'Dancing With the Stars' Salaries Revealed -- No Wonder It’s a D-Lister Favorite!

Dancing with the StarsIf Dancing With the Stars fulfilled its promise -- if it featured real stars, that is, rather than a revolving door of D-listers, ex-reality show cast members, and gimmicky attention-grabbers like Bristol Palin -- the motivation behind any given contestant's participation might be legitimately interesting. Did they join the show to promote a charity event? To lose weight? To actually learn how to dance?

As it is, we can pretty much assume that most of the third-tier celebrities on the show are primarily looking to extend their 15 minutes of fame. But as this season's 16-year-old front-runner Zendaya Coleman's contract reveals, for some stars it may be all about the paycheck. It turns out that in just a few weeks of hoofing it onstage, a DWTS contestant can rake in a fair amount of cash.

Back in 2012, it was reported that the professional dancers on the show pull in around $10,000 per week. That's a fair amount of moola, and it's probably a low guess when you consider the veteran pros have surely scored more lucrative contracts by now.

Still, it's nothing compared to what the "stars" can bring home if they manage to avoid elimination. According to Zendaya Coleman's DWTS contract -- which is reportedly standardized among all contestants -- she started with a $125,000 payment for joining the show and being on the first two episodes, then she gets paid as follows:

Weeks 3 & 4: $10,000 per week ($20K total)
Weeks 5 & 6: $20,000 per week ($40K total)
Weeks 7 & 8: $30,000 per week ($60K total)
Weeks 9 & 10: $50,000 per week ($100K total)

If a contestant can make it to the very end, that's a grand total of $345,000 they'll earn.

Now, it's true these aren't exactly standout salaries in the world of reality television (The Hills' Lauren Conrad made a jaw-dropping $125,000 per episode back in 2009), but for a cast that mostly consists of washed-up has-beens, it's not bad. I mean, no offense to Andy Dick, but where else is he going to make that kind of cash these days?

Personally, I think it's time the show creators go ahead and call this series what it is: Dancing With the Who? (Or Dancing With the Where Are They Nows?, I'm not picky). But hey, at least the folks who join the cast each year are getting a decent shot at padding their retirement accounts.

Are you at all surprised by the Dancing With the Stars salaries?

Image via ABC

dancing with the stars, television


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Debbie Deal McGee

Honestly, I thought it would be higher. Remember that they are rehersing 8-9 hours every day. They had a lot of pressure to master these dances they''ve never done, in 7 days.  Some get injured. 


Susan Trochlil Tangeman

I think the ones (such as the writer) should get on the show themselves instead of calling all the contestants has-beens. I wouldn't exactly call Wynona a has-been, or the numerous nfl players and olympic medalists! Get on the show & then see how easy it is!

Susan Seufert

Really?  Calling them D-listers and attention grabbers is rather harsh.  All the contestants have had or currently have some form of "celebrity" status in their life.  Be it actors, athletes, political figures, entertainment icons, etc. they have all been in the public eye.  I would have thought the salaries would have been higher as well, but I think more times than not, there are other factors that motivate these celebs to take on the grueling training that is involved.  The show has a large following.  I enjoy getting to see a different side of the stars.  I enjoy watching the incredible pros dance.  I love DWTS for its pure entertainment value.

hopea... hopealways4019

That's just secondary income to them. Their kids piggy bank money.

Elle Carson

I don't see why Bristol merited a nasty snipe from you. She is the opposite of most of the Hollywood scum...just a regular girl from Alaska. She is a medical assistant for God's sake. I don't agree with her mother's views, but Bristol does not deserve to be called a "gimmicky attention grabber."

Billie Hunter

Whoever wrote this is beyond tacky.

nonmember avatar Linda

Many times, the professional dancers are bigger stars than the contestants. I have no idea who half those people are.

nonmember avatar chef moda

My wife watches the taped shows when I'm not around. I have never seen such disgusting pap in my life.....especially the two "male" judges!

nonmember avatar Susie

Wow - you are really mean. How about you join the "D-Listers" and we can all see how well you do.

Kim Van Cleave Gronewold

I think it's time they pull the plug on DWTS. It is really boring now. I have watch every season except this one. I am so over it!!!!

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