We’re just going to say it - the people who created Dancing with the Stars were brilliant. After all, who wouldn’t want to watch a group of celebrities dancing since some of them will be surprisingly good - and it is pretty funny to see some of the stars awkwardly shuffle around.
Already considered to be a very difficult artistic endeavour, learning dancing skills can be very challenging even if your progress isn’t being tracked by a camera crew. As a result, Dancing with the Stars’s producers had to figure out the best way to capture entertaining footage of stars learning basic moves. For that reason, sometimes things are not as they seem on the show.
With that in mind, let's look at 11 things that are legit about Dancing with the Stars and 9 that are fake.
20 Real: It's Not The First Of Its Kind
First hitting the scene in the year 2005, since then Dancing with the Stars has had a consistent presence on American television. However, many fans of the show have no idea that this popular competition series wasn’t original when it began. Actually, an Americanized version of a previously popular British show, Dancing with the Stars is based on a show called Strictly Come Dancing. With both shows still on the air to this day, Strictly Come Dancing is one year older than Dancing with the Stars.
19 Real: The Costumes Are Created Very Quickly
One of the most noteworthy aspects of Dancing with the Stars is the amazing costumes. In fact, based on how quickly those colourful outfits are put together by the show’s talented crew, the costume department deserves all of the credit. This is the case because the group of people who put together these outfits wait until the last second to design them in order to make sure they match the routine. The costumes are completed a mere hour before show time, as World Lifestyle reports.
18 Fake: The Stars Can Do Their Own Makeup
In the world of modern television, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that most people you see on the major networks have been worked on by a team of beauty professionals. However, when it comes to Dancing with the Stars, they have extremely strict rules about the processes stars go through before appearing on the show. For instance, producers are completely unwilling to allow the celebrities to work on their own look or bring in makeup and hair professionals they have worked with in the past. Instead, contestants must agree to allow the Dancing with the Stars makeup and hair team change their look in order to appear on the show, as World Lifestyle reports.
17 Real: Many Stars Of The Same Season Form Bonds
One of the most interesting quirks of human nature, when people are put into competition with one another they often end up supporting each other. Of course, that isn’t always the case but when it comes to Dancing with the Stars, former contestants have spoken about how much the majority of them come to care about one another.
Professional dancer Val Chmerkovskiy told Glamour that “there were times I was almost brought to tears how genuinely supportive everybody was.”
16 Fake: Contestants Always Win Purely Because Of Dance Skills
As great as Dancing with the Stars is, the show has a pretty big flaw: its voting system. Meant to give fans the opportunity to have their voices heard when it comes to deciding whose performances are the best, the star's popularity before joining the show often plays far too large a role.
Arguably the best example of this, in Season 24 Heather Morris and her partner got perfect scores from the judges but they were eliminated so Nick Viall and Bonner Bolton could stick around, as Fame10 reports.
15 Real: Appearing On The Show Can Help One Grow
When it comes to some of the stars who’ve agreed to take part in Dancing with the Stars, their reasons for doing so can sometimes be hard to understand. Perhaps the best example of this, Adam Carolla competed in the 6th season but prior to that he was best known as a host of The Man Show and for a brand of humour that ran against the DWTS sensibility. No one really thought he'd do well, and although he sort of faded out during the season, it's clear that the show takes people out of their comfort zones so they can challenge themselves.
14 Fake: All Dance Partners Like Each Other
When two people dance, their bodies intertwine and they need to move in unison if they are going to do a decent job. With that in mind, it only makes sense that the vast majority of Dancing with the Stars partners seem to get along well. However, some of these pairs have actually disliked one another. For instance, Cheryl Burke said her former partner Ian Ziering’s pronunciation of his own name alone made her “want to throw up,” as Celebrity Dirty Laundry reports. Another perfect example, Tony Dovolani said working with Kate Gosselin required “a lot of therapy” for him to recover, as Cheat Sheet reports.
13 Real: Competing On The Show Transforms Contestants' Bodies
Alright, we admit that in some ways this may seem like a pretty obvious entry. After all, consistent and difficult workouts are an incredibly obvious way for someone to get into amazing shape. However, it isn’t just the physical exertion that this show’s contestants must go through that makes their bodies change. When someone spends a large portion of their life working out in a dance studio, it isn’t very likely that they are going to consume greasy foods afterwards. For those two reasons combined, even an athlete like Rashad Jennings said that competing on the show got him in “the best shape of his life,” as People reports.
12 Fake: Those Tans
As anyone who has gone away on a tropical vacation and come back feeling attractive can attest, at times getting a tan can be an incredibly quick way to greatly improve your looks. However, a large portion of the appeal of that look is the sun-kissed nature of it. For that reason, when someone gets a fake tan it is a lot less appealing. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Dancing with the Stars contestants, almost every tan you see has come about through artificial means. In fact, according to reports, as much as five gallons of spray-tanning product is used during each season of the show, as World Lifestyle reports.
11 Real: Some Stars And Dancers Have Become Really Close
Earlier in this list, we touched on the fact that some Dancing with the Stars contestants disliked each other. If that was disappointing to read about then don’t worry, the opposite is true as well since several dancing pairs from this show went on to date over the years.
For example, Cheryl Burke and Chad Ochocinco, Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff, Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy, as well as Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough all dated. However, the most successful couple that came from spending time together on the show has to be Kym Johnson and Robert Herjavec. Paired together for Season 20, they ended up marrying one another!
