Dancing With the Stars is what reality TV is all about. There is plenty of upbeat music, mile-a-minute movement, mischievous mayhem, and made-for-TV makeup. Lots and lots of piled-on, layered-thick makeup. Oh, and streak-free self-tanner too. The bronzer, the better.
The popular TV show is the gift that keeps on giving, coming back season after season, celebrity after celebrity. All participants want to win the coveted Mirror Ball trophy and grace the stage as the #1 dancing star. Bragging rights included. Plus, the money ain’t too shabby either.
With all the well-rehearsed routines, raging rumors, and ripped-from-the-headlines romances, this show is more than just the average dance-off. It’s a near ritual for those of us who tune in diligently to see who scores the perfect “10” and who’s got two left feet.
The professional dancers are far hotter than the rosters of celebs they’re partnered with, and the sparkly costumes and toned bodies are a feast for the eyes. But what we see on the small screen isn’t always what’s really going down on set. There are well-kept secrets behind the scenes that make DWTS even more exciting than toe tapping and deep dipping.
Read on for 15 steamy and shocking secrets behind Dancing With the Stars that will have you watching the show in a whole new light. From ridiculously rude diva behavior to costume chaos and much more, these 15 secrets will intrigue and delight you far more than the waltz ever will! Who knew dancing was so hush-hush?
15 Last-Second Switch-Ups
Sometimes celebs can be fickle. Some have even dropped out of the lineup of DWTS at the very last moment. With such a deliberate casting process (so we hear), the DWTS producers must have had a conniption learning about these flaky celebs’ choices for leaving at the final hour. For instance, Mark McGrath changed his tune about being a contestant and was swiftly replaced by Rocco DiSpirito. With the less-than-A-list level of the “stars” asked to appear on the program (although the line-up is getting more star-studded), to be called in at the witching hour as a back-up must not be the best feeling in the world. But at least there’s the benefit of unintended weight loss, a six-pack, and a set of funky new dance moves to bring to “da club” long after the show is over. But what about all the promo pieces and pre-season advertising? Re-doing those must cost the show a pretty penny!
14 Fake and Bake
Spray tans are part of the status quo on the set of DWTS. Deeply bronzed and smooth, unblemished skin is as important as the costumes themselves. Rumor has it that the show holds what they call “spray tan Sundays” where all the celebs and dancing pros get themselves darkened up a few shades in order to make their bodies look toned and slimmer. Pasty white plus pirouettes don’t make the score apparently. While most celebs probably fake tan to begin with, this weekly ritual seems a little over the top. And with those barely-there skimpy outfits the ladies must wear, those spray tan professionals must really see it all! Let’s hope they’ve signed a waiver. Between all the heavy makeup and the regular bronzing, it’s a miracle we can even identify one celeb from another. At least they’ll be beach-ready when they’re kicked off the show and need a well-deserved rest!
13 Not Quite “Reality”
Sure, the celebs are real and the dancing is too, but what the stars say in the bits between dance routines and behind the scenes is allegedly semi-scripted. Wendy Williams, for one, was not too pleased with this aspect of the show, being the reigning queen of gab. The producers want to be sure there’s ample drama and fodder for the at-home viewers, so they lead the stars to discuss particular topics and express a range of feelings, real or made up. Of course, no one believes that what we see on reality shows is actually real, but surely these dancers and stars have squabbles, issues, and emotions on their own without the need for it to be falsely created. We do see the pain and pressure they go through, so that alone is interesting enough. But admittedly, those on-set “romances” between the dancers is always juicy for the tabloid-reading public!
12 Makeup Matters
Celebs, or has-been, D-list celebs for that matter, who twist and twirl their way into the hearts of dance-crazed TV viewers always want to be sure their makeup is “on fleek” and often times want to bring along their own hair and makeup crew to “do them up” just the way they like it. Well, celebs, leave your magical makeup posse behind, because the stern Dancing With the Stars producers have their own glam team they rely on, no exceptions. The program has a specific type of look they aim for, so one makeup team for the bunch with the same sense of showy pizzazz is what these celebs are going to get, take it or leave it. It appears that heavy bronzing and crispy, crunchy hair is part of the standard DWTS look. The camera does add 15 pounds they say, but who knew it was due to layer upon layer of thick foundation!?
