American dance competition reality TV show, Dancing With the Stars? It is an ABC network show and the US version of UK’s Strictly Come Dancing. The reality TV dance show first premiered on 1st June 2005 and has so far completed 27 successful seasons. Currently, in its 28th season in 2019, the dance show has seen a host of notable celebrities as they pair with professional dancers to perform popular songs amid a large audience.

With the current hosts as Erin Andrews and Tom Bergeron, the show has had other hosts including Brooke Burke-Charvet, Samantha Harris and Lisa Canning. Since the show began in 2005, many have wondered how much celebrities get paid for putting their career on hold to appear on the famous dance show; likewise, the judges and professional dancers. Here, we have made in-depth research on how much Dancing with the Stars judges, contestants, and other cast earn. Read more a below.

The Judges’ Salaries

Since the inception of the dance show in 2005, three main judges have stayed for all 27 seasons. They include head judge Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli. The show happens to be the American version of Strictly Come Dancing, a British TV dance competition which Bruno and Len are also a part of.

While Len was absent for much of the 19th season as well as the 21st season, Julianne Hough who featured as a professional dancer for seasons 4 to 8 was made a full-time judge on the panel from season 19 to 21. Len later returned in season 22 while Julianne finally left the show following her marriage in July 2017.

It is not known, however, how much these judges make; albeit it has been reported that they earn up to $250,000 per episode up to season 2. And while the popularity of the show has continued to increase, the judges are now said to be pocketing about $1.2 million per season. Meanwhile, the famous dance show comes in two seasons every year.

Salaries of Contestants

For every contestant that participates in Dancing with the Stars, they earn according to their duration on the show. While the initial guaranteed sum for everyone who signs up on Dancing with the Stars is $125,000, this figure tends to increase as they progress on the show. If they make it to the 3rd and 4th week, contestants would get an additional $10,000 each week. contestants who reach the 5th week would be getting an additional $15,000. Getting to the 7th and 8th week, such contestants will get an additional $20,000 for each week.

More so, contestants that made it to week 8 and 9 would earn an additional $30,000. And for the remaining two weeks of the competition, contestants who made it will get an additional $50,000 each week. With that, those that make it to the final round of the competition would earn $360,000 whether they win the competition or not. The winner of the competition and their professional partner would get $360,000, the Mirror trophy and bragging rights.

What The Professional Dancers and Hosts Earn

Professional Dancers Salaries

The total salary earned by professional dancers who participate in Dancing with the Stars remains a mystery. However, there have been speculations about what they possibly earn for each season. While it is already known that they earn less than celebrity contestants, they are said to be earning at least $1,600 per episode at the initial stages of the show.

Since the popularity of the show has since increased tremendously, professional dancers now earn $5,200 per week and as much as $100,000 for a full season. That being said, veteran pros can equally negotiate their salaries because they are the fan’s favorites and can sometimes earn more than newcomers.

Hosts Salaries

The hosts of the show are not left out. They also earn a decent amount of money from their appearance on the show. Although Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews are the current hosts of the Dancing with the Stars show, it might interest you to know that Tom has been hosting the show since it began in 2005. He has had four women co-hosts since then including Erin, Lisa Canning, Samantha Harris, and Brooke Burke-Charvet. These hosts are said to be pocketing at least $150,000 for each episode which can translate to over $1.6 million for an 11-episode-season.


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