Dancing With The Stars and All You Ever Wanted to Know about It

When it was created?

Dancing with the Stars, also known as DWTS, is a dance competition television series in America. The show premiered on ABC on the 1st of June in the year 2005. It was created as an American version of the UK’S ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ series, which was created by the late Richard England Hopkins.  Hopkins was one of the most famous producers in British television and a creator of many other great hits including Big Brother.

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What DWTS is all about?

In Dancing with the Stars, celebrities are paired up with expert dancers and the paired couples compete against each other. Eliminations take place every week until the winning couple is left standing. The dances performed at each stage are pre-determined and a team of appointed judges gives points to each couple. The couples that get the least total of points from the judge’s points, as well as audience votes, gets eliminated.

Over the years, the show has gone through several changes including the number of participants/couples involved on the show. In the very first season that premiered in June of 2005, competing celebrities were matched up with six trained ballroom dancers. The hosts for the show at the time were Lisa Goodman and Tom Bergeron, and the judges were three: Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli.

Unlike Dance Moms TV Series this is not a reality TV show and there is much less drama to it, which I personally think is a good thing 🙂

How many people watch the show?

When the show premiered, it attracted over 13 million viewers, which was the highest number to ever be achieved in a reality series in the US. Since then, the numbers have continued to grow exponentially attracting not just a national but international audience thanks to digital technology and tools such as cable and satellite television.

DWTS also carries tours all over the United States. On these tours, the competitors perform in front of a live audience and judges. They are usually very elaborate performance that attracts millions of live and broadcast viewers.

Voting and Elimination

How does the voting process work?

Scoring starts with judges awarding points to each couple. They do this by giving a numeric score between 1 and 10. In the 15th season, however, the scoring system took a shift and judges were allowed to use half point intervals in their points. Example a judge could give a couple 1.5 or 7.5 points.
During multiple performances, cumulative total is what is put into consideration. When calculating the winner, the judges’ points, as well as viewers votes, are used. The judges’ points are added together for each couple. The value of this is then converted to a percentage. For example, if a couple gets 20points in a night from a total of 200 points, the judges share to their performance will be 20/200 which is equal to 10%. This percentage is then added to the total votes obtained from viewers.

How does the elimination process work?

The two couples that get the least points and votes are revealed at the end of each show and the couple with the least between the two is automatically eliminated. In season 8 however, the two bottom contestants were allowed to engage in a dance off in an effort to raise their score from judges. The dance off is however no longer applied.
When it comes to public voting, a toll-free number is used by public voters. Recently, voters are also able to cast their votes through the ABC website, Facebook, and text messaging. The maximum number of votes that each individual can cast using all the platforms, is equivalent to the number of couples for the particular episode or equal to five votes, whichever is higher. This has presented issues on the legitimacy of the votes cast since some argue that it’s possible for a single person to vote multiple times. For instance, in the year 2010, Kate Gosselin had family and friends vote for her up to 10 times. This was mainly because, the validity of an email address during voting was not required.
This challenge is not unique to DWTS. On the Monday Night Football show, in the attempt to solve the problem, the shows airing is delayed and voting confined to particular area codes for a time, thus giving affected viewers an opportunity to cast their votes as well. This, however, happens on a market to market basis with substitute sister stations carrying out the live voting as scheduled.
In Seasons one and three, two celebrities were featured in the final week as opposed to the usual three. In season 16 on the other hand, four celebrities found their way to the final week but only three of them got a chance to dance before the judges. In season two 3 celebrities made it to the final week but in season 21 there were four celebrities and in season 22, back to three celebrities.
This shows that there is no consistency or particular format used in the final week of elimination.


Full-time judges of the show

Since inception, dancing with the stars has had three regular judges:

  • Len Goodman – the head judge
  • Bruno Tonioli
  • Carrie Ann Inaba

Len Goodman was however absent for most of the 19th season, and the entire 21st season as well as a good part of the 23rd season.
Another significant change in the judges was the addition of Julianne Hough a former expert dancer on the show, as a full-time judge in seasons 19 to 21 as well as a good part of the 23rd season.

Guest judges

The show has a reputation of inviting former contestants to participate as guest judges as was witnessed in the 11th season. This season saw Helio Castroneves, Drew Lachey, Kelly Osbourne, Mel B, Gilles Marini, and Emit Smith all act as guest judges on the show.
Other times, former contestants on the show and those who have made a career in dancing are sometimes invited to the fourth judge and they include: Kevin Hart, Paula Abdul, Nick Carter, Donnie Burns, Maskim Chmerkovskiy, Jessie J, Michael Flatley, Baz Luhrmann, Idina Osmond, Ricky Martin, Robin Robers, Pitbull, Alfonso Ribeiro, Zendaya, and Redfoo.

Dancing With The Stars 2016

Highlights of DWTS 2016

In the year 2016, viewers enjoyed two seasons of the Dancing With The Stars show; seasons twenty-two and twenty-three.
In season 22, the most memorable episode produced both tears and cheers with Nyle Dimarco scoring the first 9 points in the season while Antonio Brown was assisted by his younger son. Celebrity Nyle DiMarco and professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd took the win home in the 22nd season.

Cast and Winners

Celebrity Laurie Hernandez and expert dancer Val Chmerkovskiy emerged the winners in the 23rd season for the year 2016. In the finals, round competition was stiff among the finalists who included celebrities James Hinchcliffe, Calvin Johnson and Jana Kramer.
The cast of the 23rd season took part in one of the most emotional shows Dancing With The Stars have experienced yet. James Hinchcliff got himself several 10 points while Jana Kramer performed one of the most moving dances with her baby girl. The season had some of the most dazzling dances with the highlight being the proposal to Emma Slater by Sasha Farber on national television.

Hosts and judges

The hosts in the year 2016 for both seasons remained Erin Andrewes and Tom Bergeron while Bruno Tonioli and Caffie Ann Inaba remained judges with Len Goodman assuming his role as head judge.

While it was expected and announced that Julianne Hough would be returning as the fourth judge on the show, this never came to pass as she left the show to deal with a tragedy that involved her boyfriend. Erin Andrews also took time off from hosting and was temporarily replaced by Kym Johnson-Herjaved who took over during Erin’s three-week absentia.

Dancing With The Stars 2017

Highlights of DWTS 2017

One of the most memorable moments in Dancing with the Stars 2017 series was the opening performance in Cleveland Ohio that involved onstage and animated guest vocal performances from Disney world. The props and stage were full of pomp and glamor, little fairy dust and magic in the air. The performance was grazed by legendary artists such as Donny Osmond, Alfonso Ribeiro, Auli’I Cravalho and ZZ Ward enchanting the audience with their vocals easily recognizable from the Disney world characters.


In 2017, on March 20th the 24th season of Dancing With The Stars Premiered on ABC network. Emma Slater and Rashad Jennings emerged winners while Lindsay Arnold and David Ross finished second and Val Chmerkovskiy and Normad Kordei came in third.


The same judges who participated in season 23 in the year 2016 still dominated in the 24th season. These are Len Goodman the head judge, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Julianne Hough. Mandy Moore however filled in for Julianne Hough on May 1st.

Dancing With The Stars Tours

When dancing with the stars first came to life, it was only on television. As demand rose for the show and more and more Americans started following it, the producers felt the need to take the show to the people on the ground. So every so often, Dancing with the stars (DWTS) carries out road shows to various parts of the US. These shows are also recorded and sometimes become part of the televised performances. You can find the schedule of these performances online to know when Dancing With The Stars will be coming to a place near you.