One couple will be crowned the “Dancing With the Stars” champion during Tuesday’s Season 21 finale of the hit ABC series. While viewers patiently wait to find out if Bindi Irwin, Alek Skarlatos or Nick Carter win it all, the question of what the winner actually receives may be on the minds of new fans of the long-running competition show. So, what will the 2015 winner receive following the Season 21 conclusion?
As repeated multiple times during the season, this year's winner and their partner will walk away with the coveted Mirror Ball trophy, the same honor gifted to dozens of winners before them in their series’ decade-long history. But that’s not all! The winners will also be awarded a monetary prize. Unfortunately for the first-place champions, their paycheck is rumored to be no different from the two runner-ups.
The three finalists in the ABC series are reportedly given the same salary. Gawker reported in 2010 that contestants earn $50,000 for each appearance on the final two episodes, but that no separate monetary prize is gifted to the winners. The figure was reconfirmed this month when 17-year-old Bindi’s reported earnings were revealed by TMZ. According to the outlet, Bindi's contract stated that if she made it to the Week 10 and 11 episodes, she would be given $50,000 for each installment.
While the show’s winners may not be given any additional bonus for winning -- other than the priceless glory of being crowned the dancing champion -- they definitely don’t exit the show empty-handed. Since the series premiere in June 2005 it has been reported that the contestants are given more than fair salary for trying their hand at ballroom dancing. TMZ reported that Bindi’s contract revealed she will earn $125,000 for simply starring on the show (an amount reportedly given to each star of the reality program) and the possibility of walking away with $360,000 at the show's completion. Reports indicate the contestants also earn money on a sliding scale throughout the season.
Are you surprised by what the “Dancing With the Stars” winners receive? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and don't forget to tune in to the “Dancing With the Stars” Season 21 finale Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.