Dancing with the Stars cast all paid the same: $345,000 if they last 10 weeks

The collection of C-list celebrities, reality stars, and Bristol Palin that comprises the Dancing with the Stars cast will all be paid the same amount if they last through the entire competition: $345,000. Among the people who turned that down were Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Sylvester Stallone, Ann Coulter, Condoleezza Rice, Erin Brockovich, Richard Branson, Tim Allen, and Suzanne Somers, while Joel McHale, Drew Carey, and Kirstie Alley have also said no previously–though the show had to say no to Melanie Griffith’s repeated attempts to be cast yet.

This season’s actual cast members “makes an initial $125,000 for signing, three weeks of rehearsal before the premiere and competing in the first two episodes, even if the cast member is cut after the first dance,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, which also reported the list of the stars who rejected the gig. “The breakdown for the remaining weeks is $10,000 an episode for Weeks 3 and 4, $20,000 an episode for Weeks 5 and 6, $30,000 an episode for Weeks 7 and 8, and $50,000 an episode for the final two weeks.”

However, not going to six, and later eight hours of rehearsal every day means a pay cut. A crew member also told The Hollywood Reporter that “Nobody has ever been allowed to use their own hair and makeup team,” and “Production pairs up the star and the professional. If they didn’t, everyone would be vying for the same few dancers.”

Who turned down ‘Dancing With the Stars’ [Hollywood Reporter]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.