11 Close-Call Costumes
All those glitzy and glamorous DWTS costumes look like they take weeks, or even months to make, but the dancing stars don’t even get to try them on until the dress rehearsal and the final look isn’t fully complete until just before their performance! Talk about the unfortunate chance for a “wardrobe malfunction!” The “nip slip” is not an appropriate dance move. With all those intricate steps to remember, worrying about an embarrassing and unflattering rip to the seams is not what these celebs had in mind when they signed up for a reality dance show. Ill-fitting bodysuits and too-long dance pants or sleeves can make a simple cha-cha turn into a catastrophe. Rehearsing in a cotton tank top and stretchy tights is a far cry from bedazzled mini-skirts and tailored tuxedos. No wonder these celebs have such frequent melt downs on set… it’s probably because their clothes are rubbing them the wrong way!
10 Diva Rose
According to inside sources, Season 23 celeb, Amber Rose, was causing a stir with her diva-like demands and outrageous requests. Supposedly, she wanted to have the option to pick her own partner and get paid more than DWTS was offering. You can’t blame a gal for trying; she is a hustler. At least she wasn’t requesting a jar of green jellybeans only and a bottle of expensive Champagne in her trailer at all times! Or was she? Nonetheless, the sexy siren was still given the go-ahead to be part of the latest bunch of hip shakers and toe-tappers on the 23rd season of the show. She was paired with the partner the show wanted her to have (or at least that’s what they’ve led us to believe) and danced with chutzpah. Rose may lead in the sex appeal department, but winning DWTS isn’t as easy. She still looked pretty hot in her costumes, but we’re used to seeing lots of Rose no matter the season.
9 Celebrity Wish List
While there seems to be no shortage of thirsty celebs interested in hoofing it out on DWTS, there’s supposedly a “wish list” of highly sought-after celebs the show’s been trying to get to sign up, one being former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Wonder what Monica thinks of this? But after Hillary’s loss, can we really take another from the Clinton family if Bill doesn’t get that perfect “10” score? There’s a bunch of other celebs they regularly want, but the show waits until the perfect season to bring them on. This batch has included Paula Deen and Patti LaBelle. Now if Bill Clinton is on this “secret list,” does that mean Donald Trump has a chance to sashay his way onto the DWTS stage too? Surely he’d be a huge hit. Maybe when he’s done building that wall he’ll have the stamina for ballroom dancing! He must have some good moves – he has had three wives, after all.
8 The Longer You Stay, The Better the Pay
Not only is the Mirror Ball trophy and the bragging rights of “winner” reason enough to want to make it to the finals, but a fat paycheck is a major plus for those celebs who make it to the final weeks of DWTS. All the celebs get a base salary, but the further they make it week after week, the more moolah they get to pocket. This weekly bonus is anywhere from $10,000 - $50,000 on top of the base salary which can be six figures. It’s no wonder some of the celebs we haven’t seen do much in a while are eager to make it to the show and stick it out as long as their legs can keep moving. While this pay isn’t on par with a movie deal or a sitcom, it’s nothing to sneeze at. Plus, all the attention is sure to land them some new roles once the show is over. Dancing for dollars in this fashion is far more tasteful that hitting the pole!
7 Work Outside the Show Not Always a Go
The professional dancers on DWTS are in strict contract with the ABC network, so if they want to do any other gigs aside from the show during the season, they must get it cleared with the bigwigs at the station. Perhaps they get offered a movie role or a chance to hock a new cologne. Whatever the case may be, if ABC says no, it’s a no go. Dancing for the show is top priority unless the gig jives with the sensibilities of the competition. Wonder if private dance lessons count? And what about their other extracurricular activities after they hang up their dancing shoes for the night? Getting caught stumbling out of a night club or cheating on your significant other is far more damaging than doing an advertisement for makeup remover pads, no? Supposedly the issue lies in the case if the role is for a competitive network, which makes sense. But these folks’ dancing days won’t last forever, so pursuing other avenues is part of the game.