10 Fake: It's All Natural
Even though “reality” shows are supposed to represent what is going on in the lives of their cast in any given week, producers actually have the ability to shape things in a big way. For example, Dancing with the Stars’s producers control the editing process which gives them the ability to change the way viewers perceive the show. On top of that, they also decide the questions they pose to their stars. When combined, the editing process and interviews provide Dancing with the Stars’s producers team with the ability to create weekly storylines for their stars.
9 Real: Many Stars Practise Dancing 35 to 50 Hours a Week
Something that holds true for most things in life, the harder you work on something the more likely you are to succeed at it. If you are looking for a show that epitomizes that idea, then tuning into Dancing with the Stars is a must. It can be really obvious when one of the celebrities hasn’t exactly tried their hardest, as anyone that saw Master P on the show already knows. On the other end of the spectrum, many of the contestants practice as much as seven hours every day during the process. When it comes to the hardest working DWTS contestants, the most committed stars practice between 35 and 50 hours per week.
8 Fake: All Stars Are Dance Amateurs
Designed to be a show that features celebrities trying their best to perform alongside professionals, what happens when a Dancing with the Stars contestant already has a dance background? Well, as it turns out, they often last an awfully long time on the show. With that in mind, it seems pretty obvious that it is unfair that stars who’ve already trained to dance take part in the show even if they are trying out new styles.
For example, people like Stacy Keibler, Nicole Scherzinger, Alfonso Ribeiro, Drew Lachey, Jennifer Grey, Donny Osmond and Amber Riley had all danced extensively before starring on the show. On top of that, Glee star Heather Morris even toured with Beyoncé prior to performing on DWTS, as Pop Sugar reports!
7 Real: The Finalists Are Paid A Pretty Penny
Many Dancing with the Stars contestants’s careers are on the downswing when they appear on the show. But, the DWTS stars have name value, so the base pay for taking part in the show at all is said to be $125,000.While that clearly is a healthy amount, the finalists make far more than that. In fact, the stars who make it to the end of the show reportedly make $345,000 for their efforts, as World Lifestyle reports.
6 Fake: Dialogue Is Natural
When it comes to “reality” shows, one of the most common ways these series are described is by calling them unscripted. Unfortunately, according to at least one Dancing with the Stars contestant, that is not always an accurate description. Cheat Sheet reports talk-show host Wendy Williams saying on her show,
“When they put you in the room and you have to talk to the camera about your experience, you know, the one-on-one with the camera — I was letting people know that they script you what to say.
And I would look at my partner Tony Dovolani and say 'Tony, I wouldn’t say this.'”
5 Real: There Are Rules Against The Stars Gaming The Numbers
The show's results are supposed to be influenced by the judges but decided by viewers alone. As a result, any attempt by the show’s contestants to change the numbers for their own benefit would corrupt the results. Fortunately for fans of the show, Dancing with the Stars’s producers have rules in place to make sure that things remain fair.
Of course, some people have no interest in playing by the rules. For example, Kate Gosselin was reprimanded by the show’s producers for allegedly sending emails asking her friends and family to vote for her,
as Mental Floss reports. To be honest, you shouldn't even have to tell your friends and family to vote for you.
4 Fake: Dances Are Filmed In One Go
One of the major Dancing with the Stars calling cards, the huge season-opening dance numbers are amazing to behold. Performed by a group of talented performers, these numbers really get the viewing audience into the spirit of the show. However, if you assumed these performances were captured live, you're mistaken.
According to a report from the season 27 premiere episode, the opening number was pre-filmed in three sections, as Entertainment Tonight reports.
While we still love these huge performances, we have to admit learning this makes them a little less impressive.
3 Real: The Physical Strain Has Real-Life Consequences
Earlier on this list, we looked at the fact that competing on Dancing with the Stars can do marvelous things for someone’s body. Unfortunately, the opposite is true as well since all of that physical exertion can result in some serious injuries.
One of the most serious examples of this, volleyball player Misty May-Treanor tore her Achilles tendon, as ESPN reports. Sadly, she is far from the only person to suffer due to DWTS since Steve-O injured his back, Tom Delay suffered a stress fracture and Bill Nye injured his quad. On top of those severe examples, the other stars deal with much more minor issues like blisters, cuts and bruises.
2 Fake: Producers Don't Manipulate Eliminations
While talking to AOL, American TV personality (and previous star of The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air),
Alfonso Ribeiro explicitly claimed that “there’s a lot of manipulating going on with the producers” of the show.
They question which dances you're doing which week and whether you're doing your best dances early on or if you're saving them for later. While this idea had never occurred to us before reading Ribeiro’s words, his claims do make a whole lot of sense.
1 Real: The Judges Have Mere Moments To Decide Their Scores
As much as we love seeing the celebrities and professionals perform on Dancing with the Stars, we enjoy seeing the judges weigh in on how they did even more. Given how much the judges' words mean to many viewers, if we were in their shoes we would want time to carefully prepare our words and scores. Unfortunately, that's not the case. As Business Insider reports, in under three minutes after the dancers have completed their performances, there's a crazy rush to communicate the judges' scores to production.
References: Glamour, AOL, Entertainment Tonight, People, Pop Sugar, ESPN