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Ever wonder what's in it for the stars and dancers, aside from fame and glory? Recent information from TMZ shines some light on what was previously a very murky subject.
Because she's a minor, Shawn Johnson's agreement with DWTS had to be approved by an L.A. County judge. The contract, a public document because it was filed with the court, was obtained by TMZ and contains juicy details about the stars' compensation for appearing on the show.
Initial guaranteed salary: $125,000. Then Shawn earned $10,000 per week for weeks 3 and 4. Each additional week she survived after that was worth an escalating bonus: $20,000 each for weeks 5-7; $30,000 each for weeks 8 and 9; and a whopping $50K each for weeks 10 and 11.
In total, she earned the maximum possible $365,000 for making it to the final show! Additional details: A commitment to train around 20 hours per week, and a waiver releasing ABC and the show's producers from liability for any injuries connected to the show. Good thing, this season!
Previously, Howard Stern had provided the only concrete info about DWTS salaries, after his wife Beth Ostrosky turned down an offer to appear on Season 3 of DWTS. He said she also was offered a base salary of of $125,000 to appear on the show, plus $20,000 per week that she managed to stay on the show without being eliminated, and a $50,000 bonus if the show was extended to a ninth-week recap show. (There were fewer stars and thus fewer episodes in Season 3.) Total: Up to $245,000 depending on when she was eliminated. On Yahoo an article was released saying how much the stars got pad. Now, in Season 3 they may have been able to earn 245,000 but this season Yahoo said that ALL stars were paid 245,000 no matter when they were eliminated. It said that even though Gilles and Melissa were the early contenders they were only paid 245,000 and so was Belinda Carlisle. And she was the first eliminated.
An undated item from Amazon Answers hoed that $245K claim, and says that the first-season stars only made $125,000 for the whole season, apparently before the show was the proven hit it later became.
As for the professional dancers, the only references I could find ( also undated) said they make 5,200 per episode, up from around $1,600 in earlier seasons. Even that higher number seems seriously low at this point, given the show's success and the increasing popularity of some of the pros like Julianne and Derek Hough.
Is there any other information out there about how much the DWTS cast is paid?