6 Erin’s Enemies
Co-host Erin Andrews replaced the well-loved Brooke Burke-Charvet in a fairly swift switcheroo that even threw the gorgeous Brooke for a loop. While Andrews was once a contestant on the show and has a background on TV, that wasn’t enough for her to win the hearts of the folks on the show. Rumor had it that she was a pain in the butt to work with and she was totally rude and arrogant. No one liked her and they didn’t want her as co-host. She’s a popular sportscaster, but maybe dance wasn’t sporty enough for Andrews and her true colors came through. Or maybe it’s all fodder for the silly tabloid rags looking for a story. True or not, Andrews was going through a big ordeal with that Peeping Tom situation, so maybe she wasn’t up for becoming besties with her co-stars. She is an attractive gal though, so at least her outsides were nice even if inside she was a major “B” word.
5 Maksim(us) Judge
Seasoned dancing pro, Maksim Chmerkovskiy is a winner on the DWTS stage, but he was actually asked to be on the other side of the table – as one of the opinionated judges for the show. Perhaps he felt more comfortable being the judged one rather than passing opinions on his peers, but the handsome hottie passed on the likely lucrative offer. Maybe once he’s grown weary of dipping and doing on the televised dance floor, he’ll eventually hang up his tights and tap shoes and don a judge’s suit instead. Sure, he may get a little soft ‘round the middle, but it must be easier to sit back and pick apart others’ performances than sweating and pulling muscles. If the hit how continues on at the same rate it is now, the time may come when Maks changes his tune and offers up his 8s, 9s, and 10s with the judging panel!
4 Styled By Sean
When the handsome and sporty former hockey player Sean Avery made his way to the DWTS dancing stage, not only did he want to look dapper, but he was keen on his glamourous dancing partner looking spectacular as well. Avery helped style the sexy Karina Smirnoff off the stage for red carpet events, parties, and other dancing-related appearances. Avery’s beautiful wife is a model, so he’s certainly got an eagle eye for style. Plus, he once was an intern at the fashion mag, Vogue, believe it or not, so he must have picked up a thing or two about making a woman look her best while he spent time there. Smirnoff always looks amazing anyhow, so Avery didn’t exactly have a tough job, but any lady would no doubt welcome some friendly and flirty advice from a fella as good looking and well put together as Mr. Avery. Sporty and stylish – a match made in DWTS heaven!
3 No No from NeNe
When the RHOA star, NeNe Leakes was a dancing celeb on DWTS, she wasn’t all too keen on any of her co-stars jeering or cheering her on from the audience. Apparently, each celeb gets eight tickets to give to friends and family, and Leakes wasn’t planning on handing out but one to her frenemies from the Bravo reality show. She wasn’t the first Housewife to make her way to the DWTS stage, but she sure seems like the most spiteful. Maybe Kenya, Cynthia, and the rest of the crew didn’t even want to come see their co-star shake and shimmy to begin with. They’ve got their own things going on even though Leakes thinks she’s the queen bee of Atlanta. Surely her off-again, on-again hubby was there to root on his honey, but the rest of the Georgia peaches had to view her moves from their sofas back in Atlanta.
2 Stars Picked by Who’s On the Radar
Sure, it would be nice to see the queen of talk, Oprah, grace the dancing stage, but if there’s no particular scandal or newsy angle, then a celeb like swimmer Ryan Lochte will be selected to bump and grind with a DWTS dancing pro. It’s no surprise that the controversial Amber Rose and fallen chef, Paula Deen made the grade, but Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight. Well, OK, maybe if Hanks’ career plummets in the next few decades he’ll give DWTS a go. He’s got better things to do for now, most would agree. Then again, if this reality dancing show is still on the air in 2040, we’re all in trouble! With the wild antics of celebs like Charlie Sheen and Justin Bieber, we may just see their dancing moves on the stage sometime soon. Until then, we’ll have to settle for the D-listers who are seeking to boost their careers by shaking their booties.
1 Rough Rehearsals
We all hear how celebs lose weight and get in shape while appearing on DWTS, but who knew their rehearsal schedule was so grueling? They rehearse up to 50 hours per week, probably way more than they’ve ever studied for a role or time spent in the recording studio. With all that time on their feet, these celebs are thrust into the world of a dancer… busted up toes, pulled muscles, and all. They are not allowed to rest, not even on Sunday. This is a 7-day-a-week gig until they’re kicked off the stage by those tough judges. While this rehearsal schedule must be tiring, at least the celebs leave the show with a new (or a first) talent – dancing. Plus, they have some more muscle tone and new makeup tips. Some celebs probably need less instruction than others, but the time spent seems about equal for all who appear on the show. Gotta earn that paycheck, right?